CC Capsule: 1976 Cadillac Sedan de Ville Centennial Sheriff Edition


Taking the kids snowboarding at Snowy Range Ski Resort in Wyoming a while back, we ran across this Cadillac in the town of Centennial, WY at the foot of the mountain.  It’s been here for several years, I’ve taken pictures of it before but this time decided to do something with them…


I’m not one of the many Cadillac experts on this site, but know enough to figure out that this appears to be a 1976 model.  I’m amazed that it is almost 40 years old, for some reason I always just assume that big old Cadillacs are around half their age.  Maybe it’s just me getting older.  Even in its somewhat decrepit state, this model still displays a certain confidence in its character, a stubbornness in the way it sits that strikes me.


Multiple theories have crossed my mind as to what the idea behind the ersatz-police livery was meant for – perhaps it’s to try to slow people down that are coming down the steep hill into town?  Maybe a local kid fancied himself Wyoming’s version of Alex Roy and his “Polizei” BMW M5 and wanted to cross the country (or maybe just the county) in record time?  A Blues Brothers re-enactment?  Who knows…


1976 was the last year for this series, sporting a 500 V8 engine that delivered only 190hp but a powerful 360 lb-ft of torque.  I’m assuming the word “waftable”” would be applicable here.  Of course weight was somewhere over 5000 pounds, so maybe the word “stately” would also be applicable.  At 10mpg, until relatively recently, I completely understand why someone might not want to drive it (and fill it up with gas) anymore.


Still, it looks supremely comfortable.  I can imagine reclining myself on that once-magnificent burgundy seat, one hand on the wheel, the other draped over the seatback (or maybe my Honey), something appropriate (Hank Williams?) playing on the radio and cruising through the Marlboro Man countryside that is Wyoming, in no particular rush to get to where I’m going with not a care in the world.  Well, except for the gas gauge I suppose.


In any case, this is the kind of car that made America great and made people want to cross the big pond to get here.  Nobody is coming here to drive a CTS.  I totally dig it, even with (or maybe even due to) its current decor.  A total class act even in its clown suit.