Junkyard D'Elegance: Once-Mighty Cadillac's Downward Spiral

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Cadillac’s peak as a build-quality leader and dominant luxury marque probably came earlier than the late 1960s— let’s say 1956— but the perception that GM’s flagship brand was losing ground started sometime soon after the first of the front-wheel-drive Eldorados hit the scene. By the late 1970s, The General was all about faux-metal emblems in cursive script and Beadazzler-applied plastic heraldic crests stuck all over Caddies.

The Cadillac name means something again (no thanks to a decade of blinged-out, Caddy-baded Suburbans), but what a climb out of the pit of Malaise it’s been!




Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Thornmark Thornmark on Mar 19, 2011

    Actually, in 06840, Cadillac does mean something, i.e., no class and no taste.

  • And003 And003 on Apr 06, 2012

    This reminds me of a 1982 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham modified by Schwartz Extreme Performance into a performance car that could easily be worthy of the 'V' designation. The Caddy in this article could easily benefit from such modifications.

  • Jalop1991 What is this "dealer" thing Ford speaks of?
  • Picard234 So this release amounts to 2.7 hours of gasoline consumption in the US. You won't even see a penny. The administration is draining the reserves for political optics, nothing more.
  • ToolGuy If that nice young man really wants to help this hardworking American, he can have his people deliver the gasoline directly to my fuel tank. Thanks in advance.[42 million gallons divided by 233 million licensed drivers in the U.S. makes 'my' share almost two 12-ounce soda cans. This is huge, thanks for the effort lol.]
  • The Oracle Farley proves once again he is WAY in over his head.
  • Theflyersfan Gas prices went up $1.00/gal today at the three stations I just passed to get home. Was there a war? No? Could it be oil company greed? Perhaps.
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