1977 Cadillac Seville
1977 Seville VIN Identification
Typical 13-digit 1977 Seville VIN: 6S69R7Q######
Cadillac's 75th Anniversary
Cadillac had a lot to celebrate in 1977. The Cadillac Motor Car Division celebrated its 75th Anniversary. Sales and production soared to new levels, breaking records with 358,487 cars built. Cadillac built its six-millionth car, taking just 3.5 years to get from five million to six million. For comparison, it took Cadillac 47 years to produce its first million cars! The all-new downsized line of Cadillacs were introduced as "The Next Generation of the Luxury Car" and based on sales, that would appear to be more fact than ad hype.
A few interesting Seville sales trends began to reveal themselves at this point, to the surprise of Cadillac's marketing people. Initially, Cadillac envisioned the Seville's target group to be males in their mid- to late-forties. However, that was not been the case. It's actually women around the age of 57 most likely to be spotted behind the wheel. In fact, 45% of the principal drivers were women, which is about twice that of other Cadillac models.
Furthermore, about one third of Seville sales had been what were called "diversions" from luxury imports. That means that the answer to the question, "What would you have purchased had Cadillac not offered the Seville?" has been "Mercedes" or one of the other luxury imports, for one out of three buyers. Cadillac also noted that in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which was a big market for the luxury imports, the Seville outsold all 10 Mercedes models during the 1976 calendar year.
Seville trade-ins during the 1976 model year averaged 15% luxury imports and 40% Cadillacs, which indicates Cadillac's traditional customers liked the new Seville very much. The good news for Cadillac was that the average age of buyers dropped slightly to 52 for the 1977 model year.
In the June 1977 edition of Motor Trend magazine, it printed an article titled Seville vs. Versailles - How serious is the challenge? which brought to light an oft-asked question during the testing of the Lincoln Versailles in May 1977: "How is it compared to the Seville?" Overall, the magazine found the two cars quite similar. Both had strong and weak points, as outlined below:
Ride. Both cars were rated very close. Neither had an ultra-soft suspension, but Seville felt better damped on poor surfaces. Tally: Seville - 1, Lincoln - 0
Handling. The Seville was the favorite due to its greater roll stiffness, due to a rear anti-roll bar that the Versailles didn't have. Tally: Seville - 2, Lincoln - 0
Performance. The Versailles was said to have a clear edge in performance over the Seville. But the 351 engine wasn't available in California in the Versailles, just the 302 which would likely hurt performance, although fuel economy would likely be better. Also, a 1976 Seville was tested against a 1977 Versailles, and the magazine felt a '77 model Seville might have better performance. Tally: Seville - 2, Lincoln - 1
Exterior fit and finish. Both cars received good marks in this area for production vehicles. Lincoln gets extra marks for its basecoat/clearcoat process, an industry first. Tally: Seville - 2, Lincoln - 2
Interior furnishings. The magazine felt the Seville had the richer materials, and mentioned the 6-way power Seville seat compared to the 4-way power Versailles seat, but it did point out that the Versailles provided two illuminated vanity mirrors as standard, compared to Seville's extra cost unit available only for the right side. Automotive Mileposts finds the two cars pretty much balance out when it comes to interior fittings, with a slight nod to the Versailles.
The Versailles has leather-covered door armrests, instrument panel, and steering wheel rim. Even the assist straps, map pockets, and console were leather covered. A Cartier quartz crystal clock is provided as standard, and the nylon cloth upholstery looks and feels like cashmere. The Seville has a better instrument panel, but we feel the quality of the materials in the Versailles were better than those in the Seville. Tally: Seville - 2, Lincoln - 3
Room and capacities. The Seville has a longer wheelbase, and is longer overall, with extra leg room for rear seat passengers. Other dimensions are similar in both cars. The Versailles had more shoulder and hip room in both front and rear seats, and the Seville had better leg room. The Seville gets the point because leg room is of major importance, but neither was clearly superior over the other. Final Tally: Seville 3, Lincoln - 3
Overall, the Versailles really came out ahead in our opinion, but honestly we feel it's so close it's really a tie. Motor Trend felt the Seville came out on top, but mentioned it was more expensive, and you should get a little more if you pay a little more. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you prefer Cadillacs or Lincolns best, and that's a topic that will likely never be resolved!