1977 Seville: Cadillac's Smaller Car

VERN PARKER
Motor Matters

Peggy Harbarth has kept accurate records of the important things in her life. She has always admired Cadillac automobiles, but they were so big and she stood only an inch more than 5 feet tall.

In 1975, Cadillac’s “first small car” was introduced. She was impressed with the new Seville and during the next two years patiently did her homework on the specifications of the Seville, in addition to how well it held up in real-world traffic. She was sure that a Cadillac Seville would suit her just fine.

“I was a little nervous,” Harbarth remembers as she drove to the dealership. Several new Sevilles were on the lot but Harbarth knew exactly what she did and did not want. The Seville is an elegant car and she wanted it to be appointed in elegant colors. She selected a car that was painted gray with a gray vinyl top. “I never tire of that color,” she explains.

After paying $14,230, Harbarth drove her Cadillac home. The 350-cubic-inch V-8 engine produced 180 horsepower, which was more that sufficient to handle the 4,192-pound Cadillac. “The car is just perfect,” she says, “and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”

She wasn’t the only buyer back in 1977 who found the small Cadillac desirable. A total of 45,060 Cadillac customers liked the smooth, luxurious ride provided by the 114-inch wheelbase. Harbarth particularly liked the Twilight Sentinel that automatically operates the headlights as needed.

Beside the AM/FM radio, she has the factory-installed eight-track tape player. She has a large library of eight-track tapes to keep her company on the occasional long drive. Even in crowded parking lots, she says, “It’s so easy to park.”

Several years ago, the automatic transmission was beginning to show signs of wear and age, so Harbarth had it replaced.

Harbarth is beginning to experience some difficulty in finding parts. Fortunately, she reports that a nearby junkyard handles only old Cadillacs. When her seat belt became frayed from years of use, she not only found a replacement, she also found one that was the correct color.

Her son arranged to have the Seville repainted its original color. Harbarth was happy with the original paint but did admit that the years had taken a toll on her car. She could hardly believe the dramatic difference the excellent paint job made. None of the brightwork on the car needed to be replated and the stainless steel trim and wire wheel hubcaps merely needed to be buffed until they shined.

The vinyl top is original, which can be explained by the fact she has always parked her Seville in the garage, except when she takes an occasional trip and the car has to face the elements. She takes her Seville twice a year to a car detail shop to be waxed and vacuumed. “It’s a nice little car.”

“I won’t give it up,” she says, “because it suits me fine.” Indeed, she can be seen cruising around the area in her gray Cadillac. “I go shopping and I keep busy,” she says. “I’ll never part with it,” she explains, “because it’s just the right size.”

A total of 45,060 Cadillac customers liked the smooth, luxurious ride provided by the 114-inch wheelbase of the 1977 Cadillac Seville. The cadillac included Twilight Sentinel that automatically operates the headlights as needed.