Welcome to Little Car in the Big City, where I highlight fascinating cars I found walking around a town that is known for being bigger than everything else, but where every car is fighting to stand out: New York, New York.
The historic Cadillac Coupe de Ville may be overshadowed by its bigger sibling, the Eldorado, but I think it's really the little(r) one that deserves time in the spotlight. You see the Eldorado, while big and flashy and the one most people remember, never really sold in that great a number. Even for times of conspicuous consumption, the consumption of it was a bit too conspicuous.
If you don't believe me we can look at one cold, hard fact. In 1970, the model year of this particular Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible (or is that just a Cadillac Convertible de Ville?), 181,719 Coupe de Villes were sold. That accounts for 76% of all Cadillac production for that year.
And it's not like the battle of the Cadillac models was solely limited to those two models. Cadillac also made the Calais, the Series 60S, and the Series 75 limousine. When you get down to it, the Coupe de Ville sold like hotcakes.
This particular Coupe de Ville that I saw in the Fort Greene neighborhood, right by the theater where we all enjoyed the Jalopnik Film Festival, has that "Survivor Special" look going for it. Visible rust in spots, bubbling paint in others, and the convertible top was peeling back. Not so good for the rain that had just passed over, though I doubt it was the first time such an incident had occurred.
Even still, Coupe de Villes came basically looking like lowriders straight from the factory. They were long and lean, and though they only had two doors it looked like you could fit at least 12, maybe 20 people in between the wheelbase. You could probably throw another 60 or 70 on the overhangs alone and call it a party.
A lot of Coupe de Villes were modified into lowriders, but I don't think it's even necessary. The old Cadillacs have aged particularly well stylistically, and look like the perfect car for a nice cruise.
Although I'm not sure if that rule holds up in Brooklyn. I am frankly stunned the owner managed to find a parking spot big enough for this land yacht.