American Cars: Cadillac


14 Cadillacs

They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple
But man I ain’t going for that
I know it was her pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats

from “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen

Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile brand following fellow GM marque Buick. Cadillac was founded in 1902, I have a nice 1913 Cadillac from the Matchbox Yesteryear range. Cadillac was named after a French explorer who founded Detroit in 1701.

Historically, Cadillac automobiles have always held a place at the top of the luxury field within the United States just as Rolls Royce have in the UK.

One of the few cars I brought with me when I moved to Tbilisi in 2009 was a Dinky Cadillac Eldorado, which I had purchased in an antique store in Worcester (UK) a few years earlier (for £10 if I remember correctly).

Cadillac Eldorado Dinky 008

I have fifteen Cadillacs. In addition to the Eldorado I have a Matchbox 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood, a Majorette Cadillac Limousine, a Hot Wheels Elmiraj, a Hot Wheels’35 Classic Cady, a Hot Wheels Ecto-1 (1984 Cadillac DeVille), a Matchbox 1913 Cadillac (Models of Yesteryear), a Hot Wheels Cadillac Cien, a Hot Wheels Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, a Matchbox Cadillac One, a Matchbox ’69 Cadillac Sedan Deville, a Matchbox Escalade,  2 CTS Wagons and a Matchbox 1963 Cadillac Hearse. 

Cadillac x 9
My 9 Cadillacs

I heard some toy dealers were reluctant to stock a hearse, there is a strong taboo around death in many countries. The same toy dealers, I imagine are happy to stock toy guns, tanks and toy weapons.

Cadillac (1)
Cadillac Hearse

I don’t have a Pink Cadillac, but I do have an impressive looking Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, which is longer than the Cadillac One

Cadillac Eldorado Convertible and one (2)
Cadillac One (Matchbox) and Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (Hot Wheels)

Despite Cadillac being an American car, I have amassed three times as many Matchbox Cadillacs as Hot Wheels. A Custom Eldorado featured in Hot Wheels original “Sweet Sixteen” models, I’d love to find one but it was only made from 1968-1969. Whilst Hot Wheels has had many Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaros, there haven’t been so many Cadillacs. In the current range I just see a Cadillac Elmiraj ( I see a ‘16 Cadillac ATS-V R is lined up as a new model in the 2018 releases).

Hot Wheels Custom Eldorado (not my photo)
Cadillac Matchbox (2)
6 Matchbox Cadillacs
Every soul deserves a shot at a Cadillac, but not everyone should be guaranteed a Cadillac.
Ben Stein

2 thoughts on “American Cars: Cadillac”

  1. Cadillac is the oldest. Although a prior company existed under David Buick, they only made two prototypes. Buick wasn’t formed as an automobile company until 1903 and didn’t start production until the following year.

    If we are going by prior companies, then Ford is oldest. The Henry Ford Company was formed in 1901 with help from a few other investors. Ford wanted to make cars for the working man, but another major shareholder, Henry Leland, was interested in larger, more expensive cars. Ford left to start Ford Motor company in 1903 and began producing cars before Buick, although Buick incorporated first. Henry Ford Company was renamed Cadillac.

    Leland sold Cadillac to what would become General Motors and formed Lincoln in 1917. Henry Ford bought Lincoln in 1922.

    Other shareholders in the Henry Ford Company were the Dodge Brothers. They built bodies for Ford for a time before starting their own company in 1914 named after themselves. The Dodge brand has gone through several owners. At one time, they were owned by Daimler-Benz, recognized as the oldest automobile company in business (1886). That’s no longer the case. But Dodge is a Chrysler brand. Chrysler bought American Motors. American Motors was formed in a merger between Nash and Hudson. Nash descended from Jeffery, who built the Rambler. The Jeffery Rambler predates the 1st Cadillac but it’s difficult to determine when the first one was sold. Dodge is now a Fiat brand, who built their first car in 1899. Before being sold to Chrysler, American Motors was partnered with Renault, who had marketed Ramblers in Europe during the 1960s. Renault was also formed in 1899.

    Other claimants to the title of oldest car company are Peugeot, Skoda, Tatra and Holden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for all the information. I was just going by the wikipedia articles for Buick and Cadillac, not the most reliable source of information, I know. The wiki claimed Buick “has the distinction of being the oldest active American marque of automobile” being founded in 1899, although you rightfully point out the Buick Motor Company wasn’t formed until 1903 and Ford had produced a car earlier.
      The Cadillac Wikipedia article claimed “Cadillac is among the oldest automobile brands in the world, second in America only to fellow GM marque Buick.”
      The first cars as we recognise them with internal combustion engines came from Germany, Karl Benz was granted a patent for his automobile on 29 January 1886. Daimler and Maybach were also working on cars at this time. Other brands are older like Opel, which made sewing machines and bicycles dating back to 1863 but didn’t start making cars until 1899. Tatra, Renault and Peugeot which you mention were around before the first cars were built . Thanks for your comment and all the information.

      Liked by 1 person

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