The Coupe deVille (sometimes spelled Coupe Deville or Coupe DeVille) was a model of Cadillac from 1949 through 1993. The name has become famous through pop culture, with references in pop songs, movies, and other media.
The Coupe deVille was introduced by Cadillac late in the 1949 model year. Part of the Cadillac Series 62 line, it was a closed, two-door coupé, Cadillac's first pillarless hardtop. Intended as a prestige model, at $3,497 it was one of the most expensive models of the Series 62 line. It was luxuriously trimmed, with leather upholstery and chrome 'bows' in the headliner to simulate the ribs of a convertible top. The first-year Coupe deVille sold 2,150 units, but 1950 sales were more than double, and 1951 more than doubled those of the previous year. By 1961 it was one of the company's most popular models, with annual sales above 20,000.
In 1956 the Coupe deVille was joined by the Sedan deVille, a four-door hardtop sedan. The Sedan deVille would ultimately outlive its two-door predecessor. In 1959 the DeVille line was separated in a distinct Series 63.
The Coupe deVille, like other Cadillacs, grew substantially larger and more powerful from 1949 through the early 1970s. By 1973 it was 4 in. (101.6 mm) longer in wheelbase, 17 inches (431.8 mm) longer overall, and more than 900 lb (408 kg) heavier, and its standard V8 engine had grown from 331 in³ (5.4 L) to 472 in³ (7.7 L).
The Coupe deVille remained a pillarless hardtop through the 1973 model year, but for 1974 was restyled as a pillared two-door with then-fashionable opera windows behind the side windows. The Sedan deVille remained a pillarless four-door through 1976.
When General Motors initiated the redesign of the B-body and C-body for the 1977 model year the DeVille (and all other full-size GMs) shrank by 9.8 in (249 mm) and about 750 lb (340 kg). The new standard engine was a 425 in³ (6.9 L) V8.
In 1985 the DeVille was downsized again, this time dropping some 26.2 in (665.5 mm) in length and another 800 lb (363 kg). It also adopted front-wheel drive.
The declining popularity of full-size coupes eventually led to the discontinuation of the model in 1993. For 1994, The DeVille (now identified on the car with a capital " D") series was comprised of the four-door Sedan DeVille and (Sedan) DeVille Concours. Starting in 1997, it was known simply as the Cadillac DeVille for several years, although the Concours version was available through 1999. Subsequently, Cadillac added a 'DTS' model to the Deville series, an abbreviation for Deville Touring Sedan.
50's models with their extravagant fins are probably the best known versions of the car. Models from this era have commonly appeared in movies and music videos and also on postage stamps.
A movie of this name directed by Joe Roth appeared in the early 1990s.
It sometimes seems that songwriters know no other kind of car. The Coupe deVille (and more widely: "Cadillac") is simply pre-eminent among cars referenced in American popular music, whether rap, country, pop or blues, and this process is still going on some ten years after the model was discontinued.