Q: Dear Greg, I love reading your collector car columns here in Virginia in the Petersburg Progress Index. I am wondering if you can write or comment on the 1976 to 1979 Cadillac Sevilles. I really loved those cars and maybe the Cadillac people will one day bring back the Seville into production. Thanks much.
ó Clarence Nelson, Petersburg, Virginia.

A: Clarence, first thank you for being patient for my response as both my emails and snail mail is backed up pretty good right now. You wrote this letter on New Yearís Eve, 2015, so being that you were thinking of my work on New Yearís Eve, you certainly deserve a published response.

First off, Iíve always been a big Cadillac fan, from the Harley Earl designed models and the first little fin on the 1948 model right on through the big fins of the late 1950s and into the most luxurious models, biggest ever of Caddys of the 1960s and 1970s. The two Cadillacís I owned were a 1972 black Sedan Deville with a 472 V8 and a 1975 burnt orange Coupe Deville with the 500-cubic inch V8. Both were outstanding vehicles for their day but with gas prices going up and up back then, they outgrew the publicís demand and popularity.

As for the 1976 to 1979 Cadillac Sevilles, weíre both on the same wave length. Cadillac engineers put in front of the public a much smaller luxury Cadillac in May of 1975 as a 1976 model, and it became a favorite of Cadillac consumers looking for smaller dimensions. The name Seville, by the way, first appeared as Cadillacís official name of its two-door hardtop (no post) 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, which was sold right on through 1960. After that, the Seville name laid dormant until the 1976 model appeared.

Pleased yet not overly inspired with its 1976 model year sales of 60,127 sold, Cadillac found that it was still the older consumer that was more interested in the Seville than the youth market that bought Mercedes-Benz type cars, which they hoped to attract. However, with a base price of more than $12,000 at that time, the Cadillac Seville was very expensive even though its looks were quite good and attractive to a younger person. As for me, I was just 25 at the time the Seville was on the road in 1975 but the problem was I was only making $85 a week at a small weekly newspaper back then. I just couldnít afford one.

Notable was the fact that the 1976 through 1979 Sevilles were all rear-wheel drive, which was a plus to me. Then in 1980, Cadillac made the Seville much larger and switched to the front wheel drive Olds Tornado and Buick Riviera chassis. Gone was the good looking, smaller luxury Cadillacs we all came to enjoy replaced by a Seville with European styling. Most notable was the new rear design, which looked like a Bentley/Rolls Royce style as they were cut off and called ďbustle-backĒ trunks. Copies of the bustle-back design appeared earlier on the 1973 to 1975 Imperials, which Iíve always thought were beautiful designs.

The engines used to power the 1976 to 1979 Sevilles were the Oldsmobile-based 350 V8 engines along with the first GM Diesel 350-V8s in 1978 and 1979. The diesel was a flop, as GM tried to incorporate the V8 Oldsmobile based design that, well, didnít do well under diesel fuel burning technology as many a crankshaft was known to fail.

However, itís the gas powered 1976 to 1979 Sevilles we speak of here. Today if you want to get into the collector car hobby for a reasonable price, I would think these cars offer a good opportunity. Current NADA Collector Car 1979 Seville prices are a low retail of $3,100 to a high retail of $7,400. The 1976 is more expensive, with NADA at a low of $6,200 to a high of $14,000. Iíve seen real nice Sevilles of all years go on eBay for $6,500 to $12,000 and for those in need of some TLC as low as $3,000 drivable condition.

The 1978 or 1979 Diesel Seville, you wonder? How about $1,212 to $4,500.

In summary, the Seville name lasted through the 2004 year and became one of Cadillacís overall most popular models ever. It was replaced by the Cadillac STS in 2005. And who knows, I wouldnít be surprised to see the Seville name brought back in the future.

Thanks for your letter Clarence, and if I receive another letter postdated on New Yearís Eve 2016, I promise to use it.

ó Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now, BestRide.com and other Gatehouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions on old cars, auto nostalgia and old-time motorsports at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, Pennsylvania 18840 or at greg@gregzyla.com.