Cadillac Calais Classic Cars for Sale

The Cadillac Calais was an instantly recognisable luxury vehicle manufactured between 1965 to 1976.

The birth of the Cadillac Calais

Cadillac, one of the oldest automobile companies in the world, was a division of US-based General Motors, and renowned for its production of luxury vehicles. The Cadillac Calais was a full size luxury car first launched in 1965 for $5000 and is arguably one of the most stylish luxury car produced during the 1960s. Named after the French port and possibly a winged god from Greek mythology, the Calais had super straight bodywork with a straight rear bumper and vertical rear lamp clusters allowing a wide chrome grill. It also fashioned distinctive downward tailfins.

The Cadillac Calais came as a 2-door or 4-door vehicle with a 7.0 L V8 engine and an abundance of shiny chrome. Interestingly, a convertible version was never produced. The Cadillac Calais moved with effortless ease and was a head-turner in its day. It came with power steering, power brakes, dual windscreen wipers, a remote controlled outside rear view mirror, heater, defroster, glove and rear passenger compartments, automatic transmission and front and rear seat belts. Optional extras included air conditioning, electric windows and AM radio.

Fine tuning the Cadillac Calais

In 1966 stylistic changes were applied such as use of a coarser mesh for the radiator grille insert, reclining seats and the use of a lot less chrome. Engineering improvements heralded the introduction of a patented quieter exhaust as well as a new engine mounting system. By 1967 the Cadillac Calais had been extensively restyled with long sculptured body lines and tail fin rear fenders and electric windows as standard. It also had a non-glare rear-view mirror, electric clock, a hazard warning system and a quieter clutch and carburettor. The following year saw modifications to rear end styling and a redesign of the hood to accommodate three-speed windscreen wipers. 1968 also saw an expansion of the available colour options. By 1969 the stacked headlights had been replaced by side-by-side dual versions and the overall look of the vehicle was updated based on the Cadillac Eldorado image, giving the car a much longer look.

Between 1971-1976 the second generation of Cadillac Calais models were issued. Highlights included the introduction of an early form of airbags and inclusion of a digital clock in 1974 and a cross-hatched grill, power locking and an 8.2 L engine in 1975. The final iteration of the Cadillac Calais in 1976 featured tinted glass, washer fluid level indicator, a spare tyre cover and an optional theft deterrent system. The Cadillac Calais was superseded by the Cadillac Seville.

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