[ last update: 10.01.2004 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Miscellaneous Cadillac Stuff

Seen or overheard...

Being some Cadillac-related aphorisms, slogans and other trivia
[N.B. authors of negative comments are solely responsible for them]


Frflag.jpg (773 bytes)
(en bas de page se trouve un résumé en français)


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
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Seen or Overheard

"Since 1902, owning a Cadillac has been as much about arriving as about getting there.
In the forefront of many automotive innovations, from self-starters to air-conditioning,
General Motors' star car is an international symbol of the genius of American design."


"Cadillac: self-proclaimed standard of the world"


"The Heritage: a legacy of luxury [reliability...] and performance"


"The inroads the Cadillac has made into the American psyche may have more
to do with pop culture than technology."

[Phil Patton, "King of the Road", Connoisseur, January 1992]


"If clothes make the man, a Cadillac makes him stand taller in them."


"The nation's oldest surviving luxury car."


"More than two hundred different models since 1902."

[Has someone ever really counted?]


"The Cadillac: it's luxury; it's class; it's elegant!"

[former Louisville Football Coach, Howard Schnellenberger]


"Cadillac fins swooped higher and higher,
like a graph of the booming Fifties' economy."


The rust is falling from the doors,
Bumpers, fenders, trunk and floors.
Ice is forming in the hoses;
The smell of mold krinkles our noses.
What once was gas is now shellac -
Woe ...is the junkyard Cadillac.

Passed on by Jay Ann Edmunds, 2/1999


The red geranium: the Cadillac of flowers

[Phoenix newsreel, 2/1999]


Who are the madmen who built cars so long they cannot be parked,
and are hard to turn at corners, vehicles with hideous tail fins,
full of gadgets and covered with chrome...


"The '59 Cadillac says more about America than a whole trunkful of history books."

Quentin Wilson [submitted by Ruben Baeten, Holland]


"....what the hell happened to this country...The truth was, the new Cadillacs, all of them made of cheap plastic, looking unassuming, ungainly, formless and lumpy like cold mashed potatoes. The America he [the Cadillac salesman] was selling went to pot because he was selling cheap, plastic, planned-for-obsolescence product made carelessly for the sole purpose of selling more of it."


The Cadillacs of the past were like the Americans of the past: cocky, self-assured, naive, naturally bigoted and optimistic.  Eisenhower Americans with fins and classic bodies."

Andrei Codrescu, "Road Scholar" (1993, pg. 21)


I like this car for two reasons: it's so beautifully large, and ...it's not too small.

Oscar Wilbers, Dutch car critic
referring to a 1953 Cadillac
[supplied by Ruben Baeten, Netherlands]


"How Japanese cars became so popular in the US: In the '70's we had a so called oil crisis which led to new laws such as "no gasoline unless the vehicle is less than half full", and the 55 mph national maximum speed limit. Under the constitution of the US, the individual states have such powers, but the federal goverment threatened to pull funding for federal highways from any state not complying. It took us almost 20 years to get rid of that darned speed limit.

We had some instances of long lines at gas stations and the prices of gasoline changed from 50 cents per gallon to 125 cents per gallon in just a short period of time. This led to fears of $5 per gallon prices [note by the compiler of the Database:  in most of Europe it is already more than $4 a gallon!]  and an immediate demand for fuel economy in cars. At that time the average american car achieved 10 miles per gallon. The combination of high fuel economy, the favorable (for the Japanese) yen/dollar exchange rate, and the quality problems that faced American car companies led to the explosion in Japanese car sales.

In my opinion, the quality problems in American cars were due to poor labor/management relations. The workers were paid high wages and worked in poor conditions. This led to poor build quality and high prices. The Japanese fully capitalized on this and built cars the Americans wanted and developed a reputation of superior quality and dependability. The Japanese made a real effort to provide the Americans with what they wanted.

...in the early to mid '80's, the American car manufacturer management people and the labor union people realized that if they didn't change the way they did business, then both would lose.  This resulted in higher efficiency of labor and better working conditions.  By the late '80's, American cars were as dependable as Japanese cars.  Also, due to the yen/dollar exchange rate in the mid '80's, one had to pay a premium for a Japanese car.  This is still the case today [1997]  But the Japanese ingrained into the American mind that their cars were better, which keeps them selling well today.

Today, I think the dependability of all cars is superior to the cars of the past.  However, as a backyard mechanic, it's far more economical for me to purchase an old car, like my '77 Seville, and keep it going. I get the driving pleasure and turn heads as much as I would driving an STS ...and for $3000 instead of $40,000.  Personally, I have never driven anything other than an American car for any length of time. I don't like the feel of the Japanese cars, and I don't like the high dash and steering wheel in European cars I've tried.

I think Cadillac blew it in the '80's.  After a glorious end in the '70's with sensibly downsized cars for fuel economy, they went too far in the early eighties with the HT4100.  It's lack of power and dependability turned people off Cadillac.  And they really blew it with the V 8-6-4 in '81.  If they had just spent the time required to get it right, it probably would have revolutionized engines.  And as for that Seville they built in the eighties!  I don't get it, they had the best looking car in the world from 76-79, it should have been built for six more years instead of it's successor.  Then in the late '80's they built cars that looked as exciting as a Chevrolet.

But at least they finally got their act together in the '90's.  It's too bad they dropped the Brougham though. I liked the excess."

[from Erik Calvino, an enthusiast and subscriber to the Cadillac Mailing List (CML)]


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A coalition of consumer watchdog groups held an awards ceremony Thursday where the winners would rather lose. Statuettes, each holding aloft a single fresh lemon, were awarded for trying to sell products through "misleading, unfair and irresponsible" advertising campaigns.

Nine of them were presented. Among the unlucky recipients were such companies as Sprint, Cadillac and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The Harlan Page Hubbard Lemon Awards are named, according to the coalition, for a 19th century ad man who touted Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound as a virtual cure-all for everything from cancer to flatulence, headaches, sleeplessness and low sex drive.

The Hubbard spirit is still alive and well. The Cadillac Motor Car Division won a lemon for an "irresponsible TV ad showing its new Catera illegally crossing a double yellow line to pass other cars," thus showing a disregard for safety, the coalition said.

[Press cutting]


[STUDIO CITY, Hollywood]: A 24-year-old singer and dancer seeking fame in Hollywood was killed Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash when he was impaled on the tail-fin of a 1964 Cadillac...

[Press cutting]

Cadillac: something that is = the most luxurious or highest quality of its kind

[Webster's Dictionary]


Slogans from old Cadillac Advertisements


You Can Kill a Horse but not a Cadillac

Every Cadillac is a Dewar Trophy

Quiet elegance and quality that radiates refinement,
good breeding and good taste

Cadillac Shows the World
...how truly magnificent a motor car can be!

It's a "Who's Who" of the Highway!

More Eloquent Than Words!

Those who want the finest want
- the Standard of the World!

Cadillac car is one of the soundest investments
in the automotive world!

It Gives a Man a New Outlook... Cadillac

Finest Expression of Motordom's Highest Ideal!

Magnificent Beyond All Expectations! - Cadillac

It Outsteps It's Own Great Traditions!

In a realm all its own ... Cadillac

A New Realm of Motoring Majesty! - The 1959 Cadillac

Cadillac ... a new measure of automotive supremacy

Cadillac ... the new measurement of greatness

Cadillac ... universal symbol of excellence

Cadillac ...World's Best Synonym for Quality!

Unique acclaim - even for a Cadillac

The new Cadillac is so practical to own and so economical to operate
that it is acknowledged motordom's wisest investment

A new Cadillac is one of the few material possessions
for which there is no completely acceptable substitute

Go West Young Man ... in a 1966 Cadillac!


Quips and funnies from around the Globe



88 NISSAN Pathfinder, new clutch, brks, exh, cadillac1 converter,
300,000 kms $6500 obo. North Vancouver Tel: 604-984-8154

Classified ad submitted by Shayne
Cadillac Mailing List


Layne Hall, the oldest known driver, holding his driving licence which lists his date of birth as 15 Mar 1880.  He drove a 1962 Cadillac until his death in 1990."

Guiness Book of Records


Even Webster's has a definition for it

Something that is the most luxurious or highest quality of its kind...

Did the vendor perhaps mean to write "catalytic"?





Frflag.jpg (773 bytes)
( résumé en français)

Chacun pense ce qu'il veut des automobiles de la marque Cadillac.  Certains (et ils sont très nombreux) n'en disent que du bien; ses détracteurs (mais, heureusement, il ne sont pas légion) lui trouvent tous les défauts de la terre.

Cette page contient un recueil de ce qui s'est dit de mieux (et de pire) concernant la marque.  Si vous en avez entendu de bonnes, en français, contactez-moi; c'est bien volontiers que je les ajouterai à la liste ci-dessus.

En arrière-plan de cette page on peut voir un carrosse, emblème du carrossier Fisher, l'un des deux carrossiers attitrés de la firme (l'autre étant Fleetwood).  Ce carrosse (sigle) fut adopté par Fisher le 10 juillet 1923; il symbolise tout ce qu'il y a de mieux dans la fabrication artisanale. Deux carrosses de l'époque napoléonienne lui ont servi de modèle: celui qu'utilisa Napoléon lors de son intrônisation, l'autre à l'occasion de son mariage avec l'archiduchesse Marie-Louise de Habsbourg-Lorraine [...dont les fameuses chaussettes sont sèches et même archi-sèches!]


[Thanks to all those who contributed; keep your aphorisms and other trivia coming...
if you want your name mentioned with your contribution, please ask]


Return to
The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or return to the "Miscellaneous Cadillac Stuff" index page


© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image: scale-model of the renowned Fisher coach - Yann Saunders collection ]