It is interesting what you said about the Buick with the telescope having the same horn pad as the Cadillac. It was probably the exact same column and wheel, with the different emblem.
I don't think that the Cadillac columns were exactly the same as they didn't have a neutral switch for their starters. Instead, they had a feature which didn't allow to turn the ignition key when the shift lever wasn't in the PARK or NEUTRAL position.
Otherwise they were similar but had different levers.
I never noticed this before, but it seems like Buick and Chevrolet did this years later in the 1990s- when the Chevrolet and GMC full-sized vans with the airbags used the same steering wheel as the 91-93 Buick LeSabre and Park Avenue and just left the Buick emblem off of the wheel. I am guessing since the Buick had the airbag first, that Chevrolet "borrowed" it from Buick, instead of the other way around.
That's right, Buick ceased using this steering after 1993 (exept in the Century model) and there were probably too many of those left...
A note on the tilt wheel- someone was asking the owner of that 74 Olds 98 with the airbags if the car had tilt. He said he assumed, because his father ordered it with ALL options. You know me- I had to reply and tell the owner that the car did not have tilt, because it was not available on the models with the airbags option, because they really did not have the "know how" at the time to have that system in a car with tilt- or at least that is what I assume.
I also emailed him about that! I couldn't resist either!!
That brings me to another question- have you ever actually seen a 74-76 Cadillac with the airbags option? I know it was optional, but I have never actually seen them on ANY 74-76 Cadillac, but I have seen this option on several different 74-76 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eights and Buick Electras (including yours), as well as my grandmothers old 74' Oldsmobile Toronado. Perhaps it was where there was more Oldsmobiles and Buicks made and the odds of seeing them in those cars are greater.....
I have also never seen this option on the 74-76 LeSabre or Delta 88. I have heard of this option being in some of the 1973 Chevrolets, as well as some 71-72 Mercury's, (full-size), but never actually seen it myself on these cars. I think the ones in the Mercury's were "test" cars for insurance companies.
Yes the Mercurys were test cars, I have an Allstate ad showing a Mercury eqipped with air bags but they were never offered to the public.
GM also did tests before 1973 and I have seen a 71 or 72 Oldsmobile fitted with air bags in an old publication.
There was a fleet of 1000 Chevys made with it, for testing purposes, some survived, I have seen one on the web that was supposed to have the option but the small picture of it didn't show the interior. I have also heard (from someone on this board?) that an insurance company bought one of these Chevys in the mid nineties to test the air bags in a crash barrier and they performed as they were supposed to.
I know where is a 74 Fleetwood with air bags about 20 miles from where I live. Because the 74-76 Cadillacs had their glove box in the lower portion of their dashes, they had a small glove box mounted under their dash with the trunk release button inside it.
I have seen a 74 Electra Limited in Flint with the air bags, I have also bought used ones on Ebay from another 74 Electra. I have seen a 75 Park Avenue with the option (from the same small town as mine came from, probably from the same dealer) and a 75 Olds 88 4 door pillared sedan (in a french language publication) with the air bags too.