1969 Cadillac Sedan Deville Is An Ugly Fossil With Some Skeletons In Its Closet


Finding a derelict Cadillac from the late sixties sitting in a junkyard waiting for the crusher and asking for mercy is more common than classics fans would like, but it’s entirely GMs fault. In 1969, the production of the most luxurious brand of the biggest carmaker in the world went beyond 200,000 units. Almost three-quarters of the production effort rested on the shoulders of one model: the DeVille.

By far, the most popular choice within the variant was the hardtop four-door sedan (a whisker shy of 73,000 units), with the coupe coming in a close second (nearly 66,000). The open top was a distant third, with more than 16,000 built, which makes the four-door sedan the rarest of the bunch, with under 8,000 rolling off the assembly lines.

Cadillac boasted its world standard of excellence in motoring on all its eleven distinct offerings for the year of the first moon landing. However, 54 years later, one rare Sedan DeVilles sits in a salvage yard in Fort Worth, Texas.

A lot can be said about a ’69 Caddy; somehow, I doubt anyone will think of it as “green,” primarily because of that 472 cubic-inch megalodon. But this forgotten veteran is an exceptional Cadillac, and it’s green to the core. By core, I imply “interior upholstery,” which is so vividly green that it makes the white headliner shine in the same hue.
At one point, this unfortunate land barge was the object of a radical shift in destiny, fate, purpose, luck, and hope. Initially built for the profoundly rich fragment of the public, the massive automobile ended up as a lowrider build.

The switches, hydraulic cylinders, and solenoids are still inside (not in the neatest shapes or in strict working order). Still, the car had it rough, and it shows it. At one point in its street-crawling afterlife, the DeVille received a new coat – a striking shade that would make a leprechaun green(er) with envy.

It wasn’t the greatest of paint jobs, as the color appears to have washed away on the doors, hood, trunk lid, and roof. Cadillac offered many options for 1969 – including 21 colors, with 19 being new for the model year. It was claimed as the most personalizable luxury car in its field; one of this car’s previous owners wanted even stronger segregation from the Cadillac crowd.

So, apart from the bright green and low stance, the steering wheel was another add-on, getting the original tilt-telescopic steering column out of the big picture. Big indeed – the massive land yacht measured 225 inches in length (5.7 meters), with a wheelbase of 129.5 inches (3.3 meters).


The late sixties were the age of aircraft-carrier-sized hoods, and the Sedan DeVille didn’t shy away from this trend – but it was all for a grand purpose. The 472-CID (7.7-liter V8) was, at the time, the largest in any production passenger car and necessitated a lot of metal real estate for accommodation.

The mighty V8 was fueled through a Rochester four-barrel downdraft carb (this one is long gone, judging by the rust and debris on the intake manifold inlets) to fire 375 gross hp and 525 lb-ft of torque (380 PS / 712 Nm).

It was the only engine choice available for all Cadillacs of 1969, and so was the TurboHydramatic 400 automatic three-speed gearbox. This fixed-stator torque converter would throw some performance next to the luxury package in its heyday. Despite its 4,660-lbs net weight (2.1 tons), the landing-strip-sized behemoth could score an 8.2-second zero-to-sixty sprint.

It probably wasn’t the car’s most compelling feature – creature comfort was the main goal here, and Cadillac was in no shortage of spoils (if the buyer was in no shortage of cash). Automatic climate control was a $516 option, while automatic level control was a mere $80. The low-riding former owner wasn’t fond of this, seeing how low the opulence-symbol Sedan DeVille ended (PUN intended).

This desecrated piece of Cadillac greatness is now $2,299, which is – in absolute numerical value – less than half its original 1969 sticker price of $5,954. That’s $49,215.89 (or thereabouts) in 2023 coinage. Whether this fallen king will get a new chance for life or end up as a parts donor is a question of pure luck, as comments mostly view the asking price as too high to be worth it.

The car’s odometer allegedly brags 55K miles (88,000 kilometers). However, the finder – Texas-based Benny Sanchez, host of the Classic Ride Society YouTube channel – doubts that the miles aren’t busted. Even if the mileage is correct, the car might be too much hassle to rescue.

But one never knows; countless cases of classic automobiles got another life of motoring action after spending ages in abandonment. And this Cadillac isn’t in that bad shape to not draw someone’s attention to itself.