While many know the name Cadillac to be the epitome of luxury, exactly which makes and models are considered to be the top of the line, and why?
As one of the world’s oldest motor vehicle manufacturers, the Cadillac brand roared to life all the way back in 1902. Founded by Henry Leland, who named the company after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, in just six short years the company went on to bring the idea of interchangeable parts to the automotive industry, and were pioneers when it came to laying the groundwork for modern mass production of automobiles at the turn of the century.
By the time General Motors purchased the company in 1909, Cadillac had already established itself as one of America’s premier luxury car makers. By 1912, Cadillac had already become the first manufacturer to offer a passenger car with a fully enclosed cabin, along with the release of the Model Thirty. This resembled the brand’s first foray into paying attention to the finer details, as this was indeed the world’s first car with no crank, otherwise known as an electronic self starter.
The Very Best Cadillac Models Ever Released
With over a century of manufacturing world class vehicles under their belt, Cadillac as a corporation is showing no signs of slowing down. By continuing to embrace the overall attitude of “go big or go home”, Cadillac even produced the F-22 stealth aircraft in the early 2000’s, which resulted in a swag of design awards to add to the company’s trophy cabinet.
However, when it comes to assessing the very best releases under the Cadillac brand, the answers will often vary depending on who you ask. As classic car specialists and enthusiasts, according to Wayne’s Garage, here’s a list of those that we think are worthy of your attention.
1937 Cadillac Phaeton 5859 – While the Phaeton was certainly not designed for the masses, it was a model that inspired designs for the next seventy five years of production. Even during its initial debut during the Great Depression, it’s presence and exclusivity still managed to draw in collectors. Built from little more than a concept sketch, the Phaeton 5859 never made it to mass production as it would have simply been too expensive for Cadillac to manufacture for a profit. This no doubt only added to it’s prestige, as the car was later sold for a whopping $962, 500.
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible – With anyone and everyone from Howard Hughes to Jean Harlow to Al Capone owning one, it comes as no surprise that the 1941 Series 62 Convertible accounted for over 45% of the Cadillac brand’s sales in its first year of production alone. Brought to life by renowned automobile designers Harley J. Earl and Bill Mitchell, the flashy, big and bold exterior was a hit with American consumers at the time, and in turn went on to enjoy a whopping twenty four years of production before being retired.
1957 Cadillac DeVille – Much like the Series 62, the 1957 DeVille has a long line of celebrity fans that certainly helped to boost it’s popularity at the time – if Elvis purchased one for his mother to drive, you know it’s a winner. DeVille’s came with a V8 engine and 160 horsepower, with the giant tail finds and raised bumper making it a classic car staple. With designs that made for an amazingly smooth ride paired with great performance, it’s these styles of classic cars from a bygone era that we envision when we think of drive-in cinemas and rockabilly culture.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz – With over the top fins, covered wheels and an abundance of chrome, the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz was – and is – nothing short of memorable. Although this model was also famously designed by Harley J. Earl, only 1320 vehicles were ever produced, making it a hot commodity in the realm of collectors today. Marketed as the “new standard of the world in splendor”, these gems have commanded over $175, 000 at auctions around the world, and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.
1961 Cadillac Series 67 Park Avenue – While Cadillac has long been renowned for producing big, flashy and ultimately luxurious rides, the 1961 Series 67 Park Avenue was perhaps the epitome of this philosophy. Embraced by the rich and famous, the success of this make paved the way for later models and helped to cement the brand’s status as a way for the wealthy to flex their fortune. In more modern times, the Series 67 Park Avenue still commands attention at classic car shows around the world – and often as a centrepiece.
Even in the 21st Century, the name Cadillac is still synonymous with innovation and style. In fact, the brand even introduced a new design philosophy dubbed “Art and Style”, in which it states to “incorporate sharp, sheer forms and crisp edges – a form vocabulary that expresses bold, high-technology design and invokes the technology used to design it.” Over one hundred years later, the brand is still going strong thanks to a company wide vision that refuses to compromise on quality.