The “Milan Coupe” – a rare shortened 1979 Cadillac Seville

The Cadillac Seville Milan coupe was a car built in very limited numbers by a private specialty company in California called Milan Coach Builders Inc.

Elke Milan started life as a four-door Cadillac Seville, it was then chopped and shortened so that the wheelbase of 114 inches became 96 inches. The aim was to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL, but success was limited and only 500 were reportedly made.

Fast Facts – The Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe

  • The Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe was the brainchild of Milan Daniel, he believed that the Cadillac Seville could be converted into a luxury short wheelbase coupe and people would buy it.
  • The styling of the Milanese coupe was somewhat controversial. Many felt it had been shortened too much and looked clunky, there were also some safety issues with the car and the much lighter rear end.
  • About 500 examples of the Cadillac Seville Milan were built by Milan Coach Builders Inc., they also supplied kits to other companies wishing to do their own conversions, although it is not known how many kits were sold.
  • The Milanese coupe retained the engine and transmission of the Seville on which it was based, as well as all the refinements, including options such as air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and lavishly proportioned seats.

Cadillac’s answer to Mercedes and BMW

The Cadillac Seville was developed and built as a direct response to the increasingly popular vehicles sold in the United States by Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Image descriptionThe shortened wheelbase of the Milan coupe, 18 inches less than the standard Cadillac Seville, takes some getting used to.

Cadillac has long been one of America’s regular builders of luxury cars, but a new generation of luxury cars that came from the Germans proved that many American consumers didn’t want land yachts, they wanted cars with all the bells and whistles that were easy to drive and easy to drive. parking.

Cadillac Seville Specifications

The Seville was built with unibody construction instead of the more traditional body-on-frame construction, and it used a bolt-on subframe with a rear suspension based on the 1968-1974 X-body platform.

Power was provided by an Oldsmobile-sourced 350 cubic inch (5.7 liter) V8, unusual for the era, fitted with a Bendix/Bosch electronically controlled fuel injection system. This engine produced 180 hp resulting in a 0-60 mph time of 11.5 seconds (reasonable for the time), the power was sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed TH-400 Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission.

The Sevilla offered a gas mileage of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway – these figures were remarkable for a Cadillac, as many of Seville’s ancestors had single-digit mileage. Interestingly, Cadillac introduced a diesel V8 version of the car in 1978.

The car’s sharper lines combined with the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow-inspired front end and smaller overall size resulted in it being popular with buyers in the US, but perhaps not quite enough to entice people away from their German sedans en masse. .

The first generation of the Cadillac Seville would remain in production from 1976 to 1979. Considered a success by Cadillac, both Lincoln and Chrysler responded with similar cars, resulting in the Lincoln Versailles and the Chrysler LeBaron.

Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 9

Image descriptionIn this configuration, the car retains its original interior from the B-pillar forward, the rear seats and rear doors are removed and the roof is shortened.

The second generation Seville was built from 1979 to 1985, the front was broadly similar to the earlier model, but the car had a razor-sharp, busy rear.

The Cadillac Sevilla Milan Coupe

The Cadillac Seville Milan coupe was introduced in 1976 to meet the demand for a shorter wheelbase two-door version of the new Cadillac.

The plan was to compete with European luxury coupes such as the Mercedes-Benz R107, the BMW E24 and the Jaguar XJ-S.

The main change applied to all cars was also the most obvious: the body was chopped and the wheelbase was shortened from 114 inches to 96 inches. This 18 inch change resulted in the disappearance of the rear doors and a noticeable shortening of the roof.

Much has been said about the aesthetics of the change, not much of it complementary, but more than 500 people liked the conversion so much that they put down up to $15,000 USD to have it done — on top of the cost of a new Cadillac Seville.

Some Cadillac dealers offered the conversion service to new car buyers and as a result some dealer showroom floors were sold, but General Motors never approved or encouraged it.

The demand for new Milanese coupes was so great that Milan Coach Builders Inc. were at one point producing 100-125 of them per year at a rate of up to 10 per month at their facility in Simi Valley, California.

Unable to keep up with demand, they developed kits for use by other companies, and conversions were also made on the East Coast and in Mexico.

Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 11

Image descriptionSome later versions of the Milan coupe had 500 lbs of concrete at the rear to improve handling and weight distribution.

Today there is a dedicated community of owners from Seville Milan who are committed to keeping the cars on the road and providing information and other resources to owners. Love them or loathe them, they are a microcosm of their age.

The 1979 Cadillac Sevilla Milan Coupe shown here

The car you see here is a 1979 Cadillac Seville Milan coupé, from its last production year.

It was originally delivered on June 22, 1979, finished in white over a red leather-trimmed interior with contrasting wood veneer. It was ordered with power windows and seats, cruise control, climate control and automatic “Sentinel” lighting.

As you would expect, the car is powered by the proper 350 cubic inch (5.7 liter) V8 which sends power to the rear wheels via the reliable 3-speed TH-400 Turbo-Hydramatic automatic gearbox.

This car is now for sale, it comes with the original owner’s manual, warranty card, historical registration documents, some spare parts, a jack, spare wheel and four keys.

If you want to read more about it or register to bid, click here to go to the list on Collecting Cars.

Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 4
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 22
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 20
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 19
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 18
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 17
Cadillac Sevilla Milan Coupe 16
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 15
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 13
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 10
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 8
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 7
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 6
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 5
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 3
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 2
Cadillac Seville Milan Coupe 1

Images Courtesy of Collecting Cars

Leave a Comment