Photos by Jeff Anderson
For years now, the Cadillac de Ville has been a favorite of mine, topping the list of cars that I know I’ll have to own someday. While I’m more partial to the sedans myself, it’s been a long time coming that we get the chance to feature any member of the de Ville family. Cody Craven’s 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville hits all the right spots, leaving us to question why we continue to tinker with anything but classic American Iron.
The Coupe de Ville is iconic in many ways; the Coupe set the standard for what defined an “American Coupe” at the time. The 429-cubic-inch (7.0 liter) big block V8 under the hood pumped out 340 horsepower, and an even more-impressive 480ft-lbs of torque, both very impressive by today’s standards. The no-holds-barred mentality of the American automotive industry at the time is personified in every way by the Coupe, from the power to the sheer size; just shy of 19 feet in length, it sizes up closely to today’s Ford F150 Crew Cab pickup truck. It weighs almost as much as one too at an astonishing 4460lbs. All fitting for a car who’s slogan in 1966 was “Standard of the World”.
It’s no surprise that a car with such a physical presence has withstood the test of time, falling into the category of great American classics. Cody Craven has stayed rather true to American style with his his own ’66 Coupe de Ville. The car appears to float over the ground, much akin to a naval ship in harbor. Air bags plant the car; no other solution seems remotely fitting. The magnificent chrome bumper hovers just inches above the asphalt, shining against the aged bronze-gold paint and the dark vinyl top.
The cream colored interior has aged in an almost reminiscent fashion. The steering wheel has cracked around its circumference, the dash’s vinyl has split, and the bench seats show their use, yet somehow, it’s perfect. A pair of black fuzzy dice hang from the rear view mirror in a tongue-in-cheek way that seems so fitting to the car.
The wheel and tire setup is, at least in my opinion, inarguably perfect. While aftermarket wheel and tire packages have their place, some classics just shouldn’t be touched. The classic Cadillac hubcap over the factory steel wheels are hunched under the front arches and completely swallowed by the rear. A beautiful set of 3″ white-wall tires add a contrast we only wish could be pulled off on modern cars: seemingly a medal earned by the classics.
Cody’s Coupe de Ville one of the cars of my dreams, built just as I would yet entirely his own. It serves as inspiration in many ways: a car to aspire to, but also one to pull influence and style from. The pseudo-low-rider style is definitive of these cars, meshing with the likes of laid out Lincoln Continentals and Galaxie 500s, and it’s one we can’t help but fall in love with every time.