What Is It?

Last week’s photo showed the 1968 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, a gigantic four-door hardtop that still bore the vestiges of tail fins after the other automakers had dropped them.


Cadillacs didn’t change much from year to year, and the fact that the 1968 was little changed from the previous year is shown in the large number of readers who thought it was a 1967 model.

Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of Larry Heath, of Evans, who wrote: “1968 Cadillac. The four door hardtop shown still has front vent windows. These would disappear in 1969 from all GM cars.

“This was a classic luxury cruiser from this time period. The large V-8 engines were not very economical by modern standards, but high-test gas was about 30 cents per gallon.

“During the 1970s this type vehicle became plentiful as a used car. Low mileage vehicles were available for reasonable prices due to concern over gas mileage. The cars were generally reliable and simple to maintain and the cheap prices made for a better daily transportation vehicle. Even with higher gas prices you could ride in luxury and still save money.

“Another good example of a vehicle from the ‘good old days.’”

Heath wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:

AUGUSTA: Tom Wall said that his father owned Cadillacs – a 1959 and a 1960 – and that he himself has had 1964, 1973, 1976 and 1978 Cadillacs and today drives a 1987 Fleetwood Brougham, of which he is only the second owner: “Years ago, I saw Your Cheatin’ Heart, in which Hank Williams drove a Cadillac, and I was inspired. I said, ‘I’m going to get me a Cadillac.’ ”

John Hayes wrote: “This week, like last week, is difficult to tell the year because of the similarity of the models from year to year, but i think this car is a 1967 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.”

Carolyn Ogles thought it might be a de Ville from the 1950s.

Walker Mobley wrote: “The What Is It puzzle appears to be a 1968 Cadillac. I think the model is a DeVille, hardtop sedan. These cars were very large by today’s standards, and I suppose that is why they came with a 472 CI engine. I wonder what the average gas mileage was?

“These cars were way out of my price range but were pretty anyway. Keep the old ones coming.”

Lowell Fritsche wrote: “It’s a 1967, ’68, ’69, ’70 – one of those four years. They used the same body. I don’t know which one topick but I would say the 1969.”

BEECH ISLAND: Tom Hall wrote: “This week’s contest picture is 1967 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. The third-generation de Ville series.

“The 1967 de Villes were beautifully styled. Prominent styling features give this car a powerful frontal face, with forward-leaning front end, long sculptured body lines, and rear fenders that had more than just a hint of tail fins. The hint of tail fins has now faded to merely a nod, remaining in the tall thin tail lights, where the fins would have terminated.

“I used to catch rides to high school in the ’70s in my buddy’s dad’s 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. We were living big.”

CANTON, GA.: David T. Anderson wrote: “This could be either a 1967 or ’68 Caddy, but because of the back window, I will go with 1967.

“Back in the day, all Cadillacs for any given year came equipped with the same engine. In 1967, this Sedan de Ville was equipped with the same engine as my 1966 de Ville convertible, a 429-cubic-inch V-8 producing 340 horsepower. However this car weighs around 4,500 pounds and is geared more for cruising than off-the-line performance.

“A good portion of that horsepower was also needed to run all of the Cadillac power options, especially that old school A/C compressor that was more than capable of stalling the engine if the bearings suddenly froze.

“Regardless, while even a VW Beetle could potentially beat this car off the line, the Caddy would eventually catch it, pass it, and then be able to cruise all day long without breaking a sweat.

“These Cadillacs were affectionately or disparagingly (depending on your viewpoint) referred to has a living room on wheels, and that is actually not far off the mark. Every attempt was made to isolate the occupants, including the driver, from the outside world, and that immense back seat is nearly as big your living room sofa.

“Unfortunately this is also a time when disgruntled workers created what are now urban myths with poor build quality and even sabotage, for instance, with wrenches wired and dangling inside inaccessible body cavities with a note attached, ‘Congratulations you bleep, you finally found the rattle!’ ’’

EVANS: Jerry Paul wrote: “My guess this week is a Cadillac, a 1967 de Ville sedan.”

Paul Perdue wrote: “This week’s automobile is either a 1967 or 1968 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. I am going to pick the 1968 model.”

PJ Rodgers wrote: “The automobile in this week’s contest appears to be a 1968 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.”

Jim Williamson got it right: the 1968 Sedan de Ville.

HEPHZIBAH: John Williams was born in 1939 and remembers taking a liking to cars in 1948 when friends of his grandparents owned a 1948 Chevrolet. He had no trouble telling the car of the week was a 1968 Sedan de Ville:

“I always wanted a Cadillac. In 1962, all I could do is want it, but said someday I’m going to get one. When the 1990 model came out, I said I’m going to get me one. So in 1993 I bougfht a 1990 Sedan de Ville. I kept it 17 years.

“I never changed the brake shoes on it, never tunedit up; it was a good car. The 4.9-liter V-8 was one of the best engines. I’ve got a 1994 now, which had the last of the good motors. The Northstar engine came out in 1995. It wasn’t as good. My 1994 has 175,000 miles on it. I’m going to keep it for a while.”

Stan Riddle said it was a 1968 Coupe de Ville.

Willie Frank Tucker guessed a 1965 Sedan de Ville.

LOUISVILLE, GA.: Robert L. Holbert wrote: “I think you got me this week. I could only narrow it down to a 1970, ’71, ’72 or ’73 Cadillac Sedan de Ville – and I’m not 100 percent sure of those.”

MARTINEZ: Lloyd B. Schnuck Jr. said it was a 1967-68 Cadillac Sedan de Ville: “I need to see more to narrow down, for me, anyway.”

He added: “I just returned from Dayton, Ohio, the home of Dayton Engineering Laboratories (Delco) and National Cash register (NCR). Charles Kettering (Sloane-Kettering Cancer Institute), one of many accomplishments and 186 patents) and Col. Deeds of NCR were instrumental in developing all-electric systems for early (1909) Cadillacs, and arguably the most important device in automobiles, the electric self-starter, rather than a crank. Henry Leland (later founded Lincoln, pre-Ford acquisition) named the company in 1902.”

Joe Bert identified the car as the 1968 Sedan de Ville.

Jim Muraski wrote: “This week’s vehicle is a late ’60s Cadillac Sedan de Ville. I’m guessing it’s a 1968 model. “

NORTH AUGUSTA: Larry Pettinato guessed the 1967 Cadillac.

PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson wrote: “I think the auto this week is a 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.”

WARRENVILLE: James Covar was able to get the right identification after ruling out similar models from General Motors that year, the big Oldsmobile and Buick: “I took a guess.”

WAYNESBORO, GA.: Ken Huff wrote: “Cadillac has been around for over 100 years and is considered the automotive expression of the ‘American Dream.’ I think this is a 1967 Cadillac Calais.”

NO CITY LISTED: Herman Keith said it was the 1967 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.

R.D. Bouvier said 1966 Sedan de Ville.

And Felicia Chambers thought it might be a 1970 Chevrolet Impala.


We don’t need to know the year of this old concept vehicle. We just want you to tell us what car it became when it reached production. If you know, e-mail glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com or call (706) 823-3419.

Please tell us your name, telephone number and city. It helps if you spell your name for us so we can include your response along with everybody else’s.

You have until midnight Tuesday to respond. A winner will be chosen randomly. Thank you for playing.

– Glynn Moore, staff writer