Bearing the name of the French explorer who founded Detroit in 1701, Cadillac has always strived to be the automotive benchmark of luxury and precision engineering. Various models have worn the Cadillac name, and several distinct engines have powered those cars.
Cadillac Enters the American Auto Market
When the first Cadillac rolled down the road in 1902, the auto market was crowded with names like Oldsmobile, Packard, Rambler and Knox. In order to find it’s niche in the market, Cadillac became known as a car that was a little fancier than the other guys, and the one cylinder engine that powered the car and the two speed transmission made the first Cadillac a car with great pulling power. The price of the original Caddy was $750.
Those early Cadillacs sold well, and in 1909, the company was bought by General Motors. Cadillac built large, luxurious cars that were popular with the nation’s elite. That original single cylinder engine would soon prove to be underpowered, but Cadillac made sure that their cars had plenty of muscle. In 1930, an incredible V-16 engine was stuffed under the hood of these huge autos. These big, fancy cars were popular with the well-to-do in the era of the Great Depression, and many underworld figures used their power to outrun the law.
Perhaps the most distinctive Cadillac ever produced was the M-24 light tank, which went to the battlefields of WW ll. Powered by a pair of Cadillac V-8 engines, the tank was awarded the Army-Navy “E” award, significant of excellence in production of war equipment.
Auto Maker Introduces a Classic Car Model
In 1953, Cadillac introduced one of the most enduring models in auto history, the Eldorado. Even though the Cadillac name was synonymous with luxury, the convertible Eldorado raised the bar even higher. Even the early Eldorado’s were famous for their leather interior and cushy ride, and throughout the cars 50 year history, it became known as THE Cadillac for the movers and shakers.
The car would include some of the most popular options in the auto industry. Power seats, power windows and front wheel drive were all to be found on various Eldorado’s. Naturally, a car of this prestige couldn’t be underpowered, and Cadillac had the answer. In 1970, the Eldorado had a gargantuan 500 cubic inch engine under the hood. It hearkened back to those V-16’s of the earlier years, and was the largest passenger car engine ever built for production.
Drive a Car with the Luxury of a Cadillac
Throughout the one hundred plus years of it’s existence, Cadillac has evolved with the times. The hulking, tail finned Fleetwood of the 50’s would give way to the compact Cimarron of the 80’s, which would pave the way for the Cadillac entry into the SUV market and the Escalade.
Regardless of the ever changing times, one thing has remained constant: Cadillac has always pampered car owners with the type of luxury that has become synonymous with the companies name.
The buying public might not agree on which boat or cell phone or work boot is the top of the line, but for over 100 years, there’s no doubt as to who makes the Cadillac of cars.