Automotive Mileposts  

1975 Cadillac
Production Numbers/Specifications

September 19, 1974
264,731 (Includes Eldorado)
6C C47/G Calais Coupe $8,184/$8,197/$8,613*
Weight: 5003 Built: 5,800
6C C49/N Calais Sedan $8,377/$8,390/$8,806*
Weight: 5087 Built: 2,500
6D D47/J Coupe deVille $8,600/$8,613/$9,029*
Weight: 5049 Built: 110,218
6D D49/B Sedan deVille $8,801/$8,814/$9,230*
Weight: 5146 Built: 63.352
6B B69/P Fleetwood Brougham $10,414/$10,427/$10,843*
Weight: 5242 Built: 18,755
6F F23/R Fleetwood Seventy-Five Sedan $14,218/$14,231/$14,647*
Weight: 5720 Built: 876
6F F33/S Fleetwood Limousine $14,557/$14,570/$14,986*
Weight: 5862 Built: 795
6F F90/Z Commercial Chassis (Price N/A)
Weight: -- Built: 1,328
*Price before slash indicates factory retail at introduction; prices after slashes reflect two mid-year increases.
S Displacement: 500 CID V-8
Bore and Stroke: 4.30 x 4.304
Compression Ratio: 8.50 to 1
SAE Net Horsepower: 190 @ 4000 rpm
Carburetor: Rochester Quadrajet 4MV
-- Turbo Hydra-Matic
N/A 2.73 to 1
3.15 to 1 (Standard on Seventy-Five models)
LR78-15 white sidewall steel-belted radial ply
Optional: LR78-15 with wider stripe whitewall (except Limousine)
Power with self-adjusting feature
Front: Disc
Rear: Composite finned drum
Calais/DeVille: 130"
Fleetwood Brougham: 133"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 151.5"
Front Tread: 63.3"
Rear Tread: 63.3"
Calais/DeVille: 230.7"
Fleetwood Brougham: 233.7"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 252.2"
Width: 80"
Height: --
Trunk: --
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: 6 Qts. with Filter Change
Transmission: 4 Qts. with Filter Change
Cadillac made great strides in improving fuel efficiency for 1975. The Eldorado 500 cubic inch engine became standard on all Cadillac models.

The worst economic recession since 1958 hurt sales which were down for the second year in a row, and allowed 1973 to hold its record as Cadillac's best sales year to date.
1975 was first year for:

- Standard 500 CID engine on all Cadillacs
- Standard whitewall tires
- Standard dual front reading lights on Fleetwood Brougham
- Standard High Energy Ignition System
- Lower axle ratios (2.73 to 1)
- Standard catalytic converter
- "Economy" setting on Automatic Climate Control system
- Rectangular headlamps
- Hinged door pull handles


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: 6B69S5Q100001

These digits decode as:
Digit #1 = GM Division (6 designates Cadillac)
Digit #2 = Series (B - Fleetwood Brougham)
Digits #3-4 = Body Style (69 - 4-Door Pillar)
Digit #5 = Engine (S - 500 CID V-8)
Digit #6 = Year (5 -1975)
Digit #7 = Assembly Plant (Q - Detroit, MI; E - Linden, NJ)
Digits #8-13 = Unit Production Number


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:

Image: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
Image: GM Body Number Plate

ST = Style (75 - Model Year; 6 - Cadillac Division; CB - Fleetwood Brougham series; 69 - 4-Door Pillar Body Style)
BDY = Body (Q - Detroit, Michigan Assembly Plant; 100001 - Production Sequence)
TR = Trim (732 - Dark Crimson Leather)
PNT = Paint (36 - Firethorn Metallic; K - Black Vinyl Roof)
L## = Modular Seat Code (Letter followed by two numbers, depending on seating configuration)

Image: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine

1975 Cadillac:
Advanced Design, Durability, and Value

Image: 1975 Cadillac Calais Coupe and Calais Sedan

Above: 1975 Cadillac Calais models. In front, the Calais Coupe in Jennifer Blue with optional White padded vinyl roof, and in the rear, the Calais Sedan in Commodore Blue. Note the new rectangular headlamps and restyled slim wrap-around parking, side marker, and cornering light assembly.

Cadillac made significant advancements in engineering for 1975, that resulted in an increase in gasoline mileage. Among them, the new catalytic converter, installed on Cadillac for the first time in 1975. This was an important advancement, as it scrubbed engine emissions outside of the engine—allowing the engine itself to be recalibrated for improved efficiency under varied conditions. The High Energy Ignition System introduced last year as an option was made standard for 1975, an important advancement in engine performance, reliability, and length between scheduled service.

Other changes made to improve fuel economy included modifications to the transmission torque converter to make it "tighter" for more immediate, positive response. Lower axle ratios also helped increase mileage, as did steel-belted radial ply tires, which reduced drag up to 33 percent compared to bias-belted tires. This meant less rolling resistance, and better fuel economy.

Cadillac introduced a new, wider radiator for 1975 for better cooling in heavy traffic conditions. New engine mounts also isolated the engine better, to reduce vibration and noise. New stainless steel sandwiched rear brake lines resisted corrosion longer.

The value of buying a new 1975 Cadillac was in its reputation as America's most popular luxury car, the fact that it was constantly being improved, held its value better than many cars, and that of all the Cadillacs built—dating back to 1902—more than 44% were still on the road at the time.

Cadillac's main competitors, Lincoln and Imperial, had very different stories to tell for 1975. Lincoln introduced attractive new formal styling for both 2-door and 4-door models. The Lincoln Coupe received a new fixed rear quarter window, which contributed greatly to Lincoln's more formal appearance. The 4-door Continentals also had a new roofline that was very similar to the Fleetwood Brougham's. Rounded upper door glass fit beautifully into the roofline, and a wide B-pillar gave the car a stately appearance. Chrysler's flagship Imperial, however, was in its final year of production, as sales had slipped so badly that it was impossible for product planners to continue the model. Chrysler already had a new exclusive Imperial in planning, and it would arrive in the early eighties. In a strange turn of events, the Imperial appeared in Chrysler showrooms for 1976—with New Yorker Brougham nameplates on it! Chrysler decided to take its best styled car, and couple it with its best-known model name. The result? Sales exploded! Standard equipment was reduced, and the base price was also dropped, which helped considerably. Most of Imperial's extras were available as options, and most New Yorker's were ordered loaded to the hilt. Perhaps not the most distinguished way to bid farewell to a distinguished model, but sales were the name of the game, and this switch was effective.

The worst economic recession since 1958 had a rather severe impact on auto sales in 1975. Cadillac's sales did show an increase over 1974, but that wasn't a great year either, due to the gas crisis. One thing that without a doubt helped sell Cadillacs was the April 1975 announcement of a new, smaller Cadillac—the Seville. In showrooms on May 1st, the new Seville was much smaller than the traditional Cadillac models. It also had the highest level of standard equipment, and a price tag to match. Designed to compete with the luxury imports, the Seville was a risky proposition for Cadillac, which was unsure how customers would accept a smaller car. The Seville was a big hit, however, and Cadillac gained many new customers because of it, many of them trading in late model luxury imports to buy one! All Sevilles sold in 1975 were 1976 models, introduced early to take advantage of the spring lull, when it could stand out as the only 1976 model for sale.

Cadillac was beginning to realize some additional competition from sister division Oldsmobile, which was selling a lot of Ninety Eight Regency models at the time. The Regency was Oldsmobile's top of the line, and included pillowed seating with embroidered front and rear arm rests. Buick's Electra 225 was also available in more luxurious versions, but couldn't compete with the Regency (at this point). Cadillac had learned first hand that special edition trim packages increased profits and helped sell cars as well. Beginning with the Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance in 1973, which expanded to include d'Elegance versions for the DeVille series in 1974, as well as a premium Talisman for the Fleetwood Brougham. All of those returned for 1975, and if people didn't leave the lot driving one, they may have chosen another Cadillac, so the special editions served their purpose anyway.

Image: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine

Above: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Limousine, shown in Georgian Silver Metallic with a Silver padded vinyl roof. Note the Opera Lamps on the rear door.

If you're considering adding a 1975 Cadillac to your collection, you'll want to carefully inspect a few areas before making a purchase. Rust can be a problem around the vinyl roof moldings, as well as other body side moldings. The hood panel and deck lid also seem to be susceptible to rust, especially along the leading edge of the hood, and the trailing edge of the deck lid. Check lower front fenders, doors, and rear quarter panels as well. Lumps under the vinyl roof indicate corrosion is taking place in those areas.

Mechanically, these cars are dependable and trouble free, as long as they're maintained properly. Some interior trim fabrics can be difficult to find if reupholstery is required, and are expensive when you do find them. Some rare options can be difficult to locate parts for if you need them. The Air Cushion Restraint System was also installed on some Oldsmobile models, and parts are normally interchangeable, but you must be VERY CAREFUL when working under the instrument panel on an air bag-equipped car.

In fact, there was a running joke among Cadillac and Oldsmobile service departments at the time that if the front end of a car had been slightly damaged, but the air bags hadn't deployed, you should remove the sensor from behind the front bumper, take a sledge hammer, and whack the sensor until the air bags deployed! Then, repair as necessary. In all sincerity, service personnel were warned that working under the instrument panel at the wrong angle could result in serious injury (broken neck) due to the air bags being deployed. Not fun. Of course, there were specific service procedures in place to protect workers, so if you have a 1975 Cadillac with air bags, make sure you have access to the factory manuals, and follow the steps regarding servicing a car with this option.

1975 Imperial | 1975 Lincoln Continental | 1975 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight