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Image: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham



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1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado



Image: 1975 Cadillac

Cadillac for 1975 introduced numerous engineering and styling changes. Increased fuel economy was a top topic of conversation at this time, and Cadillac's engineers did a superb job of maximizing the efficiency of the '75 Cadillacs. A slew of small changes, each perhaps insignificant on its own, jointly contributed to higher efficiency. For instance, an "Economy" setting was added to the Automatic Climate Control system, which allowed the system to heat or cool the car within the confines of the system without the air conditioner compressor running. This meant on sunny but cool days one could have a climate controlled environment while saving gas at the same time.

A catalytic converter was standard on all 1975 Cadillacs, and allowed the engine to be retuned for better performance and economy. Changes to the transmission also contributed to improved fuel mileage, as did standard issue steel-belted radial ply tires, which offered less rolling resistance. A lower axle ratio also helped, as did a revised Quadrajet carburetor with electric choke. Many of these changes weren't noticed by Cadillac customers, but they were there.

The styling revision that was most noticed were the new rectangular headlamps, which gave the front end an entirely new appearance. Designers no longer had to deal with the round sealed beam units, and the result was headlamps that blended in better with the rest of the front styling. 1975 grilles emphasized a vertical theme, but also had fine horizontal components as well. A bright chrome bezel framed the grille. The rectangular headlamps flanked the grille and blended with the new wrap-around front parking/turn signal/cornering light assemblies. Cadillac squared off the front end sections of the hood, giving them a beveled look that repeated the more square frontal appearance.

Side styling was revised on the four door hardtop Calais Sedan and Sedan deVille, to include stationary rectangular quarter windows in the rear roof sail panels. This gave the interiors a larger appearance, and improved visibility greatly by reducing the blind spots in those areas. The Lamp Monitors on the tips of the front fenders were redesigned with a sleeker appearance, and featured amber, clear, and green lenses to indicate operation of parking/turn signals, low beam headlamps, and high beam headlamps.

All Cadillacs except the new Seville were powered by the 500 CID Eldorado engine. The largest production engine ever used in a Cadillac up to that time, it still ranks among the largest and most powerful engines ever built, especially for production cars. A new Electronic Fuel Injection option became available in March 1975, which improved fuel economy and ensured precise measures of air and fuel at the exact moment necessary for maximum combustion. Other new options for the year included the Glass Dome "Astroroof" which was a power sunroof with a tinted safety glass panel. The panel allowed car occupants to see outside, but was reflective when attempting to look inside the car. A sunshade was provided in an area above the headliner, and could be manually closed to block out all outside light. If you didn't want the glass panel, the conventional metal roof panel sunroof was still available.

An illuminated entry system was activated by pressing in on either front door handle button. This turned on interior lights and illuminated the door lock cylinders outside for 20 seconds. A new Fuel Monitor system displayed a green light when the car was being operated in a manner conducive to obtaining efficient fuel consumption. An amber light indicated that it was not being operated in an efficient manner. A red light on the fuel gauge also lit to warn driver when fuel supply reached approximately 3½ gallons.

The special edition trim packages available previously returned for 1975. The Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance and Talisman editions, and DeVille d'Elegance editions were similar to earlier models. A Cabriolet option for the Coupe deVille returned as well, which included a special rear roof covered in vinyl with a chrome band separating the front painted area from the vinyl portion. Both the Cabriolet and d'Elegance options could be ordered on the Coupe deVille, allowing customers to really dress up their cars.

The 1975 Cadillac line up consisted of the low line Calais Coupe and Sedan; the Coupe deVille and Sedan deVille; Fleetwood Brougham, Fleetwood Eldorado Coupe and Convertible; the Fleetwood Seventy-Five Nine-Passenger Sedan and Limousine; and the new compact Seville four door sedan. Most of Cadillac's exterior paint finishes were new, and included metallics and non-metallics. Some of the more interesting colors were Rosewood Firemist, which was a lilac shade, and could be ordered with a matching vinyl roof and interiors in most cases. Cerise Firemist was a bright raspberry metallic, and was quite beautiful to behold. Mandarin Orange, of course, demanded attention, and Jasper Green was an unusual shade of green that GM offered on many of its models at this time.

Inside, the Metamora Plaid Fabric introduced last year had grown on Cadillac's customers seeking something unusual. A new Morgan Plaid was standard on all Calais models, and more plaid fabrics would come for 1976. Cadillac Leather hides for 1975 were thinner and softer than they had been in the past. The sew style allowed for "comfort wrinkles" which were supposed to give the seats a comfortable, broken in appearance. In some cases, this leather has not held up well over the years, but as with most things depends mostly on the care and exposure it has received.

This would be the next to the last year for the traditional, full-sized Cadillacs. Except for the Eldorado, all Cadillacs would be smaller for the 1977 model year. The end of the American luxury car as we'd known it was about to arrive.


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