The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado
Cadillac Logo

STANDARD OF THE WORLD

The name Cadillac is now part of our language, used to refer to the most superior product in a field. Yet few autophiles realize that Cadillac has, from the start. led the world in successfully bringing out the most important automotive design innovations.

PRECISION MACHINING OF PARTS:
The manufacturing tolerances specified by Cadillac, often to 5 ten thousandths of an inch, would not be surpassed for decades. Exacting gauges were made to check parts, and unlike other motorcar companies, Cadillac threw away all undersized or oversized parts. (1902)

PIONEERING DEVELOPMENT OF MULTI-CYLINDER MOTORS:
In 1905, Cadillac introduced its high-powered, precision machined 4 cylinder motor. The year before, only 44 cars with 4 cylinder motors were produced by all the other car companies combined. 4 years later, Cadillac was selling 10,000 per year. (1905)

INTERCHANGEABILITY OF PARTS:
Cadillac was the first motorcar company with proven interchangeability of parts. The prestigious Royal Automobile Club of England challenged all automobile manufacturers in the world to prove interchangeability of parts in their cars. Only Cadillac dared accept. The RAC chose 3 cars off the showroom floor, tested them, completely dismantled them, mixed up all the parts, added some new parts, and then supervised their reassembly. All three Cadillacs started and ran a 500 mile race without a hitch. The RAC then selected one to be locked up, just as it was, until entered later that year in a 2000 mile Reliability Run. It won. (1908)

DEWAR TROPHY:
Awarded to Cadillac for " THE GREATEST ADVANCE THEN MADE BY ANY MOTOR CAR ", for interchangeability of parts. (1908)

FIRST POINTS IGNITION SYSTEM STANDARD:
Developed by Delco, this is considered the most important advance in automotive ignition systems. It soon replaced magnetos, and was adopted by virtually all cars and used for the next 65 years. (1910)

FIRST CLOSED BODIES STANDARDIZED:
Closed bodies could be selected and order by catalog. (1910)

FIRST COMPLETE PRACTICAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:
The first to develop and offer electric starting, ignition, lighting, storage, and charging systems in an automobile. The most important advance in automotive electrical systems. (1912)

SECOND DEWAR TROPHY:
Awarded for Cadillac's breakthrough in electrical system design. Cadillac is the only company ever to win it twice.

WATER THERMOSTAT CONTROLLED COOLING SYSTEM:
One of the most significant advances in cooling system design, now incorporated on all cars. (1914)

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90º V-8 MOTOR:
Cadillac "Ushered in an Epoch" in automotive history with the first 90º American V-8. Cadillac continued to lead the world in V-8 engine design from this year forward. From the start, the Cadillac V-8 was such a technical and commercial success that it has been available every year since. (1914)

TRANS-CONTINENTAL RECORD:
Set by Cadillac V-8, broke the old record by 4 days. (1914)

DESIGNATED TO PRODUCE WAR-TIME STAFF CARS:
Cadillac was chosen to produce the 7 passenger staff cars in WW I. (1916-1918)

CONTRACTED FOR CRITICAL LIBERTY AIRCRAFT ENGINES:
Cadillac engineering produced an aircraft engine so superior it powered the:

FIRST ATLANTIC FLIGHT

FIRST NON-STOP TRANS-AMERICA FLIGHT

FIRST ROUND THE WORLD FLIGHT


FLAT-RATE SERVICE SYSTEM:
First to establish standard prices for parts and repair work, now used throughout the world. (1923)

DYNAMICALLY BALANCED 2 PLANE, COUNTER WEIGHTED CRANKSHAFT:
This established a new level of smoothness for V-8 engines and was eventually copied by all other auto manufacturers. (1924)

NITROCELLULOSE LAQUERS:
The most important advance in body refinishing in the history of the automobile was pioneered and developed by Cadillac's Kettering with DuPont. The greatly reduced paint drying times allowed a choice of colors that had never been possible before. (1924)

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FIRST LUXURY CAR MAKER TO PROVIDE ONE EXCLUSIVE BODY SUPPLIER:
Previously, when a person chose his car (basically a chassis and motor), he then had to contract a coachbuilder to construct a body for it. Cadillac was the first to offer a totally constructed luxury car in this manner, other motorcar companies eventually followed. (1926)

SAFETY PLATE GLASS USED THROUGHOUT: (1927)

ESTABLISHED AUTOMOTIVE STYLING AS A PROFESSION:
Cadillac's Harley Earl set up the first automotive styling design studio and led the industry in styling, color, and design innovations. (1928)

V-8 WITH SIDE BY SIDE CONNECTING RODS:
This breakthrough in motor design is now used on all V-8's. (1928)

V-8 WITH ALUMINUM CRANKCASE: (I928)

SYNCHRO-MESH TRANSMISSION:
This tremendous design advancement is now used to prevent grinding gears in all standard transmissions. (1928)

CHROME PLATING OVER NICKEL:
Cadillac pioneered the use of this process, perhaps the most important advance in automotive brightwork, and now used by the entire industry. (1929)

V-16 MOTOR:
The first production V-16 motor. (1930)

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FIRST HYDRAULICALLY SILENCED VALVES:
A major advancement in engine component design, and incorporated on nearly all luxury cars today. (1930)

V-12 MOTOR:
Cadillac offered the choice of a V-8, a V-12, or a V-16 to its buyers. No other motor car company in the world came close. (1930)

POWER BRAKES:
(1932)

NO DRAFT VENTILATION:
(1933)

CONCEALED SPARE TIRES:
First American car company to conceal the spare tire within the body. All others followed. (1934)

INDY PACE CAR:
(1934)

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ALL STEEL SEDAN BODY:
(1935)

NEW BREED OF V-8:
High reliability, low cost. (1936)

RADICAL NEW V-16 DESIGN:
10 inches shorter, 250 lbs. lighter, with fewer moving parts. (1938)

BALL BEARING STEERING:
First steering boxes to incorporate this. (1940)

THE FIRST COMPLETELY AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:
The hydramatic. (1941)

FINS:
The most daring, far reaching styling coup ever, lasted 20 years and was even timidly copied by foreign auto makers such as Mercedes. (1948)

HIGH COMPRESSION OHV V-8:
Once again, Cadillac led the world to new levels in V-8 design. 200 lbs. lighter, it also featured 5 main bearings. It made Cadillac the most powerful American car produced. (1949)

LEMANS:
The luxury car motors produced by Cadillac were so advanced they were competitive in international racing. Cadillac powered cars placed 3rd, 10th and 11th at LeMans. One was a basically stock Series 62 Coupe. (1950)

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WARNING LIGHTS:
Oil pressure and charging system warning lights were soon adopted by the other car makers. (1951)

MOST SOPHISTICATED AND DEPENDABLE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:
The 4 speed turbohydramatic transmission. When other luxury car makers, such as Rolls Royce, wanted the best transmissions in their cars, they bought Cadillac transmissions to install. (1951)

FOUR BARREL CARBURETOR:
This soon because an industry wide phenomenon. (1952)

HIGHEST HP ENGINE:
The most powerful engine ever used in an American production car. (1952)

ELDORADO:
Cadillac used the Eldorado to introduce styling firsts that changed the industry, such as:

WRAP AROUND WINDSHIELDS: (1953)

DROPPED DOOR LINES: (1953)

DISAPPEARING TOP WITH HARD COVER: (1953)

FORGED ALUMINUM WHEELS: (1953)

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ROWER STEERING STANDARD: (1954)

ANODIZED GOLD GRILL AND WHEELS: (1956)

QUAD HEADLIGHTS: (1957 Brougham)

SELF-LEVELING SUSPENSION STANDARD: (1957 Brougham)

MEMORY SEATS:
Automatically adjusted selected positions for different drivers. (1957)

FABRIC FINISHED ROOFS: (1957)

4 LINK COIL SPRING SUSPENSION STANDARD: (1958)

AIR RIDE SUSPENSION AVAILABLE: (1958)

CRUISE CONTROL:Option on all models (1959)

FENDER MOUNTED TURN SIGNAL INDICATORS:
First to offer these. (1960)

AUTOMATIC PARKING BRAKE RELEASE: (1960)

REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER: (1961)

CORNERING LIGHTS:
Again, the first automaker to offer these. (1962)

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500,000th Air Conditioned Cadillac Produced:
Leader in automotive AC. (1963)

FIRST AUTOMATIC AIR CONDITIONING:
Climate Control was the most significant advancement in post-war luxury options. (1964)

TILT AND TELESCOPING STEERING COLUMNS: (1965)

VARIABLE RATIO POWER STEERING:
Another engineering advancement pioneered in the U.S. by Cadillac. (1966)

ELECTRIC SEAT WARMERS: (1966)

FIRST FRONT WHEEL DRIVE PREMIUM LUXURY CAR: (1967)

REDESIGNED V-8:
10% fewer parts, 25% fewer gasketed joints. (1966)

CLOSED COOLING SYSTEM:
Another industry first, later adopted by the other car makers. Increased cooling efficiency less foaming and corrosion, and the ability to check coolant level with out exposure to pressurized, heated coolants were the advantages of this new system design. (1969)

LARGEST PRODUCTION V-8:
500 cubic inches, 8.2 liters. (1970)

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INTEGRAL DUCTILE IRON STEERING KNUCKLE:
Another industry first. (1970)

FRONT WHEEL DRIVE LUXURY CONVERTIBLE: (1971)

CANNON BALL COAST TO COAST RACE WINNER:
A stock Cadillac beat all the Porches, Ferrari's, and Mercedes. (1972)

CHOICE OF U.S. PRESIDENT AS GIFT TO LEADER OF THE OTHER SUPER-POWER:
An Eldorado was the American gift selected for Brezhnev. (1972)

RETRACTABLE GRILLS AND BUMPERS:
All the grills were mounted to the bumper to allow clean continuous styling lines, and both retracted together under impact. (1973)

INDY PACE CAR: (1973)

AIR CUSHION RESTRAINT SYSTEM OPTIONAL: (1974)

INTERMITTENT WINDSHIELD WASHERS: (1974)

ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION:
Another first for U.S. Production cars. (1975)

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FIRST AMERICAN MID-SlZE LUXURY CAR:
The Seville nameplate reappears. (1976)

LAST FACTORY PRODUCED FULL-SIZE AMERICAN LUXURY CONVERTIBLE: (1976)

ELECTRONICALLY TUNED RADIO RECEIVERS:
Signal Seeking. (1977)

WHEEL DISC BRAKES STANDARD: (1977 Seville)

DIESEL V-8 OPTION: (1978)

TRIP COMPUTER:
Electronic computation of 11 separate functions. (1978)

4 WHEEL INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION:
Another first for American Production luxury cars. (1979 Eldorado)

ELECTRONIC LEVEL CONTROL:
First Production car to offer this. (1979)

FIRST AMERICAN CAR WITH DIESEL STANDARD: (1980 Seville)

DIGITAL ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION:
Engineered with built-in compensations for altitude, temperature, and accessory loads. (1980)

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ELECTRONIC CLIMATE CONTROL:
One of the highest capacities in the industry. (1980)

SELF-CORRECTING FUEL INJECTION:
Fail-safe system can diagnosis itself, and then substitute nominal values for a failed component - to keep the car drivable. (1980)

PILOT PROGRAM OF ANTI-THEFT ID MARKINGS:
Major auto parts were marked with an unalterable 17 character code to trace stolen parts. (1980)

ENTIRELY SELF-CONTAINED ON-BOARD DIAGNOSTICS:
A comprehensive system with access to engine monitoring. Conditions can be displayed on the Climate Control panel. This system can also verify the correctness of repairs. (1980)

MEMORY DIAGNOSTICS:
If an intermittent problem develops, this system notes the occurrence by dash board displays and traces and stores the source of the problem for later retrieval. (1980)

MPG SENTINEL:
Further updating of trip computer provides such information as instantaneous and average fuel consumption. (1980)

V8-6-4 MOTOR:
First car maker to produce a motor that can reduce the number of cylinders being used in accordance with load demands. (1981)

ELECTRONIC MEMORY SEATS: (1981)

4 SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:
The fourth speed reduces engine revolutions by 1/3. (1982)

ALUMINUM V-8 WITH ALUMINUM WATER PUMP & INTAKE MANIFOLD:
This new motor was produced in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in La Vonia, MI with such features as automatic tool wear compensators. (1982)

©1983 Pfanstiehl, Andover CT

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Cadillac Milestones

1902 First Cadillac, the one cylinder Model A, built in summer
1903 High volume production began, immediate success w/ 2,497 built, Strong showing in England against more powerful cars. Same car later took first in class in England's famous Thousand Miles Trial
1904 Model B added, same Leland one cylinder, but more luxurious and carried up to four passengers
1905 Model D added, four cylinder, 5 passenger. World's largest producer of Automobiles. (3,712 cars produced)
1906 Closed cars introduced
1908 Last ONE cyl. engine produced. Deward's trophy. First use of "Standard of World". All other lines discontinued and replaced with tremendously successful Model 30
1909 (5,900 cars produced)
1910 (10,039 cars produced)
1911 Last year of Model 30 designation (though still produced in 1912)
1912 Self starter, helped enable more women to drive
1914 Last 4 cylinder produced
1915 First mass-produced V-8 (314 c.i.). Famous "Penalty of Leadership" ad. Chosen as official car of U.S. Army because of dependability
1918 (19,000 cars produced)
1920 A used Model T cost $20; a new Cadillac $3,590 - $5,190 (19,628 cars produced)
1924 V-8's with balanced crank
1925 Fisher named pres. of Cadillac. Acquired Fleetwood Body
1926 Fisher Body acquired by GM. Harley Earl set up GM Art and Color section, the first real automotive styling studio, Earl also pioneered annual styling changes
1927 La Salle prospered in '27, '28, '29
1928 (56,000 cars produced)
1929 V-16 announced in December
1930 V-16 452 ci (2,887 produced)
1931 V-12 added, V-16 dropped to 364 units
1932 Last year for old classic styling
1933 Only 126 V-16's produced
1934 New LaSalle w/ vertical grill. Only 60 V-16's produced
1938 New V-16 @ 431 ci. America's Style leader. Bill Mitchell designed with no running boards
1940 End of V-16. End of custom body building, End of La Salle. Sealed beam headlights introduced. Last side-mounted tires
1941 Set styling for coming years - the only car that looked like it on the road. Hydramatic, first fully automatic transmission (introduced the year before by Oldsmobile)
1942 Fastback coupes introduced. Last regular car made in Feb. 42. Blacked-out chrome, next three years tanks made at plant
1946 and 1947 were basically a 1942 model. Demand greater than supply
1948 First Fins
1949 First OHV V-8 (along w OLDS). First true production hardtop (along w/ Buick Riviera and Olds Holiday)
1952 75 limo shed the pre-war look
1956 First four door hardtop
1959 Most opulently finned car ever produced
1962 Dual brake master cylinder standard. Side lights optional
1964 429 ci
1965 Turbohydramatic standard
1965 New styling. Perimeter frame. Curved side glass
1968 472 ci
1969 Styling change
1970 500 ci in Eldorado
1971 Major styling change
1975 Rectangular headlights. All models had 500 ci V-8. April 75, Seville, immediate success
1978 Last big Eldorado
1979 380,000 cars produced
1980 Re-styled Seville with fully independent suspension, Front Wheel Drive, and 4 wheel disc brakes
1981 4/6/8 but by '82, '83 only on 75 series
1981 Cimarron
1982 Aluminum 250 ci V-8 for all full size cars

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