The DeVille was initially used as a trim level until it evolved into a separate model and series for GM's Cadillac marque. The Coupe DeVille came out as a 1949 model. Starting out as a prestige trim level for the Series 62 luxury coupe, it was later designed as a closed two-door coupe, the first pillarless hardtop by Cadillac. This model in the Series 62 lineup came at a very expensive price because of its luxurious trim, leather upholstery, and chrome headliner bows that looked like the ribs of a convertible top. In its initial year, it sold thousands of units. The following year, sales of the Coupe DeVille significantly grew until 1951. Sometime in 1960s, it became a really popular model and hit the charts with impressive annual sales. The 2-door coupe had a somewhat intimidating look that catches the eye of some car enthusiasts. It's this that enable it to make an appearance in some movies and TV series. It's often driven or used by an actor playing a gangster role, and it was even used by real-life mafia members.
1949: The first Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The Cadillac Coupe DeVille first made an appearance at the 1949 Autorama. This coupe was designed using a Cadillac Sixty Special chassis. Some of its distinguishing features included a dummy air scoop, a one-piece windshield and rear glass, and chrome trim on front wheel openings. Its interior also came in black with gray leather. It was equipped with a telephone in the glove box and had its own vanity case. The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe DeVille was launched as a 1949 model.
1950s: Some changes after the debut
In 1951, the Coupe DeVille was designed with a chrome script placed on the roof pillar on the rear. The slight change was meant to set it apart from the Series 62 Club Coupe. Sales grew significantly since it was launched in the late 1940s. With impressive yearly sales, the Coupe DeVille had its own series by 1959.
1960s: A more refined Coupe DeVille
By 1960, Cadillacs, including the DeVille series, were given more refined styling. These changes not only covered the exterior but also the interior. Aside from the full-width grille, the interior was dressed up using Chadwick cloth or optional Chambray cloth and leather embellishments. For 1961, Cadillacs were restyled and even reengineered. The Coupe DeVille was given a new look, though it still retained some of its original style. It was styled with a new roofline, among other upgrades. Sales of this coupe continued to soar for the better part of the decade.
1970s: More options and packages
As it entered a new decade, the design of DeVilles was modified. Despite the redesigns, 1973 became the final year for its hardtop version. Several revisions on design and performance continued throughout the '70s. Aside from new roofs and grilles, various options and packages were also introduced.
1980s: More elegant trims, some additions, and other upgrades
There were minimal changes in DeVilles by 1982. For the 1985 model, GM's FWD C-body platform was used. With FWD C-body, a Fleetwood coupe version later became part of the lineup. A more elegant trim package was eventually offered for DeVilles. In 1986, the Touring Coupe was introduced. This came with body-color tail lamp bezels, fog lamps, leather upholstery, performance enhancements, and other visual upgrades.
1990s: The last few years of the Coupe DeVille
In 1990, about 17,000 Coupe DeVilles and 2,000 Fleetwood coupes rolled out of the assembly line. The following year, production waned to about 10,000 Coupe DeVilles and almost 600 Fleetwood coupes. For 1992, about 7,000 Coupe DeVilles and almost 300 Fleetwood coupes were built. The demand for full-size coupes decreased over time, until the 1993 model year of the Coupe DeVille was eventually discontinued.