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Thread: Cadillac Calais 1971-1976

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    Cadillac Calais 1971-1976

    The Calais was a full-size luxury car made by Cadillac from 1965 to 1976. For 1965, Cadillac renamed the entry-level Series 62 the Calais, after the French town and resort which overlooks the narrowest point in the English Channel, and from which the White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day. In Greek mythology, Calais was also one of the winged sons of Boreas, God of the North Wind, and Oreithyea.

    The new 1971 GM full-size bodies, at 64.3" front shoulder room (62.1" on Cadillac) and 63.4" rear shoulder room (64.0" on Cadillac) set a record for interior width that would not be matched by any car until the full-size GM rear-wheel drive models of the early to mid-1990s. Pairs of individually housed round headlamps were set wider apart. The V-shaped grille had an eggcrate style insert and was protected by massive vertical guards framing a rectangular license plate indentation. A wide hood with full-length windsplints, a prominent center crease and hidden windshield wipers was seen. A Cadillac crest decorated the nose and new indicator lamps appeared atop each front fender. A horizontal beltline molding ran from behind the front wheel housing, almost to the rear stopping where an elliptical bulge in the body came to a point and where thin rectangular side markers were placed above and below the chrome strip. The rear wheel openings were again housed in fender skirts. Taillamps were of the same type as before but were no longer divided by a chrome bar. Long horizontal back-up lamps were set in the bumper, on either side of a deeply recessed license plate housing. The Calais wheelbase was extended to 130 in (3,302 mm).

    In 1972 a modest frontal revision placed more emphasis on horizontal grille blades. The parking lamps were moved from the bumper to between the square bezeled headlamps, which were now set wider apart. V-shaped emblems made a return on hood and deck lid. New standard features included a bumper impact system, automatic parking brake release, passenger assist straps and flow through ventilation system. Externally the Calais was identified by front fender model script; thin horizontal belt moldings and a script on the right side of the trunk.

    New energy absorbing bumpers were seen on all GM cars in 1973 and it brought styling refinements to De Ville. Grilles were widened and had an intricate eggcrate design. Larger vertical rectangles housed the parking lamps between wide spaced headlamps ehich had square bezels but round lenses. Bumpers ran fully across the front and wrapped around each end. Vertical guards were spaced much further apart at a point outboard of the grille. The rear end had a bumper with a flatter upper section housing an angled license plate recess. Border outline moldings vertically "veed" paralleled the fender edge shape at the rear bodysides. Single horizontally mounted rectangular rear side marker lamps were placed over and under the rear tip of the thin beltline trim. Cadillac script was seen on the front fender sides below the belt molding behind the wheel opening.

    In 1974 a wide eggcrate grille was used. Dual round headlamps were mounted close together in square bezels. Further outboard were double deck wraparound parking lamps. Shorter vertical grille guards appeared in about the same position as before. Rear fendersides were flatter without the elliptical bulge. The thin beltline molding was positioned lower by several inches. The rear end had vertical bumper ends with the taillight built in. Both bumpers, especially the rear, protruded further from the body. Coupes were no longer hardtops, instead sporting large wide "coach" windows giving a thick center pillar look. A new curved instrument panel housed a digital clock. New standard features included an integral litter container.

    1974 also saw the introduction of the optional "Air Cushion Restraint System". Known today as airbags, this option provided protection for front seat occupants in the case of a frontal collision. One bag was located in the steering wheel, the other in the dashboard in front of the front seat passenger. The glove box was replaced with a lockable storage compartment under the dashboard.

    Styling changes for 1975 brought dual square headlight lenses flanked by rectangular cornering lights wrapped around the body. A new cross hatched grille also appeared. Sedans now featured slim triangular quarter windows that mimicked the coach windows that appeared on coupes the previous year. New standard equipment included front fender lamp monitors, power door locks, high energy ignition, steel-belted radial tires. The big 500 cu in (8.2 l) arrived in 1975.

    In 1976 the grille saw a new finer crosshatching pattern. Cornering lamps got new horizontal chrome trim while taillamps gained a new bold look. Eight different color accent stripes were available. Vinyl tops were now integral padded Elk grain material. New trims included sporty plaids, plush velours, knits and 11 distinctive genuine leathers. Coupe de Villes had a new vinyl roof whose top molding served as a continuation of the door"belt" molding. A Controlled (limited-slip) Differential was included for extra traction. An optional illuminated entry and theft deterrence system was optional. A new Freedom battery never needed water. New turbine veined and wire wheel covers were offered. New options included a push-button Weather Band built into the AM/FM stereo signal-seeking radio, plus power passenger and manual driver seatback recliners for 50/50 front seats. Of the 15 standard and six optional Firemist body colors, 13 were new this year. New standard features included map light, Soft-Ray tinted glass, spare tire cover, washer fluid level indicator, and steel belted radial whitewall tires. 1976 was the last year for the Calais.

    Source: wikipedia.org
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    Last edited by Ferrer; 09-14-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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