|September 21, 1972
|304,839 (Includes Eldorado)
TOP LINE: BODY CODE/MODEL NAME/BASE PRICE
BOTTOM LINE: WEIGHT/PRODUCTION
- 6C C47/G Calais Coupe $5,886
- Weight: 4900 Built: 4,202
- 6C C49/N Calais Sedan $6,038
- Weight: 4953 Built: 3,798
- 6D D47/J Coupe deVille $6,268
- Weight: 4925 Built: 112,849
- 6D D49/B Sedan deVille $6,500
- Weight: 4985 Built: 103,394
- 6B B69/P Fleetwood Brougham $7,765
- Weight: 5102 Built: 24,800
- 6F F23/R Fleetwood Seventy-Five Sedan $11,948
- Weight: 5620 Built: 1,017
- 6F F33/S Fleetwood Limousine $12,080
- Weight: 5742 Built: 1,043
- 6F F90/Z Commercial Chassis (Price N/A)
- Weight: -- Built: 2,212
||Displacement: 472 CID V-8
Bore and Stroke: 4.30 x 4.06
Compression Ratio: 8.5 to 1
Gross Horsepower: 345 @ 4400 rpm
SAE Net Horsepower: 220 @ 4000 rpm
Carburetor: Rochester Quadrajet 4MV
REAR AXLE CODE
FINAL DRIVE RATIO
||2.93 to 1
3.15 to 1 (Standard on Seventy-Five models)
|L78-15 Bias-belted, fiberglass, blackwall
||Power with self-adjusting feature
Rear: Composite finned drum
Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham: 133"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 151.5"
Front Tread: 63.6"
Rear Tread: 63.3"
Fleetwood Brougham: 231.5"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 250.0"
|Variable-ratio power steering (fixed-ratio on Seventy-Fives)
Overall ratio: 17.8 to 1
(19.5 to 1 on Seventy-Fives)
Turning angle: 38.5 degrees
|Fuel Tank: 27 gallons
Cooling System: 21¾ Qts. (23¾ Qts. with Air Conditioning;
except Seventy-Five 26¾ Qts.)
Washer Fluid Reservoir: 2½ Qts.
Engine Oil: 5 Qts. with Filter Change
Transmission: 4 Qts. with Filter Change
|For the first time ever, Cadillac assemblies exceeded the 300,000 mark.
Both the Coupe deVille and Sedan deVille surpassed the 100,000 point for
the first time ever.
The Coupe deVille became the top Cadillac model, taking the title away
from the Sedan deVille after many years.
|1973 was first year for:
- Brougham d'Elegance trim option for Fleetwood Brougham
- Single center door seam on Fleetwood Brougham
- Front passenger reading light on Fleetwood Brougham
- Standard Litter Container
- Outside Thermometer option
- Theft-Deterrent System option
- Medici Velour Lap Robe and Pillow option
- Automatic Power Antenna option
- Electric grid rear defogger option for standard Cadillacs (became an
option on the Eldorado Convertible in 1971, all others used blower type)
1973 CADILLAC VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
GM changed its serial numbering system somewhat for 1972 to incorporate
an alphabetical series code and engine type code. This new numbering system
was used on the serial number tag and the body number plate under the hood
A 13-digit number appears on top of the dash on the driver's side of the
car, and can be viewed through the windshield. A second number appears
on a tag on the rear upper portion of the cylinder block behind the intake
manifold. The digits resemble: 6D49R3Q100001
These digits decode as:
Digit #1 = GM Division (6 designates Cadillac)
Digit #2 = Series (D - DeVille)
Digits #3-4 = Body Style (49 - 4-Door Hardtop)
Digit #5 = Engine (R - 472 CID V-8)
Digit #6 = Year (3 -1973)
Digit #7 = Assembly Plant (Q - Detroit, MI; E - Linden, NJ)
Digits #8-13 = Unit Production Number
BODY NUMBER PLATE
Complete vehicle identification is determined by the Body Number Plate,
which is located under the hood on the cowl, near the top. The body plate
illustrated would identify the car below:
ST = Style (73 - Model Year; 6 - Cadillac Division; CD - DeVille Series;
49 - 4-Door Hardtop Sedan Body Style)
BDY = Body (Q - Detroit, Michigan Assembly Plant; 100001 - Production Sequence)
TR = Trim (351 - White Leather)
PNT = Paint (11 - Cotillion White; J - White Vinyl Roof)
L## = Modular Seat Code (Letter followed by two numbers, depending on seating
The Special World of
Above: 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine in Sable Black. Without
question, the most impressive motorcar on the road at the time. Nothing
commanded more respect than arriving in a Cadillac Limousine.
1973 was a good year to be in the automobile business, as the U.S. automobile
industry broke all previous production and sales records, with Cadillac
shattering production records it had set just the year before. In 1972,
Cadillac built more than a quarter of a million cars for the first time
ever in a single model year, that record fell as Cadillac passed the 300,000
mark in 1973.
Another production record was set for 1973, as Cadillac built its five
millionth car was built on June 27, 1973. The Antigua Blue Sedan deVille
was equipped with an optional White vinyl roof and a Dark Blue Medallion
Cloth interior was fitted.
The Sedan deVille and Coupe deVille both reached an historic milepost in
their histories, as they surpassed the 100,000 production mark in 1973,
and the Coupe deVille overtook the Sedan deVille as Cadillac's most popular
model, a title the Sedan had held for many years. This made the Coupe deVille
the world's most popular luxury car.
The special world of Cadillac for 1973 ushered in the third year of this
body style, and normally sales would be expected to start off strong when
the new style is introduced, and then fall off somewhat each year until
the next new body style is introduced. But sales of this particular body
style did exactly the reverse—they got off to a slow start in 1971,
as just about the time the new models were beginning to be seen on the
streets, a nationwide UAW strike against General Motors hit, and shut down
production. New cars were in short supply for several months, and supply
never truly caught up to demand.
Sales recovered for 1972, and just kept going for 1973. Unknown to anyone,
Cadillac and the other auto makers would need these couple of good years,
as events in another part of the world were about to have a big impact
on the industry for 1974—especially the big, full-sized cars. Sales
would pick up again, but the end of the big American car was approaching.
By 1980, all Cadillac models would be down sized, as would those from every
Above: 1973 Cadillac Coupe deVille, the most popular Cadillac model of
all for 1973. Shown in Renaissance Gold with an optional Black padded vinyl
For many years, Cadillac's owner loyalty and repeat ownership were the
envy of the industry. It would seem that once someone made that final step
up to a Cadillac, they were reluctant to settle for anything less—or
anything else. Advertisements of the past had mentioned this fact in the copy of the
ad. For 1973, some of Cadillac's advertising focused on owner loyalty and
repeat ownership, with emphasis on statistics that showed Cadillac to have
the highest repeat ownership and satisfaction of any luxury car in the
land. And there was a reason for these "in your face" ads.
Cadillac's main competitor, Lincoln, had hired an independent testing firm,
the Nationwide Consumer Testing Institute, to evaluate the riding comfort
and driving ease of the two cars. These two items were of supreme importance
in the luxury field, of course, and special attention was paid to the quietness
of the ride and the lack of harshness while underway.
For these tests, Lincoln assembled a group of 100 Cadillac owners at the
Hotel Bel-Air, a fitting place to serve as an initial meeting place. The
first test asked the Cadillac owners to determine which car had the most
comfortable ride. Over the same test route, the Cadillac owners drove new
versions of a Cadillac and a Lincoln. 64 of the 100 chose Lincoln as the
make with the most comfortable ride.
The second test was to evaluate driving ease. For this test, new Fleetwood
Eldorado and Continental Mark IV models were used. And again, each car
was driven over the identical route. The result was that 66 of the Cadillac
owners stated the Continental Mark IV was the easier of the two to drive.
About the time Lincoln started advertising the results of these tests,
Cadillac responded with similar ads on loyalty , satisfaction, and repeat
ownership. And the comparisons just kept growing.
Early in the 1973 model year, Lincoln advised that a national survey indicated
that 20,000 drivers of "the other luxury car" had switched to
Lincoln during the last two years. An impressive number, for certain, but
the fact remained that Cadillac was far outselling Lincoln as a whole.
The only area where Lincoln was successful in challenging Cadillac one
on one was in the personal luxury car market, where the Continental Mark
IV was by far the more popular of the two. This despite the Eldorado's
expanded assortment of models, which offered a convertible model, something
Lincoln hadn't offered since 1967. There was no doubt that Cadillac had
a far wider assortment of models to choose from, and the division had maintained
its leadership role in the luxury market for many years at this point.
But the challenge was on, and Cadillac was being challenged from other
directions, as well.
The luxury import market was beginning to grow at this time. Imports of
luxury models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar were increasing, and
while these vehicles were generally more expensive and offered fewer comforts
and somewhat uninspired styling in some cases, they were indeed becoming
a concern. Certainly, Cadillac would need to keep a careful watch to protect
its market share.
There are several areas of concern when searching for a 1973 Cadillac.
As with most cars equipped with a factory vinyl roof, rust can lurk below
the surface. Check moldings and around the rear window carefully. Also
check the lower areas of the front fenders and the rear quarter panels.
Hood and deck lid edges are another area that warrant close inspection.
Parts are generally readily available, and most of the components on these
cars have proven themselves to be very durable over the years.
Above: 1973 Cadillac Sedan deVille in optional St. Tropez Blue Firemist
with optional Dark Blue vinyl roof. Evident in this view is the new impact-absorbing
front bumper system with front bumper guards and impact strips. The grille
is attached to the bumper itself, which allows the grille to retract somewhat
during low-speed impacts to prevent damage.