I have always been amazed by the 480 ft lbs of  torque the Cadillac 429 engine produces (340 HP- 480 ft lbs of torque ) 

Torque is addictive in the world of cars and trucks for its driving experience -  a sense of seat of the pants power under you at any speed ( slow or at speed ) 

I was reading about some of the most powerful Shelby 427 engines ever put into his  iconic GT 500 machines 

In 2007 the  427 Shelby GT  500 was supercharged and had 500HP and ——480 ft-lbs of torque his most powerful 427 Shelby ever built in a  Mustang GT 500

It is not often that you will find torque numbers in our Cadillacs range in any gasoline engine produced and high torque numbers are more common in truck diesel engine  than they are in cars 

These torque numbers are a very big part of the enjoyment of the very unique driving experience our year Cadillacs afford there owner 

I know in my own case the Th-400 trans ability to produce more power instantly when called on has a lot to do with the feel of this very special high torque  driving experience that makes my 64-convertible a forever keeper since new off the showroom floor 

A special driving experience in so many ways having a lot to do with the Love we enjoy owning one of these great special Cadillacs 


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Hi Tony,

I agree that the great Cadillac 429 is a wonderful engine, powerful and smooth and capable of decent mpg on the highway if you behave yourself.

However, I should remind everyone that in 1972, the car makers changed from Gross hp/torque ratings (no air cleaner or accessories or exhaust beyond dyno headers) to a Net rating, which is with all the engine dress and exhaust, to give a more accurate representation of actual output.

That simple change in how the ratings are measured effectively "dropped" the on-paper outputs by 25-30% or sometimes more. Even though the engines themselves did not change.  

You can see that by Cadillac's 472 & 500 engines from 1971 to '72 and '73.

The '71 472's gross rating of 345 hp was reduced to 220 hp by that same math (equaling more than 30% drop.) 

In reality, taking 20% off of our 429's engines output would give it 272 hp and 384 lbs/ft.

With 25% drop it'd be more like 255hp and 360 lb/ft.   30% = 238hp and 336 lbs/ft.

So, when comparing the output of our beloved engines to today's cars, it's apples and rutabagas. 

As Sergeant Friday would say: "Just the facts, ma'am."

C.Van Tune 

When  the rating system was  changed reducing the HP and torque numbers the torque these  Cadillac engines produce at very low RPMs is directly related to the power  you feel in the seat of your pants so those numbers are still high  torque numbers 

It’ s this feeling of power  from a big cubic inch engine that I am trying to covey and the uniqueness  of that driving experience that our year Cadillacs do so very ( those days are gone unless you own one )

When they were new 340 HP was serious HP and it still is today after all these years later 

The sound of the 64-429 firing up —-is music to my ears and I didn’t even get out of the garage yet !!


I totally agree with everything you wrote.  

Our Cadillac 429 engines were the best of the best in their day. More compact and less weight than a big block Chevy, and with the great low rpm torque that you're talking about. Reliable and easy to service as well. The distributor and coil are on the front of the engine, and the spark plugs are easy to access...unlike on a big block Chevy. 

That's why when GM made the very bad move in the mid/late '70s of starting to put engines from other divisions into its various cars including Cadillac (the '76 Seville used an Olds 350; the '87 Brougham 5.0 was a 307 Olds, and so on) that Cadillac's reputation for quality suffered.

There was a big lawsuit that followed, forcing GM to post in every ad words to the effect of "The engine in this vehicle was manufactured in a General Motors plant." 

Clearly, the GM of the Roger Smith years turned a blind eye to a big part of the company's earlier successes: Each division had always had the autonomy to design and build its own unique powerplants. Certain GM rules historically needed to be followed (such as no more than 1 hp per 10 pounds of vehicle weight; nothing larger than 330 cubes in an intermediate, etc.) but the engineers and the divisions' general managers made the decisions.

Ever since the 1949 Kettering 331 c.i. OHV V-8 debuted, Cadillac was foremost in the horsepower races. The Rocket 88 OHV V-8 debuted a year earlier, and made notable news of its own, but it was the lightweight and powerful (for its time) Cadillac engine that got the most respect. 

But, I digress. I'm a Cadillac guy through and through. The '64s are my all time favs. And the 429 is a classic. 

C.Van Tune 

With a name like —-Van Tune you were destine to be a big time car (  64 Cadillac )  guy 

Enjoy the exchange from one 64 -429 Cadillac guy to another - enjoyable !

The 64 Cadillac just covers  so many basics that a  fine automobile should in LOOKS creature comforts and PERFORMANCE

A luxury hot rod in a way —in the years  when the  first muscle cars were coming off the showroom floors and winning at the drag strips on Sundays 

There was drag racing and performance songs in the air —and on the radio daily then 

 “She is real fine my 409  “applies directly to me then 

Very special times for the performance gear heads in the crowd 

They just don’t make um like they use to applies here ——-Amen !!

Enjoyed the exchange of info 


Honestly, gentlemen. I don’t really care about the numbers. What I care about is the feeling I get when I step on the gas in my ‘64, and I get pushed down in the seat; the motor roars! (On occasion, I can even get a little rubber,” if I try!). And a 70 MPH cruise on PCH is pure joy!

The ride these Cadillacs afford there owner is very special and unique to the years they were designed and  built 

Big cubic inches and a good horse power ratting will do it every time but there is a special raw power feeling of the high HP cars built in the early 60’s time slot 

High performance cars were being bought off the showroom floor more  often than ever before 

The idea that winning races on Sunday would sell cars on a Monday was the GM mentality in those years 

I am ever so happy I was young and into motor sports and drag racing as my hobby in those great years in my life 




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