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Founded by Henry Leland in 1902, who named the company after the seventeenth-century French explorer who founded Detroit.  Quickly established a reputation for innovation, even after being absorbed into the GM conglomerate in 1909. In 1912 the company introduced the Delco electric ignition and lighting system, and the powerful V8 engine was also a Cadillac first. Legendary automotive designer Harley Earl was responsible for giving Cadillac’s their elegant, streamlined look in the 1920s.

He is credited with introducing the first tailfin on the new designs in the late 1940s, inspired in part by the fighter planes of World War II, an automotive fashion trend that would take other car manufacturers a decade to catch up. During the 1950’s Cadillac's became extremely expensive, and heavy, attributable not only to the cars enormous size but the long list of luxury appointments fitted, such as imported leather seats, state-of-the-art climate and stereo systems and power windows.

The brand also began to take hold in popular culture: Chuck Berry sang of besting one in a race in his 1955 hit "Maybellene," and Elvis Presley began driving a pink Caddy not long after his first few chart successes. Cadillac's hold on the status-car market began to wane in the 1960s when both Lincoln and Chrysler began making inroads with their models. Mismanagement by GM engendered further decline.

Cadillac production reached 266,000 cars in 1969, one of its peak years. That model year's popular Coupe DeVille (with a wheelbase of over ten feet) sold for $5,721; by contrast the best-selling Chevrolet, the Impala, had a sticker price of $3,465. There were media-generated rumors that people sometimes pooled their funds in order to buy a Cadillac to share. In the 1970s, the brand became indelibly linked with the urban American criminal element, the ride of choice for pimps and mob bosses alike. This in turn led well-heeled Americans to opt for European luxury marques.

Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generarion 1

1953 - 1954
The first iteration of the El Dorado was a low volume convertible only model, available in four unique colors - Aztec Red, Alpine White, Azure Blue and Artisan Ochre. Convertible tops were available in either black or white Orlon. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 2

1955 - 1958
For 1955, the Eldorado's body gained its own rear end styling with high, slender, pointed tailfins. These contrasted with the rather thick, bulbous fins which were common at the time and were an example of Eldorado once again pointing the way forward. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

1957 - 1958
It was curvy with pillarless doors and knife-edged fins with a 90 degree wraparound on the front screen. Its roof was built from stainless steel and with its narrow white sidewalls and twin headlights it was seen as an industry first. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 3

1959 - 1966
A different Eldorado Brougham was sold for 1959 and 1960. These cars were not quite so extravagantly styled but were very unusual pieces in themselves. Priced at $13,075, they cost $1 more, each, than their older siblings. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 4

1967 - 1970
The Eldorado was radically redesigned for 1967. Intended for the burgeoning personal luxury car market, it was a "personal" Cadillac sharing the E-body with the Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado that had been introduced the previous year. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 5

1971 - 1978
When GM's full-size cars were redesigned for 1971, the Eldorado regained both a convertible model and its fender skirts. The 126.3-inch (3,210 mm) wheelbase version of the Eldorado would run through 1978, receiving facelifts in 1973 and 1975. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 6

1979 - 1985
For 1979, a new, trimmer Eldorado was introduced, and for the first time the car shared its chassis with the Buick Riviera as well as the Toronado. Smaller 350 and 368 in³ (5.7 and 6.0 liter) V8's replaced the 500 and 425 in³ (8.2 and 7.0 liter) of the preceding model, giving better fuel efficiency. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham  

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 7

1986 - 1991
For 1986, yet another downsizing occurred, and it was fairly extreme. In fact, the costly Eldorado was now the same size that GM's own compact cars had been only a few years earlier, and much smaller than Lincoln's competing Mark VII. More >>
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Cadillac Eldorado Generation 8

1992 - 2002
For 1992, a new Eldorado appeared. It was in fact only slightly bigger than its predecessor, but it was so much more adroitly styled that it seemed greatly so. Window glass was once again frameless, and shortly after introduction Cadillac's new Northstar V8 became available in both 270 and 295 hp variants, replacing the 200 hp 4.9 liter. More >>
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