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1969 Cadillac


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1967-1978 Fleetwood Eldorado Cadillac Reference Books

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Image: 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood BroughamFor 1969, Cadillac was completely restyled from the inside out, and some of the styling changes were big ones. Gone was the forward-thrusting look of the 1967-68 cars, replaced by a more squared-off appearance that reminded some of the 1965-66 cars. The headlamps, which had been placed vertically in the forward edges of the front fenders since 1965, were now horizontally-mounted at each end of the grille, which was stepped-down over the headlamps to emphasize the taller center section. The grille consisted of rectangles forming an egg crate design, within each were three thin horizontal fins that created a "floating fin" effect, a term attributed to Cadillac's stylists. The combination front parking and turn signal indicators were moved from the grille to the front fenders. A new 2-1/2-inch longer hood gave the 1969 Cadillac more impressive dimensions than ever before, and were now without the cowl vent louvers previously used. Sculptured body lines swept from the top of the front fenders to the rear edge of the quarter panels, giving Cadillac a youthful appearance while maintaining its traditional dignity. The stylists' goal was to give the car a longer, sleeker look while retaining a look that said "Cadillac."

New vertical taillights were placed in the extreme ends of the rear quarter panels, and incorporated the side marker and back-up lights as well as brake, directional signal, and running lamps. The new rear deck was V-shaped, and featured a center windsplit that ran from just above the rear bumper to the rear window glass, which was also V-shaped. Below the rear deck was a full-width chrome bumper that mimicked the taillight designs above and housed a recessed area for the license plate at its center. Textured metal inserts decorated the rear bumper on either side of the recessed area, and differed according to series. The Fleetwoods included color-keyed inserts and bore the Fleetwood name in block lettering on the right hand side insert.

Cadillac offered a total of eleven models in three series for 1969: the Calais, which Cadillac referred to as "your easiest step to the pleasures of Cadillac ownership." A nice way to say, of course, that the Calais was the least expensive series. Two models were available: the Calais Coupe and Calais Hardtop Sedan.

Next up the ladder were the DeVilles, available in 4 models, including the Coupe deVille, Sedan deVille, the popular Hardtop Sedan deVille, and the glamorous deVille Convertible. And at the top were the luxurious Fleetwoods: the Fleetwood Sixty Special Sedan, Fleetwood Brougham, Fleetwood Eldorado, and the big Fleetwood Seventy-Five Sedan and Limousine, and the Commercial Chassis.

Power front disc brakes were now included as standard equipment on all Cadillac models, which provided a noticeably reduced pedal effort. A new theft-deterrent steering, ignition and transmission lock system was introduced, which locked the ignition and steering wheel when the key was removed. A buzzer served as a reminder if the key was left in the ignition upon leaving the car.

Image: 1969 Cadillac instrument panelOther new standard features included a new ventilation system which eliminated the need for vent windows. The lack of vent windows contributed to the longer, sleeker look in the roof area and improved visibility, but was not welcomed by many of Cadillac's traditional customers. A new instrument panel design grouped dials and controls around the driver, which allowed more front seat passenger room. A padded, protruding center section separated the control side from the passenger side.

Opulent new fabric patterns and leather textures greeted Cadillac's 1969 customers, offering them a choice of 205 interior trim combinations, all displaying typical Cadillac luxury. A choice of sixteen standard and five optional Firemist colors for a total of 21 allowed a color selection to match every desire. 19 of the 21 colors were new. Rare wood accents gave interiors a rich look on some models, while bright touches of metal graced others. A new front seat receptacle under the armrest on Fleetwood and deVille models provided a convenient area to store safety belts when they weren't being used. The canted front seat design featured higher seat backs and provided more comfort and support than ever before.

Cadillac introduced a new cooling system design for 1969, which was the industry's first closed system. A translucent reservoir was connected to the radiator's overflow line to capture coolant as it expanded and contracted according to engine temperature. This prevented overflow when a hot engine was shut down, and captured excess coolant which was returned to the radiator by vacuum as the car cooled down. This design also permitted visual checking of the coolant levels, making it easier to maintain proper levels. This change allowed 1969 Cadillacs to idle for prolonged periods of time with the Climate Control system in operation without overheating the engine.

On June 19, 1969, the Cadillac Motor Car Division produced its four millionth car since 1902. Cadillac built a total of 223,237 cars during the 1969 model year, a total which failed to set a new record for the first time in six years.

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1969 Cadillac | 1970 Cadillac