Classic Car

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Cadillac Coupe Deville was an iconic luxury coupe produced by Cadillac, the luxury division of General Motors. It was part of the fourth generation of the Deville series, which ran from 1959 to 1964.

Origins and Earlier Models

The Deville series originated in 1949 as the premiere trim of the Cadillac Series 62. It eventually split off as its own series starting in 1959, signifying Cadillac’s most luxurious models. The 1964 Coupe Deville was an evolution of the design themes, engineering advancements, and lavish appointments set by earlier models.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Major Redesign for 1964

The 1964 model year brought extensive changes that gave the Coupe Deville a dramatic new look. The sleek, clean styling featured a lower, wider stance paired with pronounced shoulders and headlights moved out to the fender ends. Underneath was an improved chassis and suspension along with better sound insulation and vibration damping.

Offering the Latest Luxury and Style

The 1964 Coupe Deville epitomized American automotive luxury, style, performance and prestige. It was expertly crafted with a long hood, short deck proportions and elegant detailing that made it stand out as the height of fashion. This was a halo car aimed at Cadillac’s most discerning customers.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Restoring a 67 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Features and Specifications of the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville was extremely well-appointed even by Cadillac’s high standards, with extensive luxury features, advanced engineering, powerful V8 engines and elegant style inside and out:

Dimensions and Weight

  • Wheelbase: 129.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 224 inches
  • Curb Weight: ~4,400 pounds

Comfort and Convenience Features

  • Power steering, brakes, windows and vent windows
  • 6-way power front bench seat
  • Automatic climate control
  • AM/FM radio
  • Rear reading lamps
  • Electric clock
  • Soft Ray tinted glass

Safety and Technology

  • Dual master cylinder brake system
  • Padded instrument panel and visors
  • Retractable front seatbelts
  • Cornering lamps
  • Autronic Eye headlamp control

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Engines and Performance

  • 340 hp 7.0L V8
  • 365 hp 7.7L V8
  • 390 hp 8.2L V8
  • Hydra-Matic automatic transmission -acceleration: 0-60 in ~ 9 seconds
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Colors, Upholstery and Details

  • 16 exterior color choices
  • Leather or high-grade cloth upholstery
  • Extensive woodgrain trim
  • Tailfins with elegant chrome trim
  • Distinctive egg-crate grille

Design and Styling of the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville wore stunning bodywork riding on a lower and wider stance compared to previous years. Cadillac set out to refresh its luxury coupes with more contemporary styling while retaining the brand’s identifiable cues.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Lower and Wider Proportions

Dropping the Coupe Deville by three inches paired with two extra inches of width gave it a longer, leaner visual presence. This also communicated stability and capable handling that lived up to its looks. The reduced height requirement was made possible thanks to a new X frame chassis.

Dramatic Body Sculpting

Sweeping curves, crisp lines and peaked fenders came together harmoniously in the 1964 sheet metal. New compound surface contours added depth, while a flowing beltline kicked up at the rear fenders in tune with the trademark tailfins trimmed in chrome. Distinctive front and rear styling balanced each other smartly.

Timeless Elegance Endures

The 1964 styling exuded poise and grace that has aged beautifully over subsequent decades. Balanced proportions, thoughtful detailing, and restrained use of trim and brightwork created an intricate composition. This was Cadillac putting its best design foot forward to compete with the best luxury brands in the world.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Notable Design Details

  • Eggcrate grille
  • Peak front fenders
  • Sculpted body sides
  • Fastback roofline
  • Tailfins with chrome
  • Full-length side molding
  • Frameless side windows

Performance and Engine Options for the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville delivered vigorous acceleration thanks to Cadillac’s smooth, powerful V8 engines, the largest displacement engines found in any production car at the time.

7.0-Liter 340 Horsepower V8

The standard engine produced 340 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, breathing through a 4-barrel carburetor and 10:1 compression. Features like hydraulic valve lifters and aluminum intake manifold optimized efficiency.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Strong Low-end Torque

Abundant torque, especially at lower RPM, gave the 7.0L excellent drivability for such a large engine. Smooth power delivery enabled relaxed cruising yet with ample reserves for confident passing and merging.

New 7.7-Liter 365 Horsepower V8

A new 7.7L (470 cubic-inch) V8 debuted, slotting in between the 340 hp and 390 hp engines. More aggressive cam timing increased peak horsepower while retaining the 340’s ample torque.

Even Smoother and Quieter

Improved engine mounts isolated vibrations from the passenger compartment. Paired with new body mounts, passengers enjoyed the quietest, smoothest Cadillac ride yet. The new engine was among the most refined of its era.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Race-Inspired 8.2-Liter V8

At the top sat the mighty 390 hp 8.2L V8 that saw duty powering the Cunningham Le Mans race cars. Breathing through four 2-barrel carburetors, it unleashed a deep, Civil War-cannon exhaust note.

Notable Models and Variants of the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville came very well equipped even in base trim, catering specifically to luxury buyers rather than offering stripped-down variants. However, Cadillac still offered a selection of models that added custom luxury touches.

Coupe Deville

The standard model still oozed prestige with its long list of features plus buyers choice of 16 exterior colors, 6 upholstery types in a variety of hues, and enough chrome trim to start a mine. The Deville script adorned the rear fenders to remove any doubt about this Coupe’s aspirations.

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Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Coupe Deville D’Elegance

Moving further upscale, the Deville D’Elegance added features like automatic headlamp control, cornering lights, cruise control, a remote-controlled side mirror, plus more sumptuous interior fabrics and trim. A thin body side molding provided subtle distinction.

Coupe Deville Convertible

For open-air motoring Cadillac style there was the Deville Convertible featuring power-operated folding rear fabric roof. This added model shared the same luxury features as the Coupe and even weighed within 20 pounds of its hardtop sibling.

Maintenance and Repair Tips for the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

While restoring a 64 Coupe Deville requires significant effort and investment, properly maintaining a healthy example can be very manageable. These tips will help keep your prized Caddy roadworthy.

Handling Overheating Issues

These cars can run quite hot in warmer weather especially in traffic. Upgrading components like radiator, water pump, fan clutch and hoses preemptively is wise insurance.

Keep the Cooling System Clean

Neglecting coolant flushes allows corrosive rust and minerals to accumulate internally over the years. Replacing hoses and belts before they fail also reduces headaches.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Address Common Electrical Gremlins

Vacuum tube circuitry of the era didn’t age gracefully. Replacing tubes in components prone to failure like the voltage regulator can improve reliability. Upgrading wiring harnesses helps too.

Service Ignition Points Regularly

The ignition point cam and contacts need cleaning and gapping periodically to maintain peak performance. Quality replacement parts and revised maintenance schedules aid dependability.

Adopt Preventative Maintenance

Catching minor problems early, repairs cost much less. For example leaking hydraulics makes steering heavier before failing dangerously. Annual fluid changes avoid major transmission and brake repairs.

Repeat Safety Inspections

Critical to safety yet oft-neglected items like tires, shocks, wheel bearings, steering linkage and front suspension joints need thorough inspection twice yearly. This also preserves the ride and handling.

Driving Experience of the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Gliding behind the wheel of the 1964 Coupe Deville remains a special sensation fifty years later. Its prodigious power, comfort and road presence create an unmatched aura of confidence and capability bringing a smile every mile.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Superior Ride Quality

Improved shock absorbers, bushings and vibration damping deliver Cadillac’s famous “magic carpet” ride feeling. Passengers will swear the tires aren’t touching the road as bumps simply vanish beneath you.

Comfort in All Seats

Huge, soft power bench seats upholstered in fine leather coddle back seat passengers in true Cadillac fashion. Adjustable roomy accommodations make cross country journeys a pleasure for all aboard no matter how long the drive.

Endless Power Reserves

A dip into the throttle brings that big V8 rumbling to life, ready to unleash a locomotive-like wave of torque. Accelerating from 30 to 70 mph for high-speed merges or passes happens with almost contemptuous ease making even Supercars take notice.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Hydra-Matic Flexibility

The famous Hydra-Matic transmission shifts seamlessly on its own but also permits manual gear changes on demand. Dropping down a gear or two makes unwinding long sweeping highway curves even more exhilarating.

Collectibility and Value of the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville enjoys strong collectability due to its important role in Cadillac history, timeless styling and inherent prestige. Values reflect rising interest in the model among classic car enthusiasts.

Significance to Cadillac

The redesigned 1964 Coupe was critical to regaining market share lost to Ford and Chrysler, outselling all previous years. It also cemented Cadillac’s image as a style leader, an accolade the brand worked hard to achieve.

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Important Place in Automotive History

The 1964 model year was transformational for Cadillac in terms of design, engineering and luxury features. Collectors recognize the Coupe Deville’s pivotal role in American automotive culture at the peak of the classic era.

Increasing Values

According to Hagerty’s car value guides, pristine 1964 Coupe Deville’s trade hands for around $25,000 on average, appreciating over 15% annually. That’s comparable to an Austin-Healy, Jaguar E-type or Porsche 356 from the same era.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Big Value Growth Forecast

As the supply of surviving coupes decreases but interest in collectability rises, projections estimate average values potentially exceeding $70,000 by 2030. Provenance, condition and desirability influence individual car prices greatly though.

Comparison to Other Classic Cars of the Era

The 1964 Cadillac compared very favorably against domestic and imported luxury coupes of the post-war era in terms of styling, performance, engineering and prestige.

Contrasting Contemporary Lincolns

Lincoln represented Cadillac’s closest domestic rival during the 1960s. However, the 1964 Coupe Deville’s totally redesigned, modern styling achieved greater success over Lincoln’s aging platform dating back to 1961, which looked quite dated by comparison.

Standing Out from Imperials

Chrysler struggled to match Cadillac’s cachet in those years despite intriguing designs. imperials appeared somewhat overwrought with visual mass not balanced as attractively compared to the Coupe Deville’s svelte proportions.

Commanding Respect from Imports

The Deville matched or exceeded comparative European imports based on criteria luxury buyers valued most back then – power, quietness and ride comfort. Fiendishly expensive Rolls-Royces or Ferraris attracted attention yet couldn’t rival the Coupe Deville’s more livable performance.

Still Pandering to Princes

Ultra-prestigious marques like Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Jaguars didn’t worry about chasing volume sales or styling trends. Exclusive beauty came at exclusive pricing though, leaving aspirational buyers loving the Coupe Deville’s attainable luxury.

Future Outlook for the 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

The 1964 Coupe Deville’s enduring style, increasing collectability and historical significance seem destined to drive greater appreciation as it passes through successive generations of collectors.

Design Legacy Secured

The 1964 styling success directly influenced Cadillac models for nearly two decades hence. That timeless elegance remains relevant today as Cadillac designers still cite the 1964 models as inspirational icons.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Blue Chip Investment Appeal

As the Coupe Deville enters true classic car status, prices should continue rising well above inflation rates. Continued scarcity of survivors coupled with iconic status results in sound return on investment.

Custom Culture Embraces Coupes

Collectors have rescued Cadillac coupes from obscurity since the 1980s and modified them into award-winning customs. The 1964’s beautiful lines lend themselves especially well to tasteful modifications or exacting restorations alike.

Strong Interest from Younger Generations

As subsequent generations discover mid-century modern design and Detroit iron, the Coupe Deville hits a styling sweet spot. Its extravagant excess yet restrained elegance continually wins new loyal followers and caretakers.

Restoring a 64 Cadillac Coupe Deville

Conclusion

The 1964 Cadillac Coupe Deville represents the zenith of GM engineering and styling might combined with space-race era excess producing an iconic luxury coupe. Time has proven this model’s significant contribution to Cadillac history with an enduring legacy still wielding influence. For those who cherish distinctive American design it doesn’t get much better than the Sixty-Four Coupe Deville.

The Iconic 1960 Cadillac Coupe Deville A Classic Beauty

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