When I think of Cadillac I think of cars like these:
From bringatrailer.com a picture of a 1967 Eldorado.
From cargurus.com a picture of a 1993 Allante.
From topspeed.com a photo of a 2008 XLR-V.
Of course, Cadillac, like every other automobile company, is basically just a manufacturer of SUVs. In the very near future, Cadillac will be producing only one car, unless the beautiful Escala concept car really will be brought to production.
On this day in 1909 General Motors purchased the Cadillac company. Cadillac was already a much respected and much awarded builder of luxury cars. It is the second oldest existing US marque behind Buick.
Cadillac was the first company to “mass produce” an enclosed car. The company leapt into prominence in 1908. From cadillacforums.com:
“Cadillac became the first American company to win the coveted Dewar Trophy for the standardization of automobile parts. From the beginning Leland [as in Henry Leland, founder of Cadillac] stressed the concept of parts interchangeability. ‘No special fitting of any kind is permitted,’ he wrote in a factory manual. ‘Craftmanship a Creed, Accuracy a Law.’ The Royal Automobile Club of Britain became aware of Leland’s boastings so they decided to test them. They selected 3 Cadillacs out of 8, dismantled them, mixed in spare parts for good measure, and then were re-assembled with no special fitting, which was unheard of at that time. Most parts were hand-fitted. Each of the cars started immediately and were then driven for 500 miles with no problems.”
Cadillac actually won a second Dewar Trophy in 1912 for developing the modern electric starting and ignition system. In 1915, Cadillac built the first production V-8 engine. In 1930, they built the first V-16 engine. Although Oldsmobile first sold an automobile with a modern automatic transmission (beginning in 1939 as a 1940 model year car), that transmission was developed in cooperation with Cadillac.
The company has fallen out of favor as younger buyers, especially in the US, don’t seem to be interested. A 2017 study revealed that the average age of a Cadillac buyer was 59. The company’s recent introduction of a “crossover” SUV, the XT-4, is designed to lure those disaffected buyers.
As for me I will continue to hope that the Escala is produced and that maybe, just maybe, Cadillac will think “third time is the charm” and introduce another two-seat automobile.
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