Recently we asked a car collector why he collected Cadillacs “Because people say they’re the best and I want the best,” he answered. He believed that Cadillacs could knock down walls, drive on hot coals and take all kinds of awards for their style and beauty.
When we were young, Mom always wanted a Cadillac. She saw the 1956 movie “Solid Gold Cadillac” and after that her heart was set on owning one someday. Many years later, after we kids had moved out, she got her Cadillac. It was a “Lemon.”
Dad bought the used 1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille from a New York City dealer. It was silver instead of gold, but it really should have been painted Lemon Yellow. Dad and Mom had nothing but trouble with the car. It didn’t run very well, the silver paint peeled and interior parts fell off with regularity. On top of that, the car sucked gas and drove all over the road.
Now, personal experience (or family experience) counts when you form opinions about cars. That silver Sedan DeVille soured us on Cadillacs for the longest time. It made us wonder why Cadillacs are so collectible. That’s why we asked the question.
Apparently, more people had good experiences with Cadillacs than bad ones. They consider their favorite car “The Standard of the World.” And they say that this advertising slogan is accurate. We have come to believe them. When the Great Depression started, there was a long list of luxury carmakers competing with Cadillac including Duesenberg, Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, Marmon and Willys-Knight. By the time the economic blight was over, only Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler Imperial remained.
Of the three American luxury carmakers that survived, Cadillac was always the king. To hold that rank from then until now, Cadillac has had to do lots of things right. Unfortunately for Mom and Dad, 1972 may not have been Cadillac’s best year. But it has had many good ones, too!