The 19 seventies were generally pretty good to Cadillac with sales in the division topping over a couple 100,000 per year .
However , it's also one of those times in Cadillac's history where the products suffered a bit versus previous years in terms of quality fit and finish and overall materials .
And even the subject of this video , Ergonomics 1974 saw the Deville Eldorado and Fleetwood Series all get revised styling treatments in part due to the new federally mandated five mile an hour crash standards that went into effect requiring new bumpers , front and rear .
In addition to the bumpers being physically larger , you can visually see the differences between the 74 the preceding model years in the grill texture as well as other styling elements .
However , Cadillac also came up with a new interior theme for its 1974 models along with the other General Motors divisions who did something similar .
However , for Cadillac , the new instrument panel featured a novel design where all the warning lights were placed in a second tier area above the speedometer at the top of the instrument panel .
In addition to the warning lights , this upper tier of the instrument panel also contained a new for 1974 digital clock as well as four outlets which could each be individually shut off by the driver or passenger to block air flow .
These instrument panels were used in the Devil and Fleetwood series from 1974 to 76 the El Dorado from 74 to 78 a similar theme on the Seville from 76 to 79 .
I think overall , they're a bit more handsome than the previous generation that they replace the 71 to 73 models .
However , neither generation of Cadillac dashboards has what I would call overly rich materials .
In fact , they feel quite cheap .
However , the 1974 redesign brought about one of the worst ever controls invented in automotive history .
I mean , that's a little extreme but certainly in Cadillac's history and that is none other than this wiper control on the left side of the instrument panel .
Now , in previous years , Cadillac had employed a relatively simple switch on the driver side , sometimes integrated into the door panel area , even that just enabled the driver to select from low medium and high wiper speeds .
And while some Ford Motor company products had introduced interval wipers .
In the 19 sixties , Cadillac only introduced these delay wiper systems in 1974 and that brought about this terrible wiper control shaped a bit like a leaning L .
The driver could select from one of two pathways to activate the wiper system , moving the switch in an upward direction would activate Cadillac's typical low medium and high three speed wipers and then moving the wiper control to the right side as opposed to moving up would activate various levels of delay for the wipers up to 10 seconds .
As the driver moved the wiper control further to the right , the delay increased and moving it further to the left back to the off position , the delay would decrease .
So what is so horrible about this particular control ?
Well , first of all the control itself , this little stalk that activates the wipers is so teeny that it is very hard to find and control , especially when you're going over a bumpy surface in the vehicle .
And it's the last thing that you really want to do if the rain is coming down hard is try to find and then move this very dinky control up and down or left and right to play around and activate your wipers or the uh delay system for the wipers .
It's also quite nay .
So it's hard to move the wipers from off to low , low to medium , medium to high without passing the desired speed .
As an example , if you want to activate low , you might accidentally push the control up to medium and then have to go back down one to low .
If one moves the control to the right activating delayed wipers , it's really not as bad .
However , there is a really key and challenging issue associated with this l shape of the control , let's say , for instance , you go from a light rainstorm to a more heavy downpour .
And in the first instance , you had the wipers on some sort of an intermittent delay .
So that control is about halfway over on the bottom pathway .
Now , if you get into a heavy rainstorm and you want the wipers to wipe continuously , you have to move the control all the way back to the off position and then move up the low , medium and high passage on the control .
And so what is the challenge with this ?
Well , first , if you leave the control as you're exiting the delay function and trying to go up into a low medium or high wiper speed .
If you rest in the off position too long , the wipers are going to enter a park position and be , they'll have to exit the park position before they're able to reach a low medium or high speed .
This is not a great feature when you're in the middle of a downpour or let's call it increasing rain that the wipers just decide to park themselves and then take another extra second or two to restart as you go up the low medium and high uh speeds .
And in general , it's just a very awkward movement for the operator of the control to take it and move it all the way to the left from being on a delay feature to the off position , then move it up along a different pathway to the low , medium and high control .
And you're doing this with a little stock that the end of the control is about the size of a pencil eraser , actually even smaller than the size of a pencil eraser , I would say .
So this is just terrible in the middle of a rainstorm or snowstorm or when precipitation is getting lighter or heavier , you're forced to operate this arms out control that has no substance and is very dinky , nay , hard to mess around with on a smooth pavement , much less on bumpy pavement .
And I must say the amazing thing about this control is not only how bad it is but how long it was used for .
So this control was used in the Deville Series from 1974 to 1976 before it was designed away in the 1977 model .
You're in favor of a much easier slider bar control for the wipers , but it soldiered on in the Eldorado until 1978 and even the Cadillac Seville until 1979 .
So this control continued in production and in use on all or some form of Cadillac from 1970 four all the way to 19 79 where it persisted on the most expensive Cadillac , the Seville and I have to say for a luxury car in particular , but much less any car of the era .
This type of control is pretty gosh , darn inexcusable .
In any case , I thought you would enjoy a unique topic in automotive history .
And if you have any nominations related to interesting features or crazy features or why in the world did they do that features , please drop a comment in the comment section and let me know them and perhaps we can talk about them as well .
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