1972 Cadillac production numbers/specs (2023)

23. September 1971
267,827* (inclEldorado)
682/C C47-G Calais Coupe $5,771
Weight: 4642 Built: 3,900
682/C C49-N Calais Limousine 5.938 $
Weight: 4698 Build: 3,875
683/D D47-J Coupe de Ville $6.168
Weight: 4682 Build: 95,280
683/D D49-B Sedan deVille $6.390
Weight: 4762 Build: 99,531
681/B B69-P Fleetwood Brougham $7.637
Weight: 4858 Build: 20,750
697/F F23-R Fleetwood Seventy-Five Sedan $11.948
Weight: 5620 Build: 995
697/F F33-S Fleetwood-Limousine $12.080
Weight: 5742 Build: 960
698/Z Z90-Z Commercial Chassis (Preis N/A)
Weight: - Built: 2,462
*Some sources show 40 fewer units built (267,787)
(Fleetwood Eldorado stats at link above)
R Displacement: 472 CID V-8
Bore and stroke: 4.30 x 4.06
Compression Ratio: 8.5 to 1
Gross Power: 345 at 4400 rpm
SAE Net Power: 220 at 4000 rpm
Carburettor: Rochester Quadrajet 4MV
-- Turbo Hydra-Matic
N / A 2.93 to 1
3.15 to 1 (standard on Seventy Five models)
L78-15 bias belt, fiberglass, black wall Performance with self-regulating function
Front: disc
Rear: Composite ribbed drum
Calais/DeVille: 130"
Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham: 133"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 151,5"
Tread front: 63.6"
Rear tread: 63.3"
Calais/DeVille: 227,4"
Fleetwood Brougham: 230,4"
Fleetwood Seventy-Five: 248,9"
Broad: --
Height: --
Stamm: --
Variable-ratio power steering (fixed-ratio on Seventy-Fives)
Overall ratio: 16.6 to 1
(19.5 to 1 on seventy-fives)
Rotation angle: 38.5 degrees
Fuel tank: 27 gallons
Cooling System: 21¾ Qts. (23¾ Qts. with air conditioning; except Seventy-Five 26¾ Qts.)
Washer Fluid Reservoir: 2½ Qts.
Engine oil: 5 liters. with filter change
Transfer: 4 qts. with filter change
1972 marked the 70th anniversary of the Cadillac Motor Car Division. Cadillac set a new model sales record that year, building more than a quarter million vehicles in a single model year for the first time ever. 1972 was the first year for:

- Standardlampenmonitore
- Impact strips for front and rear bumper
- Front bumper with high yield
- Steel belted radial tire made in USA with unique whitewall stripe design


GM slightly changed its serial numbering system for 1972 to include an alphabetical serial code and an engine type code. This new numbering system was only used on the serial number plate in 1972, and the old system continued to be used on the underhood body number plate. Beginning with 1973 production, the new numbering system would be used at both locations.

A 13-digit number appears at the top of the dashboard on the driver's side of the car and can be seen through the windshield. A second number appears on a label on the rear upper portion of the cylinder block behind the intake manifold. The digits are similar:6B69R2Q100001

Decode these digits as:
Digit #1 = GM Division (6 denotes Cadillac)
Ziffer #2 = Serie (B - Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham)
Digits 3-4 = body style (69 - 4-door pillared sedan)
Ziffer #5 = Motor (R - 472 CID V-8)
Digit #6 = Year (2 -1972)
Digit 7 = Assembly Plant (Q - Detroit, MI; E - Linden, NJ)
Digits #8-13 = unit production number


Full vehicle identification is determined by the body number plate located under the hood on the hood near the top. The body plate pictured would identify the following car:

1972 Cadillac production numbers/specs (1)
1972 Cadillac production numbers/specs (2)

ST = Style (72 - model year; 6 - Cadillac Division; 81 - Fleetwood Series; 69 - 4-door pillared sedan)
BDY = Body (Q - Detroit, Michigan Assembly Plant; 100001 - Production Sequence)
TR = Trim (026 - Dark Blue Matador Cloth and Leather)
PNT = Lack (24 – Zodiac Blue Metallic; L – Dunkelblaues Vinyldach)
L## = Modular Seat Code (letter followed by two numbers depending on seat configuration)

70th Birthday of Cadillac

70 years of excellence

1972 Cadillac production numbers/specs (3)

Above: 1972 Cadillac Sedan deVille in Promenade Gold with optional white vinyl top. Note the new standard bumper impact strips and lamp monitors on the front fender tips.

After a nationwide strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors in 1970 that severely curtailed the availability of its 1971 model vehicles, Cadillac recovered quickly for its 70th anniversary and set a new model year sales record of 267,827 cars. The previous record of 238,745 Cadillacs had been set just two years earlier for the 1970 model year. The 1972 production totals also marked the first time Cadillac built more than a quarter million vehicles in a single model year. Cadillac was also now the oldest automaker still building cars in the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Cadillac's incredible sales in 1972 should be credited to two models in particular - the Sedan deVille and the Coupe deVille. These two models alone represented 194,810 cars - 72.7 percent of total production. The most popular 1972 Cadillac model, the Sedan deVille (above), missed the 100,000 mark by just 469 cars! The Sedan deVille would surpass the 100,000 mark in 1973, but would also give up its title as top seller to the Coupe deVille.

Cadillac's competition for 1972 also showed an improvement in sales. The Lincoln Continental received a styling update that changed the shape of the sedan model's rear door, giving it a more contemporary look. The Imperial received a new styling with complete front and rear updates, moving the parking lights to the vertical bumper ends and introducing "teardrop" taillights for the first time. The body panels were also significantly streamlined, and the two-door hardtop roof was changed to give it a more formal look. These changes resulted in a nearly 37 percent increase in Imperial sales for the year. Of course, both the Lincoln Continental and Imperial fell well short of Cadillac's overall sales volume, perhaps due in part to Cadillac's extensive lineup of body styles, but the fact of the matter was that the Sedan deVille and Coupe deVille models alone still far outperformed the competition.

Cadillac was also challenged by a sister division in 1972. The Oldsmobile Division celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1972 and built an exclusive car to commemorate the achievementNinety-eight regencyModel. Oldsmobile announced it would limit production to 5,000 cars, but some report barely half of those were actually built. The Regency featured an exclusive exterior color called Tiffany Gold to match the dial of the Tiffany & Co. designed dashboard clock. Each Regency owner received a special sterling silver key set and key ring, also designed by Tiffany's, with a registration number engraved on the key ring. If an owner ever lost their keys, whoever found them could simply drop them in any mailbox, whereupon they would be mailed to Tiffany's, and Tiffany's would return the keys to the owner free of charge.

The interior of the Regency was a deeply tufted, richly textured velor with contrasting gold embroidery on the front and rear center armrests. Other interiors were very refined, and even the mighty Cadillac honestly had nothing to really compete with. The Regency became a production model in 1973 and remained one of Oldsmobile's most popular models for many years.

At that time, Cadillac and other automakers spent a lot of time dealing with emissions controls, safety requirements, and accident prevention. Cadillac's new 1972 bumper system included a number of improvements to provide additional levels of protection. Polyvinyl chloride bumpers were added to both the front and rear bumpers to cushion minor parking bumps. The front bumper was also moved forward (away from the car) by ¾ of an inch to increase yield strength, i.e. H. the distance the bumper will yield to the force and return. The result was 1½ inches of deflection, which allowed the bumper to move that far without damaging sheet metal.

For 1973, front bumper requirements were more stringent, and rear bumpers followed in 1974. Stylists were faced with the challenge of effectively integrating these new bumper designs into the vehicle's overall design, and some were more successful at this task than others. Because of this, many prefer the styling of the 1972 models, as the front and rear bumpers are more integrated with the design of the car. 1972 was also the last year Cadillac did not use urethane filler panels between the sheet metal and bumpers. These urethane fillers are a problem for Cadillac collectors today as they deteriorate, crack and literally fall off the car. Reproductions are available but some do not fit well and will need to be painted to match the car.

Emission controls would be tightened further, affecting performance and economy. High-energy ignition systems and catalytic converters would soon be installed to overcome poor performance and meet emissions requirements, but some of the post-1972 models are among the worst-running cars ever built. For these reasons, as well as styling updates in later years, many Cadillac enthusiasts of the era feel the 1972 models are the best choices.

When looking for a 1972 Cadillac, remember that there are several areas that should be carefully considered. Rust under and around vinyl roof trim can be a problem, especially if the vinyl roof has been improperly replaced at some point in the past. Look for lumps or areas that make a crackling or grinding noise when pressed. The edges of the hood and trunk lid are other problem areas, as is the lower portion of the front fenders and rear quarter panels.

Parts for 1972 Cadillacs are easy to find with the exception of certain interior parts which can be a challenge as the interior was model specific. The engine, transmission, steering, brakes and suspension systems are of the highest quality and will normally provide many miles of trouble free service if properly cared for and maintained over the years.

We prefer cars in unusual color combinations that are representative of the era in which they were built. Black, white and red cars have been built for decades, but some of the early 1970's colors were only used for a year or two and are not often seen today. For example, Adriatic Turquoise and Sumatra Green are two 1972 colors that we think look great on these cars.

Finally, we would like to point out something that most of you reading this already know. These cars are great cars to drive. Yes, they are quite large, but you quickly become familiar with their personality and handling characteristics. They handle well, the brakes are good and they have enough power to get you out of the way quickly when needed. We can't think of anything better for a long trip. There's plenty of room to stretch out inside and the luggage space is ample for just about anything a group of people might need to take on a trip. The automatic climate control system does a good job of keeping interior temperatures even, and the seats are soft enough to indulge but firm enough to provide good support over long periods of time.

People really enjoy these cars, and after 70 years in the business, Cadillac had learned a few things about building the luxury cars that Americans wanted. Tastes may have changed today, but it never hurts to recall how things were years ago when these cars were among the most respected in the world. They're still highly regarded in Cadillac circles, and before we go, we'll just issue a warning to you... it's easy to go from mere attraction to "must see" status with one of these Cadillacs, as one few minutes behind the wheel will demonstrate. It's an easy change, but at least you've been warned in advance.

1972 Cadillac production numbers/specs (4)

Above: 1972 Cadillac Coupe deVille in Ice Blue Firemist with optional black vinyl roof and antique oxblood leather interior. Note the repositioned front parking/turn signal lights between the headlights. The famous Cadillac “V” and crest appear on the hood. The "V" returned on the 1972 DeVille and Calais models after being discontinued for two years (the 1970 and 1971 models did not have the "V" badging for some reason).

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