CALAIS · DEVILLE · FLEETWOOD BROUGHAM · SEVENTY-FIVE
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1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
Cadillac's 1973 model line up remained the same as before, but one notable change was made. There was no longer a Sixty Special in the line. For 34 years, the name represented Cadillac's finest four door automobiles, but the name had been dropped for 1973. The model would now be known as the Fleetwood Brougham.
Exterior styling updates were modest yet more extensive than they had been since the current body had been introduced two years earlier. The most obvious change was the front bumper and grille assembly, which were now one, as the grille was actually bolted to the bumper to allow it to retract several inches in a minor collision, to avoid damage.
The new 1973 grille was wider, and emphasized a vertical texture. A matching section below the bumper framed the center license plate provision. Standard front bumper guards were even more massive than they had been before, and the white on black bumper impact strips were wider.
The front combination parking and turn signal indicator lights remained between the headlamp assemblies, but were now larger, and better integrated with the headlamps. When viewed from a side angle, the front grille assembly jutted out away from the car, and featured wide chrome pieces on each end and along the top, which was also visible as the hood sat back from the grille. The hood was redesigned, and had a flat, chamfered front facing with Cadillac crest and "V" emblems mounted at center.
Bright new wheel covers were of a simpler design, and no longer had radial fins. Fleetwood Broughams had the front doors redesigned to eliminate the double seam along the center "B" pillar. The rear edge of the door was extended to the rear to cover the pillar, which gave the car a much cleaner side appearance.
In the rear, a new bumper was designed to absorb impacts of up to 2.5 mph into a flat, vertical surface without damage to any of the car's major systems. The familiar triangular shaped taillights remained, with the "upside down" lower portion becoming a reflector only in 1973. An angled upper bumper surface below the deck lid housed two back-up lights, which were mounted in a notched section of the upper bumper surface. A white on black bumper impact strip ran from bumper end to bumper end, and the lower reflector sections of the taillights also were surrounded by a triangular impact strip.
The entire rear bumper assembly was mounted away from the car, with the gap between the rear fenders and bumper filled with color-matching urethane fillets. This created a "crush zone" to allow the bumper to move inward slightly on impact, then return to normal position afterward. A slender chrome molding ran vertically from the top of the fender to the bottom, and separated the flexible filler material from the rear fender.
During the 1973 model year, an ultra-luxurious premium special edition trim package was introduced for the Fleetwood Brougham model. The Brougham d'Elegance package was priced at $750, and would become the first of several premium trim packages that would eventually be offered to Cadillac's customers who desired even more luxury and distinction that the standard models provided. The package included Medici crushed velour upholstery, two-toned shag carpeting, rubber-backed front and rear floor mats, shirred elastic pockets on the back of the front seats, and "Brougham d'Elegance" scripts on the sail panels.
Other changes included a new vinyl roof for DeVille models with a center seam that allowed the cars to be fitted with a wider sunroof panel when that option was specified. A few new options made their debut in 1973, including a left-hand outside rear view mirror with an illuminated thermometer built into its base; a lighted visor vanity mirror for the right hand sun visor with two light intensity levels; and a theft-deterrent system that sounded the horn and flashed the lights when the car was disturbed.
An exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system was included on all Cadillacs, and reduced emissions of oxides of nitrogen, a significant improvement in emissions control.
Most of Cadillac's exterior paint colors were new for 1973, as were most of the interior upholstery fabrics. A selection of eight vinyl roof colors was available to tailor any Cadillac to the customer's exact specifications. And customer satisfaction was what it was all about. The Cadillac lifestyle included the knowledge that it was one of the world's most respected automobiles, its quality was second to none, its resale value was traditionally the highest of any car built in the land, and all of these things combined created a special world of driving pleasure and owner satisfaction that was legendary.
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