[ last update: 11.04.2013 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Cadillac Terms and Definitions

Alphabetical Cadillac and La Salle "Fact File"

A - C

Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or return to the index page of the Glossary



A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A  A


"A" pillars: The windshield posts or forward most of the roof supports.

ABS: Anti-Lock Brake System, a safety feature introduced on the majority of automobiles in the Nineties, it was standard equipment on 1991 Allanté; details (CCI, 31:5). Early experiments with a Lockheed anti-lock braking system were carried out in the UK, inter alia, in the late Fifties and early Sixties; convincing demonstrations of such a system were given by the racing driver Reg Parnell, driving a Rover sedan, at Wellesbourne in Warwickshire [cf. report in French "l'Automobile" for January 1963].

Accessories: were offered in a special catalog each year; e.g. 1929 accessories catalog reproduced in SSA, 1980, pp.20-26, SSA 1982, pp.23-27 and 1934 Cadillac accessory catalog in TQ 5-6/79, pp.18-22

55access.jpg (3586 bytes)
1955 Cadillac accessories booklet


ACC: [see "American Custom Coachworks", below]

Accessory Codes [alpha-numerical]: ever wonder what all those letters and numbers mean, uber the heading "ACC" on your car's aluminum ID plate (usually riveted to the firewall)? Well, you can find most of them listed on this page of the Cadillac Database.

Accessory Groups: accessories were also sold in packages at discounted prices; it was cheaper, for example, in 1959, to buy the "package" that included Cruise Control, Autronic-Eye, fog lamps and door guards than buying each of these accessories individually at the advertised price.

Ackerman, Robert J.: [men of Cadillac] He was head of Cadillac manufacturing and assembly operations; photo MH, p.301; photo with 1'000'000th post-war Cadillac, CLCA 1994, p.4 and p.6

Acrylic lacquer: >>>>>

Adams, Daniel M.: Men of Cadillac; for two years he headed the section for future planning for Cadillac before retiring in 1979; photo MH, p.339

Adams, James R: He was co-founder of MacManus, John & Adams, Inc., that handled Cadillac advertising from the very early years.

Adams, Morgan (Mr. & Mrs.): wealthy Californians; had a special '49 coupe built by Coachcraft Ltd of Hollywood; ordered a town car from same company but owing to later disagreement on price of coupe, town car was completed by Maurice Schwartz; CLCA/93

Dr49ccf2.jpg (10521 bytes)
The Adams' special 1949 coupe


Advertising: In a 1952 press cutting I read that Cadillac had spent $3,000,000 on advertising in 1951 and would spend $3,500,000 in 1952. Comfort, automobile performance and the lifestyles of the leisure class were big in auto advertising during the early Thirties; from reading the copy you would hardly know that a grim depression was going on.

Advertisements (automobile): The first automobile advertisement is said to have been published in "Saturday Evening Post" [it was not a Cadillac]; another source says the first one was published on 3 July 1902 in "Life" [the car was a HAYNES APPERSON]; the second car ad [for a WHITE steam carriage, according to the same source] appeared on 13 Nov. 1902; the first Cadillac advertisement appeared in "Motor World", on 27 Nov. 1902; it was entitled "Enter the Cadillac"; another is said to have appeared around the same time in "Horseless Age" (I have not seen that one - perhaps it was only a description of the new car - one such press cutting from "Horseless Age" in 1902 said "The vehicle is of the runabout type, but it probably is somewhat heavier and stronger..."). The first color advertisements appeared in the USA in 1909; the first colored Cadillac advertisements in my collection are dated 1924-25; it was reported in SAH Journal No. 157 that illustrated Cadillac ads started to appear in the Fargo Forum of N. Dakota early in 1903 (Cadillac was the dominant marque in N. Dakota in the early teens; two of them from 1904 were still running 10 years later) refer also to:

  1. "The American Automobile - Advertising from the Antique & Classic Areas" [the word "Areas" probably should read "eras"], by Yasutoshi Ikuta, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1988 [$14.95] (info. excerpted from "American Car Graffiti: Advertising - Automobiles", United States Pictorial Works I - IKUTA Yasutoshi - ISBN 0-87701-522-8 [or 451-5] {***}
  2. "Cadillac 1902-1961", Gwil Griffiths & Rich Phillips, P/G Publications, Timonium, MD, © 1976
  3. a book of Saturday Evening Post ads [I had one and sold it!]
  4. advertisement with 50s Cadillac, MK, 1/86, p.17 (HW collection) {***}
  5. Italian Cadillac advertisement circa 1920, MK, 9/86, (HW collection) {***}
  6. 1956 ad, MK, 8/87, pp.3-11 [and others] (HW collection ) {***}
  7. my own database listing Cadillac and LaSalle ads in the appropriate section of the Database

Aerodynamic Coupes (1933-1937): Story and photos, CLCA 1974, pp.2-8; V16 body N°13 story, CLCA 1975, pp.12-14; six of these cars, coined "fastbacks", are reported to have survived; twenty were built to special order from 1933 to 1937; Cadillac did not mass-produce an aerodynamic or fastback model until the 1941 Series "61"; H75, pp.465-466. The first aero. coupe was exhibited at Chicago's "Century of Progress" at the 1933 World's Fair which ran from May 27 to November 1; it differed slightly from the prototype design that featured fully skirted rear fenders and only two horizontal hood louvers; GM Executive Vice-President William Knudsen is believed to have had use of the 1933 World's Fair model after the show, until he got delivery of Body No.1 of the 1934 production; that car was later sold in the New York area when it had about 50000 miles on the clock; both cars may have survived; their current whereabouts are not known; article in AT, 15.7.1933, p.412 {***}; AT, 12.8.1933 {***}.

     33cenpr4.JPG (6838 bytes)  33cenpro.JPG (13207 bytes)
Friend and automotive writer, Michael Banks, supplied these souvenir flyers from the World's Fair

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The Cadillac aerodynamic coupe was the center of attraction in the GM
pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 (artist's impression below)



Aerographiques: book by Philip Castle, ISBN No Z863380133; has brilliant artwork including some '59 Cadillacs (seen in CJ collection, Paris, 1988) {***}.

Ahrens, Donald "Don", E.: Men of Cadillac, General Sales Manager from 1.12.1935 to 9.6.1950, then General Manager from 10.7.1950 to 31.12.1956 [see silver-colored portfolio from 1955 Motorama for full history]; also GM Vice-President in 1955 (photos: MH, pp.297, 301; with 1'000'000th Cadillac, CLCA 1994, p.3; with new '55 Sedan [in photo albums])

Deahrens.jpg (2121 bytes)    DonEAhrn.JPG (2512 bytes)    Menahrn.jpg (3367 bytes)
Center and RH photos:  circa 1955


Airacobra: see P-39

Air-conditioning: Article in TQ, 3-4/85, pp.11-13, also CLCA/91, pp.30-31. A 300 lbs experimental unit was installed in 1941 in 300 cars. There are two known survivors [one is in the Dick Kughn collection, in Detroit, MI]. The system was not re-introduced until 1953 as a factory installed accessory in all but convertible models. Sometimes buyers would ask to install A/C later and dealers could get the parts from the factory to complete the installation, which was no easy task. Because of the high cost (labor) A/C kits were not held in stock or merchandised by Cadillac. Demand for these kits remained practically nil (CLC, 8/90, p.8). Doug Houston from Detroit added this note of interest in November 2002:  Just looking at the Database, in the "air conditioning" part. The  information on the total number of A/C models in '41 is good; there were indeed, 300 jobs built. The conditioner systems were built by a Cleveland, Ohio firm... I believe Bishop & Babcock. They also supplied Packard with the same system. To date, a total of three surviving cars are known. One is the Dick Kughn car, as shown in your Database. Another is the one I have; it's a 41-6227D coupe. The third is a "conversion"; the system was  originally in a club coupe like mine, in California. The owner of  a 41-60S (Dr. Rick Zeiger, from Beverly Hills, CA) got a hold of  that coupe and transferred the a/c system to his car.

Air suspension: was first used on a GM coach [bus] in 1953; it was installed in the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham model starting in 1957 but abandoned in 1960 [too many problems]; it was offered as optional equipment starting in 1958; see article in MC, Fall 1975, pp.10-15; history in SIA 17, pp.20-24+54;

Air Transport Division (GM): the symbol of this GM division - a stylized white aircraft on a red and blue background [below] - was used on many of GM's show cars, dream cars and experimentals including the Cadillac "El Camino" [1954] and the "Cyclone" [1959]. From recent [1999] contacts I have had with Richard Earl, I believe this logo was designed by his grandfather, the great Harley J. Earl:


Al "Scarface" Capone: of criminal renown had a 1930 V16 built to his own specifications. Shown at the Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas, the notice beside the car claims that it could top 120 mph; with the added weight of bullet proof glass in the windshield and side windows and a lining of ¼" armor-plating in the driver's compartment, 80-90 mph would be a more realistic figure. The windows had a 3" hole one inch from the bottom of the glass to allow the occupants to stick out their pistol or gun barrels; roofing nails could be dropped in the road through a hole in the floorboards and oil could be forced into the exhaust to create a smoke screen.

T30v6cap.jpg (8537 bytes)
1:25 scale model of one of gangster Al Capone's
V-16 cars; this one is from the Franklin Mint
[ for more Cadillac scale models and toys, click here ]


Aleman, Miguel: former President of Mexico; had a 1949 stretched Series 62 "woody" built by Maurice Schwartz, SIA 11, p.28.

49aleman.jpg (13242 bytes)


"All-weather" : as the name implies, a body style that could be used in fair or foul weather, i.e. the top could be lowered if the sun shone or raised if it poured with rain. Side curtains afforded the protection of a fully enclosed car in inclement weather. The Cadillac All Weather phaeton designation was changed to "convertible sedan" in 1934.

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This is a typical all-weather phaeton of 1930


All-weather Ventilation: a feature introduced on the 1942 Cadillac models

Allanté: Book listed in 1988 Motorbooks International catalog: Car Styling Quarterly (Japanese) No.57 has the story of the Allanté, Order No. 111835B, $25.95 {***}; for annual changes in Allanté facts,. figures, styling and literature, please consult the database file ALLANTÉ [soon]. An article on the new Allanté appeared in AMAG, 9/86

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1986 Allanté with hardtop removed


Allard J2/J2X: Cadillac-powered racing car, built 1950-54; a J-2 participated in Le Mans race in 1950. H75, p.293; there is an article in French on the Allard J2X in Auto Moto Retro, #82, 6/87, pp.42-47

Allard1.jpg (11303 bytes)


Allard K3: (with Cadillac engine ?) article in MT, 4/55, p.66 (ad); color photo of front grille, CC&CC 9/1982, p.17; CA 4/1990{***}; CA 7/6, 4/1991, pp.28-39 and rear cover; SIA 120, pp.46-53+ 63.

Allard, Sydney: British racer, car builder, entrepreneur and promoter, best known for the (generally) red J2X sports car with the "waterfall" grille of which the most powerful had the Cadillac V8 engine (0 - 60 in 7.4 seconds - in 1951!) With co-driver Tom Cole, Allard drove such a car into third place in the 1950 Le Mans 24-hour race, even with a transmission that was locked in high gear for 14 hours out of the 24. He built just over 1900 Allard cars in 14 years.

Allard Owners' Club: check this Web site [ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Allards/ ]

Allison aero-engine: Cadillacs first WW2 assignment was to build precision engine parts for this aero engine. They built crankshafts, connecting rods, piston pins and gear reduction assemblies. Photos SSA93, pp.5-7

"American Car Graffiti": A beautifully illustrated book on automobile advertising, by United States Pictorial Works I - author Yasutoshi IKUTA - ISBN 0-87701-522-8 [or 451-5] {***}.

American Custom Coachworks (ACC): in the late seventies this company was the largest custom coach builder in the USA.   While they built a number of stretched limousines and utility vehicles, mostly for oil-rich Arabs, the bulk of their business was in converting steel-topped coupes to convertibles.  They worked exclusively for Ford, Cadillac and Lincoln-Mercury dealers.  It took about six weeks to make the conversion; this required removal of the top section as well as some restructuring, including reinforcing the windshield and door pillar posts.  Production in 1978 was estimated at 2000 units.

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American Dream: name of super-stretched, 20000 lbs, 16-wheel, 60-foot Cadillac limousine with twin turbo-charged 500 ci front wheel drive engines, a swimming pool, hot tub, waterbed, helicopter pad, satellite disc, putting green; designed by Jay Ohrberg of Jay Ohrberg Show Cars, 6200 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (213) 469-1868; holder of "world's longest car" record (report an photos, CCI 27:1); Ohrberg planned to built 120 ft limousine the following year. I have no information concerning the latter project.

American Horse Exchange: [see Horse Exchange]

America's Luxury Car: book by R.C. Ackerson, 352 pp., cost $39.95 {***}.

Andrade, Julio: Men of Cadillac; photo MH, p.284.

Anibal, Benjamin H.: Men of Cadillac, chief engineer from May 1917 to June 1921; photo MH p.227.

Année Automobile: Swiss annual automobile book on styling, racing and automobile progress; 1st issue dated 1955; regular entries on Cadillac; some particularly exotic, custom bodies by European coach-builders are included [AM collection ] {***}.

Ant Farm: An association of Californian artists, inter alia Chip Lord, Doug Michels, Curtis Schreier. Article on "Cadillac Ranch", MT, 100th anniversary, pp.212-214; their automobile sculpture consisting of 10 Cadillacs planted nose down in a cornfield off Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas has been called "an elegy to the fated fin." Late Extra:   Doug Michels died in Australia, June 12, 2003. He was working there as a movie consultant.

Anti-pollution control: >>>>>

Anti-Lock Brakes [ABS]: this new safety feature was introduced on the 1986 DeVille, the company's first model with four-wheel, computerized ABS

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac: founder of Detroit in 1701. CLCA 1982, pp.2-9; story (CCI, 28:1)

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April 13, 1904: Fire destroyed Main building of Cadillac plant at the junction of Cass and Amsterdam avenues in N. Detroit. Four persons were injured but none were killed; the cap of a riveting machine blew off, spilling crude oil that ignited. Lack of water pressure contributed to the fire spreading; there was $200,000 damages; before the fire, the factory had been running 24 hours a day and turning out 40 cars every day. New buildings of steel framing, brick and tile were built the following month. After their completion, Cadillac had 275,000 square feet of floor space. Articles in A, 1904. Photo A, 1904. Letter sent by company to all its customers, in AT, 16.4.04 (three days after the blaze)

A.R.M.: Dutch coach-builder, built special 1939 "75" landaulette (CCI, 28:2)

Arbuckle, Roscoe, "Fatty": star of the silent screen, was a keen Cadillac fan and used to have special bodies built by the studios of Don Lee. Harley Earl's first custom design was a Pierce-Arrow 66 fitted with a Cadillac V63 motor, built on a 168" wheel base chassis. It had a grille design that Earl used later on the Cadillac V16.

Arnold, Charles Frederick: Men of Cadillac, was chief engineer from 1.9.1950 to 28.2.1965; photo MH p. 301.

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Art and Color Section: (also referred to in Cadillac's Clearing House" magazine for July 21, 1927  as "the designing art and color division") was a new division created under the impulse of Harley J. Earl; it evolved into the GM styling section;  the Art & Colour Section officially became part of General Motors central office on January 1, 1928.  Article in MC, summer 1977, pp.10-13; in 1936, Harley Earl decided to turn the section into separate studios for each GM make; SIA23, pp.40-43+54.

Art moderne: From Paris' 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts was born what we know as Art moderne. Cadillac's incursion in this new field came in 1929 when Fleetwood exhibited at the NY Salon an art moderne Cadillac of sable [black] and polished metal, with damascened hood, polished aluminum moldings around windows, top and back, chrome-plated lamps, windshield frame, wheel spokes and trunk rack, silver leaf striping; the interior featured a new, figured rayon fabric on seats and armrests, piped with silver leather; ceiling and sides used plain rayon; 2 opera seats were fitted in the ornate division that was inlaid with 22 kinds of polished hardwoods in a modern design; hardware was 2-tone color-plated. In 1933 Cadillac exhibited a new art moderne car, its aerodynamic coupe on the V16 chassis, in the Hall of Travel for the Chicago World Fair "A Century of Progress" which started on 27 May 1933. It rivaled there with the "Twenty-Grand" Rollston-bodied Duesenberg, Packard's Dietrich-bodied "Car of the Dome" - featuring the all-metal roof - and Pierce-Arrow's "Silver Arrow" designed by Philip Wright.

Artillery tractor: such a vehicle (2½ ton model) was powered by a Cadillac engine during the 1914-18 great war; photo p.51 of book "Cadillac Participation in the World war".

Artillery wheel: this was the standard wheel type on early cars in which the rim was attached to the hub with thick hard-wood spokes, generally numbering 12 [see also wire wheels].

Aurora: Workable and drivable concept car first shown Detroit Auto Show Jan, 1990; 4-dr., 4p. sedan on Seville/Eldorado chassis, 4x4 drive, Allanté V8 motor, 4467cc, 203 HP, 285cm wheel base, 485cm o.a. length, 1600kg weight; art CCI 30:9. This concept car spotlights Cadillac's vision of international high-performance sedan. It follows the "Voyage" and "Solitaire" show cars (article CLC 2/90, cover and pp.3&12)

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Austin Auto Co: of Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed suit against the Cadillac organization in 1914 claiming copyright infringement of the two-speed rear axle which Cadillac introduced on all its models that year. Cadillac had to withdraw the unit the following year. With the introduction of Cadillacs first mass-produced V8 in 1915, the 2-speed axle was soon forgotten.

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Australia (Cadillacs in): In Australia, until a car is 25 years old or more, the law requires that all cars have right-hand drive [RHD]. Many older Cadillacs have been imported there; the majority have been converted from LHD to RHD. To see some of them, check out the following Web site: http://www.wildweddings.com

Auto Carrosserie (L'): Well known French auto-styling magazine of the late Twenties and early Thirties [am looking for # 90 and 91]

Automatic transmission.: [see also Transmissions]: the French inventor Gaston Fleischel is generally recognized as having invented the first automatic transmission founded on the principle of variable diameter pulleys (long used by the Dutch automobile manufacturer, DAF). In 1930 Fleischel filed for a new French patent involving hydraulically-controlled valves and, in 1936, he brought a Peugeot 202 with him to Detroit where he demonstrated his automatic transmission to enthusiastic manufacturers in the auto capital of the world. But war broke out and Fleischel's patents were seized in America; it was not till 1947 that the French patents were restored to their rightful owner, after many American manufacturers had built hundreds of thousands of autos with transmissions inspired by the French model. A 400-page contract signed in 1953 by Fleischel and the powerful auto giants GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hudson, Packard, Bendix and Borg Warner, left Fleischel with $25000 for the sum of his work in the area of automated transmission systems [cf. report in the French "l'Auto Journal", 4.8.1966]. The first fully automatic transmission was built in 1934 on a REO automobile [REO = Ransom Eli Olds, of Oldsmobile fame]; Cadillac first used the automatic transmission in 1941.

"Automobile and Culture": Title of a book seen in Caroline Jauffrey collection, Paris. On p.116 were featured the two 1941 Cadillac limousines painted by Salvador Dali [see entry under Dali]. On p. 153 was illustrated the "Bicentennial Welfare Cadillac", a modified and over-decorated 1950 Series 62 sedan on exhibit at the Morgan Gallery, in Shawnee, Kansas. On p. 158 is a 1954 limousine. On p. 222 is the 1920 Touring Sedan by Don Lee.

Automobile Information Disclosure Act (AIDA): this was a Government Bill passed in 1959 requiring manufacturers to affix a label to all new passenger cars listing their suggested retail prices.

Automobile puzzles: CA 8/1987, p.32 (1948 tail-fins); CA 7/1984, 1961-62 lateral fins.

Automobile Salon [London]: an international event held each year at Olympia in October [after the Paris show]

Automobile Salon [New York]: It was staged in the Fall, preceding the National Automobile Show by some two months. It was a showcase exclusively for foreign coach-work and unveiled new trends and techniques. The venue changed before WW1 to the Hotel Astor, and US coach-work began to be displayed. The final NY Automobile Salon was staged at the Hotel Commodore, in the Grand Ballroom. A special elevator brought the cars up from street level to the ballroom and was eagerly awaited each Fall. The first Salon was held in 1904 on the top floor of Macy's department store. The Salon is not to be confused with the National Automobile Show which was held each year, in New York, in January. Some dates and venues follow: [1928] 1-7 December, Hotel Commodore, [1930] same hotel, first week of December; [1931] same again Sunday, 7 Nov. to 6 Dec. 1930 (eight cars were shown, including V8s, V12s and V16s)

Automobile Salon [Paris]: This international event is held each year in October

Automobile Show [National]: the first national show was held at Madison Square Garden, from 3-10 November 1900; it was organized by the Automobile Club of America; 48000 visitors came to see the wares of 40 car manufacturers, 40 accessories manufacturers; some 300 cars were on show ranging in price from $280 to $4000 [the total value of the cars on exhibit was $565,000]. From 1914 to 1940 the show was staged at the Grand Central Palace hotel. The 1930 show was staged from 4-11 January.

Autorama: early name given to the special annual show of new models and dream cars; it later became the Motorama [see Motorama]

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Autronic-Eye: Electric device introduced on 1953 Cadillac models; operating through a photo-electric cell, the unit dimmed the car's headlights on approach of another car; it had an over-riding foot switch to signal oncoming drivers who neglected to dip their headlights.

56auteye.jpg (6955 bytes)
This is the unit used in 1956


Auxiliary seating: in addition to individual auxiliary seats [see next entry], auxiliary seating that folded into the trunk or rumble area when not in use was found in many 2-pass. roadster, coupe and convertible body styles, hence the appellation "rumble seat". Once the rumble was open, access to the auxiliary seating was by two small step-plates, one on the rear bumper [generally on the right or sidewalk side], the other on the corresponding rear fender.

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Rumble seat in a 1930 Cadillac [ artist's view ]


Auxiliary seats: generally folding, temporary seating found in passenger compartment of large sedans, limousines, town cars and open touring cars; of these, the larger so-called "jump seats" faced forward and had folding back rests; the flimsier so-called "opera seats" were less elaborate and were used in the smaller sedans, limousines and town cars; one faced the rear and used the partition as a back rest while the other was lateral to the direction of travel, faced right and generally had a hinged back-rest. In coupes and convertibles auxiliary seating was sometimes provided in the trunk area (see rumble seat); access was by small bumper and fender mounted step plates. Some coupe styles from 1937-40 had small side-facing auxiliary seats behind the front seats.

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Fold-out auxiliary seating in 1942
Cadillac Series 75 limousine


AWP: common abbreviation for a convertible body style known as the "all-weather Phaeton" [see above] which offered adequate protection for driver and passengers even in the most inclement weather.

Axle gear ratios: >>>>>





B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B  B


"B"-pillars: In sedan styles, the second set of roof supports (between the windshield and rear portion of the roof).

Back-light: Another name for the rear roof window.

Back Rest: (upholstery term) the upright portion of the seats against which the seated occupants lean.

Baldridge, Malcolm (Award): Prestigious award for quality from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Cadillac Motor Car Division became the first automotive company to receive it, at the hands of President George Bush who, in ceremonies at the Commerce Department in 1990, named Cadillac the Nation's luxury car leader. General Manager John Grettenberger was the recipient on behalf of the company (CLC, 1/91, p.11).

Ball-Bearing Steering: >>>>> (1930s?)

Balloon winch: equipment powered by Cadillac engine during WW1; photo on p.53 of book "Cadillac Participation in the World War".

Bangert: Bangert Enterprises, 3515 Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, Ca. made a fiberglass conversion kit in 1955, similar in looks to the Corvette, that could be used with Cadillac or other motors; the Cadillac motor was 331.1 ci, wheel base was 96" to 104".

Banjo steering wheel: nickname given to so-called "flexible" steering wheel with four spokes each consisting of four steel rods resembling the strings on a banjo; first used on Cadillac and La Salle models in 1934. Photo of 1938 V16 banjo steering wheel in TQ 1-2/79, p.9

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Here are two good examples of the so-called "banjo" steering wheel


Barber, H.A. [or Barbar?]: Men of Cadillac, was Works Manager in the Fifties; photo, MH, p.301.

Bare chassis: A "bare chassis" (as sometimes delivered by Cadillac to custom coach builders) consisted of frame, motor, transmission, wheels, radiator, hood, cowl and instrument panel.

42comcha.jpg (6911 bytes)
Bare Cadillac chassis for 1942


Baron (Le): [see Le Baron]

"Baroness" was a specially appointed 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville by Sue Vanderbilt, one of Harley Earl's team of female designers known as the Damsels of Design. They created a series of "feminized" cars that became a feature for the 1959 GM Motorama. Earl wanted to demonstrate how the feminine touch could be a positive influence in the design of automobiles. Other cars in the line-up were the Corvette Fancy Free, by Ruth Glennie, the Chevy Impala Martinique, by Jeanette Linder, a metallic rose Oldsmobile, by Peggy Sauer (it featured the same Evans vanity case as used in the production Eldorado Broughams of 1957-58) and the Buick Shalimar, by Marjorie Ford (who presented also a second feminized Buick).  The Seville was painted gleaming black with an ivory vinyl roof covering. The trim included black mouton fur carpeting, sealskin pillow coverings, a lap-robe (these had gone out of style in the late forties with the advent of reliable rear compartment heating systems) and a built-in telephone.  Photo anyone ?

Barr, Harry F.: [men of Cadillac] He was the former GM Vice-President and former Cadillac assistant chief engineer; interview on V16, SIA92, p.19; was staff engineer in charge of Cadillac engine design and development in 1936 when work began on the new OHV V8; photo, SIA11, p.11; CA12/92, p.17. Harry Barr passed away on Monday, 5 March 1990 (he died of cancer - CLC 5/90, p.4)

Barris, George: renowned US custom car builder; see book "Famous Custom & Show Cars", pp. 53, 102, 132, 134.

Batchelor, H: H75, p.127

Battery [location of]: Story in TQ, 3-4/.88, pp.19-22.

Beading: a tubular kind of molding used for decorative effect around various body areas.

Bed, 1959 Cadillac: In the township  of Kirchdorf (meaning "church village"), near Berne, in Switzerland, you will find the craziest hotel bedroom in the whole world.  This is the honeymoon suite, or "Cadillac Suite"; it comes complete with full-size pink Cadillac convertible  ...converted into a large bed!  How much?  Well, about $700 a night, depending on the exchange rate. That includes TV, video, stereo, shower, hydro-massage, whirlpool, marble floors and a breathtaking view of the Eiger,   Mönch and Jungfrau Alpine peaks, as well as a bottle of the hotel's finest Champagne.

Bedford cord: a popular upholstery cloth fabric with lengthwise ribs resembling corduroy.

Belgian Nostalgia (???) Someone sent me this photo of the rear of a truck with Belgian license tags "CAY-877". Below the large Cadillac crest (a design from the mid-thirties), the sign reads: "Cadillac Nostalgie on the Road".  I'm guessing the vehicle is a car hauler and that there is/was a nice, "nostalgic" Cadillac inside.  Who can tell me more ?

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Belt line or belt molding: The raised and sometimes ornate molding running around a car body approximately level with the top of the radiator, the base of the windshield, side windows and rear roof area; it could raised, painted, striped, indented; it could serve as a natural division for a dual or triple color scheme.

Bennett, Frederick Stanley: British Cadillac dealer whose showrooms - CadillacMotors, Ltd. - were located (appropriately) at Cadillac Corner, Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End. Photo MH, pp.43, 45, 53, 59, 84. Among other accomplishments, Bennett organized Cadillac's successful participation in an early Dewar Trophy competition [see this page], which the company won in 1908.

FredBennett.jpg (15225 bytes)
I believe these are the London (Cadillac) showrooms of Frederick Stanley Bennett;
we can see a 1914 touring car surrounded by two of the new Phaeton  models for that year
[ photo kindly provided by French enthusiast, Jocelyn Lecocq ]


Bergero, Bryan: Men of Cadillac; young designer; did winning design for 90s Cad, SIA108, p.3.

Bergeyk [Automuseum]: (Holland)   This Museum, located at Stander Malen 3, at NL5571 RN Bergeyk (Ph. 497-571.003) may house one or more Cadillacs [can anyone confirm?]

Berline Limousine or Berlin: first used to designate 7-pass. limousine body style in 1915; abbreviated to "Berlin" the following year [1916].

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1915 Cadillac Berlin limousine (V-8)


Better Homes & Gardens: Quality pre-war US magazine that occasionally featured nice Cadillac-LaSalle ads.

Bianchi: 1955 Cadillac Bianchi, MK 5/1990 (HW collection) {***}.

Biarritz: the name of a French seaside resort on the bay of Biscay which became fashionable in the reign of Emperor Napoleon III owing to visits of the Empress Eugenie. Cadillac applied it initially from 1956 to 1960 to distinguish between the coupe and convertible models in its top-of-the-range Eldorado series (the coupes carried the "Seville" name). The name "Biarritz" continued to apply up to 1963, although no Eldorado coupe model was built from 1960 to 1966. From 1964 the top-of-the-range convertible was labeled the "Fleetwood Eldorado" and the name "Biarritz" disappeared until 1977 when it reappeared on the up-market 2-door Fleetwood Eldorado hardtop that year.

Bicentennial Welfare Cadillac: book "Automobile and Culture" p.153 (HW collection ) {***}.

BIG  it's what Cadillacs are to other , lesser automobiles, as may be seen below.

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Biscuits: (upholstery term) style of upholstering where material is stitched to form square or rectangular patterns or "biscuits"; where buttons are sewn at each corner of a "biscuit", this is referred to as a "biscuit and button" design.

Bishop top: Standard equipment introduced with the 1916 Cadillac models. This was a "one-man" top with interior-operated side curtains for full winter protection in the standard open car.

Black, Clarence A.: Men of Cadillac; first company president; was also an alderman on Detroit's common council.

Blackout order: given by U.S. government, effective 31.12.1941 that no chrome or stainless-steel trim [except bumpers] was to be used on cars (CA 12/88, p.40); other trim was painted the lighter of 2-tone color schemes.

Bliss, Alice photo, MH, p.161.

Boat-tail: 1930-31 V16 special Roadster for Indian Maharajah (of Orccha) [see also Pinin Farina]; 1936 V8 boat-tail, SIA67, p.20.

Body sills: [see sills].

Body Styles: by 1935, Cadillac was building some 68 various body styles [source: 1962 publicity piece JMR collection] {*}

Bohman, Christian: [see Bohman & Schwartz].

Bohman & Schwartz: renowned U.S. coach-builders since the Thirties; Christian Bohman and Maurice Schwartz parted in 1947 [Roy Schneider says 1945], SIA11, pp.24-29; they designed and built, inter alia, a 1939 custom La Salle convertible Coupe, SIA9, p.41; they built a 1940 convertible Coupe designed by Chet Helm [before and after photos, SIA9, pp.40-41]; CLCA 30th anniversary issue, p.64; SIA9, p.40; superb photos, CA 4/1993, pp.3,24-27 + rear cover; 1941 convertible Coupe [?], CLCA 30th anniversary issue, p.64 [re-customization of this car is mentioned in Dan Post's Blue book of Custom Restyling as well as in Motor Trend in 1951; 1947 [?] stretched "75" woody by Maurice Schwartz for singer-actress Marie McDonald, wife of Harry Karl, SIA11, p.28; 1947 film-studio, 6-door "woody" coach by M. Schwartz, SIA11, p.28; 1947 camper conversion by Maurice Schwartz, SIA11, p.26; 1949 stretched "62" "woody" by Maurice Schwartz for Mexican President Miguel Aleman, SIA11, p.28; 1949 "75" converted to 3p. Coupe for W.A. Woodward, Oregon, SIA11, p.28; 1954 Eldorado "Parisienne", 2-door town car by G. Barris & M. Schwartz, SIA11, p.29; Maurice Schwartz passed away in 1961.

Bohnman (John) & Sons: Detroit printers who put out some of the early Cadillac sales catalogs, e.g. 1904.

Bolsters: upholstery term designating the outer, padded portions of seats and seat backs.

Book of Fleetwood: In the Twenties and Thirties these were highly detailed booklets that listed and described the various Fleetwood body styles available to potential purchasers each year

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The Book of Fleetwood for 1936


Book Cadillac Hotel: The former Book Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit has nothing to do with the Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors.  Like the automobile of the same name, the hotel was simply named after the French explorer who founded Detroit in 1701. The antique and collectibles market flourishes with items of crockery, cutlery, table ware, linen and other hotel artifacts, all bearing the well known Cadillac coat of arms.  Many vendors who don't know the real story try to pass off  this stuff as having been made by Cadillac for various merchandising purposes.  Don't be fooled!  The Book Cadillac Hotel opened December 8, 1924; it replaced an earlier Cadillac Hotel that occupied the same corner of Michigan Ave. and Washington Blvd. The hotel was a project of the Book brothers who were among Detroit's most ambitious developers in the twenties. In 1986 the building (which by that time was no longer run as a hotel) was liquidated. All the furniture, fixtures, china, silver service, etc. were sold off. The city of Detroit posted a guard inside the building to keep away souvenir hunters who had already gutted so many of Detroit's abandoned gems. But in 1997 he was taken off duty and the building was quickly striped of all its decorations.  Chances are, therefore, that most of the heavy brass, Cadillac-crested door knobs you see offered in antique malls and on e-Bay ...are stolen property. In early 1999 the hotel once again became the subject of the city's attention.  It remains to be seen if the city's motive is demolition or renovation.

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Boutonnet, Jean: French historian responsible for thoroughly researching the history of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, founder in 1701 of what we know today as Detroit.

Bouvy, Charles: Men of Cadillac; draftsman responsible for preliminary drawings of future V16;

Bowen, Lemuel ("Lem") W.: Men of Cadillac; he was Secretary of the initial Cadillac Automobile Company.

Bower, "Dutch": photo, H75, p.227

Brewster, Willie: U.S. coach-builder; did at least one body on a 1919 Cadillac chassis.

Broadcloth: a popular upholstery material; there are two types:

  1. a twilled, napped woolen or worsted fabric with a smooth, lustrous face and a dense texture
  2. a cotton, silk or rayon fabric made in plain and ribbed weaves, with a soft, semi-gloss finish.

Broadlace: another upholstery material.

Broadmoor Hotel (Colorado): This hotel is a Colorado landmark; they had fleets of stretched Cadillac "observation coaches" for sightseeing tours from the thirties  through the fifties (and maybe even before then); after 1959, tour busses were used as they could carry many more passengers.  The hotel opened in 1918; it was built a few miles from Colorado Springs, at the foot of Pike's Peak. The hotel's limousine service was renowned; the cars took patrons to the top of Pike's Peak in grand style, on a converted carriage road.   In the early years, Pierce Arrow cars were used, but by the thirties Cadillac was established as the favorite of the hotel and its patrons.  Fleets were renewed regularly; I have photos in my collection of Broadmoor limousines of 1937, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1953, 1955 and 1959.  The canvas-topped 1937 models gave way, in 1955, to a half-dozen  "observation coaches" (with Plexiglas roof panels) built by Hess & Eisenhardt, on the1955 Cadillac commercial chassis;  these were called "Skyview" models.  They were put in service with great pomp on June 4, 1955; it was an occasion to stage a showing of the new 1955 model range. There is an article on the Broadmoor models in CLCA, 1976.

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The Broadmoor Hotel in 2000


Brockstein, Jerry: Men of Cadillac; designer (CA 12/91, p.22).

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Bronkhorst: Custom coach-builder; brief report in Auto Carrosserie No. 92 (March-April 1931) on special razor-edged town car featuring cane-work on lower, rear door and quarter-panels (like Fleetwood V16 style 4264B) but with full quarter-windows; this car could be a V16 model [I am seeking more information or a copy of No. 91 of the same magazine] {***}



Brooklands: A racing circuit near London, England. The three 1908 Cadillacs that won the Dewar Trophy for the Cadillac Motor Car Company, showed their stamina on that great concrete oval as part of a demonstration of their reliability and the interchangeability of their component parts.

Brougham:  (pronounced broam - like foam - in the USA and broom - that you sweep with - in the United Kingdom). Originally an enclosed carriage, drawn by a single horse, for 2-4 persons. It owes its name to an English gentleman, Lord Peter Brougham and Vaux, 1st baronet, whose second claim to fame is having given to the sea-front drive, in Nice, in the South of France, the nick-name of   Promenade des Anglais (the "promenade where the English [tourists] stroll"). Cadillac first used the name in 1916 to designate an enclosed 5-pass. sedan body style (I have an ad for the Cadillac Brougham that appeared on 15 Sept. 1917); in the thirties, the name was given to a formal body style with open chauffeur compartment and enclosed rear quarters, metal roof and often "razor-edged" styling; the name was revived in 1954/55 for the prototype of the future, exclusive, Eldorado 4-door sedans of 1957 through 1960; later still it was used on Fleetwood-bodied top-of-the-line sedans starting in 1965. Article in CA 8/93.

Brougham (Eldorado): [See Eldorado Brougham].

Brougham (Fleetwood): The whole history of the Cadillac Sixty Special and Fleetwood Brougham models was related by a member of the Cadillac Mailing List in the mid-nineties.  Here is a synopsis:  The original 60 Special was the Bill Mitchell design of 1938-41. From 1942 to 1960 the 60 Special was pretty much like the regular Cadillac sedan with minor styling or trim differences. Sometimes, but not always, it was on a longer wheel base (e.g. in 1959-60 it was on the same wheel base as the Sedan de Ville.)  The Sixty Special badge last appeared on the car in 1958, then they were just badged Fleetwood.  From 1961 through 1964 the Fleetwood sedan was called the Fleetwood Sixty Special in the catalog but the car only said Fleetwood. The car had the same wheel base as the Sedan de Ville but had a more formal roofline, with rear vent windows.  From 1965 through 1976 the Fleetwood sedan was once again on a longer wheel base. The Fleetwood Brougham name first appeared in 1965 as an option package. In 1966 this was upgraded to a separate model designation.  From 1965 through 1970, therefore, you could get two different long wheel base cars: the "base model" was once again catalogued as a 60 Special but badged Fleetwood, and above that was the Fleetwood Brougham. The 60 Specials do not have the rear foot rests or the tray tables that are on 1965 through 1967 or 1968 Broughams. For 1971 the base 60 Special was dropped. In 1977 the Fleetwood Brougham was reduced to the same wheel base as the down-sized Sedan de Ville; both of them shared the same body through 1984. In 1985 the DeVilles were down-sized to a front-wheel drive platform making the Fleetwood Brougham the long wheel base car again, by default. By the way, the only FWD coupes were made from 1981 to 1985. But there was a FWD Fleetwood (not Brougham) among them, just to confuse matters. In 1987 the Fleetwood name was dropped and the cars became just Broughams.  Somewhere along the way, the Fleetwood name was added again to the RWD car and, in the late 80's, there was a stretched FWD Fleetwood called a Sixty Special.  

"Brougham de Ville": French equivalent of Town Brougham (see 1924 French catalog )

Brown, Roy A. Jr.: [men of Cadillac] He joined GM's Art  & Color section in 1937, under Bill Mitchell, and stayed until 1943.  Some examples of his work on the 1941 Cadillac styling development are given in SIA9-10/1976, p.57. Other notes are to be found in CA 8/99, p.71

Brown and Sharpe Universal Grinder: (H75, p.17) [see also Leland]

Brunn, Herman: US coach-builder, founder of Brunn & Company of Buffalo, NY, built a special 1926 Series 314 Convertible Coupe for NY show; four other offerings were made for the 1927 show [CC&CC, 9/1982, p.27]; 1927 La Salle [proposal], SIA5, p.43; 1938 "60-S", SIA4/1981, p.15.

Brush, Alanson P.: [men of Cadillac] He was a mechanical engineer and first Cadillac Chief Engineer; he was closely involved in the building of Cadillac No. 1 and was only 24 years old on 17.10.1902 when he took the car out for its first test drive, with Wilfrid Leland in the passenger seat. He performed many feats in person to demonstrate the power and strength of the little one-lunger, including driving one up the steps of the Wayne County building in Detroit, the record (at that time) for steep grade climbing of any kind. In the 1904 catalog it was asserted that the Cadillac had also climbed the Capitol steps at Washington (D.C.) and won "road and track races when pitted against cars of several times its rated power and price." It had also drawn a five-ton truck load of railroad iron up a 4% grade, and run an ensilage cutter that required a 10 HP stationary engine. In May 1904, cars stopped being road tested; Brush installed floor-level testing rollers that could simulate all kinds of road conditions (A 14.5.04); H75, p.25.

Bucket seats: Individual front seats, sometimes with a central console between them; these were offered in lieu of the usual "bench" front seat starting with the 1959 Cadillac models.

Buckle Up: Cadillac advertising slogan of the Eighties: "Let's get it together ... buckle up" [i.e. don't forget to fasten your seat belt!]

Buffalo wire wheels: Became popular in the late twenties and early thirties, replacing the former, wooden artillery tractor wheel. I read somehwere that they were so called because they were  made in Buffalo, NY,  from 1917 to circa 1921.  The regular size was 21" (were others available?). They were the "split rim" kind (just like artillery wheels) to facilitate mouning and demounting. I have heard that they were a $650 option (for 6 wheels?)  in 1927.  You could buy quote a decent car for that amount of money in 1927!

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The new, wire wheels (right) were much more elegant than the former wooden wheels, left


Buggy top: Generally, a 3-bow affair as used on early horse-drawn buggy or runabout.

Buhne: Berlin-based German custom coach-builder; built 2-3 seater convertible on Cadillac series 355 V8 chassis; photo in German Motor, 9/31.

Bumper(s): Cadillac first offered optional front bumper in 1912; front and rear bumpers came into use in 1926.

Burbank: The generic name given to light colored fabric-grained leather that started to be used in the late 20s as a roof covering for convertible styles as well as stationary sedans and coupes [Burbank is an area in Los Angeles]; the Parisian coach-builder Kellner developed this material and introduced it at the Paris salon of 1928; it was called "coupienne". In early 1999 I received this complementary information from Eric Haartz of the Haartz family, manufacturers of automobile soft top materials for decades [see section "H- L"]:  "I noted your definition of  Burbank material and wanted to point out that there was a Burbank cotton canvas imported from Great Britain to the U.S. by Laidlaw & Co. of New York.   This canvas was tightly woven cotton with no coating at all.  As best as I can determine, Laidlaw was importing this by the late teens and continued to offer it to the American car industry until the mid- or late thirties.  I have a couple of their sample books from about 1931, so there is no ambiguity about the nature of the material."





C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C  C


"C"-pillars: In sedan styles, the third set of roof supports located between the rear window and ¼- window in the roof ¼-panel.

Cabinetwork: The sometimes complex and very ornate cabinet work found in the division partitions of town cars and limousines in the classic era.

saouint.jpg (7312 bytes)
Cabinetry detail in custom built, sliding roof limousine
on 1930 V-16 chassis, by Paris' Jacques Saoutchik


Cabriolet: French word, derived from the verb "cabrioler" describing the rearing action of a prancing horse. It was used initially to describe a light-weight, open, two-seater, horse-drawn carriage generally fitted with a top that could be raised to protect the occupants in inclement weather. Later, among French coach-builders, it came to designate a convertible automobile for 2 or 3 passengers. Fleetwood adopted the term in 1927 to designate any custom-bodied closed cars with a fixed roof and a  leather or cloth covering applied to the roof to resemble a convertible automobile; the term was a favorite with Fleetwood in the late Twenties and Thirties; it went out of style in the mid-Thirties but made a come-back in 1980 [check out the 1980 Cadillac brochure].

Cabriolet roof: A custom feature available on the 1981 standard Cadillac coupe [McC p.439]; renamed "Full Cabriolet Roof" for the 1982 Eldorado [McC p.445] and Seville [McC p.446].

Cadillac, Antoine de la Mothe: French explorer and adventurer who founded a trading post at the site of what is today Detroit (deformation of ville d'étroit, the "town on the narrows"); the full history of A. de la Mothe Cadillac has been thoroughly researched by French historian Jean Boutonnet.

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Left: bust of Antoine Laumet, aka De Lamothe-Cadillac, founder of Detroit in 1701
Right: unofficial portrait of the French adventurer [done in the nineties]

Cadillac articles: These are too numerous to list under this section unless they cover a variety of years and models; see MKT 9/89, pp.203-204.

Cadillac articles [in Russian]: I received from Andy Chrisanov of Moscow's Auto Review, in Russia [10/2001], a complete history of Cadillac history from 1902-03 through 1993, published in five issues of that weekly (?). All five issues are dated in 1993. Noteworthy is the fact that very few photos are used to illustrate the articles; however, Mr. Chrisanov has done an excellent job of  creating (or reproducing?) appropriate artist's renderings of many Cadillac models. 

"Cadillac: America's Luxury Car": A book by Robert C. Ackerson, TAB Books, 354 pp., reviewed in CA, 10/1989, p.95 {***}.

Cadillac Automobile Company: It was founded 22 August 1902. Merged with Leland & Falconer Mfg. Co on 30.10.05 to form the Cadillac Motor Car Co.

Cadillac camper: SIA6-7/72, p.26.

Cadillac's Classic Chief: Article by MH on the Ernest Seaholm era, SIA56, pp.18-25.

Cadillac history: 46-page article in CC&CC, 2/1977{***}.

Cadillac Hotel: was located on Broadway and 42nd Street in  YC. It was not named after the car, but after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac

( image ) 

Cadillac in the Eighties: CC [??? or CA], 8/87, p.33-42, also CA 8/1987, pp.33-42; futuristic designs.

Cadillac in the Forties: CC, 12/90, pp.48-65; see also story about Ed Cholakian, '40s Cadillac collector in C&D {???}.

Cadillac Museum (1): a holding of Cadillac Motor Car Division of GM, it is housed at the CCCA Museum in Kalamazoo, MI

Cadillac Museum (2): Located in Touraine, France; it was created by the two daughters (Magali and Geneviève) of late Belgian industrialist, Robert Keyaerts 

Cadillac Plant (manufacturing, old): Formerly located in Clark Street, Detroit 

Cadillac in the Seventies: CC, 8/87, p.73-76.

Cadillac in the Twenties: Italian Cadillac advertisement circa 1920, MK, 9/86, (HW collection ) {***}.

"Cadillac Jim": Nickname given to the late James Pearson of Kansas City, KS, a Cadillac aficionado who bought & sold many specialty Cadillacs in the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Left: Jim with his traditional cigar and cap; right, Jim is in the center, again wearing his skipped cap; his wife Louise is on his right; to her right are evangelist
T.S. Osborne and his wife;
the "big guy" on Jim's left is V16 aficionado, Rick LeForge, with Jim's elder son, Butch, aka "Ray" (Gaylord Pearson IV), as he was called
as a child; the Pearson guys were always known by their nicknames i.e. Jim and Ray; the V16s in the photo were identified in 2013 by Rick LeForge
 as his own "Ole Yellar" (style #4355) and Jim's
“Blue Boy (style #4375); the latter was "like a new car", circa 1963, and was Jim's daily driver;
Rick had just delivered "Ole Yellar" to Jim, after driving it from Hollywood to Kansas City,  KS; Rick reckoned that was in the summer of 1963.
[ sources: Jeffrey Pearson, Jim's younger son, and Rick LeForge - 2013 ]


Cadillac-La Salle advertising: [not only Cadillac] story in SIA20, pp.20-23, also CC&CC 8/1985, pp.42-46; story in CLCA 1986, pp.2-13; CA 12/1990, pp.93-95.

Cadillac-La Salle Club: The oldest club in America devoted to the preservation and enjoyment of Cadillac and LaSalle automobiles (founded in 1958); in 1995 it grouped almost 5100 members. Early reflections on the club beginnings can be found in CLCA 30th anniversary issue, pp.22-23.

Cadillac-LaSalle Club of New Zealand: article in CLC 10/94, pp.3 & 9.

Cadillac-La Salle Collectibles: story in CLCA 1984, pp.20-21.

Cadillac Look (The): by Richard Burns Carson, CLCA 1978, pp.2-11.

Cadillac Mechanisms & Coachcraft: Title of a 1929 product bulletin.

Cadillac Meets (some European...): Chavannes-de-Bogis, Geneva, Switzerland, August 1984 [which I organized]; a report appeared in "Nitro" [?] by Zoot Dimov; includes photo of Zoot with 1946 "62" sedan. Castelsarrasin meet, July 1991; report in MK, 5/1991, pp.35-37 (HW copy) {***}. Langeais meet, August 1992. Castelsarrasin meet, July 1993. Langeais meet, August 1994. Castelsarrasin meet, July 1995.

Cadillac Motor Car Company: The original Cadillac Automobile Company merged with the Leland & Falconer Mfg. Co. on 30.10.05 under this new company name; the articles of incorporation were filed in the office of County Clerk Himes, in Detroit. Capital stock was $1,500,000 divided into 15,000 shares of $100 each. The old Cadillac Automobile Co was capitalized at $300,000. Article in A, 5.11.05.

Cadillac Museums: This one is in Hungary (2012). If any users know of a Cadillac Museum, anywhere in the world, that is not listed here, I shall be pleased to include it.


Cadillac name used for other products: because the Cadillac name symbolizes good quality workmanship, many manufacturers of other goods used the name to market their wares. Interesting non-Cadillac items I have seen include the "Cadillac"-crested door knobs of the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit (discarded in the sixties, when the hotel was renovated), the "Cadillac" vacuum cleaner sold by Clements Mfg. Co of Chicago, "Cadillac" diamond-brand trash cans, "Cadillac" cigars, a "Cadillac" cooking range [photos in my collection] ...... CLCA/93, pp.24-25.

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These Cadillac brand cigars were popular in the fifties


Cadillac Offers Entirely New Standard: Title of 1934 product bulletin.

Cadillac Parts (inter alia): Cadillac Parts: McVey's, 5040 Antioch, Suite E, Merriam, KS 66203, Fax (913) 722-1166.

Cadillac-powered autos: (see the headings "Bangert", "Darrin", "Edwards", "Fina Sport", "Frick", "Gaylord", "Kurtis", "Maverick", "Muntz", "Rogue", "Stengel", "Story", etc., as well as the reference book "Standard Catalogue of American Cars, 1946-1975").

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Bill Frick special, Cadillac-powered sports coupe
with body by Vignale of Italy


Cadillac Ranch: The name given to the Ranch of Stanley Marsh III, rich Texan and patron of the arts who commissioned a Californian artist group, Ant Farm to build a "monument" glorifying U.S. automobile production; the artists buried 10 old Cadillacs (1948...up), nose down in the dirt; the "monument" used to be visible to the left of Route 66, after Amarillo, when heading west towards California; it was removed to another location in the nineties. Story: AF, front and rear covers + pp.124-129. 20th anniversary text: CLC 8/94, p.7; CLC 3/81; MT special 100th anniversary of the automobile, pp.212-213. Our roving reporter, Rik Gruwez of Belgium, can tell you a lot more than me about this incredible piece of Americana [check out Rik's home page].  Late Extra (June 2014): Marsh died on Tuesday June 17, 2014, at the age of 76; his legacy lives on!

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Cadillac script: This first appeared on Cadillac radiators in 1905; the first "Cadillac" script nameplate was quite an ornate affair done in brass; it was used in that form through the 1916 models. Different "Cadillac" scripts were used after that and continue to be used to this day.

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Cadillac script on LH side of grille on 1956 models


Cadillac studio: A part of GM Art and Color section, [MC, summer 1977, pp.10-13].

Cadillac vs. Buick [1941]: Story and photos in SIA85 pp.54-63.

Cadillac Vs Buick [1949]: Story and photos in CLCA 1986, pp.32-37.

Cadillac Vs Duesenberg: Article in CA, 7/84, p.20.

Cadillac vs. Imperial & Lincoln: Story in SIA105, pp.38-45.

Cadillac vs. Imperial & Lincoln: (1957) Story in SIA118, pp.30-37,66.

Cadillac vs. Lincoln: Story in SIA11-12/70, pp.30-35, Brougham vs. Continental.

Cadillac V16 Vs Marmon V16: Article in SIA106, pp.24-31, pp.59-61.

Cadillac Vs Packard: Article in CLCA 1977, p.14-15.

Cadillacs of the Forties: Excellent book by Roy Schneider covering this particular period of Cadillac production.

Cadhenge: The name plays on the British archeological site, Stonehenge, with its famous standing stones. The site below was inspired by it and features, in the center, a "stone" 1955 Cadillac sedan.

55henge2.jpg (5959 bytes)


Calais: The name of an industrial seaport on the Channel coast of N. Eastern France. In Greek mythology, Calais was also one of the winged sons of Boreas, God of the North Wind, and Oreithyea. Cadillac used the name on its lower-priced models from 1965-1976. Thank you, Rik Gruwez, Belgium, for this succinct analysis of the Cadillac Calais I found on your excellent Cadillac Mailing List (CML) in December, 2002: The name originated when the numeric series designations were dropped in 1965. It replaced the Series 62, which has always been the "little brother" of the DeVille. By early 1970s, the difference between the Calais and its DeVille counterpart had grown so small that production was reduced to a very small number. The Calais was dropped starting in the 1977 model year.

California top: a popular if bulky accessory, this was essentially a (painstakingly) removable hard top for convertible sedans and touring cars, turning these open models into comfortable all-weather cars. The hard top roofs were covered in fabric or leather and had sliding windows.

Canework: a Body styling feature; article in CC 3/80 on canework applied to the 1930 Cadillac V16 style 4264B (inter alia); same issue has an article on the V16. Classic Car for 3/1980 and summer 2006 have some information on canework as applied (1) to the Cadillac V-16 and (2) to a restored 1929 Rolls Royce by Brewster. The latter reads: ...Art Soutter (the last employee at the [Rolls-Royce] Springfield plant ...) [said] that the Brewster company had one employee who used thickened paint and squeezed it through a tool, as you would decorate a cake. The [twin?] horizontal lines were applied first, followed by the vertical then the diagonal. Decorative canework or "French cane" was used on car bodies from the beginnings of the automobile; it became a popular feature on formal European coach-work in the twenties. Initially real cane was used but the results and durability were mediocre. Applied later by hand with a paint mixture from a tube, it was a tiresome and expensive operation. In the late teens France introduced the "cloth-paste" method which was easier to apply; cost was also reduced because the new method did not need so many coats of primer or base paint. All the painter had to do was measure exactly the size and shape of each panel to be thus decorated and make simple templates for the cane supplier. There were two methods of applying the pre-cut cane-cloth panels. The first was to glue them in place with a special mixture of glue; two coats of varnish were applied after the glue had dried at least 24 hours and a copper or cane beading applied to outline each panel. The other method was to apply a thick coat of varnish and press the cane panels into place before the varnish got too dry; finally two further light coats of clear varnish were applied. The cane design came in a number of sizes, the most popular being sizes 55 (approx. ½" between rows) and 90 (approx. ¾" between rows). When correctly applied the double [twin] lines of "cane" form the horizontal and vertical part of the design, with the single lines as the diagonals [LaC (circa 1919), pp. 338 and 341].

cane5590.JPG (19265 bytes)
Here are samples of French cane in sizes "55" and "90"
From "L'Auto-Carrosserie" (circa 1919)

  V6cane.jpg (11085 bytes)    v6canex.JPG (10391 bytes)
Left:  correct application of cane; right, incorrect application on a re-body V-16 style #4264B

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Above, detail of  correct cane application on custom
1948 convertible coupe by Paris' Jacques Saoutchik

cane2.jpg (13214 bytes)    CANE3.jpg (15055 bytes)   cane04.jpg (10582 bytes)    cane05.jpg (38140 bytes)
Some more examples of  correct application of   "cane" on a pair of restored Rolls-Royces


Cantines: The French term for companion cases or vanity and smoking sets.

Cape Cart Top: The name given to a specifically shaped leather or rubber top used on early Cadillacs; example.

Captive Freon-13 Shock Absorbers: Special gas-filled shock absorbers introduced with the 1959 Cadillac models (see 1959 Data Book for details).

Caravelle: The name given to some special, sightseeing station wagons built on the Cadillac chassis by Hess & Eisenhardt for the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado; other models by same firm carry "Custom View Master" plate. Caravelle models were also known as the "Skyview" Limousines.

59CRV2.JPG (12418 bytes)


Car Classics: Vol. dated 11/1969 has a story on 1932 V16, body No. 1.

Car Collector & Car Classics: A post-war magazine devoted to collectible automobiles. I am looking for the following issues: 10/87 (1931 V16); 3/88 ('59s); 4/88 (auction reports); 10/88 ('33 V16 Victoria); 11/88 ('57 Brougham); 1/89 ('39 60-S); 2/89 ('53 Eldorado); 3/89 ('50 Cad); 6/89 ('56 Coupe De Ville); 2/90 ('38 Brunn V8); 3/90 ('32 V8); 5/90 ('46 Cad); 7/90 ('49 convertible); they were available at one time for $6 each + $3 ea. surface mail.

Car-icatures (The) of Patrick Van der Stricht: Article in CA 10/1986, p.90. Patrick is a well-known Swiss automotive writer and cartoonist, as well as a devoted Cadillac enthusiast.  This is his artist's proposal for a 1938-39-40-41-48-49-51-53-54-55-56-57-58 custom Eldorado coupe (...and I may even have missed a couple of years in my speedy examination of this delightful drawing!

38lesuer.JPG (12420 bytes)
Drawing courtesy of Patrick Van der Stricht


Car-of-the-Year: A motoring award introduced and popularized by the American monthly magazine "Motor Trend" in 1949. The award was captured that year by the new 1949 Cadillac. In 1992 the trophy was awarded to that year's Seville STS model. That same car had collected earlier the "Automobile of the Year" trophy by the magazine "Automobile" and was also named one of the "Ten Best Cars" in the world by the magazine "Car and Driver".

Car Life: U.S. car magazine, sometimes had features on Cadillac (e.g. annual models). I am looking for two issues: 2/1959 and 5/1959 {***}.

Carriage bows: [see "Landau bars"].

Carrosserie (La): Name of a pre-WW2 French trade journal, the official organ of the French syndicated Chamber of Coach-builders. A collection may be viewed in Versailles (near Paris), in the annex to the French "Bibliothèque Nationale", the French national public library [info: Laurent Friry, Paris, 1996]. Prizes were awarded each year by this popular magazine at the Paris Concours d'élégance; one was the Coupe de la Carrosserie (the cup for the best coach-work), the other the Coupe de l'originalité (the cup for the most original design)

Cars of '42 (The), A very Special Year: Article in CA, 12/1988, p.39 {***}.

"Car Spotter's Encyclopaedia, 1940-1980": Another useful reference book for the Cadillac-LaSalle aficionado. On pp. 39-42, for example, are some interesting line drawings of Cadillac cars.

"Car Styling Quarterly": Title of an annual automobile styling book published in Japan. Issue No. 11 [July 1975] includes a short Cadillac History, the story of the "compact" Seville and an article on Bill Mitchell's motor-cycles. Issue No. 12 [October 1975] includes an article on "Dream Cars" and experimental models.

Cardin, Pierre: French fashion designer; he designed a special body for the Eldorado touring car in 1981, named the "Evolution I"

Caribbean (Cadillac): Name of a special, custom 60S show car shown by Cadillac at the 1949 Autorama (the first of the later "Motoramas"; it featured special decorative panels [called "door saddles" in Thirties] at belt level, below the windows; the interior was trimmed in French broadcloth, piped and trimmed with iridescent green leather; the headliner was green broadcloth and the instrument panel was also green to match the exterior color named "Caribbean Daybreak" (dreamy !...)

Carrera Panamerica: The great 1950-1954 Mexican Road Race. The first one took place in May 1950 (2135 miles long). 22 Cadillacs participated [mainly 1949-1950 models]. In 1954 two Cadillacs achieved third and fourth place in the large stock car class in the 5-day race, averaging over 131 mph in some heats.

Carriage sill: [see "coach sill"]

Cars with Personalities: Title of a book by John A. Conde, reviewed in CA, 5/1984, p.94.

Carter carburetors: >>>>>

Carter, John: Men of Cadillac; former assistant chief interior designer at Cadillac under Marv Fisher

Casillo, Leonard: Men of Cadillac; design engineer who worked on recent Eldorado and Seville models

Casket & Sunnyside: post-war funeral trade magazine featuring some fine Cadillac funeral car ads.

Cass and Amsterdam: (Detroit), the original Cadillac Automobile Co was located at No. 1343 Cass Avenue; it was the location of the general offices and of the engine and automobile assembly, at the corner of Amsterdam avenue [see also "Trombley Avenue"].

Castilian: A special, so-called "mood" car shown at the 1956 Motorama; it featured black & white calfskin upholstery, hammered silver door panels, a special headlining giving the impression of a star-spangled sky. The name was used again for a Cadillac station wagon by an independent body maker in 1976 (article in CLCA 1989, p.32).

Catera: New 1997 Cadillac, rear-wheel drive, 4-door sedan, based on the German-built Opel Omegas and smaller than the time-tested "small" Cadillac Seville. It is powered by the 3 liter DOHC V6 rated at 200hp. A far throw from the Cadillacs that inspired me to compile this database! Article in CLC10/96, pp.10-11. Perhaps someone could clue me in to the origins of the name. The closest I came to was the old Scots word cateran, meaning robber or free-booter! Features include a day/night mirror triggered by the headlights of following cars, which is distracting.

Cavelier, René Robert: Sieur de La Salle, French explorer of the Mississippi. He was born into a wealthy French family in Rouen. Cadillac named its sister car "La Salle" after him; the latter was built from 1927 through 1940; LaSalle’s coat of arms was used on the cars that bore his name. A short historical record of Sieur de La Salle’s exploits was related by Cadillac in a small booklet published by them in 1927, at the time these new models were introduced; I was able to view that booklet at the Detroit Public Library in September 1994; measuring 10x15cms, and comprising 18 pages (including the covers), the booklet was copyrighted in 1927 by Cadillac Motor Car Company; its title reads: "Being an appreciation of the achievements of one of the most intrepid, enterprising, and loyal of the explorers who extended the empire and the glory of France in the New World". LaSalle settled in Canada in 1666 at the age of 23; from 1669 to 1687 he journeyed along the Ohio river to Louisville, through the Great Lakes from Niagara to Green Bay aboard the "Griffon", on to Peoria, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Gulf to Texas (while looking for the Mississippi delta). In 1682 LaSalle claimed, in the name of France, all land whose waters drain into the Mississippi River; he named these lands "Louisiana" after King Louis of France. There are two relatively prominent monuments to La Salle in Texas; one is in Indianola, where he landed, and the other in Navasota where he died. He was ambushed and shot dead there by mutineers of his own troops on 19.3.1687. More information on LaSalle may be found at this Web site: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/belle/LaS.html. See also CLCA 1982, inside cover. A figurine representing Mr. LaSalle was sold by an accessory house in the late Twenties as a hood ornament for both Cadillac and LaSalle automobiles (CLCA 1980, p.25).

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Here are three portraits of the French explorer;
those on the right and in the center are from the covers of La Salle product catalogs


Celebrity: Name of a specially appointed Coupe de Ville, with air conditioning, that was shown at the 1955 Motorama. Obviously it was a styling proposal for the Eldorado Seville coupe of the following year. A Cadillac news release of 13 May 1955 tells us the car had a red, long-grain leather covering applied to the roof, and a brilliant red lower body; the upholstery was red and silver threaded V-pattern cloth seat inserts, with red leather bolsters trimmed with chrome buttons and silver-finished welts. A couple of color photos of this special model can be seen in a Cadillac advertising mailer put out be the firm in 1955 entitled : "A Trip to the Motorama".

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Center pillars: These were mobile, vertical pillars that filled the space between front and rear window glass in large, open touring cars or all-weather phaetons; when the soft top was folded back, these pillars could be folded away or removed.

Century of Progress: Name given to the 1933 Chicago World's Fair [see "World's Fair"].

Chapron, Henri: French designer and coach-builder; he drew some proposals on pre- and post-war Cadillac chassis; one drawing, numbered #4227, showed an elegant town car for the 1935-1937 V16 chassis; Chapron designed and built inter alia a 4-door convertible Sedan on 1962 "75" chassis for King Hassan of Morocco. An article on the French coach-builder may be found in "Car Collector", 2/83.

Chicago's World Fair: [see "Aerodynamic coupes"].

Chick, John C.: [men of Cadillac] He was general sales manager from September 1930 to 30 November 1935; a special V16 of the 1930 production run was put at his disposal.

Chinetti, Luigi: [see Cadillac 1953, Pinin Farina, Dream Cars].

Chinetti, Luigi, Jr.: [see Cadillac 1968, "Zagato", Dream Cars]

Chisholm, W.S.: [men of Cadillac] he was Director of Personnel and Public Relations in the Fifties [mentioned on the reverse of a 1955 photo in my collection].

Chrome plating: Cadillac was first to adopt chrome-plating as a standard finish for bright parts, in 1929.

Cholakian, Ed: Ed is a keen collector of Cadillacs of the Forties; a story about his collection appeared in C&D 3/1987, pp.101-109 [some pages of which are missing {***}].

Cimarron: "Compact" Cadillac announced in May 1981, introduced in 1982 and relatively short-lived (it was gone by 1989). The advertising brochure tells us: "A proud American name lives anew ... the Chisholm Trail ... the Comstock ... the Rio Grande ... the Missouri ... the Cimarron.  Proud names that fired the imagination of Americans a century ago [1882-83].  Names that promised adventure and freedom.  Names that stood for the fortitude and skill of those who had the courage to pioneer new territories.  Names that became monuments to a new way of looking at things and then doing  them better.   And now the name Cimarron lives again to lead the way in a Cadillac offering of a new kind of compact car from General Motors ... a new kind of Cadillac for a new kind of Cadillac owner.  This is Cimarron by Cadillac.  A name Americans can be proud of today."  See Richard Langworth's "Buyer's Guide" for basic specifications and information on these models from 1982-1984; review also factory sales literature and Krause's "Standard Catalogue of Cadillac 1903-1990". Production figures are as follows: 1982 = 25968, 1983 = 19194, 1984 = 21898, 1985 = 19890, 1986 = 24534, 1987 = 14561, 1988 = 6454. A Cadillac "Cimarron" dream car, the "Cart-PPG" [anyone know what these letters stand for???], was exhibited on the auto show circuit in 1985. Thanks to John Fobian, SAH #2017, for adding the following useful information to this entry: Cimarron: Cart-PPG should be written as CART-PPG. CART is Auto Racing Teams. Until the late '90s, CART was the primary sanctioning group for Indianapolis- type car racing in the US. (CART still exists but no longer is involved with the Indianapolis 500). PPG is the current name for Pittsburgh Plate Glass, which now also manufactures automotive paints and finishes. Beginning in 1979, PPG created a series of customized vehicles to serve as pace cars for CART racing events. The cars, built with manufacturer cooperation, also promoted new PPG automotive finishes. PPG discontinued the program in 2001.


Ciro's: The famed Hollywood night club. For years the main parking lot was reserved for "Cadillac only". Now that sign is widely sold in souvenir shops al over the world.

CKD: Abbreviation for "Crated Knocked Down"; this applied to some export models that were partly disassembled, to reduce their volume, before being shipped to GM outlets abroad to be rebuilt on-site. Some notes about these "CKD" models are to be found in CLC 5/93, p.8; also CLC 5/95, p.4

Clamshell fenders: 1932 and 1933 (French "coquille de peigne" or, literally, "coquille de moule").

Clark Avenue: Site of the new Cadillac plant in Detroit that was built in 1920. The GM Division moved out of these facilities to new ones in Warren, Michigan in the early Nineties.

Clay models and mock-ups [see also "Prototypes"]: The first clay and wood mock-up bodies were made in 1918 for the Type 57; they were designed and built by "body engineers" [there were no designers, stylists or "architects" in body shops in those days. Clay modeling is said to have been developed in the late Twenties in Harley Earl's innovative design studio. It was a relatively inexpensive way to visualize yet still be able to alter early design models. The "clay" is made up of a mixture of powdered clay, sulfur oils and wax. The soft medium is applied in layers over an aluminum framework or "buck" before being shaped by a master modeler using special sculpting tools and intricate measuring devices. Clay models may be full-sized or miniature. For more reading: CC&CC 9/1982, p.26; [late '20s] CLCA 1977, p.5; CA 12/92, p.12; CLC 8/92, pp.7 & 21., CLC 8/92 pp.7&21, CLC 11-12/92, p. 8.

30claymo.jpg (6176 bytes)         CLAY60.JPG (9481 bytes)
Left: Craftsman at work on a full size clay model of the 1930 Cadillac
Right: Another full-size clay model, this time of the future Series 75 limousine


Cleworth, Harold James: "The Collectible Auto Artist": An article about him appeared in CA 6/1986, p.71-75; it mentions a blue, 1956 Coupe de Ville that was sold to a Swiss bank executive for $5000; the only blue "Coupe de Ville" I have seen by this artist is a 1957 model; I have not seen his painting of a '59 Cadillac with a smashed front LH fender.   Another article appeared in "Car Collector", 3/91..

Climate Control: This was a device introduced on the 1964 models to automatically control heat and humidity.

Cloisonné: The French term "cloisonner" means to separate with walls or partitions; in styling parlance this was used to describe a decorative panel or medallion divided into various sections, generally of different colors and finished in enamel.

Closed Cars: Cadillac first offered a closed body style in 1907 (Model M coupe); 110 bodies were supplied by Seavers and Erdman in Detroit). A publicity piece put out by Cadillac in 1962 {JMR collection} gives 1910 as the date of introduction of closed bodies as standard equipment. The August 1991 issue of Automobile Quarterly includes an interesting article entitled "Body by Fisher: The Closed Car revolution"

Close-coupled coupe: This entry was added at the kind suggestion of John Fobian, SAH member #2017: A close-coupled coupe is a 2+2 coupe: 2 full seats in front, 2 occasional seats in back, because the rear seats are closer than a sedan's to the front seats.

Close-coupled sedan: A sedan in which the rear seat is located over or very close to the rear axle [see "Club Sedan"].

Clover-Leaf Coupe: Reference was made to such a model in CLC 6/92, p.3. It was presumably a model built in the early part of the century. I have not seen it mentioned in any factory literature and assume it was a nickname.

Club Coupe: >>>>> A model of this denomination is included in the catalog of custom models on the Cadillac Type 59 chassis, issued by Don Lee of San Francisco in 1920.

Club Roadster: >>>>> A model of this denomination is included also in the catalogue of Don Lee custom models for 1920.

Club Sedan: [see "close-coupled sedan"].

Clubs (Cadillac & La Salle collectors):

  1. Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc., P.O. Box 359, Devon, PA 19333, (Tel. >>>>>)
  2. Cadillac Club International, P.O. Box 1, Palm Springs, CA92262 (Tel. 714 845 5916)
  3. Cadillac Convertible Owners of America, P.O. Box 269, Ossining, NY 10562 (Tel. >>>>>)

Coach: The Cadillac "Coach" was a new body style introduced in late 1924. I have an ad dated 27 Dec. 1924 that illustrates the new style by Fisher. It was a 5-pass, coupe on the lines of the former Cadillac "Victoria".

Coach sill: A styling characteristic in which the body overlaps the frame rails in a graceful curve. Also known as a "carriage" sill or "mail coach" sill. A Fleetwood style 4208 limousine with this kind of lower body was exhibited at the 1929 Paris Salon, as were an AWP and a 7-pass sedan.

Coach-builders [automobile]: These evolved from the fashionable horse-drawn carriage works that had catered to basically the same clientele. The origin of coach building goes back to around 1450, when the carriage coach was invented in Kocs, Hungary.

Coach-builders [domestic, i.e. U.S.]: Fisher and Fleetwood were not the only coach-builders to fashion bodies for the Cadillac and LaSalle models before WW2. The following U.S. firms all built at least one such body: [pre-war] Brewster, Brunn, Cantrell, Coachcraft, Columbia, Daytona-Wright, Derham, Healy, Inskip, Judkins, Kimball, Le Baron, Lee [Don], Loewy, Meteor, Miller, Murphy, Rollson [formerly Rollston], Sayers & Scovill, Seaman, Schutte [Lancaster, PA], Uppercu, Waterhouse, Willoughby... [complete ???]

Coach-builders [foreign]: The following foreign coach-builders are believed to have designed if not effectively fashioned bodies for the Cadillac and LaSalle automobiles:

  • Pre-war: [Belgium] D'Ieteren Frères, Van den Plas (Antoine & Sons) and Van den Plas; [Czechoslovakia] Sodomka (LaSalle), [England] Hooper, Thrupp & Maberly and Van den Plas; [France] Boyriven, Chapron [design only ???], DeVillars, Duvivier, Fernandez (???), Franay, Hibbard & Darrin, Kellner, Letourneur & Marchand, Million-Guiet, Saoutchik, Vanvooren; [Germany] Drauz, Gläser, Papler, Voll & Ruhrbeck.; [Italy] Farina; [Netherlands] Bronkhorst; [Sweden] Nordberg; [Switzerland] Gangloff, Graber, Heimburger, Ramseier, Reinbolt & Christe
  • Post-War: [France] Chapron, Saoutchik; [Italy] Ghia, Pinin Farina, Pininfarina, Vignale, Zagato [SEE ALSO THE SECTION ON "DREAM CARS"]

Coachcraft Ltd: US coach-builder on Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, catered mainly to the rich and famous stars of Hollywood; the head man was one Rudy Stoessel. He designed and built, inter alia, on the Cadillac chassis a station wagon in 1941 for film star Charles Starrett [a toy replica was made by Wyandotte], a special coupe in 1949 for Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Adams, another station wagon in 1950 with an electric tailgate, designed by Strother McMinn, and a bullet-proof 60 Special in 1950 for one Mickey Cohen; SIA7, p.42., CLCA/93, pp.6-13.

Coat of Arms (Cadillac): The controversial coat of arms (or crest) of Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was registered as the trade-mark of the Cadillac Automobile in 1906. Its authenticity is not held in doubt since it is recognized, officially,  by Canada's Institut généalogique Drouin [the Drouin Genealogical Institute]; the crest is described also in Tome 1 of the 1951 Belgian Armorial Universel, on p.255 (the entry being cross-referenced "I.G.D."  -  Institut généalogique Drouin). However, there seems to be little doubt today, in the minds of historians who have delved into the history of the Cadillac name and family, that the crest was concocted around 1687 by French adventurer, Antoine Lamothe, alias Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac, the year of his marriage in Quebec. He had no claim to the name Cadillac, despite the fact that he gave the registrar the "noble" alias Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac, claiming falsely to be the son of one Jean de Lamothe-Cadillac and Jeanne de Malenfant. His (undisputed) birth records have established that his dad was called Jean Laumet, bailiff to the court judge in St. Nicolas-de-la-Grave, the small township where "Cadillac" was born, and his mom was Jeanne Pechagut, a modest home-maker. Despite the adventures that befell  him in the New World, Tony Laumet was NO nobleman, nor did he marry into a noble family; this is historical fact. Nonetheless, the coat of arms that he designed for himself stands up well to heraldic interpretation. A heraldic explanation of it is given in a small booklet, published by the Cadillac Motor Car Co. in 1919, then again in 1922, 1943 and 1960; it was used again in a publicity piece published by Cadillac in 1962. For further reading on this controversial topic, click here. LATE EXTRA [August 1999]: Cadillac announced the first change in its shield-and-crest emblem since 1963. It will be used in ads this fall [1999] and on the cars beginning in 2002. The emblem appears slightly wider and flatter; the armorial crest remains but the seven-pointed crown over the shield is gone; the red-black-silver-yellow-blue colors remain on the shield but the heraldic birds ("merlettes") also are gone.

coatar5.jpg (4022 bytes)  crs06.jpg (6155 bytes)  Crst18.jpg (3357 bytes)  crs41c.jpg (4810 bytes)  Crst86a.jpg (3548 bytes)
Source of  the Cadillac crest and evolution in its design: [far left] the authentic, heraldic arms of the
Lamothe family of  Bardigues (Tarn-et-Garonne, France)   which Antoine Laumet "borrowed" in
order to build his own, fictitious family crest; [next] the official crest design trade-marked by the
Cadillac Automobile Company on August 18, 1905 (the inscription below the crest reads LA MOTHE CADILLAC);

[center] the 1918 Cadillac crest with white swans in lieu of the traditional black "merlettes" (see story above);
[next] a crest from
a 1941 ad and [far right] a stand-up wreath and crest from 1986 with a return to white "birds".


Coffin [Cadillac]: Chicago car lover Willy Stokes so loved Cadillacs that when he passed away [shot and killed at the age of 26] he was buried in a Cadillac-like coffin with his personalized license tag. About 5000 people attend the extravagant funeral. Willy laid in state, all dressed up in a red velvet suit, complete with Fedora, diamond rings on all his fingers, hands clutching dollar bills. It takes all kinds!

Cold Room [the]: In this special laboratory, operated by General Motors, engineers operated and tested cars and parts of pre-WW2 Cadillac cars in Arctic temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

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Cole, Edward N: [men of Cadillac] He was chief design engineer from 1943, assistant chief engineer in 1944 and chief engineer from 5.6.1946 to 31.8.1950 and GM President from 1962. Born 17.9.1909 in Marne, MI. There is a photo of him in SIA11, p.12 and a story in CA 12/92, p.17. Mr. Cole was killed in an air crash in May 1977.

Cole, Dollie: She was the wife of Ed; she designed a special Cadillac limousine for King Khalid of Saudi Arabia [believed to be a 1976 model]; the car was assembled by Wisco Corporation of Ferndale, Michigan.

Cole, Tom: Collector of Cadillac advertisements [unfortunately, I do not have his address] {***}.

Collapsible: On certain body styles, this was an indication that all or only the rear part of the roof could be folded away, thus enabling the occupants to enjoy the breeze in their hair in fair weather.

"Collectible Automobile": A U.S. magazine with many Cadillac articles; these are summarized in CA 4/87, pp.92-95. Check the following issues: 9/85 [Seville 1976-1979], 8/86 [Chevrolet "El Morocco", Eldorado Brougham look-alike], 4/87 [1953-1962 convertible.], 12/88 [1942 Town Car, p. 41], 6/89 [1933 V16 convertible. Victoria], 10/89 "Die Valkyrie" - copy my photos for Harry]; [also Pontiac "K" station. wagon which Gita and I got to ride in when we visited Chuck Jordan in 1978], 4/90 [Allard J2X, Cadillac-powered], 12/90 [Cadillac 1941-1947], 2/91 [1990-1991 Eldorado Touring], 12/91[1967 Eldorado + Eldorado models from 1967-1992]

Collier, Sam and Miles: They raced a Cadillac at Le Mans in 1950.

Collins, Richard H.: [men of Cadillac] He was Cadillac President and General Manager from 1917 to 1921.

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Color: This was considered an important issue, in 1928, when Fisher and Fleetwood adopted color combinations that were suggested by the new Art & Color Section, based on some of the world's great painting masterpieces. Among them were Boticelli's "The Magnificent", Corot's "Souvenir of Normandy", Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", Hals' "The Laughing Cavalier", Holbein's "King Henry VIII", Gainsborough's "Blue Boy", Michaelangelo's "Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel", Rembrandt's "The Noble Slav", Sir Joshua Reynolds' "Col. George Coussmaker", Rubens' "Le Chapeau de Poil", Sargent's "Carnation Lily, Lily Rose", Sorolla's "Swimmers", Titian's "Flora", Velasquez' "Philip IV of Spain", Vermeer's "Head of a Young Girl", Watteau's "The Conversation" [which inspired the La Salle 5p. Sedan], Whistler's "Cremone Lights".

Color(s) [Cadillac/LaSalle]: [color combination codes for Cadillacs from 1935 to 1948 may be seen at the front of the Cadillac Master Parts Book for 1961, inter alia.]

Color(s), two-tone: >>>>>

Color and Trim : (codes and explanations) Thanks to CLC member Ralph Messina, there is an internet respource where enthusiats can find much of what they need or want to know regarding Cadillac paint colors and interior trim codes and colors.  I cannot guarantee that the website will always be funtional; it was in operation at the time of this entry (2010).  Thanks, Ralph.  Great job !

Colt, Samuel: [see "Leland"]

Coltrane, Robbie: Scots comedian, Cadillac aficionado and CLC member, Robbie toured the USA aboard a 1951 Cadillac 6267XS (the "X" presumably means the car had power windows - the "S" is a mystery); the trip was planned in the third quarter of 1992 to film a TV feature for British television entitled "Coltrane in a Cadillac". The trip took the actor from California, in early October, to New York 5 weeks later. En route he planned to visit Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Dodge City, St. Louis, Detroit and Philadelphia. Robbie owns inter alia a '49 fastback coupe and a '56 Coupe de Ville.

Comfort Control: [see "Climate control"]

Commercial cars (1939): Literature relating to [see Cadillac-LaSalle data book for 1939].

Commercial chassis: An article on Cadillac commercial chassis appeared in CLC 4/95, pp.-5.

Companion cases: Another term for the ladies' vanity and gents' smoking cases that used to be recessed in the rear quarter panels of formal cars or in the division cabinetry of town cars with rear quarter windows.

Comprehensive Service Policy: >>>>> (1920s)

Computer Command Ride: Another Cadillac suspension innovation introduced as standard safety equipment on the 1991 Seville, Eldorado and Fleetwood models (optional on the DeVille); it was an updated version of speed-dependent damping introduced on the 1990 Allanté.

Concours d'Elégance: literally an elegance competition in which not only the elegance of automobile coach-work was set off in competition but also the fashions of the great houses of haute couture [high fashions]. The first concours or competition was held on the French Riviera then subsequently in Paris, at the Parc des Princes, in 1927. Fisher's LaSalle phaeton picked up a first prize there in 1929.

"Conduite intérieure": [literally: a car driven on the inside]. This is the French equivalent of Sedan (see 1924 catalog ).

Continental Kit: An outboard-mounted spare wheel; 1955 rear view, CLCA 1982, p.35; 1956 convertible, CLCA 1982, p.35. I have yet to see one that is aesthetically pleasing on any post WW2 Cadillac. In my opinion, most of these after-market add-ons are ugly beyond belief ...but think of the space you save in the trunk !

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Continuous cowling: [see also "dual cowl"] This kind of "cowling" formed the border of the passenger compartment, mainly of open cars; in essence it was composed of narrow front, rear and side panels forming a rectangular "frame" around the seating area; continuous cowling looked like absence of cowling; the hood flowed back to the trunk area without any visible molding or beading to mark off the seating compartment. Cadillac 1930 V16 style 4260A is representative of continuous cowling.

Continuously Variable  Road Sensing Suspension [CV-RSS]: was a more evolved RSS system that had been introduced on the Allanté for 1993; CV-RSS debuted in 1996 as standard equipment on the Seville touring sedan (STS), Eldorado touring coupe (ETC) and DeVille Concours models; it gave an infinite range of damping settings, from limousine soft to race-car firm.

Controlled-Action Ride: This was a new feature introduced on the 1939 Cadillac models, the "greatest advancement in riding comfort and safety since Knee Action"....

Convertible top: A folding or soft [cloth] top.

Convertible top (latches): Usually, in the open position, the folded wooden bows were held down by a swiveling, single "claw" mounted on the sides of the car, about level with the belt line and slightly forward of the folded top. In the roadster style for 1931, a new swivel latch was introduced; it was mounted on the trunk upper valance [photo].   That year also the rumble seat door had no external handle; it was opened by an inside latch.

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Top latch, detail and handle-free rumble seat door


Convertible top (inward folding): This was a post-war breakthrough allowing more rear seat and trunk room; the new system, the "Infora Top", was designed by Del Probst and Ed Podolan of Cadillac's APE (Automotive Product Engineering), the Styling section's drafting room; read all about it in CLC 7/94, pp.17-18.

Cornering Lights: These were introduced for the first time on the 1962 Cadillac models. It gave a steady beam angling out from the side of the headlamp, lighting the driver's way in a turn.

Country Life in America: Quality pre-war US magazine that occasionally featured nice Cadillac-LaSalle ads.

Coupe: A closed, 2-door body style accommodating from 2 to 5 passengers. The 5-pass. version introduced later was called the "Victoria" and, in 1924, the "coach". The first Cadillac coupe was built in 1911; it was introduced also as a "new" body style in 1921 [I have an ad featuring the new coupe style]

Coupe de la Carrosserie: prize awarded at the Paris Concours d'élégance in the late Twenties and early Thirties for innovative, elegant automobile styling [see also Coupe de l'originalité and Trophée d'élégance Féminine Automobile].

Coupe de l'originalité: As above; a prize awarded at Paris' Concours d'élégance in the late Twenties and early Thirties for innovative styling [see also Coupe de la carrosserie and Trophée d'élégance Féminine Automobile].

Coupe de Ville: French terms meaning "cut [or open in the front] for the city". In France, a chauffeur-driven car with an open area over driver (see Town Car). The first Cadillac "Coupe de Ville" by Fleetwood [which was not a town car by a long shot) was shown during the 1949 "Autorama". It was mounted on the 60S chassis and featured, inter alia, a dummy air-scoop, chrome trim around front wheel openings, one-piece windshield and rear glass [made standard in 1950]. The show car interior was a dark color [probably black]; it was upholstered and trimmed in gunmetal gray leather, including the headliner, to match the roof color; it was equipped with a short-wave radio telephone in glove box, vanity case and secretarial pad in the rear armrest, hydraulic windows and highly decorative chrome interior hardware. This prototype "Coupe de Ville" car was used by GM President Charles E. Wilson until 1957 when he presented it to his secretary. At some time during this period it acquired a dark-colored Vicodec top (probably at the time Cadillac was experimenting with this material for its new hardtop Eldorado coupe, the "Seville", which went into production in 1956 (a prototype, the "Celebrity", had been shown at the 1955 Motorama. The first, or prototype "Coupe de Ville" was still in use in 1976 [Sch40, pp.168-169]. "Coupe de Ville" was the name given to a new Cadillac production model that made its appearance late in 1949; the car had no "B" pillars; three chrome ribs [roof bows] were apparent on the headliner, simulating the top bows of a convertible. The body is said to have been achieved by installing a fixed steel roof to an existing Series 62 convertible body; there were no reinforcements to the frame; the front seat was a split-bench type; the speedometer went up to 110 mph; the "P" ["Park"] position did not exist yet on the Hydra-Matic quadrant. The Coupe de Ville remained a popular Cadillac model for some 44 years; production stopped at the end of April 1993 (CLC 5/93, pp.4-5). More information can be found in CA 12/92, p.18.

Coupienne: French term coined for fabric grained leather that was introduced on some models by Kellner at the 1928 Paris Salon in an effort to overcome the difficulty of cleaning light canvas tops that were so much in vogue in Europe.

Cowl, cowling: Generally the horizontal metal body panel between the engine hood and windshield. Some pre-war classics had a dual-cowl or secondary cowl behind the front seat.

Cowl quarter panel ("kick pads"): (interior trim term) The section of side panel forward of the front door on the inside of the cowl.

Crank regulators: The term given to winders used to raise and lower windows and secondary windshields

Crankcase ventilation: >>>>> (1920s)

Crest (Cadillac): see "Coat of arms".

Crest (The): Monthly publication of the former Cadillac Motor Co. I have a copy of the issue for October 1928. Reproduced in CLCA for 1984, on pp.2-5, is the issue for May 1929; there is more to be seen also in CLCA 1985, pp.8-13.

licrst27.jpg (4471 bytes)     licrst28.jpg (4597 bytes)
These issues are from December, 1927 and January, 1928


Cruise Control: A device for maintaining a constant speed (e.g. on highways) without the driver having to keep his right foot on the accelerator pedal. It was introduced by Cadillac on their 1959 models. Chrysler Bulletin No. 2 for Chrysler Salesmen, published on 26.9.1958 accused Cadillac of having "taken a page from the Chrysler and Imperial book" alleging that Cadillac's "Cruise Control" was basically the same as Chrysler's and Imperial's "Auto-Pilot" and that it was operated approximately the same way. According to Jil McIntosh of Oshawa, Toronto, Canada, the automatic speed governor was, in fact, first used by Chrysler in 1958.

Cunningham, Briggs (Jr.): A US sports car builder; he raced at Watkins Glen in 1950 with a Cadillac-powered Riley-Healey [photos, anyone???]. In 1950 he prepared and ran in the same annual endurance event a stock "61" Coupe and a custom racer nicknamed "Le Monstre". Reading: SIA11, p.16; SIA80, pp.12-21,60, summary facts, RV No62, p.7 (includes drawings of "Le Monstre" and alleged stock "62" coupe (in fact a "61" coupe). See also "Car Collector", 4/81.

Curtice, Harlow H.: was born near Eaton Rapids, MI, on August 15, 1893. Schooled in Eaton Rapids, he graduated there from high school. His career path was quite exceptional:  in 1914 he applied for a bookkeeper position at the AC Spark Plug Company, in Flint, MI and the next year he was appointed its comptroller, at the age of 21;  at the  age 35 in, 1929, he was elected  president of the AC company and four years later, in 1933, he was named president of Buick.  In 1948, he was named executive vice president of GM, became its acting president four years later, in 1952, and was appointed President of General Motors the following year.  He retired in 1958.

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Harlow H. Curtice (LH photo, circa 1955)


Cushion: (upholstery term) The lower seat cushion or sitting area.

Cushion face: (upholstery term) The vertical surface forming the front and sides of seat cushions.

Custom bodies: [see "Dream Cars"].

Custom Cabriolet: Optional exterior roof design for Eldorado Coupe from 1973 and for Coupe deVille "d'Elégance" from 1974. Features a sheer chrome strap, bordered with vinyl welts that halos the entire rear roof section. The front section of the roof was painted in the body color. A sunroof was optional. [see McC p.423].

Custom Eldorado Biarritz: A limited edition Eldorado coupe built from 1976 to 1978. 1800 units were built in 1976, 1899 in 1977 (of which 404 with sun roof); production for 1978 is unknown but was probably close to 2000 units.

Custom models: These were first introduced by Cadillac in 1926. Although the fact is not mentioned in the product catalog for 1926, it is assumed that these models were built by Fleetwood, the coach-building concern absorbed by Cadillac the previous year. Their finish and appointments were vastly superior to the standard line. Among buyers of early custom bodies were Fatty Arbuckle, Marshall Field, Percy Rockefeller, Gloria Swanson and Rudolf Valentino. "Custom" cars that exceeded the conservative tastes of wealthy New Yorkers sold well in Hollywood. Cadillac's new V16 engine, introduced in December 1929, opened up a new world of operating refinement of a "custom" level. Fleetwood and Fisher built some seventy different bodies on the V16 chassis, many of them unique. Velvety smooth and powerful the V16 could proceed from an almost standing start, in high gear, to speeds approaching the ton (100 mph). The V16 surpassed all other makes in silent, smooth power yet at prices ranging from $5350 to $15000, many models were more affordable, for example than the mighty Duesenberg J with a starting price in the $12000 range. But America was suffering the worst economic depression it had ever known. The decline between 1929 and 1932 was horrendous. With 12 million unemployed workers, the dream was gone. Cars, never mind luxury models, became slightly less important to most people than having an occasional bite to eat and a place to sleep. It was not wise to flaunt wealth in those days. Dusk was on the heyday of luxury automobile production. There was a downturn in luxury and custom auto sales after 1930. Holbrook and Locke folded in 1930; by the end of 1933 Dietrich, Merrimac, Murphy, Waterhouse and Weymann American followed suit. The original, front-wheel drive L29 Cord was no longer available after 1932, Marmon folded in May 1933 and Franklin and Stutz were finished the following summer. By the late Thirties, progress in the building of mass-produced vehicles contributed to the demise of the luxury custom automobile. Cadillac managed to sell 508 units of its second generation V16 models from 1938 to 1940 but the bodies on most of these cars were shared with standard V8 models in the "75" series. Only eleven styles were available; gone were the vast selection of models that had been offered in the very early Thirties. The distinction between each model was less evident Outwardly, for example, styles 9057 and 9057B looked the same - bar the 3-piece back light on the 9057B, as did styles 9033F and 9059, and as did also styles 9019, 9019F, 9023 and 9033. You had to peek through the windows to notice the slight differences (division partition or not, jump seats or opera seats or none). At first view the model variety was limited to seven instead of twelve styles: 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible coupe, 4-door convertible sedan, 4-door town sedan, 4-door formal sedan, 4-door full-sized sedan/limousine and 4-door town car. By 1941, however, two years into the second WW, Cadillac was offering good quality, mass-produced models for only $1400 (???).

Custom Phaeton: [see also "Phaeton"] This was a model designation for a limited-edition DeVille series Sedan and Coupe, in 1979 [McC p.428].

"Custom Restyling": Title of a book by Dan Post.

Custom Viewmaster: A special sightseeing station wagon built on Cadillac chassis by Hess & Eisenhardt for Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado; other models by same firm carry the "Caravelle" plate. These wagons were also known as "Skyview Limousines".

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal: A popular monthly of the early part of the century whose title says it all. In the issue for December 1902 is mentioned the recently-formed Cadillac Automobile Company and the coming of the 5 H.P. Cadillac runabout which could travel 200 miles on the supply of water and gasoline it carried aboard. Already mentioned was the (detachable) tonneau, as also the fact that William E. Metzger, one of the first automobile salesmen in Detroit, was "connected" with the company in the capacity of Sales Manager.

Cycle fenders: This very basic type of fender that matched the wheel outline was seldom seen on Cadillac-LaSalle cars; one exception is the special, unique boat-tail, speedster designed by Pinin Farina of Italy on the 1930 V16 chassis for the Maharajah of Orccha, in India.

Cyclone: 1959 experimental model, code number XP-74, special order #90450. Story in CLCA 1980, pp.12-13; photos CLCA 1994, pp.14-21; poor photo in SIA21, p.28; more in CC&CC 5/1987{***}; AA 1959-1960, p.99; see also "Dream Cars". Principal features include "pop-out-slide back" doors (made popular by Volkswagen on its minibus series), a bubble top that raises partly to facilitate entry and egress (or folds away in the trunk area) and nose cones housing proximity-warning radar detectors. In an article published in France in the late Eighties the author referred to the "low" fins that represented the end of an era and which would appear on some early Sixties Cadillac models; in fact the car shown was the modified "Cyclone" (which was not the "Cyclone II") with drastically lowered fins; the original 1959 "Buck Roger's"-type car had towering fins (taller in fact than those on the 1959 production car) with GM's Air-Transport Division logo [a stylized white aircraft on a red and blue background]. The logo was replaced on the modified car with Cadillac's wreath and crest at the extremity of each rear fender. It is true that these reduced fins and the lower body skeg appeared in modified form on the 1961 Cadillac models. Built on a 104" chassis, the "Cyclone" was 197" long and stood only 44" tall; the body was made of steel (not fiberglass, like some experimental models); power was provided by the standard 325 HP engine fitted with a low-profile carburetor, a cross-flow aluminum radiator and two fans. The muffler and exhaust system was located in the engine compartment and the exhaust outlets were located ahead of the front wheels. The car was first shown in public during the opening of the Daytona International Speedway in 1959

Cyclone II: Cadillac designer proposal for a re-born V16 in the sixties; story in SIA8/1981, p.24. This car should not be confused with 1959 "Cyclone" that was modified in 1960; see also Dream Cars.

Cycus leaves: Formed in the shape of a wreath, they were first used to decorate a 1941 funeral "service car"; this may have been the origin of the "wreath" used by Cadillac on its "Fleetwood" models of 1966 and later.



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[ Background image:  "B" for this custom Cadillac by  Bohman, USA ]