[ last update: 04.11.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Photo Pages


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year
or go to the  La Salle photo index page


Now that the bulk of Cadillacs up to 1975 have been covered, wholly or in part, it is time to move into the last two decades of Cadillac's first 100 years of making quality automobiles.

The compiler of  The (new) Cadillac Database© regrets the time it has taken to upload the photo pages for what he considers to be the "modern" Cadillacs.  Even though many of them now are 35 years old, still, in his eyes, they do not belong to what he perceives as Cadillac's "Golden Age", extending only through the first seventy years of production.

At last he has found time to scan his own copy of the prestige catalog and some factory photos for this model year.  Please enjoy the images and don't hesitate to point out any errors or omissions.

So far as I have been able to determine, the easiest way to ID most 1978 models is by looking, again, at the front grille. It takes time to count them but, this year, there are three rows of twenty, square "egg-crate" openings (as opposed to the "rectangular" openings on the 1977 models); an additional two rows of six openings flank the license plate frame, below the central bumper division . The Cadillac name, in script, graces the top RH side of the front hood panel, above the grille shroud (as you face the car).  However, to complicate matters, this grille design is used only on the  De Ville and (some) Fleetwood models; the Eldorado and Seville both have their own front clip identity. 

The  De Villes  feature a simple,  free-standing crest, while the Fleetwoods and the new Seville have the well-known, stand-up wreath and crest

Additional information and photos of the 1978 models and the related sales literature may be found  in The (New) Cadillac Database© sections entitled "Descriptions and Specifications of Cadillac Cars 1976 - 1997",  "Cadillac and La Salle Sales Literature 1975-1979" as well as in the appropriate "Dream cars" section.  Further recommended reading includes:

Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000 edited by James T. Lenzke, © 2000, published by Krause Publications, Inc., 700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990 [ISBN #0-87341-925-1, Library of Congress #91-61301].  An updated version covering Cadillacs through 2005 was edited by John Gunnell that year.

Images below are from the factory merchandising brochures for that year.  The various models are shown in the same order they appear in the brochure.

According to the product brochure, The luxury is standard on a [1978] Cadillac and The quality is standard on a [1978] Cadillac. Among the changes this year were a new grille,  new tail-lights, new interior designs, power seat control moved to driver seat armrest, new seat-back pockets on De Villes and Broughams, new AM-FM signal-seeking stereo radio, retuned body mounts on Broughams and De Villes, electronic level control (standard on Broughams and Fleetwood limousines, optional on De Villes).


Easy ID


Back to square "egg-crate" grille openings this year; there were three rows of twenty
openings above the front bumper and an additional two rows of six,  flanking the license
plate frame, below the central bumper division. The Cadillac name, in script, graced
the top RH side of the front hood panel, above the grille shroud (as you face the car). 

78GrlID.jpg (19393 bytes)     78tailID.jpg (16162 bytes)     78TailID2.jpg (7409 bytes)
Left: flanked by two vertical, rectangular, amber turn signal lamps and paired rectangular
headlamps, this year's rectangular grill comprised  square openings (egg-crate style)
as opposed to the rectangular openings on last year's models;
Right: tall, narrow, oval-shaped tail light housings were new this year; a long, slim "winged crest"
decorated the center of the red glass reflector; the side marker portion of the tail-light occupied
the middle portion of the housing and measured about one quarter of the total housing height

DeVille models featured a free-standing crest, while the
Fleetwoods had the well-known, stand-up wreath and crest

78ElID.jpg (25862 bytes)    
(Left) Regular Eldorado and (right) Custom Biarritz grilles have four rows of twenty-six   square, "egg-crate" openings; an additional
two rows of eight openings flank the license plate frame, below the central bumper division: additional, narrow chrome strip on three
central division bars provides illusion of double moldings around each grille opening.  E L D O R A D  O  name, in block letters, graces
center of the front hood panel, above the grille; vertical "winged crest" emblem adds flair to vertical chrome fender extensions 



Fleetwood Brougham


78FltBrg.jpg (27790 bytes)     78FltBgi.jpg (17604 bytes)
Basically unchanged in its general outline from last year, the car again featured color-coordinated  wheel disc centers and a roof
covered in Elk Grain vinyl, with opera lamps and  the Fleetwood Brougham script on the sail panels. The Fleetwood name plate
was deleted from the front fender; at right is the standard Florentine velours trim available in light gray, black, light blue, dark
green, yellow, light beige and mulberry (shown here);  eleven shades of leather also were available (for the seating areas only)

Survivors are always welcome in these pages ... especially nice ones like this!



Coupe de Ville


78CdV.jpg (28292 bytes)     78CdVi.jpg (13317 bytes)
The Cabriolet roof treatment seen here was available only on the Coupe de Ville; a chrome crossover roof molding was paired
with an Elk Grain vinyl covering; up front, on the hood,  was a new, solid color, stand-up crest; leather seating areas came in a
choice of 11 colors  including antique light gray, black, antique light beige, dark carmine, antique mulberry and white
(shown here); nine colors of the Random velours were also available, as well as Hampton woven cloth

I like to find the occasional nice survivor, like this one, to prove once again the quality of our collectible Cadillacs



Sedan de Ville


78Sdv.jpg (26202 bytes)     78SdVi.jpg (17358 bytes)
The regular Sedan de Ville came this year with attractive new wheel discs; the car is shown here in Sterling blue with
the optional Elk Grain vinyl roof covering; the upholstery selection illustrated at right is light blue (mulberry was also
available); Random velours was also offered in light gray, yellow, beige, dark green, mulberry, light blue or
black; additionally, Sierra Grain leather could be ordered for the seating areas in 12 different colors



Cadillac Limousines


78FltLim3a.jpg (23401 bytes)

78FltLim.jpg (25354 bytes)     78FltLmi.jpg (16224 bytes)
The limited production Fleetwood limousines always have been designed  for chauffeuring dignitaries of all kinds as well as corporate
executives; luxurious privacy were the keywords; the Fleetwood nameplate was retained on the front fender but was now in script; in 1978,
a sliding glass partition was featured in the formal version, while twin auxiliary seats in the rear compartment were common to both models;
as to upholstery, seating areas in the front compartment were upholstered in black leather (there was a 45/45 front seat)
while one of three shades of Florentine velours could be selected for the rear compartment (light gray, black or dark blue) 

78FltLim2.jpg (25388 bytes)
The regular and formal Fleetwood limousines could be ordered
with this Cabriolet style roof, opera lamps and decorative landau bars

7875SV.JPG (14026 bytes)
A survivor in navy blue



Special Editions


This year featured a couple of special editions:  the DeVille d'Elegance and the Brougham d'Elegance
[between you and me Elegante would be a more correct use of French, as in Seville Elegante1]
These special offerings had pillow-type seating in Random velours as well as  50/50 front seats;
there was a DeVille d'Elegance script on the glove box door, three assist straps and door pull handles;
there was pinstriping on the outside and vinyl inserts to match the exterior color;
sail panels carried opera lamps and, again, the d'Elegance script nameplate

78DvlElg.jpg (19988 bytes)     78BrgElgi.jpg (19411 bytes)
Left: Interior of  DeVille d'Elegance in dark green Random velours
Right: Brougham d'Elegance interior in medium saddle leather (seating areas only)

78CabRof.jpg (17539 bytes)
Cabriolet roof in white Elk Grain vinyl,
used on request on the Coupe de Ville


1 Elegance is a noun; it has the same meaning  in French and English; the French  d'  (short for de) means "of", i.e. DeVille of Elegance,
   Brougham of Elegance. Linguistically more correct would have been DeVille Elegante or Brougham Elegante (i.e Elegant DeVille or
   Elegant Brougham
, as in Seville Elegante!




78Eld.jpg (24875 bytes)     78El2Toni.jpg (14717 bytes)     78Eli.jpg (17328 bytes)
This is the classic coupe; Sierra Grain leather seating areas were available in twelve single colors or three two-tone shades (shown, right,
is two-tone Mulberry); the car featured at the left,  painted Canyon Copper Firemist, sports the optional Cabriolet roof treatment

78Eli2.jpg (24707 bytes)
Right: Halifax knit material also was available, in four
different colors (shown is black and white);

The Eldorado Custom Biarritz

78CusBi.jpg (23550 bytes)     78CusBiIN.jpg (19322 bytes)
Available in five color combinations, with color-coordinated wheel disc centers, the Custom Biarritz
featured the Cabriolet roof treatment with a crossover molding descending in a point at the door
handles; opera lamps were mounted on the sail panels just aft of the quarter windows and pin-striping
accented the belt area; the pillow-style seats used soft, supple Sierra Grain leather for the seating areas

78eld1.jpg (11748 bytes)     78eld2.jpg (8058 bytes)     78eld3.jpg (7952 bytes)
The colors available for the limited edition Custom Biarritz were  Mediterranean Blue Firemist (top row)
Cotillion White, Carmine Red, Colonial Yellow and Ruidoso Saddle (shown immediately above)

A pair of lovely survivors



Cadillac Seville


78SvlID.jpg (31406 bytes)     78Svlrr.jpg (6658 bytes)
The Seville front grille has four horizontal and thirty-four vertical zones,  plus two more
horizontal and eight vertical ones on either side of the license plate frame;
Right: in the rear were new, engraved tail light emblems (wing and crest)

78Svl.jpg (26310 bytes)     78Svli.jpg (21216 bytes)
Seville had a new electronic spark selection for 1978, as well as four wheel brakes and a new electronic level control
as standard equipment; the car shown above is painted Ruiodoso saddle and has a color-coordinated Tuxedo Grain roof covering
in dark Camel metallic; the interior (right) is upholstered with Sierra Grain leather for the seating areas, in Saddle brown;
nine other hues were available; the standard trim for the Seville was Dover cloth, available in seven colors.

78Svl2.jpg (23742 bytes)     78SvlFi.jpg (4096 bytes)


Seville Elegante

78SvlElg.jpg (23750 bytes)     78SvlElgi.jpg (8327 bytes)
Left: the Elegante version of the Seville was available in two duo-tone color combinations: platinum and black (as
shown here) or saddle Firemist and Ruidoso brown; a wreath and crest and the Elegante script graced the sail panels;
Right:  perforated leather seat inserts are shown here in antique gray; antique medium saddle also was available

79svlselg.jpg (29457 bytes)     78SvlElg2.jpg (14951 bytes)
Factory promotional color photo showing the Seville Elegante; chrome-plated wire wheels were standard;
note the absence of a center molding (rubbing strake) on the Elegante; the car shown here has due-tone finish
and a full-length brushed-chrome body molding just above the door handles

A survivor found on Internet



Details and convenience options


    78Dash.jpg (30220 bytes)     78CrnLgt.jpg (14400 bytes)
Left: the instrument board on Fleetwood and De Ville models
Right: cornering lamps, Fleetwood stand-up wreath and crest

78TiltTel.jpg (24730 bytes)     78Astro.jpg (18110 bytes)     78Trk.jpg (24637 bytes)
Left: the long-standing Tilt & Telescope steering wheel was still in service; it was standard on the Fleetwood limousines
Center: electrically-powered Astroroof provided cool, mid-season, fresh air ventilation; the model is the same as in 1977!
Right: trunk space is never at a premium when you drive a full-size Cadillac

78Reclin.jpg (20476 bytes)     78PwrSwi.jpg (21997 bytes)     78Vanty.jpg (17167 bytes)
Left:  power reclining front passenger seat;
Center: switches for power windows and seat, on driver arm rest
Right: lighted vanity mirror for Madame

78WrCrst.jpg (8369 bytes)
The Cadillac stand-up wreath and crest
found on the Fleetwood models




Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year
or go to the  La Salle photo index page


© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image:   1978 Cadillac front clip ]