Following Cadillac: Preface

For the first term of my MA in automotive journalism here at Coventry University, I was given an assignment to pick an automotive brand and follow it. Through out the term I will be researching Cadillac’s history following where it is now and where it is going in the future. But what makes sense for me to do in this first post is to explain why I chose Cadillac. If I put out there the basis for why i chose this brand above many others I feel it will lay good groundwork to build other posts on top of.

My personal history with Cadillac began with a very intimidating matte grey ’76 El Dorado convertible. For a good portion of my childhood it was covered in boxes and other random objects that had collected on top of it in my home garage. Admittedly, I was sometimes afraid of it. With the imagination I had it was kind of like the monster under the bed. When in reality it was my dad’s daily driver once upon a time. I can only assume that with the gas prices creeping up as they were and still are, a ’76 V8 Cadillac coupe convertible larger than most four doors driving around today was getting pricey. So into hibernation it went. After some years of nagging from my mother my dad finally decided to fix it up. Finding a collector to buy the beast helped out a little bit. I was actually quite happy the caddy was getting fixed up. Not because the monster under the bed was getting an eviction notice but because I got to help out my dad fix it up, i.e I got to hold his tools and hand them to him when he asked. This was one of the first verses in my genesis that sparked me wanting to now as much about cars as possible. When ever he worked on the Caddy or any car for that matter I always wanted to help but most likely got in the way more often that not. One of the last memories I have of that monster is when my dad got the radio working. I whole-heartedly expected to turn the radio on and to hear someone announcing news from 1976, kind of like in the movie Frequency. Surprisingly, that didn’t happen. My next personal encounter with Cadillac wouldn’t happen again until I was 17.

I can’t remember the exact month but I do remember how and when i got my first car. A highland green ’93 Cadillac 4.6 V8 STS. I called it Highland green because I was and still am a fan of the movie Bullit…the catalogue color of Steve McQueen’s 390 GT. My brother, the previous owner, brought it to my house as a hand-me-down gift. I immediately wanted to take it for a spin. It ran perfectly and as far as I was concerned it was the standard of my world. In the 8os and early 90s American cars were not the best, to put it lightly. However, Gm usually tested all its new technology on Cadillac before making it standard equipment on the rest of its cars. Although something didn’t always work I can assure you my friends with other cars from 1993 were jealous of my heated seats, CD player and Bose gold series speakers. Though they were not jealous when my catalytic converter rusted off. But from one car person to another, with a 4.6 liter American V8 up front, my right foot hasn’t been heavier since. That car has since been retired. Over 150k miles on the clock and a good old-fashioned road trip down to Daytona beach under her belt, it wasn’t a bad life. It was my first car but it won’t be my last Cadillac. I assure you.


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