Cadillac Calais

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Cadillac Calais
1966 Cadillac Calais Coupe
1966 Cadillac Calais coupe
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1964–1976
Predecessor Cadillac Series 62
Class Full-size luxury car
Layout FR layout
Platform C-body
Designer Bill Mitchell
First generation
1966 Cadillac Calais Coupe
1966 Cadillac Calais coupe
Production 1965-1970
Assembly Detroit, Michigan, USA
Layout FR layout
Engine 429 cu in (7.0 L) OHV V8
472 cu in (7.7 L) OHV V8
Transmission 3-speed TH-400, automatic
Wheelbase 129.5 in (3,289 mm)[1]
Length 1965–67: 224.0 in (5,690 mm)
1968: 224.7 in (5,710 mm)[2]
1969–70: 225.0 in (5,715 mm)[2]
Width 1965-68: 79.9 in (2,029 mm)
1969-70: 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Height 1965-68: 55.6 in (1,412 mm)
1969-70: 56.2 in (1,427 mm)
Curb weight 4,600–4,900 lb (2,100–2,200 kg)
Related Cadillac Eldorado
Cadillac De Ville
Buick Electra
Oldsmobile 98
Second generation
1973 Cadillac Calais Coupe
1973 Cadillac Calais coupe
Production 1971-1976
Assembly Detroit, Michigan, USA
Linden, New Jersey, USA
Layout FR layout
Engine 429 cu in (7.0 L) OHV V8
472 cu in (7.7 L) OHV V8
Transmission 3-speed TH-400, automatic
Wheelbase 130.0 in (3,302 mm)
Length 1971: 225.8 in (5,735 mm)
1972: 227.4 in (5,776 mm)
1973: 227.8 in (5,786 mm)
1974–76: 230.7 in (5,860 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Height 1971-73: 54.5 in (1,384 mm)
1974: 54.6 in (1,387 mm)
1975-76: 54.3 in (1,379 mm)
Curb weight 4,800–5,300 lb (2,200–2,400 kg)
Related Cadillac De Ville
Buick Electra
Oldsmobile 98
Buick Estate
Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser
Pontiac Grand Safari

The Calais was a full-size luxury car made by Cadillac from 1965 to 1976. For 1965, Cadillac renamed the entry-level Series 62 the Calais, after the French town and resort which overlooks the narrowest point in the English Channel, and from which the White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day. In Greek mythology, Calais was also one of the winged sons of Boreas, God of the North Wind, and Oreithyea. It was available as a 2- or 4-door hardtop as well as a "formal-roof" 4-door sedan, which was a hybrid with frameless, hardtop-like windows, but with a pillar between them. With the exception of having no convertible, the Calais mirrored the slightly more expensive and well-equipped De Ville. Windshield washers were standard.[1]

The primary differences between the Calais and the De Ville were trim levels and standard equipment. While the De Ville was delivered with such amenities as power windows and 2-way power seats as standard equipment, hand-cranked windows were standard on the Calais, with power a US$119 option.[3] At the same time, however, AM radio was a US$165 extra, as was air conditioning, at US$495, on either.[4] In 1966, head rests became an option[5] as were heated front seats.[6] For 1967, power windows became standard on the Calais line, although power seats were still optional even in the later-year models. A energy absorbing steering column became optional.[7]

Leather seating areas and vinyl roof trim were available on the De Ville, but never on the Calais (although a high-grade vinyl-and-cloth, similar to what was seen on top-line Buick Electras and Oldsmobile 98s, was). Another item not available on the Calais was the Cadillac-exclusive "firemist" paint, an extra-cost metallic paint. Both the high-end Buick and Oldsmobile models shared the GM C platform with Cadillac. Cadillac, always General Motors' technology leader, offered most De Ville options on the Calais, such as Twilight Sentinel and the GuideMatic headlight dimmer, on the Calais. In 1965, the new Turbo-Hydramatic, standard on the 1964 De Ville, but not the lower-priced Series 62, became standard throughout the Cadillac range – even the Calais. The 340 hp (254 kW) 429 cu in (7.0 l) V8 also remained the standard engine.[4]

Pricing of the Cadillac Calais started at nearly US$5,000, almost US$1,000 (or about 25%) more than the Electra 225 and Oldsmobile 98,[8] and about US$500 more than the top-line Buick Riviera.[9]

Like all other Cadillacs, the Calais received the 472 cu in (7.7 l) OHV V8 in 1968.

The new 1971 GM full-size bodies, at 64.3" front shoulder room (62.1" on Cadillac) and 63.4" rear shoulder room (64.0" on Cadillac) set a record for interior width that would not be matched by any car until the full-size GM rear-wheel drive models of the early to mid 1990s. The Calais wheelbase was extended to 130 in (3,302 mm), while the big 500 cu in (8.2 l) arrived in 1975. 1976 was the last year for the Calais.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Directory Index: Cadillac/1965_Cadillac/1965_Cadillac_Brochure_1". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gunnell, John (2005). Standard Catalog of Cadillac 1903-2005. Krause publications. ISBN 0-873491-289-7. 
  3. Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1960-1972 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2004), p.348.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Flory, p.348.
  5. Gunnell, John A., ed. Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-027-0. 
  6. "Directory Index: Cadillac/1967_Cadillac/1967_Cadillac_Brochure". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  7. "Directory Index: Cadillac/1967_Cadillac/1967_Cadillac_Brochure". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  8. Flory, pp.346, 389, 422, 425, & 467.
  9. Flory, pp.348, 349, 423, 425, 497, & 500.
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