The 1960 Cadillac Coupe Deville represents the pinnacle of American automotive styling and luxury. With its confident, sweeping lines, ample proportions, and wealth of chromed brightwork, the 60 Coupe Deville exudes elegance and prestige. Underneath the iconic mid-century modern exterior lies a powerful V8 engine, comfortable cruiser ride, and opulent interior worthy of Cadillac’s “Standard of the World” reputation. Let’s take a nostalgic look back at this iconic luxury coupe.
Overview of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The 1960 Cadillac lineup included the Coupe Deville as the mid-range coupe offering, situated above the Series 62 coupe but below the elite Eldorado. The Deville name first appeared in 1949 as a trim option on Cadillac’s most luxurious models. By 1959, Deville became a distinct model positioned as Cadillac’s bread-and-butter luxury coupe. For 1960, the Deville received its own unique styling that amplified Cadillac glamor with an even longer, lower profile perfect for dramatic entrances.
- Distinctive styling emphasizing length and chrome
- Powerful V8 engine with 325 horsepower
- Hydra-Matic automatic transmission
- Comfortable highway cruiser suspension tuning
- Available power features like windows, seats, and ventilation
Design and Features of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The 1960 model year brought Cadillac’s first major restyling since 1957, introducing more angularity and even greater dimensions. The 60 Coupe Deville grew 5 inches longer and over an inch lower compared to 1959, resulting in a uniquely dramatic profile. Distinctive design features included hooded headlights, minimal chrome spears flowing front to rear, tunneled rear fender wells, and beautifully integrated dual bullet taillights.
Exterior Styling and Design Details
With its low, wide stance, vestigial tailfins, and acres of brightwork, the 60 Coupe exudes charisma that turns heads wherever it goes. Stamped fender peaks, a concave grille, and the iconic Goddess hood ornament further enhance visual drama. Buyers could choose eye-catching two-tone paint combinations for even more flair. Every detail, from the wheelcovers to the windshield trim, reflects the ornamental essence of mid-century modern luxury.
Interior Comfort, Convenience, and Luxury
Step inside the Coupe Deville’s sumptuous interior, resplendent with soft leather upholstery and elm burl wood grain trim. Settle into the pillow-soft seats as the available automatic Comfort Control heating and air conditioning system maintains the perfect temperature. Every control falls readily at hand, from the knurled chrome window switches to the variable speed windshield wipers. Relax and enjoy the view through the tinted glass as the automatic transmission whisks you smoothly down the freeway. With its aura of hand-crafted quality, the Deville cabin feels more like a luxury apartment than mere automobile.
Performance and Engine Specs of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
Motivating the 1960 Coupe Deville is Cadillac’s famous 390 cubic inch V8 engine, introduced just a year earlier for 1959. Factory rated at 325 horsepower and paired with a 2-speed automatic transmission, the silky-smooth V8 delivers quietly powerful and effortless acceleration befitting Cadillac’s luxury image. While not the pinnacle of performance by modern standards, the Deville’s 0-60 mph time below 10 seconds and top speed north of 120 mph competes respectably even against many contemporary sports cars.
Engine and Drivetrain Details
- 390 cubic inch (6.4 liter) OHV V8 engine
- Rochester 4-barrel carburetor
- 325 horsepower @ 4,800 RPM
- 2-speed automatic transmission
- Rear wheel drive
- Power assisted drum brakes
Complementing the strong engine is Cadillac’s traditional soft “boulevard” suspension tuning that favors smoothness and isolation over nimble handling. Owners prized the comfortable, relaxed ride that felt so serenely stable even at extended freeway speeds. Though no track star, the 1960 Coupe Deville delivered more than adequate real-world performance.
History and Evolution of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The Deville coupe concept originated in 1949 as the Coupe De Luxe, an upscale variant of the Series 61 and 62 coupes. As Cadillac expanded model offerings through the 1950s, the Deville grew into its own distinct luxury model within the lineup. The 1960 redesign accelerated Deville’s transition from being primarily styling-oriented to becoming Cadillac’s mainstream luxury coupe in both name and substance. By the mid-1960s the Deville further eclipsed the standard Series 62 coupe, which was dropped after 1964.
- 1949: Introduced as Coupe De Luxe top-series variant
- 1956: Deville option package available across lines
- 1959: Deville becomes own model rather than just trim package
- 1960: All-new styling amplifies Deville’s luxury presence
- 1965: Significant redesign; Series 62 coupe replaced by Calais
While 1960 marked the debut of Cadillac’s modern Deville concept, the model continued evolving across multiple generations before ending production after 2005. But the 1960 model year, featuring iconic styling and luxury appointments, represents the quintessential exemplar of what made the Deville so revered during Cadillac’s postwar “golden era.”
Notable Models and Variants of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The bread-and-butter 1960 Coupe Deville came generously equipped even in standard form. But Cadillac offered various upgrades to satisfy customers seeking even greater luxury, performance, or style. Notable variations included the fuel-injected engine option, European-style headlight covers, and an array of striking two-tone paint combinations.
Eldorado Biarritz Package
Buyers coveting the ultimate in status could order the Coupe Deville with the Eldorado Biarritz package, essentially making it an Eldorado in all but name. This option group included styling cues from the Eldorado convertible like tailfins capped in stainless steel, exclusive lettered rear fender nameplates, and custom lower body accent lines. Stunning standard two-tone paint specially coordinated to the interior trim perfectly set off the Biarritz package’s unique exterior enhancements.
Fuel Injection Option
Also borrowed from the Eldorado was Cadillac’s advanced new fuel injection system, introduced in 1958 and available as a $500 option on Deville coupes in 1960. Replacing the standard 4-barrel carburetor, fuel injection added 35 horsepower for a total of 360, delivering visibly enhanced acceleration. Externally, fuel injected cars were distinguishable only by “Fuel Injection” script replacing “Coupe Deville” on the rear deck lid.
Maintenance and Repair Tips for the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
While 1960 Cadillacs require routine maintenance like any classic vehicle, the brand was renowned for mechanical integrity and durability. Proper care goes far toward ensuring many more years of reliable service from your Coupe Deville. Critical areas to address include engine tuning, brake servicing, and attention to deterioration from age and environmental factors.
Engine Tuning and Ignition Service
The 390 V8 responds noticeably to careful tuning and adjustment for optimal performance. Proper carburetor adjustment and valve lash settings can restore both power and economy. Upgrading to electronic ignition improves cold starting and gives smoother high-RPM running. Replacing aged wiring and parasitic draw testing ensure the battery and charging system operate at peak efficiency.
Brake System Inspection and Overhaul
Cadillac’s dependable power drum brake systems deliver excellent service life from quality components. However, the hydraulic system and friction surfaces require periodic inspection and rebuilding after extended use. Master cylinder bore wear, brake line deterioration, worn drums, and contaminated shoes are typical areas needing service. Complete disassembly, cleaning and parts replacement restores the 60 Coupe Deville’s braking performance to as-new condition.
Rustproofing and Corrosion Protection
All vintage cars require vigilant inspection and preventative rustproofing to combat corrosion, especially in harsh climates exposing them to road salt. Areas like rocker panels, wheel arches, trunk floors and quarter panels commonly suffer from rust damage and perforation and require repair or replacement if neglected over time. Likewise, chrome trim and other decoration prone to pitting deserve polishing and re-chroming to maintain beautiful cosmetic condition.
Driving Experience of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
Slipping behind the three-spoke steering wheel of a 60 Cadillac Coupe Deville transports the driver back to an era when engineers ardently pursued a “magic carpet” ride above all else. Control inputs feel slower and more indirect compared to modern vehicles, while the soft suspension tuning filters out road imperfections to deliver serene cruising. Some dismissal of its dynamic shortcomings proves necessary to fully enjoy the unique driving experience a Coupe Deville provides.
Relaxed Highway Travel
Once settled onto an interstate highway or scenic two-lane road, few classic cars deliver more relaxed and refreshing travel than a 1960 Coupe Deville. The smooth, torque-rich V8 responds to the throttle with deceptively urgent acceleration before settling into a muted hum. Gentle steering inputs keep the Coupe tracking steadily as the automatic transmission selects the perfect gear for effortless cruising. Open the windows to enjoy the breeze and muted tire thrum or engage the Comfort Control climate system for optimal comfort regardless of the elements outside.
Around Town Driving Dynamics
The Deville feels most at home gliding along boulevards and suburban avenues at a relaxed pace, where its size and composure encourage an unhurried driving style. Precise low-speed maneuvering demands extra care and attention compared to a modern sedan, without the quick reflexes from steering and brakes that we take for granted today. But driven with reasonable restraint and care, the Coupe Deville remains a willing partner for running around town in nostalgic style.
Interior and Exterior Features of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
Step back into 1960 and experience first-hand the visual drama and opulent luxury that defined Cadillac’s postwar prime. The Coupe Deville’s stunning silhouette turns every journey into a grand arrival, while the richly furnished interior pampers driver and passengers alike. Period details abound inside and out, surrounding occupants in automotive artistry that remains captivating over 60 years later.
Iconic Exterior Styling
The 1960 Deville cuts a uniquely dramatic profile unlike anything else on the road, combining artistic flair with elegant functionality in every exterior detail. Sculptural lines stretch dramatically front to rear, accentuated by delicate chrome spear molding outlining the doors and quarter panels. Jewel-like lights and ornamentation decorate every corner fore and aft, confirming the Deville’s position as a rolling work of automotive art.
Bespoke Interior Environment
Inside the Deville, occupants settled into the carefully tailored seats admire tasteful elm burl accents on the steering wheel, door panels and console. Turn the ignition key and gauges glow to life, their finely-marked faces highlighting precision craftsmanship. Rotating the chrome switches operates power seats, windows, vent windows, and the automatic climate control system to customize the environment. With every touch point reflecting meticulous attention to detail, experiencing the Deville feels akin to admiring a luxury watch or piece of jewelry rather than merely driving a car.
Comparison with Other Classic Cars from the 60s
The 1960 Cadillac Coupe Deville stands proudly among Detroit’s most iconic postwar luxury designs. Comparing the gorgeous Deville against rival luxury coupes from the fabulous sixties reveals how fully Cadillac dialed up both flair and features during this climactic period. Whether judged on sheer styling impact or the scope of creature comforts, the 60 Deville clearly demonstrates GM Design and Engineering at the top of their game.
1960 Lincoln Continental
Lincoln’s restyled Continental captured luxury buyers seeking the ultimate understated elegance rather than the Deville’s glitz and glamor. The iconic “slab-side” Lincoln presents a starkly clean, architectural profile, though its suicide doors and rather stodgy “3-box” shape arguably lacks the dramatic visual energy a Cadillac projects. Inside, the Deville clearly wins for decor, appointments and available conveniences like automatic climate control, a Cadillac hallmark.
1963 Buick Riviera
Introduced in 1963, Buick’s stunning Riviera coupe rivals the 60 Cadillac for head-turning style, particularly its cruciform ventiports and “Coke bottle” curves. However, as a substantially smaller “personal luxury” car with less emphasis on rear compartment roominess, the Riviera pitched more towards style over outright luxury compared to traditional Cadillac values. Against the Riviera, the Deville sacrifices little in looks but delivered greater passenger and cargo room.
Value and Collectibility of the 60 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
With 1960 marking the Deville’s transition into Cadillac’s core model range through subsequent decades, excellent examples clearly hold strong appeal among collectors. As an iconic representation of GM styling prowess finally paired with the features and road presence befitting the “Standard of the World” ethos, the 1960 Coupe Deville rightfully deserves a place of honor in any collection of American luxury classics.
Pricing varies widely based on condition and provenance, but concours-quality 1960 Coupe Devilles regularly achieve auction sale prices from $40,000 up past $70,000. Even driver-quality project cars typically sell in the $15,000 to $25,000 range thanks to enduring collector demand for the model. With nice examples only becoming rarer as time passes, the 1960 Cadillac Coupe Deville looks poised to remain a blue-chip collectible for the foreseeable future.
The iconic 1960 Cadillac Coupe Deville encapsulates the brand’s postwar ascent culminating in a glorious high point as the sixties dawned. With its confident, artistic styling fully reflecting the optimism and prosperity of mid-century America, the 1960 Deville coupe commands admiration like few other cars before or since.
Cadillac built some 72,000 examples that memorable model year, ensuring many survive today as cherished collectibles. For anyone passionate about the golden age of American automotive styling and luxury, the 1960 Coupe Deville deserves consideration as the definitive expression of Cadillac’s “Standard of the World” legacy.