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

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard d elegance once mighty cadillac s downward spiral

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!

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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.

  • MaintenanceCosts TX 550h+ will go on the test-drive list for our next car. I'm sure it won't be as nice to drive as an X5 PHEV, but it will also likely be $15k cheaper for comparable equipment and have more cargo space.
  • 2ACL If I'm going to battle 30-year-old BMW problems, then the car had better be representative of their greatest hits. I hear the M42 is a decent motor, but it just doesn't personify BMW excellence of the period. Also did some digging in the seller's other posts to try and determine the transmission type. . . https://www.bimmerfest.com/threads/m42b18-1994-318is-misfire-hopefully-remedied.1443915/page-2#post-13810336"Test drive was magnificent, for an automatic, it eventually gets up to speed." Free-revving four + four-speed slushbox = definite pass.
  • SCE to AUX This is good news, as long as the Tesla plug can deliver the kind of power needed in the future. I'm not sure that's a settled matter.
  • SCE to AUX Hyundai/Kia/Genesis, if we're talking mfrs of consequence in the EV space.But to their credit, they've tried to remain distinct from the Tesla approach to everything. They've been quick to respond to the Biden IRA domestic content stuff for EVs (by building more US plants), so maybe they'll jump on this NACS bandwagon.
  • FreedMike I guess it's good to hear they finally made the third row livable - the one on the old RX was a joke - but, man, is this generic-looking.