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Cadillac Terms and Definitions

Alphabetical Cadillac and La Salle "Fact File"

D - G

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Dagmar(s): aka Jennie Lewis; Dagmar was the nickname of one Virginia Ruth Egnor, a "blonde bombshell" who achieved some notoriety in 1950-51 when she appeared on NBC's "Open House" in slinky, body-hugging gowns that underscored - for no other purpose but to provoke - the lady's very ample bosom. A view of Miss Dagmar in profile leaves little doubt why the impact guards (bumper "bombs") on fifties Cadillacs came to be known as "Dagmars"! (CA 8/93, p.47). Late extra:   Ms.Egnor, aka Jennie Lewis, aka "Dagmar", died at her home in W. Virginia on October 11, 2001, at the age of 79. I am sure that enthusiasts of Cadillacs of the fifties will join me in paying their respects and extending their deepest sympathy to her family and friends on this sad occasion.

Dagmar0.jpg (4004 bytes)  Dagmar1.jpg (3197 bytes)      dagmar.JPG (12216 bytes)      Dagmar0a.jpg (4619 bytes)  Dagmar1a.jpg (3297 bytes)
The pair on the left (the two photos, I mean) show Miss Egnor and the 1953 Cadillac front clip.
The pair on the right (yes, you know what I mean) make an interesting fashion statement!

Center: another publicity photo of the busty beauty, courtesy of Collectible Automobile


Dalgleish Cadillac: Detroit Cadillac dealer whose showrooms stand near the site of the original Cadillac plant (that was later razed) at Cass and Amsterdam; I took pictures there in September 1994.

Dali, Salvador: Renowned Spanish painter. He used two catalog images of the 1941 Cadillac sedans and limousines as the theme of one of his famous paintings (oil on canvas). The upper car [LH image, below] is a spanking new, blue Series 75, 7-pass. touring sedan with blue wheels, draped in blue velvet; the other, the lower one [RH image, below], is a sadder looking Series 67, 5p. gray touring sedan with red wheels; the front passenger door panel on the latter car has "rotted" away, revealing a red brick "wall"; the car is draped in black velvet and dead tree roots are growing out the RH rear fender and rear roof. The painting symbolizes grandeur and decadence. The models are without doubt copied from the de luxe, ring-bound 1941 color catalog. The painting is reproduced in the book "Automobile & Culture" p.116; original size is given as 19¾x15½" [HW collection]. I have a copy that was printed exclusively for IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant. The originals entitled "Dressed Automobile" are in the Gala Salvador Dali Foundation at Figueras, Spain. They are oil on card and measure approx. 15½x10½" [39½x27cms]. Doubtless these paintings were inspired by a pair of renowned 17th century classical paintings by Spain's Francisco Goya, circa 1797-1800, entitled  "La Maja Desnuda" (the naked maja) et "La Maja Vestida" (the clothed maja); they are self explanatory.

41dali1.jpg (27960 bytes)   41dali.jpg (32413 bytes)  
1941 Cadillac "clothed" models; the basic models are copied from the ring-bound, prestige

color catalog of 1941 models (Fleetwood Style #7523, left,  and Fisher style  #6719, right);
the artist himself owned a 1941 Cadillac convertible sedan;  when it had done its time,
converted it to a "statue" that is now exhibited at the Dali Museum in Figueras, Spain

This plaster "toy" found in a souvenir shop in Barcelona, in March 2012,
obviously was inspired by Dali's painting (above, left)

Trivia: Dali met GM President Harlowe Curtice, in Paris, during the Annual Motor Show there, in October 1959. On that occasion, Ms. Curtice lunched with Dali who convinced her he would be a good designer for a Cadillac show car that, like the  Eldorado Brougham (Pinin Farina's Jacqueline ???) that was on display, might well be shown one day in Paris. Cadillac President, Don Ahrens, later met Dali at his hôtel particulier (typical French high-class luxury apartment)  to chat about such a possibility; he asked what Dali might want as payment  for such a design contribution; Dali said he would be happy simply with "a Cadillac of his choice". A few weeks later, Dali did send some drawings (I wonder if they survived?). His car was  clothed (like the 1941 models in the two paintings, above) in a purple robe with gold tassels all round; it featured two paired sets of windows; one offered the occupants total privacy, having the moon and stars on the glass; it could be lowered so as to be street-legal. Dali named his car the Debutante (a name that had been used already by Cadillac for a custom model built on the 1950 chassis - see below). Anyway, GM decided Dali's proposal was not something they would want to actually build, even for show; they duly retuned the drawings. About a year later (1960?), Curtice had a Buick custom-built for his daughter's coming-out party; he named it the Debutante, like the 1950  Cadillac show car. No sooner was that Debutante  announced than Dali wrote to thank GM for adopting his name for the car and asking for an Eldorado Brougham (1960 model?) as payment for "his" work. It is not known how the case was settled but it is believed that Dali did get an Eldorado Brougham. Ahrens  was not sure that a design inspired by Dali ever could have been used by GM or Cadillac. He said it was conceivable, nevertheless, that Cadillac and Dali might well have put something together, perhaps for a show, because Dali's work was "tops" in his field.

Damascening: Damacene or "Damasceen" work = a form of engine turning to give an ornate metal finish [Fr. "bouchonnage"]. It was achieved by drilling a tight-knit pattern of circular swirls and was an eye-appealing but costly way of finishing items like engine blocks or hoods, it was seen only rarely on Cadillac-LaSalle cars. When mild steel was used in lieu of aluminum or stainless steel, the parts had to be clear-varnished to prevent corrosion.

29-30Damaskeen.jpg (98134 bytes)

31HoodDamask.jpg (41210 bytes)      31HoodDamask4.jpg (37035 bytes)

 31HoodDamask2.jpg (40170 bytes)     31HoodDamask3.jpg (24590 bytes)
This damascened Fleetood hood came up for sale on Ebay, in November 2010; bidding climbed to over $2500 but did not meet the vendor's reserve.
[ Photos:  Internet - Ebay ]


Damsels of Design: they were a team of female designers put together in the late fifties by GM's Chief designer, Harley Earl. His intention was to demonstrate how the feminine touch could be a positive influence in the design of automobiles. In 1959, his team created a series of "feminized" GM cars that became a feature for the 1959 GM Motorama. The line-up included 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), the Buick Shalimar, by Marjorie Ford (who presented also a second feminized Buick) and the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Baroness, by Sue Vanderbilt.

damsels.jpg (27039 bytes)
Harley Earl and his Damsels of Design; they include Jeanette Linder, Ruth Glennie,
Suzanne Vanderbilt, Sandra Longyear, Marjorie Pohlman and Peggy Sauer

Here is a B&W  photo (with an inset) showing Earl's eight "damsels" in question, grouped around GM's Firebird III prototype

         PEGGSAU2.JPG (4515 bytes)
Peggy Sauer's "feminized" Oldsmobile included a leather-padded Evans vanity case
with a wide-angled "V" motif like the one used in the Eldorado Brougham
models of 1957-58


D'Arcy-MacManus and Masius: This was the advertising company that long dealt with promoting the Cadillac.

Darrin, Howard A. "Dutch" [see also H&D]: There is an article on Darrin in CC&CC, 7/1982, pp.12-19. After WW2, in association with the Kaiser Frazer Corporation, Darrin built some 50 sports cars between 1955 and 1958 using the Cadillac Eldorado 331.1 ci motor as a power plant. It developed 270HP at 4600 rpm; the wheel base of the Henry J. chassis was 100" and the finished car was only 184.1" long. In 1989 these models were valued between $12,000 and $20,000. In 1956 the Darrin used the 1956 Eldorado motor (365 cu.in. 305HP at 4700 rpm); in 1957 it went up to 325HP at 4800 rpm, and in 1958 to 335HP at 4800 rpm. The cost was $4350. Check the letter and photo in SIA118, p.60.

Data books: These useful reference works were issued exclusively to Cadillac salesmen to help them convince Cadillac owners to buy the year's new models and to sway the decision of other, potential first-time Cadillac buyers. The books contain a wealth of detailed information on body and mechanical features, interiors, changes and innovations from previous year.

Dbook65.jpg (4201 bytes)


Davidson-Cadillac armored car: A special development of 1915 by Major Royal P. Davidson (who later graduated to the rank of Colonel). Among other vehicles designed for military use, including machine-gun and searchlight carriers, he put together a fleet of 8 military vehicles on Cadillac chassis including a scout car (with a periscope), two communications cars (wireless), a kitchen car (with ovens), a hospital car, a balloon destroyer, a quartermaster's car and the first full armored car [see MH, pp.110-11].

Davis, Francis W.: The "father" of power steering in the early Twenties. The test car he used was a Pierce Arrow, not a Cadillac. Davis died circa 1977 at the age of 91.

Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company: [see "DELCO"].

Dayton-Wright Company: US coach-builders; they built at least one custom body on the Cadillac chassis [I have a photo in my pre-war "Custom" album].

Dealerships, Cadillac:  For almost 100 years now, Cadillac automobiles have been sold through a network of dealerships. Nineteen of them are listed an an early brochure from 1903; I don't have an up to date listing, but I am guessing that currently they must number 1000 or more in the world.

South Miami dealer showroom front (fresco still stands - 2012)

Hillcrest Cadillac, Los Angeles

Another location for Hillcrest Motor Co.: circa 1961-62


Cashman's Cadillac, Las Vegas, circa 1951-52


From the look of that Ford Crown Victoria (?) in the foreground, I'm guessing the photo is from circa 1955-56

Los Angeles' Casa de Cadillac in 1956

The famed Hollywood Cadillac dealer, Clarence Dixon
: circa 1958-59

pcdlr.jpg (8475 bytes)     Pcdlr2.jpg (6387 bytes)-
Unknown US Cadillac dealership: circa 1959-60

Martin West Cadillac, Los Angeles, circa 1975


Dealerships, Cadillac  (in foreign lands):

K. Landeweer's Cadillac dealership in Utrecht, Holland, circa 1915
[photo courtesy CONAM (Dutch historic automobile Website)] 


Debutante: The designation of a special 1950 show car; see also the "Dream Cars" database.

Dr50debu.jpg (7743 bytes)


Delafon, Olivier: French collector from Paris; has various "Presidential" models [not all Cadillacs] including one 1955 Fleetwood limousine said to have been Ike Eisenhower's personal car; report and photos in "Le Matin", Lausanne newspaper, 30 July 1991, p.14. I met Olivier at the Keyaerts Cadillac Museum in May 1992 and supplied him with photos of many other "presidential" Cadillacs.

Delbosc, Jacques: A friend and French dental surgeon who organizes on alternate years the International Cadillac Meet of Castelsarrasin, in SW France, located near the birthplace of Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac, founder of Detroit in 1701. Here are some of the meet posters:

delb93.jpg (10017 bytes)    delb95.jpg (9134 bytes)    delb97.jpg (8909 bytes)    delb99.jpg (8784 bytes)
From left to right:  posters from the years 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999

Delbosc01.jpg (18189 bytes)    Delbosc03.jpg (19690 bytes)    Delbosc05.jpg (13959 bytes)
...and those for 2001, 2003   and 2005


Delahaye: The 1936 Paris Salon model 135M with body by Figoni & Falaschi served as the inspiration for a custom creation by Willy Hartmann of Lausanne, Switzerland, on the 1937 Cadillac V16 chassis. A picture of the Delahaye can be seen in RT, June 1947, p.13, top left (it was owned at that time by Bob Grier, President of the Motor Sport Club of New York - who knows where that car is today ???).

FFKHAN05.JPG (8399 bytes)  
The 1936, Paris Salon Delahaye 135M roadster by Figoni & Falaschi, France (left)
that is said to have inspired the 1937 Cadillac V16 roadster by Willy Hartmann, Switzerland (right);
in any case,  in the nineties, someone replaced the original Hartmann dash plaque on the Cadillac
with another that reads: Dessin original Figoni Falaschi [Original Design by Figoni Falaschi]


DELCO: The acronym of the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, which Charles F. Kettering had organized.

d'Elégance: A model suffix of some limited edition Cadillac cars from 1974. The name (like many other French ones used not only by Cadillac but also by other automobile designers and manufacturers) shows an ignorance of the French language. In all probability it was borrowed from the French "concours d'élégance". The Cadillac "d'Elégance" models are mentioned in McC p.421 and 428.

Delivery Wagon: An early commercial vehicle generally consisting of a closed, box-like construction with double rear doors for goods deliveries. Cadillac offered delivery vans from 1903 through 1909. The body was detachable and could be put on any Cadillac runabout in only a few minutes; the inside dimensions were 3'8" wide, 2'6" long and 3'6" high. Cost was $100. A photo of a Cadillac "delivery" can be seen in CATJ, 11/03. The 1904 "delivery", costing $900, was a model in its own right.

DeMars, Robert T.: He thoroughly investigated the production of the aerodynamic Cadillac coupe models of 1933-1937 (CLCA ...).

Demi-tonneau: An open body style that was introduced with the very first 1903 Models; it consisted of a runabout with a detachable tonneau in the rear; the term "Demi-tonneau" was first used with the 4-cyl. Cadillac Model 30 in 1909; it went out with the 1911 models.

Derelict Cadillac: Title of photo in CC, 11/85, p.4; the car is a 1940 model.

Derham Body Company, Rosemont PA: U.S. coach-builder; they designed and built many bodies on the Cadillac chassis including, inter alia, a very beautiful 1942 town car; story in CLCA 1987, p.23. The Derham story was told in full to John H. Grotz of the Classic Car Club of America, by Enos Derham, the founder of the company. This was related in a series of six articles published in "Classic Car" (organ of the CCA) – in Vol. 10, Nos 1 – 4 and Vol. 11, Nos. 1 and 2. The company was founded in the twenties, in Rosemont, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. By 1933, depression had taken its toll on many independent coach builders like Dietrich, Holbrook, Locke, Murphy, Waterhouse. Derham survived by making low budget limousines for Ford. The took on also a De Soto-Plymouth franchise, which gave them an opening into the Chrysler Imperial custom program [they built convertible Victoria and convertible sedan bodies. Full scale custom bodies were no longer the fashion. Derham moved into the area of custom alterations of factory-built bodies. Up to the start of WW2, Derham specialized in making town cars, collapsible landaulets and formal. They worked on Cadillac, Chrysler (Imperial and New Yorker), Duesenberg, Franklin, Lincoln, Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Stutz cars. By 1942 Derham had almost a monopoly on custom body modifications. During WW2, the company concentrated 95% of its efforts on war-related production.  After WW2 most production consisted in small production runs of Packard limousines and conversions on commission from wealthy individuals who wanted to formalize their cars (Cadillac had stopped making formal sedans (with closed rear quarters) in 1942. Bullet-proof limousines were another source of income; these were popular in the unstable regimes of Latin America and the Middle-East. They cost about $20,000 over and above the cost of the standard Fleetwood limousine which itself ran from $6,000-$10,000 from 1946 through the mid-sixties. One of the last Derham conversions for a wealthy individualist was a Corvair …of all things; it was shown at the NY Auto Show in January 1963. Standard post-war conversions generally included a padded roof, enclosed rear quarters, a small back light. (sometimes oval in shape), rear seat armrest storage compartments and a script name plate on the hood side or lower front fender. Possible articles on Derham in  Road & Track, Jan. 1950, pp.7 and 16, as well as Motor Trend, June 1953, P.16 [[could someone please check it out and verify the information?]]

Derham, Enos: Founder of the foregoing coach building firm.

De Sakhnoffsky, Alexis: He was a renowned auto stylist'; he did some beautiful styling renderings of the 1934 La Salle [see 1634 La Salle ads].

Design Study Models: The first step in the production of a new model is to select it from among the numerous sketches and drawings produced in the design studios. A full-sized "concept vehicle" is then sculpted in clay (which is easy to work with, to make changes). By comparison with a drawing or photograph, a full-sized model enables designers to see the car in the round, assess its proportions and the overall effects of each line. Once approved, the model is cast in fiberglass (originally plaster) [see also "Sketches and renderings"]

Cadillac designers working on the new models for 1959-60


Designers' drawings: Some late Forties models may be admired in CLCA 1991, pp.10-14.

Detroit: Automobile capital of the world; home of Cadillac production since 1902.

Detroit Automobile Company: A company that was being liquidated in 1902 by its founders and which was put back on its feet by Henry Leland. It became the Cadillac Automobile Company on 22 August 1902.

Detroit Public Library: It has a section on automobile history [the NAHC - National Automobile History Collection] whose curator was very helpful to me, in September 1994, in my search for facts and information about Cadillac and LaSalle cars.

De Villars: French designer and coach-builder; he did at least one custom job on the Cadillac V12 chassis for 1934. It was mentioned in a 1935 issue of the French magazine LaC. There is an artist's drawing in McC p. 189. A photo appeared also on the cover of LVA (which issue ???)

De Ville: From the French de la ville or de ville meaning "of the town". In French coach building parlance, a coupé de ville, from the French couper (to cut) and ville (town or city), refers to a town car that is "cut" by a division between the passenger and driver compartments. Cadillac began using the term - erroneously - in 1949 to designate a luxuriously appointed, two-door, pillarless 5-6 seater with no division between driver and passengers. After 1965 it came to designate the mid-range Cadillac models, between the "Calais" models, at the lower end of the price range, and the "Fleetwood" models at the top end. The name is still applied to a single model in the current [1997] diminutive range of Cadillac models. Alternative spellings have been witnessed: "Coupe (or Sedan) de Ville" [lower case «d»] and "deVille" [run together].

Detroit Auto ShowNew Cadillac models have been shown there each year since 1902.  The first such show was held in 1899; it was organized by William E. Metzger, owner of a cycle shop at 13 Grand River (that shop was to become Detroit's first auto dealership - the first of its kind in America).  The Tri-State show (as it was called at that time) was repeated at the Light Guard Armory in 1900 and 1901. By 1902, Detroit boasted five auto dealerships, and the Tri-State Association decided to hold a show exclusively for motor vehicles. This hugely successful show laid the pattern for all future Detroit auto exhibits; it was the informal beginning too of  the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA). The Tri-State group continued to hold shows in 1904, 1905 and 1906, but by 1907 Detroit's auto dealerships had increased to 16 and these businessmen decided it was time to hold their own show, separate from Tri-State. The dealers chose Dec. 9-15 for the 1907 show, two months before the Tri-State event. They soon discovered that Tri-State held an exclusive lease on the Light Guard Armory, and as a result, the first auto dealers' show debuted at Beller's Beer Garden on Jefferson, near the approach to the Belle Isle Bridge. By  1910 the Detroit show had become a major event; it was staged that year at Wayne Gardens at the foot of Third street.  In 1917, the show was held at the Billy Sunday Tabernacle tent on the old DAC Athletic Field, then called Grindley Field and soon to become the site of Convention Hall near Woodward and Warren, perhaps making up for the show's debut at a beer garden.  Despite the unusual venue the show became one of the most successful of the early exhibits. The interior of the Tabernacle had been decorated to resemble a Japanese garden. Later, the Grindley family completed the permanent Convention Hall in time for the 1924 exhibit, which housed the annual auto shows until the beginning of World War II (as a matter of interest, in 1922, the cars on show ranged in price from under $500 to a whopping $17,000).  After WW2, even the Convention Hall, which at one time boasted America's largest exposition area on one floor, became too small for the rapidly expanding auto industry. From 1954-1956 the show was staged at the Michigan State Fairgrounds before moving to the Detroit Artillery Armory, where it remained until 1960. That year, the auto show was held at Cobo Center, and it continues at that site today. In 1989, the annual exhibit was re-titled the first International Auto Show [excerpted from an article by Patricia Zacharias / The Detroit News]

Dewar, Thomas (Sir): He was a wealthy member of the British Parliament and founder of the trophy that carried his name [see "Dewar Trophy"]; it was awarded annually for the most notable advances in automobile technology.

Dewar Trophy: The cup was donated by Sir Thomas R. Dewar, M.P. to be awarded each year by the Royal Automobile Club of England "to the motor car which should successfully complete the most meritorious performance or test furthering the interests and advancement of the [automobile] industry". It was won by Cadillac in 1908 for parts interchangeability and again in 1913 for the electric starter and electric lights. In February 1908, three cars from the 1907 production were released from the stock of Frederick Bennett (UK agent for Cadillac) at the Heddon Street showroom in London (engine Nos. 23391, 24111 and 24118). The three cars, registered in London under the numbers A2EO, A3EO and A4EO, were driven 25 miles to the Brooklands race track at Weybridge. There, the cars completed another 25 miles before being put under lock and key until Monday March 2, 1908 when they were released and disassembled completely; their 721 component parts being scrambled in one heap. Eighty-nine parts requiring extreme accuracy were withdrawn from the heap, locked away at the Brooklands club house and replaced with new parts from the showroom stock. A mechanic - Mr. E.O. Young - reassembled the cars with the help of his assistant - Mr. M.M. Gardner. Sometimes they had to work ankle-deep in water, using only wrenches and screwdrivers. The third car was re-assembled by Tuesday evening, March 10. By 2 p.m. on Friday March 13 the three cars had completed the mandatory 500-mile run with singular regularity. Only one point was lost owing to a broken cotter pin in the ignition lever (promptly replaced from stock). During the event, it was reported that one of the sheds where the parts were stored became partly flooded during a heavy storm and some parts became rusted. Only oily rags could be used to remove all traces of the immersion. On completion of the test, one of the cars was placed under lock and key where it remained until the start of the 2000-miles Reliability Trials, several months later. It came out the winner of the R.A.C. Trophy! Parts interchangeability could not have been proven in any other more appropriate way [an article containing some factual errors about the trophy is included at p.39 of the 1919 book on Cadillac's participation in WW1: foot of page "The emblem [cup?] which was three [two!] times awarded Cadillac, the parent of standardized automotive construction."

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The RAC's Dewar Trophy


Dewar Trophy (2): The winner of 1908 was Cadillac, for demonstrated interchangeability of all component parts. Here is one of the three cars entered in the trials.

dewrrac2.jpg (5079 bytes)


Dezer, Michael: Miami restaurant/hotel owner whose establishment is decorated with Fifties American cars including a few Cadillacs; see NIT Special M1602, pp.6-11.

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Just a few of the many cars in the Dezer collection


DFI: Direct Fuel Injection, see 1988 engines (CCI, 28:3). The following comments were added at the suggestion of   John Fobian, SAH member  #2017: DFI: DFI stands for Digital Fuel Injection. Direct fuel injection, just  coming into practice now, involves injection of fuel directly into the engine combustion chamber, instead of into the intake ports.

DHS: DeVille High Luxury Sedan [describing the new, 2000 Cadillac deVille model]

Dickey seat: This is the English name for the "rumble" seat. It is also known as the "Mother-in-Law" seat and is a folding seat built into the trunk area of many pre-war automobiles.

Dickinson Bros.:: Printers of early Cadillac sales literature, starting circa 1905; they were located in Grand Rapids, MI.

D'Ieteren Frères S.A. (Anciens Etablissements): The D'Ieteren brothers were renowned coach-builders in Brussels, Belgium; they designed and built at least one town car and one town car landaulet on the 1929 Cadillac chassis [see GH p.101], also McC, p.125 ???

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Dickinson Bros.: Detroit printing company that put out some early Cadillac sales literature including the small, 1905 booklet entitled "When the College Boy Came Home".

Dietrich, Marlene: German-born actress who made it big in Hollywood. She owned at one time one of two 1935 V-16 Town cars (style 5025); I have some photos, including one from the book by British actor David Niven "The Moon's a balloon". The car appears briefly in a news commentary filmed when Marlene was in London, spending a weekend with David Niven (that could be the source of the photo in the Niven book). The car is believed to have been sold, as part of the Sword auction, in London in 1965. It was last reported in Australia. One of three similar town cars from the V16 production of 1933 now resides in the Keyaerts Cadillac Museum, in Langeais, France. The owners believe that it too was owned by the German actress although I have seen no known photographic evidence to substantiate the claim; I would tend to doubt that even Miss Dietrich would have acquired two such unique automobiles in so short a time. One of the other two 1933 V16 town cars was bought by Joan Crawford, another Hollywood leading lady.

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Dillinger-Gaines Coach Works: A New York firm specializing in "stretched" Limousines. "The Executive" limousine and the "Trump Golden Edition" both built 1988 in collaboration with New York developer, Donald Trump are pictured in Cadillac news sheet, Vol. 2, issue 1 (in my 1988 literature drawer).

Dimov, Daniel "Zoot": An old friend of mine who writes for NIT; I have a photo of him beside a 1946 Cadillac, taken at the meet I organized near Geneva in 1984 (see NIT43, p.15).

Di-Noc: This is an imitation wood veneer used to decorate instrument panels, door friezes and divisions in the Forties. The Di-Noc company of Cleveland are believed to have supplied Cadillac with the materials for, inter alia, the original burl walnut finish on 1941 instrument panels.

Directional Signals ["Flickers"]: These were first used on Cadillac models in late 1939 and became standard in 1940 [source: MH, p.466]. In 1960, the repeaters were mounted on the front fenders

Disc wheel: A continental fashion that was introduced on American cars after WW1; there were two distinct types:

  1. a solid disc attached to the wheel hub and supporting the rim at its outer perimeter
  2. a thin, decorative disc that simply hid the wooden spokes of artillery wheels.

Division glass: A glass partition, also referred to as "division window", located between the driver's and passengers' compartments in spacious limousines. Adding such a division to a sedan turns it into an "imperial" (what is called a "limousine" in modern parlance). The early division was retractable, using a crank-down system; sliding versions were also used. In the modern age, electric motors replaced the hand crank although a gradual return to the sliding division has been noticeable in recent years in order to reduce the overall weight and production cost of such cars.

Dixon, Clarence J.: He was the service manager for Don Lee Inc., the main Cadillac dealer in San Francisco in the Twenties and Thirties. He participated in a grueling test run with a V16 sedan in 1931; it came to be known as the M-B-D Scientific Expedition [see MH, p.162].

Doeskin: A popular upholstery material in the Golden Age of coach building of the late Twenties and early Thirties.

Dome Vent and Light: A feature of many Fleetwood bodies in the thirties, this device combined dome lighting and in the passenger compartment, as well as ventilation when the car was under way. Below is a cut out view from the 1929-30 Book of Fleetwood.

29-30fltDomeVent.jpg (17550 bytes)


Don Lee: [see Lee, Don].

Door pads: (upholstery term) The upholstered part of a door or section of door below window glass.

Doors and door hinges: If you look closely at the door configuration of pre-war Cadillacs you will notice that they differ from one style to another in the way they open. The various configurations are:

  1. center-hinged [both front and rear doors are hinged to the "B" pillar, aft of the front seat]
  2. forward-opening doors [front doors are hinged at the "A" pillars and the rear doors at the "B" pillars]
  3. rear-opening or so-called "suicide" doors [front doors are hinged at the "B" pillars and the rear ones at the "C" pillars]
  4. center-opening or rear "suicide" doors [front doors hinged at the "A" pillar and rear doors at the "C" pillar], made for easy access of passengers or loading of parcels.

Dorn, Robert L.: Men of Cadillac; Chief Engineer in GM North American Operations (Nineties)

Draft-Free Ventilation: This was a feature introduced by Fisher in December 1932 on Buick cars. It consisted in an "adjustable windshield wing" (what came to be known as a vent window or "ventipane") which was controlled by "an irreversible worm gear regulator" holding it in any set position. The principle was that air entered at the front of the wing and was drawn out again at the rear, thus creating a vortex near that one vent window, preventing uncomfortable drafts. All cars with Fisher bodies were fitted with these vent windows, front and rear, starting in 1933 (AT, 3.12.1932, pp.223+230).

Drauz-Pullman: A German custom coach-builder. They designed (but may not have built) a 6-7 seater convertible touring car and 4-5 seater town car on Cadillac chassis. An article about it appeared in the German "Motor" for June 1931.

Dream Cars [Cadillac powered]: Among notable "dream cars" using Cadillac engines were a custom Pierce-Arrow 66 designed by Harley Earl for Fatty Arbuckle on a 168" wheel base chassis with a Cadillac V63 motor [it may be admired in the Don Lee catalog for 1920]. There is an entire section of the present database devoted to dream cars and rare Cadillac and La Salle models [check the index]

Dream Car "Snap-On Tools" 1993 calendar: 12 photos (12x11") from Bortz Auto collection, photos by Tom Fritz Studios, $12 from The Bortz Auto Collection, P.O. Box 280, Highland Park, IL 60035-0280 [source: Autoweek, 14.12.92]

Dreystadt, Nicholas: [men of Cadillac] A former cost-accountant, he took over from Larry Fisher as Cadillac General Manager from 1.6.1934 to 1.6.1946, when he was transferred to Chevrolet division as General Manager [photo McC, p.190]. John F. Gordon took his place. Mr. Dreystadt became associated with Cadillac in 1916. He became parts and general service manager in 1926; in 1932 he was appointed Works Manager and in June 1934 General Manager.

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Driver's license: The first one was delivered to Harold T. Birnie on 15 May 1900; it was called an "engineer's certificate".

Drop-Head Coupe: A British term for a roadster or Convertible Coupe [see 1927 sales literature listing].

Dropped door sills: Up to 1930 car doors did not extend below the frame rails. In 1928, the French coach-builder Gaston Grummer (quickly followed by others like Kellner and Van den Plas) startled and pleased the buying public by dropping the doors to running-board level, thus suppressing the valances. Other coach-builders, including Fleetwood, found a compromise by placing the door sills at an intermediate point between the top of the frame and the running boards (CL, 1/30).

Drum headlights: These were introduced in 1927.

DTS: "DeVille Touring Sedan" [describing the new, 2000 Cadillac deVille model]

Dual Braking System: This was introduced on the 1962 Cadillac models; it featured a dual-type power brake master cylinder with a separate piston and brake fluid reservoir for the front wheel brakes and the rear wheel brakes.

Dual cowl: [also known as a "Secondary Cowl"] It divided the front and rear seating areas of open cars into two distinct compartments. Some secondary cowls were fixed, other hinged. Some included a secondary windshield that could be cranked down or folded forward, flat against the cowl.

Dual-Range Hydra-Matic: A technical article on this new transmission appeared in CLC, 5/90, p.10.

Duchess, The: Nickname given to special 1941, C-body sedan, with "Sixty Special" overtones, designed and built by Fleetwood for the Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Spencer. The full story: S40 book, pp.56-57.

Duco lacquers: These exterior paint finishes were first used on the 1924 Cadillac models after extensive testing on GM's "Oakland" cars. Their quick drying properties speeded up automobile production. Thus the 1926 Cadillacs could be offered in 500 color combinations.

Duesenberg (Cadillac-powered): CA 7/1984, p.20. It is not known how many of these cars were built. A prototype survives.

Duesenberg (with Cadillac body): "J" #303, berline.

"Dumpster" Photo Albums [the]  [Trivia]: James Joseph Irvin - a visitor to the CLC Message Board in January, 2003, wrote:  Like most people, I search E-bay and I found a grouping of original Cadillac photo albums. I really didn't know much about these but I figured I had to own them. The first album is from 1954, it has approximately 1200 photos by Cadillac's own in house photographer of day-to-day life at the Cadillac plant, Cadillacs being assembled, concept Cadillacs, famous people picking up their Cadillacs (e.g. Nat King Cole, Soupy Sails, etc.), V.I.P.s on tour, plant photos, beautiful models with cars ... and the list goes on. The second album is from 1955 it has approximately 800 photos including Liberace's 1954 Cadillac Eldorado, 1955 workers' strike, V.I.P.'s Cadillacs stoned, Cadillac delivery truck (cool!), models, auto show, several pre-1940 Cadillacs too. There's just too much too list. I have been contacted by several people about these albums, which were not known to exist; they have created quite a stir. I would like to know if anybody has any information about these that might be able to help me. I am willing to sell them since my own interest is in Cadillacs from 1930-1935.

It turns out that the two albums acquired by Jim were part of a larger selection of these VERY RARE factory photo albums. They were recovered from a dumpster (!!!), outside the Cadillac factory, by someone who had his head screwed on the right way. All were subsequently offered for sale on e-Bay. Fortunately, some of them were able to be acquired by the Cadillac-La Salle Club Museum and Research Center.  The most interesting among the MANY photos recovered will be scanned and many will gradually be incorporated in The (new) Cadillac Database© for your viewing pleasure.

Durant, William Crapo "Willie" or "Billy": He built the General Motors empire, acquiring first Buick, then Oldsmobile before buying out Cadillac in 1909 for $5,669,000 after failing to clinch the deal proposed the previous year by Wilfrid Leland at $3,500,000. Cadillac, in the meantime, had won the Dewar Trophy, and so the price went up.

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E & G Classics, Inc.: They build conversions on Cadillac chassis [late 80's]. Address: E & G Classics, Inc., 8909 McGaw Court, Columbia, MD 21045.

Earl, Harley J. (1893-1969): [men of Cadillac] He was a renowned Cadillac and GM stylist (story in CLCA 30th anniversary issue, p.70-71). His scrapbooks, which I was fortunate to be able to view when I was in Detroit in the Fall of 1994, are mentioned in SIA34, p.22. He was born on 22.11.1893, the son of Jacob W. Earl, owner of Earl Automobile Works [established in 1889] at 1320 S. Main Street in Los Angeles. Harley was one of 5 children [one of his brothers was the manager of the Cadillac showroom on Wiltshire Bd.]. Earl graduated from Stanford University. He was a big man, standing 6 '5 " tall. His first known design was for silent movie star "Fatty" Arbuckle. It was a Pierce-Arrow 66 on 168" wheel base,  powered by a Cadillac V63 motor. Harley joined Don Lee Cadillac [at 7th Av. and Bixel] in Los Angeles in 1919. Don Lee bought the Earl Automobile Works and put Harley in charge of all new body designs. Earl was a personal friend of many early movie greats, including cowboy star Tom Mix, and he custom designed cars for them. He had a folding "Director's Chair" he would sit in when he was on the design-room floor with his staff. In 1925, Don Lee ordered 100 Cadillac V63s; Larry Fisher, on a tour of Cadillac dealerships, went out west to see the coachwork being done on them. He and Alfred Sloan met Earl, who was then 32. The two Detroit men were impressed with Earl's use of modeling clay in the design of automobile bodies; they offered him a consulting job with GM. He started at GM in January 1926, working on the new LaSalle, which got rave reviews when it was launched the following year. The success of the LaSalle drove Earl to re-design the 1928 Cadillacs and to create the Art & Color section which was answerable directly to GM President, Alfred Sloan. Earl was responsible also for the 1933 V16 fastback shown at the Chicago World's Fair A Century of Progress; it set the theme for the 1934 models with their slender, vertical "egg-crate" grille. Every year, in the fall, Earl traveled to Europe to attend the London and Paris automobile shows; he frequently brought back from these shows new styling ideas which he incorporated in subsequent Cadillac models. His first so-called "dream car" was GM's   "Y-Job" (a prototype set on a Buick chassis); he had begun work on it in 1938 although it was only shown for the first time on 5.4.1940, when it was hailed as the "car of the future".  Earl used the Y-Job for his personal transportation throughout the 40s. Just after WW2 he started on a new design, Le Sabre which was later to influence the design and styling of  many Cadillacs of the fifties. Earl was GM Vice-President in charge of styling from 3.9.1940 until he retired 1.12.1958. He passed away on 10.4.1969. Earl's story may be found in TQ 5-6/1979. There are also articles, in French, on Harley Earl in Autos Classiques #81, 3-4/97 (p.104), as also in in Auto Moto Retro, #64, 12/85 (pp.18-25). To explain Earl's vision of styling would take far too long; let me sum it up by this statement he made in 1956: "There was a time when we in General Motors styling felt we had to hold back on some of our design ideas because the public wasn't ready for them yet. In the showing of dream cars about the nation, however, we learned that the public's thinking was ahead of ours, not behind. More than two million persons see our experimental cars each year in the Motorama alone. They talk about them, they say what the like [about them] - and what they don't like. And we listen very carefully." For a more intimate "inside look" at Harley Earl, the man and the legacy, check out this web site devoted to the genius by his grandson, Richard.

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In the 2nd photo, Earl is holding a scale model of his brain child, the 1927 La Salle;
3rd photo: Earl with some futuristic finned fantasies in 1954; far right: with Bill Mitchell (left)

Earl with the 1954 Eldorado and Coupe de Ville models
[ illustration from 1954 merchandising brochure ]

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Earl in 1955, with two of his proteges,
Bill Mitchell (left) and Ned Nickles (right)

Harley Earl Trivia: writing on the Internet, in 2008, one reader said: "In his later years, Harley Earl was granted English nobility status, becoming the Duke of Earl."  I countered that "King", "Duke", "Earl", "Viscount" and "Baron" all are genuine, indicifual British noble titles (in descending order of rank); "Duke of Earl" was no such a title, it was simply a "would be" title describing a person (like the great Harley Earl in this case) who overachieves at anything he/she does. It is also, in fact, the "noble title" adopted by one Gene Chandler (born Eugene Dixon), known more simply as "The Duke", an American R&B singer-songwriter best known for his million-selling hit, "Duke Of Earl".


Edwards: A U.S. sports car built by Edwards Engineering Co., San Francisco, Ca., in 1955. The engine was from the 1955 Cadillac (sometimes also the 1954 Lincoln). Three units were built and sold for $7800; the wheel base was 107", length 179", tires 8.20x15. The value, in 1989, was circa $5000-7000.

EFI: [see "Electronic Fuel Injection"]

Egg crate grille (horizontal): This was a styling feature Cadillac introduced in 1941 that is with us still today.

Eggli: A Swiss coach-builder from Lausanne; he designed and built a hearse on the 1967 Cadillac chassis (see book, "Histoire de l'Automobile", Atlas and HW collection ).

Egnor, Virginia Ruth: aka Dagmar, of TV fame in the fifties (see Dagmar, above)]. Ms. Egnor died at her home in W. Virginia on October 11, 2001, at the age of 79.

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Eighties Cadillacs: Interesting article in CC, 8/87, pp.33-42.

Eisenhower ('53 Eldorado parade car): [see "Presidents on wheels"]

Elascofab: A synthetic, coated fabric having the appearance of leather.

El Camino: Short for "El Camino real" [Spanish: "the royal highway"]; it was the name given to a 1954 Motorama show car. Story: CLCA 1989, pp.24-25; SIA26, p.16.

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El Doral: A custom 2-door conversion of the Coupe de Ville and Eldorado coupe offered by Moloney of Chicago in the mid-Seventies. They made a number of conversions of standard Cadillac body styles, including a 4-door Executive Town Sedan and Executive Limousine. Among their styling features were a customized, rust resistant brass-based, hand-formed hood cap and side stanchions (grille), padded landau top and matching upper door saddles, false landau bars, sunroof with retractable wind deflector, reduced-size rear window, oval (vertical) side opera windows and in some case a Lincoln MKIV styled rear deck.

Eldorado: From the Spanish el dorado, the "gilded one", the name applied to the chief or cacique of a S. American Indian tribe, according to a legend of the Spanish conquistadores, whose followers would sprinkle his body with gold dust on ceremonial occasions before washing it off again in the waters of a lake. The name describes also a land of fabulous riches, somewhere in S. America, which inspired many European expeditions, including one to the Orinoco river by Sir Walter Raleigh [1552-1618], the man who fought with Sir Francis Drake and defeated the Spanish Armada [the fleet sent against England by Philip II of Spain in 1588 AD]. Considering the amount of gold booty stolen from the Indians by Spain's Francisco Pizzarro [1475-1541] who, in 1530 AD, conquered Peru, it is highly possible that he and his band of 180 followers found and plundered more than one el dorado on their pillaging conquest of the Inca lands. Cadillac selected the name for a special convertible show car built in 1952 to celebrate the company's Golden Anniversary. It was suggested in an in-house competition by Mary-Ann Zukosky, a secretary in the merchandising department, and later adopted by the company for the limited-edition production convertible of which 532 units were built in 1953. For convertible prices and production tables, see SIA88, p.17.

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Eldorado Brougham: The beginnings of the 1957 Eldorado Brougham may be traced back through GM's famed "Motorama" salons. The first Cadillac to experiment with 4-door, pillarless hardtop technology was the "Orleans" [see the database section on "Dream Cars"]; it was shown at the 1953 Motorama. Next was the "Park Avenue", shown at the 1954 "Motorama", of which the principal feature was the brushed aluminum roof [the production Eldorado Brougham of 1957 that made a brief appearance in 1956 had a similar roof in stainless steel]. Then came the prototype "Eldorado Brougham"; it was displayed at the 1955 "Motorama" where it was well received. Despite reticence on the part of Cadillac Engineering, who thought cost would be prohibitive (and it was), management went ahead and built a production prototype which went on show at the 42nd Paris Salon in late 1955; that car did the 1956 "Motorama" circuit with a companion Brougham prototype, the Brougham Town Car. [XP500, special order #2491]; the latter had a fiberglass body and no engine - it was strictly for show [check the "Brougham" database for more details]. A limited production run of the sedan version was announced and the price estimated at $8500 (more than $1500 short of the actual list price in 1957). Like the Brougham Town Car, the 1956 production prototype was a non-runner. It was used only for advertising while the public eagerly awaited the (late) arrival of the production models. It was gradually updated. For example, rubber tips were added to the bumper extensions, then much later the rocker trim and "Eldorado Brougham" nameplate aft of the front wheel openings; sabre wheels were replaced with the turbine--vane type; the front license bracket was changed; the inside rear-view mirror that had been combined with the Autronic-Eye in the center of the dash was moved from the dash to the windshield header; the Autronic-Eye was moved to the LH side of the instrument panel, which underwent some slight modifications; the initial door locking mechanism integrated in the sill plate was replaced by a standing half-pillar; door handles were also slightly modified. The prototype was shown in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Boston, before it was returned to the Styling Studios in Detroit where it stayed until early 1957 ...when it was towed away and destroyed!!! The Brougham, might not have seen the light of day had not Ford stylists decided to market the Lincoln Continental Mark II. It was put into production in 1957 but total output over four years barely exceeded 900 cars. An advertising piece published by a Cadillac dealer of the time reads: You are cordially invited to attend the Special Salon Display of Cadillac Show Cars at Metropolis Cadillac Company, 1437 Midtown Avenue, January 18 through February 1 [1958]. Here is an unusual opportunity to make a personal inspection of three of Cadillac's most beautiful and exciting 1958 creations. On special display in our showroom you will see the distinguished Eldorado Brougham ...the dramatically advanced Eldorado Biarritz ..and the luxuriously appointed Fleetwood Sixty Special. [etc.]. The 1959 version offered fifteen additional color finishes than the standard Cadillac line that year. There were some fine articles by Cy Strickler III in CC, 3/78; also CLC 2/90, pp.4-5. A one-page article on this model can be found also in Motor Trend for July 1957. Final note: Miraculously, the Brougham Town Car which had been slated for destruction, was placed in safe-storage for thirty years by a an enterprising visionary at the Warhoops breaker's yard [GM's designated breakers] near the GM Technical Center in Detroit. Who knows, perhaps the prototype Eldorado Brougham will turn up there too!

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Eldorado Custom Biarritz: A limited production model offered from 1976-1978; 1999 were built in 1977 of which 404 with the sunroof option (CLC 11-12/91, p.8); I don't have the production figures for 1976 and 1978.

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Electric ignition: [see "self starter"].

Electric starter: [see "self starter"].

Electric windows: see "Windows, electric".

Electrochromic sunroof: A feature of the Cadillac Aurora, concept car, 1990.

Electronic Traction Control: Another Cadillac suspension innovation introduced on the 1990 Allanté model; using the Bosch ABS III as well as the engine control module for the 4.5 liter V8 engine, it controlled wheel spin by adjusting application of the individual front brakes, then by reducing engine power by cutting off fuel to individual cylinders.

Elegance: [inter alia] The brand name of a highly sophisticated series of scale-model Cadillac cars hand built in very limited numbers by a French craftsman, Claude Thibivilliers. His specialty is "one of" Cadillacs and commercial cars. The models are described in the French-language "Argus de la Miniature".

Elegante: A model designation for a limited-edition Seville model built in 1978 [McC p.424]; and 1979 [McC p.429]. In this case the use of the French adjective is "élégante" is correct [see "d'Elégance"].

Elges, George R.: [men of Cadillac] He was general manager from 7.1.1969 to 12.31.1972.

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Elkington: A UK coach builder; he did at least one body on the Cadillac chassis [CC&CC, 9/1982, p.27].

Ellis, Byron K: [men of Cadillac] He was the Cadillac engineer who designer, inter alia, the special pistons used in the new, lightweight 1949 Cadillac engine; see CA 12/92, p.17.

El Morocco [not Cadillac]: This was an Eldorado Brougham look-alike by Chevrolet which, in my opinion, deserves to be mentioned; see SIA19, p.49; SIA21, p.6; CA, 8/1986, p.2 + pp.8-16.

Embassy (The)
: The name of a special, formal Cadillac 60S show car shown at the 1949 Autorama, It featured a leather-covered top, 1950 rear glass, dummy rear fender air-scoop/stone guard, chrome front wheel opening moldings. The front compartment and rear inner door panels were trimmed throughout in black leather; the right front door had a recessed area for storing chrome-plated tools; in the left front door was a similar storage area for maps. A chrome-plated umbrella receptacle was located under the front passenger seat. The header above the hydraulic division was made of glass; it was fitted with a clock of which the rear (and all the other hardware in the rear) had a brushed, oxidized silver finish. The rear door case concealed a short-wave ship-to-shore radio-telephone; a similar case in the right rear door contained a vanity case. The rear seat was upholstered in custom woven broadcloth [see Sch40, p.167].

: [production of] In CLCA 1982, the inside rear cover describes the production process for the Cadillac "winged emblem" used on the instrument panel of early post-WW2 models. See also "Hood mascots".

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Enclosed cars: The first fully enclosed Cadillac was Henry Leland's own "Osceola", specially built to his own specifications on the Model E chassis in late 1905. The first closed bodies offered in an According to the 1915 V8 literature in my collection, there was a second, special booklet describing Cadillac enclosed cars for that year {***}. See also "Closed cars".

Engine hoods: [see "Hoods"].

Engines: There is an article on 1949-1967 OHV V8 engines in SIA86, p.55. Successive "generations" of Cadillac engines are mentioned in McC p.372, top RH side. There is a picture of the new, 1988 engine [4.5 liter, 155HP, V8] in Cadillac news sheet, Vol. 1, issue 1 [in my 1988 literature drawer].

Engines (Milestones): Production of first Cadillac engine, the single cylinder model: Fall 1902; first four-cylinder engine: 1905; first production V8: late 1914; introduction of V16: December 1929; first V12: September 1930; new, L-head engine (346 cu.in. displacement): 1936; new, light-weight OHV, high-compression engine with new crankshaft, camshaft and piston design which added power and quietness: 1949; major engine modifications: 1959, 1964, 1968; photo of 1961 V8 in CA 6/96, p.12, lower, >>>>>

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The beautiful, copper-clad,  4-cylinder
Cadillac engine of 1905-1814


"Enthousiaste (l')": French club magazine; an article on Cadillac appeared in the issue for November 1980 [I have only a photocopy {***}]. I would also like to find Nos. 25 and No. 28 [I believe French automotive writer Alain Dolfuss had a hand in their publication].

Erickson, Larry: Men of Cadillac; worked with Dick Ruzzin on design of 1992 Eldorado

"ErotiCad...": The Cadillac automobile has been used (and sometimes abused) to advertise all manner of goods and services.  A few even have been featured in what is generally termed "erotica".  Here, I shall post a few items from my own collection ...with all due respect to the artists and models.

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Those hands, those shoulders!
Is this a man ...posing with a 1970 Cadillac?


Espada, La (Spanish for "the sword"), this 2-seater roadster was companion car to the Cadillac El Camino coupe during the 1954 GM Motorama; body sheet-metal was identical, including the rear deck with its camel-humped tonneau cover [the latter was copied, much later by Ford on their T-Bird models in the early sixties]. La Espada was finished in Apollo Gold, a very light cream color with a metallic golden hue. The cockpit featured a central console, bucket seats, horseshoe-shaped instrument cluster. The special, inner door pull-knob appeared 2 years later on the production Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. The dash-mounted rear-view mirror, that appeared also on the Eldorado Brougham prototypes in 1955 and 1956, was moved up to the windshield header bar in the production models. Across the center console was the word Caution warning the driver not to use the large knob below the ventilation controls to operate the plastic canopy top while the car was in motion! For more on this car, check out the "Dream Cars" section for 1954.

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TAK: A sophisticated on-board navigation system featured in the 1990 Aurora concept car. A CD-ROM system, it stores maps for the entire United States; these are displayed on a full color, flat screen LCD [liquid crystal display]. The system is based on dead-reckoning using a magnetic compass combined with wheel revolution to compute the precise vehicle location.

Eureka: The Eureka Company of Rock Falls, IL manufactured many funeral cars and ambulances on the Cadillac chassis; they are reputed to have built at least one hearse on the 452-452A V16 chassis for 1930-31 [photo McC, p.152 - looks like modified style "4375" Imperial with Town car windshield].

European coach-builders: Many European coach-builders dressed Cadillac and La Salle chassis or made interesting body proposals; many are listed herein.

Evans-Winter-Hebb Inc.: Detroit-based printers of Cadillac sales literature and promotional material from the late teens (1919???) and up to 1929 (later ???).

"Every Which Way - But Loose": Title of a 1970's movie by Clint Eastwood's Malpaso company featuring a bunch of brawling bikers and a special, stretched '59 convertible.

Evolution I: Name given to 1981 Cadillac Eldorado coupe model designed by France's fashion designer, Pierre Cardin.

Evoq: New model proposed by the Cadillac Automobile Company for the year 2000.  You can check out the facts and photos by clicking here.

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Executive (The): A special stretched limousine built in 1988 by the Dillinger-Gaines Coach Works of New York; I have a catalog/folder in the 1988 literature drawer.

Executive Limousine: A custom 4-door conversion offered by Moloney of Chicago in the mid-Seventies. They made a number of conversions of standard Cadillac body styles, including this 4-door car, the 4-door Executive Town Sedan and the 2-door "El Doral" conversion of the Coupe de Ville and Eldorado coupe. Among their styling features were a customized, rust resistant brass-based, hand-formed hood cap and side stanchions (grille), padded landau top and matching upper door saddles, false landau bars, sunroof with retractable wind deflector, reduced-size rear window, oval (vertical) side opera windows and in some case a Lincoln MKIV styled rear deck.

Executive Town Sedan: Another custom 4-door conversion by Moloney of Chicago in the mid-Seventies.

Experimental GM models: see "Dream Cars".

E-Z-Eye glass: The Cadillac name for tinted windshield and window glass. It became popular as an option on GM cars in 1953-54 and was offered as standard equipment on the top-of-the-line models in 1953.


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Factory (Cadillac): The earliest Cadillacs were built at 1343 Cass Avenue in Detroit (motors were built in the Leland and Falconer shops located at >>>>>. The primary sales outlet, headed by William E. Metzger, was located at 265 Jefferson Avenue. By January 1903 there were sales outlets in 19 major U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit Newark, Providence, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Portland, Denver, Jersey City and Savannah). One of the great achievements in Cadillac's long, successful history was the completion in 1921 of what Cadillac considered to be the finest automobile works in the world. Until then the Cadillac was built in 77 different buildings scattered about Detroit. The new plant at Clark Avenue comprised 13 buildings on 47 acres providing more than 56 acres of work space, that is more than 2,464,000 square feet. In the early Nineties Cadillac gave up the latter premises, moving to more modern ones in Warren, in N. Detroit. I visited the former Clark Street premises in 1994; it was gloomy.

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Text on this PC from the early part of last century reads: Plant of the Cadillac
Motor Car Company of Detroit, largest producers of high-grade motor cars in the world

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This is how it looked some thirty-five years later
[ excerpt from 1937 product catalog ]

Farina, Gian Battista: [1895-1966] a.k.a "Pinin" or "the little fellow", younger brother of Giovanni, Italian automobile designer and coach-builder. He started working for his brother then branched off on his own. In 1920, at the age of 25 he spent 2 months in the USA, of which 50 days in Detroit. Fifteen years later, in 1930, at the age of 35 he founded the Stabilimenti Pinin Farina located on Corso Trapani in Milan. The name was changed by government decree to Pininfarina [one word] in June 1961. Farina designed many bodies for the Cadillac chassis including, in the first year of operation, a unique boat-tail speedster on the Series 452 V16 chassis for the Maharajah of Orccha; that car has survived and is presently in the US where, in my opinion, it was unfortunately over-restored Pininfarina continued the tradition of fine coachwork in 1953 when he built to order a special roadster on the 1953 Cadillac chassis for Luigi Chinetti, the New York Ferrari importer. From 1958 through 1962 Farina did some styling exercises for Cadillac with such exotic names as "Starlight" (in coupe and roadster versions), "Skylight" a coupe, with retractable steel panels beneath a tinted Plexiglas roof, and "Jacqueline", so-named for Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy, wife of the then young President of the United States. The latter car had no engine or other mechanical components; it was a simple body shell on a tubular framework mounted on four wheels. It is possible, therefore, that none of the other styling exercises recalled above were drivable.

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Pinin Farina's son, Sergio, and two grandsons,
Andrea and Paolo pose with the 1960-61 Cadillac "Jacqueline"


Faulconer, R.C.: [men of Cadillac] He was president of the Leland & Faulconer Mfg. Co., in Detroit that supplied the engines for the first Cadillac automobiles; Henry M. Leland was the general manager and his son Wilfrid C. was the treasurer; when the company merged with the Cadillac Automobile Co in 1905 it was capitalized at $175,000. There is an article in A 2.11.05.

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Left: Robert Faulconer, circa 1900.  Right, Leland and Faulconer
discussing the future of the Cadillac automobile ???


Feats, records and reliability trials: See "Reliability Trials".

Fender skirts: They first appeared on Cadillac cars in 1933.

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Left: 1928 town car;  right:  1933 roadster with the new fender skirts

Fender spares: [spare wheels carried on the front fenders in specially formed concave "fender wells"] These became stylish and popular with 1927 Cadillac models but gradually disappeared from use starting in 1934.

Fenders: in England they are called "wings". The fender is that part of an automobile covering the wheels. They are of many and varied shapes: cycle fenders, flat ones, ridged ones, crowned ones, skirted ones and the so-called clamshell fenders of the early Thirties and the pontoon fenders that marked the transition between separate and integral fender designs in 1950.

Fields, W.C.: A star of the silent screen and "talkies"; I have an advertisement for his 1938 V16 limousine (photos in CCI, 27:1, 31:5).

"Fifties Stylish American Cars: Decade of Dazzle": A book by Henry Rasmussen, reviewed in CA, 4/1988, p.95.

Figoni & Falaschi: French designers and coach-builders, formerly of 14 rue Lemoine at Boulogne-sur-Seine, near Paris. The firm has been wrongly credited with having designed and built a custom body on the 1937 V16 chassis; in fact that body was built by Willy Hartmann, a little-known coach-builder of Lausanne, Switzerland, although he most probably drew his inspiration from the Figoni & Falaschi convertible Coupe on the Delahaye 135M chassis that was on show at the 1936 Paris Salon. The latter car was acquired by the late Aga Khan. Both the F&F and Hartmann cars may be described as Aerodynamic Roadsters with fully enclosed fenders front and rear. I saw the Hartmann car again at Paris' "Retromobile" show in the late 80s and at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA in 1888; someone had modified the original designer's nameplate and added a remark about the design being by "Figoni and Falaschi". See MK, 3/1991, p.81 (HW collection ) {***},

Films (Cadillacs in): [see "Movies (Cadillacs in)"]

Fina, Perry: He was the New York importer of European sports cars [see "Fina Sport"].

Fina-Sport: A car by Perry Fina of Fina Imported Motor Car Co., New York. Built on a modified Ford chassis with a Cadillac motor and an aluminum body by Vignale, it cost all of $9800 at the time. In standard configuration it gave 210HP at 4150 rpm but could be modified to give 300HP. The car used the Hydra-Matic transmission. Wheel base was 115", length 188". I have seen a color photo of this car in one of the Swiss annual "Automobile Revue" (1953 or 1954) [A. Montandon collection {***}].

"Finale for the Fins": Title of an article by MH, in SIA, 10/1980, pp.46-53.

Finish panels: (as an upholstery term) These are the painted panels on doors, rear quarters and front seat back-rest.

Finned Brake Drums: They were used starting with 1960 Cadillac models for increased cooling of brake linings.

Fire [Los Angeles Auto Show, 1929): On March 6, 1929, a short circuit in the electrical wiring of one of four huge exhibition tents rigged up to house the 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show, caused a massive blaze. Fortunately there were no victims but damages were estimated around one and a quarter million 1929 dollars (i.e. about 13 million of today's dollars!).  Through the energy of the organizers, it took just 50 hours to relocate the show to the LA Shriners building kindly placed at its disposal. Unfortunately there was no way to replace in 50 hours - or even a million years, the many one-of-a-kind cars that had been in the original display. Don Lee was able to restore and refurbish a bare Cadillac chassis that could have been totally destroyed. Devastation was at its worst around the Cadillac-LaSalle section where cars worth $85,000 were destroyed (that's almost a million of today's dollars!)I have seen no factory record of the Cadillac and La Salle cars that perished, but I imagine some of those listed in the "Dream Cars " section of the Database may have been lost.

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Fire Wagon (or "Red Devil" - because it had been ordered in "Satan" red with "Puritan" white wheels and pinstriping): This is the nickname of a "fire-engine red" 1931 V16 Fleetwood style 4260 sport phaeton that was donated to Cadillac Motor Car Division, in 1974, by Ms. Willoughby Little of New Hampshire, widow of the original owner; the car was accepted by Robert Lund, Cadillac General Manager at the time. Although the car had but 44,000 miles on the odometer it was decided that it deserved a meticulous and full restoration.  Ms. Little, who had owned it for 43 years, was invited to see her new "old" car put on display;  she recalled that day in 1931 when she had gone to the Cadillac dealership in Pennsylvania to select a new car,  that car, she said, always had measured up to her expectations and given her the quietest imaginable joy.  At this writing [6/2000] the "fire wagon" is one of the finest cars on display in Cadillac's own museum. Story in CLCA 1974, pp.9-10.

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First Automobile ad: It appeared in Saturday Evening Post [it was not a Cadillac]. Another source says the first car advertisement was published on 3 July 1902 in "Life" [that car was a HAYNES APPERSON]. The second automobile advertisement [for a WHITE steam carriage] appeared on 13 November 1902. The first color advertisements appeared in the USA, I believe, in 1909.

First Cadillac ad: It appeared in "Motor World", on 27 November 1902 and was entitled "Enter the Cadillac". The first colored Cadillac advertisement (to this writer's knowledge) appeared in 1924-25.

First Cadillac: the first Cadillac was completed on 17.10.02 (McC).

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The first Cadillac


First four-cylinder Cadillac: Here is part of an interesting merchandising piece. It came in four parts, or "Cantos"; this is the text of the second one. I guess it was intended as an ad, boasting of Cadillac's achievements which many detractors claimed could not be done. The other three "Cantos"  mention other feats that could not be done, but were. A manuscript note was pinned to the first sheet; it reads: If possible, have this news item run in your papers without alteration.

CANTO II. - The next important step in the automobile industry was in 1908, and in June 1909 the world was again startled. This time the Cadillac Motor Car announced that it would produce a high-grade, powerful motor car to sell at $1,400. Again all hands went up.“It can’t be done.” “Absurd.” “It’s a bluff.” “They’ll go broke.” “They’ll ruin the business.” But it was done. It wasn’t absurd. It wasn’t a bluff. They didn’t “go broke.” They didn’t ruin the business. On the contrary it was one of the best things that ever happened to the industry. It set a pace that other makers were compelled to, at least, try to follow. The pace has been set and the lead has been established, but the distance between the pacemaker and the slowest followers has never diminished.

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Fisher, Albert: He was the uncle of the Fisher Brothers, who helped form (and finance) the Fisher Body Company.

Fisher, Alfred J.: one of the seven Fisher brothers; in 1917 he joined the company that had been formed by two of his brothers in 1908. He was Vice-President of the company in the mid-Twenties.

Fisher, Andrew: a blacksmith and brother of Lawrence Sr.

Fisher Body Corp.: This was formed on July 22, 1908 (two months before the incorporation of GM), by two brothers: Fred J. and Charles T. Fisher, with their uncle Albert Fisher, a Detroit carriage maker. Cadillac gave Fisher Body its first major order for closed bodies (150 of them) in 1910. By 1916 it was building 100,000 bodies a year, including for Cadillac. GM bought a controlling interest in the corporation in 1919; that year they made all open and closed bodies for Cadillac [CC&CC, 9/1982, p.26]. Around 1922-23, Cadillac did not like the look of Fisher bodies and made their own proposals; decisions about bodies were made by Fred Keeler, chief engineer and D. McCall White, and of course Leland and Durant. Fisher adopted the Napoleonic coach as its emblem on 10 July, 1923. GM completed the purchase of the Fisher Body Corp. in 1926 forming the Fisher Body Division of GM. Good reading: the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild, SIA45, pp.18-25, 62-65, SIA61, pp.26-33 + 60; story TQ 3-4/84, pp.16-21; 2nd part TQ 5-6/84, pp. 16-21; par III, TQ 7-8/84, pp. 11-13.

Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild: [click here]

Fisher Brothers (seven): Frederick John "Fred" [1878-1941], Charles Thomas [1880-1963], Lawrence Peter Jr. "Larry" [1888- 1961], Alfred Joseph [1892-1963], Edward Francis [.... - ....], Howard A. [1902-1942], William Andrew. [.... - ....], who became President of General Motors. Their father, Lawrence, was a wheelwright, as had been their grandftaher, Andrew, before him.  The other six brothers started the Fisher Body Corp.

The Fisher brothers in 1936
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William, Fred, Charles, Alfred, Lawrence (standing)
Edward and howard seated to left and right of their mother


Fisher Coach: Fisher adopted a Napoleonic coach as its emblem on 10 July 1923, symbolizing the ultimate in hand craftsmanship. The design is a combination of two French coaches; one was a coach used at Napoleon's coronation ceremony, the other the coach used at his wedding to Marie Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine (1791-1847), Arch-Duchess of Austria; the latter was one in a long train of coaches that had escorted Marie-Louise from Austria to France for her wedding to Napoleon in 1810; it was used again in 1811 to convey her son, the new King of Rome (1811-1832), to his christening (her marriage lasted just 4 years; she left Paris in 1814, became Duchess of Parma in 1815 and wed successively Count Neipperg and the Count of Bombelles). A scale model of Marie-Louise's coach may be seen in House Beautiful, October 1929 (p.372). A blueprint of the original Fisher coach logo was drawn by an employee of the Fleetwood Body Corporation; it is still in the archives of the city museum of Fleetwood, PA [SS 2/96, p12]. For more information relating to the Fisher Coach, click here.


Fisher, Alfred Joseph.:   One of the seven Fisher brothers, six of whom were involved in the automotive industry.

Fisher, Charles Thomas.: Second of the seven Fisher brothers, he co-founded the Fisher Body Corp in 1908 with his older brother Fred.

Fisher, Edward Francis: He joined the Fisher Body Corp in 1917.

Fisher, Frederick John "Fred": the eldest of the seven Fisher brothers; he was co-founder with his brother Charles of the Fisher Cody Corp in 1908.  he is reported to have designed the first Cadillac body [the runabout with detachable tonneau] while employed at the Wilson Carriage Co. 

Fisher, Howard A.: Another of the seven Fisher brothers; he was not involved in the automobile industry..

Fisher, Lawrence: a wheel wright and carriage builder of Norwalk, Ohio, father of the seven Fisher brothers of Fisher Body Corp.

Fisher, Lawrence Peter "Larry" Jr.: [men of Cadillac] He was the Fisher brother most closely involved with Cadillac. He joined in 1916 the company which had been formed by two of his brothers in 1908. In 1925 Alfred P. Sloan, then at the Head of General Motors, sounded Larry out as the man to pump new life and energy into the Cadillac Motor Car Division. He appointed Fisher as Cadillac General Manager in 1925 and he [Fisher] remained in office from 1.5.1925 to 31.5.1934. He directed the introduction of the La Salle in 1927 and was one of four of the seven Fisher brothers who brought Fisher Body Corp under the GM umbrella in 1919. It was Larry Fisher who sensed the need to add some exclusive, custom bodies to the Cadillac range. He oversaw the purchase by Fisher Body Corp, in September 1925, of the old coach building firm the Fleetwood Body Company of Fleetwood, PA [in 1929 GM purchase the remaining stock holdings of the Fisher Body Corp and thus became sole owner of both the Fisher and Fleetwood companies. It was Larry Fisher also who first hired the great Harley Earl as a styling consultant. Earl came to Cadillac in January 1926. See photo, SIA5, p.40. Larry Fisher, it is said, was a bit of a playboy [dixit MH in CC&CC, 9/1925, p.27]; that is why so many women were featured in Cadillac advertising of the time.

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Fisher, Marv: Men of Cadillac; assigned to Cadillac interior studio as chief designer in 1987

Fisher, William Andrew.: The last of the seven Fisher brothers. He directed the company in the mid-Twenties.

Fitted trunk: The integral automobile trunk did not come into its own until the late Thirties. Before that, the trunk was removable. In the luxury automobiles of the classic era many removable trunks were designed for use with a specific car; when installed on the luggage rack it looked like a part of the car rather than something added on.

Flasques: French term for wheel disc, a styling device originating in Europe around 1930 to hide wire wheels.

Fleetbourne: Name given in 1930 to Fleetwood's town brougham (body style 3991).

Fleetcliff: (see above) La Salle style 4002 Roadster.

Fleetcrest: (see above) Town car body style 3925 with leather rear and no quarter windows.

Fleetdale: (see above) Sedan style 3975S and limousine body style 3975.

Fleetdene: (see above) Sedan style 3930S and limousine body style 3930.

Fleetdowns: (see above) 2-pass. roadster style 3902.

Fleetlands: (see above) A large, custom 1930 La Salle touring car [style number unknown, possibly 4057].

Fleetmere: (see above) Sedan style 3955S and limousine body style 3955.

Fleetmont: (see above) Town car style 3920 with leather rear and ¼- windows.

Fleetshire: (see above) La Salle custom style 4060 phaeton.

Fleetway or Fleetways: (see above) All-weather phaeton style 3980.

Fleetwick: (see above) Town car style 3912.

Fleetwind: (see above) La Salle custom style 4082, a fixed-top "sedanette" with the look of a covered all-weather phaeton. A similar body style on the Cadillac chassis was numbered 3982.

Fleetwing: (see above) La Salle "Fleetwing sedanette cabriolet", style 4081.

Fleetwood:  A town in Pennsylvania, home of the former Fleetwood Body Corp., founded by Harry Urich in the nineteenth century [see next entry].  It began as a small community of craftsmen founded by Henry FLEETWOOD, Esq. of  Penwortham, near Lancaster in England (the Fleetwood family flourished in England in the 17th and 18th centuries). Rich traditions of 300 years of coach-building that the Fleetwood Body Company applied to its work secured for the company a high reputation in automobile circles around the world, beginning in the twenties.  Bespoke coachwork was built there for Cadillac automobiles up to 1930.  Starting in 1925 Fleetwood bodies were reserved exclusively for Cadillac cars.  The "Fleetwood" name was used from 1965 to designate a group or series of Cadillac models at the top of the price range. Here are some interesting excerpts from the Fleetwood product catalog for 1932: "It has been the pleasure of this unique organization to have served the most fastidious buyers of two continents [presumable America and Europe] ... now the largest American custom builder, with a command of most exceptional resources in talent and facilities ... Fleetwood craftsmen in Fleetwood shops revived old world [European] ideals of fine coach construction ... now shows the world a breadth of conception, a skill and a finesse never realized before it acquired its new facilities [in 1925] ... its talents are now devoted to the design of coachcraft for Cadillac alone ...a consummate expression of motor car luxury ... a perfect balance of line, contour and color ... the upholstery itself may be almost any kind of material you specify ...it is even possible to get genuine pigskin [!] if you want it ... custom designed vanity cases and smoking sets ...the rugged durable character of Fleetwood coachwork is the result of the most careful planning and procedure ...here, finally, is a superb new kind of transportation,enabling you to travel near or far absolutely at your ease, utterly relaxed and completely soothed."

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Henry Fleetwood, Esq.
oil painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller


Fleetwood Body Corporation: Established in 1910 [see 1929 Cadillac catalog]; it was purchased for GM in September 1925. The former Fleetwood plant, in Fleetwood, PA was closed on 1.1.1931, two years after the stock market crash of 1929. Coach building operations were moved to Plant 18 at Detroit. The last job performed at the old plant was to build - for promotional purposes - a number of replicas of Napoleon's Coronation Coach, well-known symbol of the Fisher Body Corporation.

Flexible steering wheel: [see "Banjo steering wheel"].

Flickers: [see "Directional Signals"]

Florentine Curve:  You'll recognize it when you see it; it's that beautiful "S" curve in body lines where the rear roof area meets the body belt-line behind the doors; it was a feature of the closed '56 Caddies.


Flying Tiger(s): [see "P-40"].

"For Your Eyes Only": Title of a small product bulletin issued in 1947 and describing already in advance the 1949 models.

Fordillac: a generic name for a Ford car powered by a Cadillac V8-engined; it was a popular and fast car of the Fifties. In the photo below, we see one of these cars brought by Briggs Cunningham to Le Mans in 1950. Its engine kept running throughout the race to keep charged the radio batteries operated by the race team in the Cadillac pit.

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[ Photo : by Smith Hempstone Oliver ]


Formal [body style]: This generally describes a car with enclosed rear quarters and, often, a leather-covered roof.

Forties Cadillacs: Interesting reading in CC&CC 12/1990, pp.48-65.

Four-Link Rear Suspension: This became a standard feature on Cadillac cars in 1958 [see 1958 Data Book for details].

Four-Wheel Braking: This mechanical advance was introduced by Cadillac on the 1923 models.

Frame (body): Pre-war body frames and door frames were built of cured white ash hardwood. Metal craftsmen hammered panels over the wooden framework. Brass castings were made for windshield frames, door hinges, handles. Painting was a long process in the early twenties, until the advent of Duco. Then bodies went in for upholstery and trim.

Franay: A renowned French designer and coach-builder; he built some jobs on the Cadillac chassis in the late thirties (1937-1939). His specialty was elegant town cars. On the Cadillac chassis these include:

  1. a sporty yet classic three-position town car convertible on the 1937 V12 chassis
  2. another on the same V12 chassis, shown in June 1938 at that year's "Concours d'Elégance de l'Auto" in Paris
  3. a two-tone (cream and black) model on the 1938 V8 series 75 chassis [that car was later used as a taxi in Geneva, Switzerland - I have a poor photo]
  4. a classic town car with large landau irons on the 1938 V16 chassis reg. # 2003RL8 [a poor photo appeared in LVA]
  5. another, later creation on the 1938 Sixty-Special chassis, reg. # 2936RL5 [poor photo available]
  6. a very elegant, two-tone (burgundy and black) town car on the 1939 V8 series 75 chassis [that car was shown by Ms. Germaine Aussey at the "Concours d'Elégance de l'Auto" in Paris on 9 June 1939, just three months before the outbreak of WW2 - was that car taken back to Germany as a "spoil of war", like so many other French treasures?]

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Free Library of Philadelphia: Houses the late Thomas McKean Cadillac automobile literature collection; I was allowed to view and copy most items for reference purposes in 1982. The curator was very helpful to me when I was collecting information for this database. When I called him again in May 1995 he said that owing to budgetary and other restrictions (following the "disappearance" of many pieces from the collection!), access to it was now by appointment only.

French automobile body terminology: [early autos] in "Bond" No. 43 [old French-language Buick catalogue].

French Brougham, the:  The name given to a special sixteen-cylinder Cadillac built in the Fall of 1930, presumably in time for the Paris Auto Salon in October 1930. A similar Fleetwood design had been shown in Paris the previous year.

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Freon-13: A special gas used in the 1959 Cadillac "Captive Freon-13 shock absorbers"

Frick, Bill: He was associated with Bill Frick Motors, located at 1000 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Center, Long Island, NY. Frick was born in Berlin at the end of WW1 but moved to the USA before he was 18. His first engine-swap was to put a 1924 Dodge 4-cylinder engine in a Model A Ford. His job consisted in performance-tuning automobile engines. He built a V8-60 midget racer in the winter of 1946 and won races with it. In 1949 Phil Walters [aka "Ted Tappett"] was his driver. American rally driver, Tom Cole, introduced Briggs Cunningham to Frick and Walters; they built for him a 140 mph Fordillac, with a Cadillac engine, brakes and a Borg-Warner Lincoln transmission. Cunningham bought over Frick-Tappett Motors after the 1950 Le Mans race in which two stock Cadillacs and a Cadillac-engined barquette nicknamed "Le Monstre" [the "Monster"] did rather well. In the Fifties Frick built some sports cars that used Cadillac motors (he had used also Ford, Allard and Studebaker engines earlier). He built about 100 "Fordillacs" and, in 1953 and 1954, the "Studillac" from the 1953 Studebaker Starlight coupe [see CL 4/54]. What Frick wanted most was to build an "exotic", Ferrari-like sports car; one of his three Vignale-bodied "Bill Frick Special" coupes is photographed in "Alpha Auto", a French-language magazine collection of the Seventies; these cars were powered by a 331.1 ci Cadillac V8, developing 250HP at 4600 rpm. The cars used the Hydra-Matic transmission; wheel base was 110". The estimated value of a Frick special in 1989 was $10,000-15,000.

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Frick-Tappett Motors: the team of Phil Walters (pseudonym "Ted Tappett") and his mechanic, Bill Frick; good reading: SIA80, pp.12-21,60; excellent story in SIA143 pp24-31.

Front bumper: [see "Bumpers"].

Front wheel drive Eldorado: An article on the 1967-1968 models is included in SIA67, p.38-45.


G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G  G 


Gangloff, G.: A Swiss coach-builder of Geneva; he completed at least one stretched town car with a light colored top on the 1929 Cadillac chassis.

Garnish molding: (interior trim term) The frame next to the glass on the inside of a door, windshield or back light.

Gas filler cap: Cadillac had the idea to "hide" the gas filler cap under LH tail-light housing. They started doing this on the 1941 models. Starting in 1959 the gas filler cap was relocated behind the hinged, center portion of rear grille.

Gaylord "Gladiator": A custom HT convertible designed by Brooks Stevens; it was first shown at the Paris salon in 1955 (???). Built in 1955 by Spohn of Ravensburg, Germany, it was available in 2-door and 4-door styles [article in SIA20, p.42, SIA61 cover + pp.3, 12-19, SIA62 (letters), SIA71, p.19, SIA74, pp.52-55. The car is described in another source as a 1956 sports car built by Gaylord Cars, Ltd. in Chicago, using the Cadillac V8, 365 ci engine developing 305HP at 4700 rpm with a 4-speed (???) automatic, on 100" wheel base chassis with 7.10 x 15 tires. In 1989 these cars were estimated to be worth between $15,000-25,000. I have lots of original photos. The car featured a slide-out spare wheel and illuminated wheel wells for night-time tire changes.


Gaylord, Jim: creator of the "Gaylord Gladiator", designed by Brooks Stevens and Associates.

GEM: GEM Manufacturing Corp., located near Chicago IL. Their catalog (circa 2000) said to call (800) 895-8112 for a catalog. They are known to have made reproduction copies of the 1931 & 1941 Cadillac "Goddess" hood ornaments.

General Motors Corporation: It was founded by William Crapo Durant who acquired Cadillac, for GM, in 1910.

"General Motors, the First 75 Years": An illustrated Cadillac history book published by Automobile Quarterly; it is reviewed in CA, 5/1984, p.94.

Ghia: Italian coach-builder [not to be confused with a Swiss coach-builder of the same name]. He built at least one special coupe body on the 1953 Cad chassis. It was allegedly bought by screen star Rita Hayworth after seeing it on show in Paris. The car survives and is [was] in the Blackhawk collection in the early Nineties. The car was on show again at Paris' "Retromobile" in 1993 [I have photos taken by HW (Nos. A12, 14 and 30)]. Originally metallic blue, the car is currently painted black. The former standard 1953 wheel covers - featured in the original Ghia ad in my collection - were replaced at some time with a set of 1955-56 gold-anodized "sabre-spoke" wheels.

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Ghia: A Swiss coach-builder of Aigle, in the Canton of Valais. He did at least one ambulance conversion on the 1955 Cadillac chassis (probably a series 62). I have a photo taken from p.72 of SA.

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Gilmore Museum: Located at Hickory Corner near Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was the venue for a memorable Cadillac-LaSalle meet on 6 June 1993 for Cadillacs from 1902 to 1962; 175 cars turned out. Dave Holls provided the expert commentary at the event. I have a video recording and many photos provided by Katie Robbins, former President of the Michigan Region CCCA. See also CLC 7/93, pp.14-16.

Gläser: A German coach-builder; he did at least one Cadillac [see CLCA 1978, p.14-19, also CC&CC 3/1981, pp.34-39].

Glass-topped limousine: proposal on 2.11.60 for "75" series (photo in CA 6/96, p.10, top). At least one other such "glass-top" or "bubble top" Cadillac was built, for the Royal Canadian Tour of H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II of England, and the Prince Philip.

Glowacke, Edward "Ed": [men of Cadillac] He was chief designer from 11.6.1951 to 1.8.1957; his photo appears in CA 8/1988, p.11 and ELD, p.17. Sadly, he died of leukemia in 1961. These two designer's drawings of Ed's appeared in the CLC "Self Starter".

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1955 Photo

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I'm not sure about the last three drawings, although they do have that Glowacke touch


GM's Motoramas: [see "Motoramas"].

Glass partition [division]: Located between the driver and passenger compartments of large sedans. Cars with this feature are known as limousines or imperials. Cadillac's first electrical-powered division glass was mounted in the 1941 models.

GM's "X" Cars: [see SIA8, p.66].

GMT&T: This entry was added at the suggestion of John Fobian, SAH member #2017: The initials stand for General Motors Teamwork and Technology (Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, January, 1988)

Gold Key [delivery]: This was a 1989 sales feature indicating that each new Cadillac was thoroughly inspected before being seen by the buyer. Cadillac's dealers personally reviewed the new car's operation with the buyer and introduced him to service personnel. A round-the-clock Roadside Service was ensured [toll free number]. There was a special service hot-line for the Allante model: "1-800-ALLANTE".

Gold Key [limited warranty]: This was new in 1989; it was a bumper to bumper limited warranty covering every component except tires and normal maintenance items, for 4 years or 50000 miles. The warranty on the Allanté model stretched for 7 years and 100000 miles.

Golf-Bag doors: These were small side doors giving lateral access to the floor area below the rumble seat; good photo in SIA106, p.27, also CC&CC 11/1969, p.37.

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Golf bag door on a V-16 roadster of 1930-31


Gordon, John F. "Jack": [men of Cadillac] He was chief engineer from 1.6.1943 to 5.6.1946, then Cadillac general manager from 5.6.1946 to 10.7.1950. He was with Cadillac already when the design of the new OHV V8 began in 1936. Born in Akron, OH, 15.5.1900 he went to Annapolis naval academy in 1918. He got a master's degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1923 and joined Cadillac as a laboratory assistant; from foreman of the Experimental Laboratory in 1929, he graduated to Motor Design Engineer in 1933, then assistant to the Chief Engineer [Allison engines] in 1940. His photo appears in SIA11, p.12 and SIA 4/1980, p.21; CA 12/92, p.17. He is also photographed beside the 1'000'000th Cadillac [seen CLCA 1994, p.3].

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GM 1959: There was a special feature in NIT No. 1126 on pp.46-49 [special issue].

GM Firebird: An experimental model, turbine car, with "finned" rear. The lateral fins probably inspired the design of the 1961-62 Cadillac models [AA 1958-1959].

GM (France): The in-house magazine, GM World for July 1939 stated that GM (France) had started CKD production of cars at Gennevilliers that month. Maximum daily capacity was 4 cars: Buick, Chevrolet or Pontiac (no Cadillacs!); these were M.K.D. [Mostly Knocked Down] or semi-assembly cars from either G.M. Continental, Antwerp, or Adam Opel A.G. This affiliate GM body was taken out of the supervision of GM Continental, and reported directly to GM Overseas Operations in New York. Further, that same month, the Le Havre truck plant closed as did also the Puteaux facility, near Paris, in favour of Gennevilliers.

GM Parade of Progress: Article in SIA39.

GMAC Deferred Payment Terms: These special payment facilities [credit terms] were first offered to Cadillac purchasers starting in 1929.

GMT&T: The initials of the "General Motors Tourism and Trade" [???] exhibition, New York.

Gould, Frank Jay: An American millionaire playboy, seen frequently between Paris and Nice, on the "Côte d'Azur", in the early Thirties driving a large Cadillac V16 [engine # 702872, chassis # 702981 - info by Laurent Friry, Paris, 1996]. The car was a style 4235 convertible coupe is currently unknown but it should be possible to identify it from the (both of March 1931 production)

Graber, Hermann: A Swiss coach-builder with a fine reputation for coachwork on the Alvis chassis, inter alia; he designed and built at least one convertible body on the Cadillac V12 chassis [photo in Urs Ramseier collection - whom I met on 24.2.1995 at the opening of Geneva's new Auto Museum].

Gray & Davis: A U.S. manufacturing company of Amesbury, MA, who offered a fine selection of acetylene gas lamps to the early automobile trade. In 1903-04 a pair of them cost from $75 to $100, that is approximately 10-15% of the price of a car. A tank of acetylene gas would operate these lights for about 10 hours [article in CATJ, 11/03].

Great War Cadillac: This was the 1917 Touring car model.

Grettenberger, John O.: [men of Cadillac] He was General Manager, Cadillac Motor Car Division and GM Vice President in the Eighties and Nineties

Griffiths, Gwil, and Phillips, Rich: They co-authored a book that reproduced Cadillac advertisements from 1902-1961, published by P/G Publications, Timonium, MD, © 1976.

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Grooming [of automobile interiors]: "Grooming", in the early days of enclosed car motoring, included choosing upholstery materials (plain cloths, striped cloths, uncut mohair, velvet, figured velour, silk armures), and tufts, fitting the interior with window regulators, door pulls, light switch plates, dome lights, ventilators, corner lights or reading lights, "chofones" (i.e. chauffeur inter-phones), cut glass flower vases, vanity cases and their fittings (mirrors, notebooks, card cases, bottles, pin cushions, ink wells, stamp boxes, pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, etc.), smoking cases, cigar/cigarette lighters, ash trays, clocks, pillows, back-rest pillows, robes, motor rail pockets, foot warmers, hand warmers and the like. A fine article on this interesting topic is to be found in ML, 10/1916, pp.37-39.

Gucci, Aldo: An Italian fashion designer, he did a limited-edition conversion on the 1978 and 1979 Seville [1078, McC p.426]. The car had a matching 5-piece luggage set with distinctive red stripe flanked by two green ones. The hood ornament was an ornate, gold-finished affair depicting the Gucci logo [intertwined GGs].

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Guitry, Sacha: He is reported to have owned a 1939 V16 Town Car [currently in the Keyaerts Cadillac Museum in France]. The car was converted from an enclosed limousine model [article in NIT33, p.69].

1 Myth has it that these two coaches are still on display at GM headquarters in Detroit and New York City
2 To put the value of this "prize" into perspective, just think that in 1940 the median income of a U.S. family in 1940 was just $1231.


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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image:  1953 sport coupé with body by Ghia, Italy