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You are on the page : About the CADILLAC


Cadillac vintage

The history of the Cadillac brand, with its French-sounding name, goes back to 1902, when Henry M. Leland, a highly-talented engineer, took over a company in bad financial shape owned by Henry Ford. Its strength lay in the design of a combustion engine that was three times more powerful than competing engines at the time, and easier to maintain.

The result was a huge success. To name his company, Leland decided to pay homage to the founder of the city where the company was based, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who built the city of d'Etroit in 1701, in the future United States. The Cadillac family crest was used to produce the Cadillac logo in 1906. General Motors then purchased Cadillac, for 6 million dollars in 1909. The first cars made by Cadillac , almost identical to the Model A Ford, were completed in fall of 1902, and presented at the New York Auto Show in 1903. They then had a two-speed gearbox and an engine under the front seat, which produced between 7 and 10 horsepower. This series was produced in 15,000 vehicles, including the Cadillac models A ,B ,C ,E ,F ,K ,M ,S, and T.

In the 1910s, Cadillac stood out by offering vehicles with electric start, ignition, and lighting. Its V8 engine, released in 1914, was another unprecedented innovation in the automotive industry. Following disagreements on the Cadillac company's focus during the war effort, Leland left the company to found Lincoln Enterprise, which went on to become one of Cadillac's fiercest competitors.

In 1932, Ernest W. Seaholm, chief engineer from 1923 to 1943, invented hydraulic braking systems for Cadillac. He produced one of his masterpieces during this period: the Model 452, the world's first mass-produced car equipped with a V-16 engine. If there were still any doubts about Cadillac's supremacy in the field of luxury cars, the 452 eliminated them. The bodies were delivered by Fleetwood, the brand's exclusive supplier since 1926.

Civilian automobile production at Cadillac was discontinued in February 1942 and would not resume until the armistice was signed. However, assembly lines would continue to operate, since the firm was involved in manufacturing the M5 light tank, the Howitzer Motor Carriage M8, and spare parts for the Allison aircraft engine. Production resumed just after the war's end, and was marked in the 1950s by the arrival of one of the brand's flagship models: the Cadillac Eldorado. The first was an experimental model, the 1955 Eldorado Brougham built, in a small series from 1957 to 1960 This was a four-seat car featuring a gleaming stainless-steel roof, and equipped with features that were revolutionary for the era, such as dual front headlamps and automatic pneumatic suspension. Initially equipped with hand-built Fleetwood bodies, the 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were then shipped to Turin, Italy, where they were equipped with bodies by the famous Pininfarina, then returned to the U.S. for finishing. This series was produced at a rate of 226 cars per year, and each year it foreshadowed the overall lines of the following year's body styles. At the end of the 1950s, the tailfin trend reached its peak.

In 1967, Cadillac production reached 200,000 vehicles for the first time. The Cadillac Eldorado, alone represented just over 10% of sales: in 2-seat coupe or convertible versions. Modified and redesigned over the years, in 1971 it was the only American luxury car offered in a convertible version. In 1981, the Cimarron was the smallest Cadillac, but it still has the same refined features as its sister vehicles. The 1984 De Ville and Fleetwood belonged to a new category of "C-Cars" from General Motors, but differed only in their finishing. The 1986 Cadillac Seville and Eldorado were given a new look and a transverse-mounted V8 engine. The 1987 Eldorado coupe was supported by the Allante convertible, a car whose body was built by in Italy Pininfarina and which was a bitter failure...

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See all the Cadillac

Cadillac Other 1968
Cadillac Eldorado 1958
Cadillac Eldorado 1957
Cadillac Other 1970
Cadillac Other 1986
Cadillac DeVille 1972
Cadillac Other 1957
Cadillac DeVille 1955
Cadillac Eldorado 1984
Cadillac Other 1941
Cadillac Eldorado 1956
Cadillac Other 1992
Cadillac Other 1950
Cadillac DeVille 1983
Cadillac Other 1956
Cadillac Other 1954
Cadillac Other 1959
Cadillac Other 1937
Cadillac Eldorado 1984
Cadillac Eldorado 1957
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