Without a doubt, Cadillac is the most storied luxury automaker in the US, as well as one of the oldest car brands in the world. It has its roots in the famous Henry Ford Company and was founded in 1902 by engineer Henry M. Leland along with William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen, who were former financial backers of the Henry Ford Company. The men behind Cadillac named their venture after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.
Cadillac was purchased by General Motors in 1909, and by the time it changed hands the company had already made a name for itself as a quality automaker. In the years that followed, the Cadillac brand became synonymous with style, innovation, and reliability. These are all qualities that helped make it one of America’s most loved cars. On the industry front, Cadillac has revolutionized the way that automakers manufacture and market their vehicles.
Today, Cadillac is more popular than ever and the brand’s cars are driven around the world. From its most innovative concepts to the best cars it has put on the street, here are the top 10 Cadillac models of all time.
1. 1937 Cadillac Phaeton 5859
The Cadillac Phaeton 5859 is the epitome of a classically styled car. The custom built beauty was — and still is — a sight to behold, although it was out of the price range of most customers when it debuted during the Great Depression. The Phaeton 5859 was primarily designed from blueprints sketched by designer John Hampshire, and it went on to inspire the design of one of Cadillac’s concept cars from the 2010s. That this car’s style lead to the creation of a concept that came nearly 75 years after it speaks to how outstanding the Phaeton 5859 is. This one of a kind car sold for $962,500 at auction.
2. 1941 Series 62 Convertible
Cadillac has made many cars during its history that have been popular with celebrities, but the Series 62 Convertible from 1941 started the trend. This model was a favorite of stars back in the mid 1900s, and everyone from actors including Howard Hughes and Jean Harlow to infamous gangsters like Al Capone had to have one. The 1941 Series 62 Convertible was big, bold, and perfectly matched the egos of the Hollywood crowd. It was designed by one of the most renowned auto designers in history, Harley J. Earl. If you can find one of these cars at auction, expect to pay over $50,000.
3. Eldorado Biarritz
Lots of cars claim to be epic, but Cadillac’s 1959 Eldorado Biarritz truly fits the definition. This car’s rear covered wheels, monstrous tail fins, streamlined profile, and ample chrome all melded into one over the top ride. And how did Cadillac market the Eldorado Biarritz? By calling it the “new standard of the world in splendor”. Indeed it was, and there’s not a more apt way to describe this car. Just 1,320 of the Cadillacs manufactured in 1959 were an Eldorado Biarritz, and it’s not easy to find one today. At auction, the Eldorado Biarritz has fetched over $176,000.
4. Cadillac Ciel
Fast forward from 1937’s Cadillac Phaeton 5859 to 2011, the year when Cadillac debuted the Ciel. This concept car is hands-down one of the most visually stunning that the brand has ever developed. It takes many of the cues for its aesthetics from the Phaeton 5859, which gives it a retro appeal. The Ciel has a four door style, is a convertible, has suicide doors, and is dripping in elegance. Its twin turbocharged V6 engine produces 425 hp.
The interior of the Ciel packs just about every modern day amenity that one could want, and it takes connectivity to the limit. Its floating center console, innovative hidden storage, luxe seats, and rear armrest that controls an aromatherapy system are incredible — anyone who sees the Ciel is bound to be mournful that it’s just a concept. Still, it definitely deserves a place on the list of Cadillac greats.
5. 1961 Series 67 Park Avenue
Cadillac is known for producing very big luxury cars, and the 1961 Series 67 Park Avenue is a prime example of just that. This is the car that people got back in the day when they wanted to flaunt their wealth or show off — the Series 67 Park Avenue is too imposing not to make a grand appearance wherever it goes. These days, this car is featured as a centerpiece of classic car shows and it never fails to impress. You can find the Series 67 Park Avenue at auction for about $20,000 — expect to pay a lot more for ones in good condition.
6. 1957 DeVille
This is yet another classic Cadillac model that celebrities fell in love with decades ago, and thus, the masses are very familiar with how it looks. This is the “pink Cadillac” of musical fame, and the 1957 DeVille has been driven by a long list of stars including Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, and Bruce Springsteen. Elvis Presley even bought a 1957 DeVille for his mother, so you know this car had an excellent reputation. It still does, and when people envision drive-ins from the 1950s and 60s, this is the model that often comes to mind. Snagging a 1957 DeVille today typically costs at least $24,000.
7. 1975 Coupe DeVille
What was 20 feet long with two doors, tufted leather, and a Rolls-Royce style grille? The 1975 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. On the outside, it was a road boss and you couldn’t help but love it. Inside, the 1975 Coupe DeVille’s design made it an amazingly smooth ride with great performance. Depending on the condition it’s in, Cadillac’s 1975 DeVille can be found for about $15,000.
8. Fleetwood Brougham V8 Coupe
Cadillac’s Fleetwood has a long history, and 1980 was the first year that the Fleetwood Brougham’s exterior got coupe styling. While it had a look that was slimmed down and sleek, inside the Fleetwood Brougham coupe had a huge V8 engine that gave it loads of power. This ride did a world of good for GM when it served as the company’s halo car, and today the model sells privately and at auction for about $12,000.
9. World Thorium Fuel Concept
Cadillac has come up with some great concepts, but one of the most glorious is 2009’s World Thorium Fuel concept car. Here’s why it probably won’t come to fruition anytime soon: in theory, the car would be laser powered. Yes, this is something that auto makers have been talking about for well over 60 years. However, Cadillac’s World Thorium Fuel Concept doesn’t just combine incredible ideas as far as technology go, but styling unlike anything that’s been put on the market thus far. You have to see this car’s body to understand how jaw dropping it is — this is one concept that Cadillac really needs to work on making a reality.
10. Second Generation Cadillac CTS-V
The Cadillac CTS is the brand’s current darling that just about everyone adores. What’s not to like about it? Though the CTS is in its third generation, the second generation CTS-V — which was produced from 2011 to 2014 — still shines as a brilliantly designed and beautiful car. It’s hard to think of another luxury wagon with the same speed, excellent chassis, and great aesthetic of Cadillac’s CTS-V. The price for this model comes in at about $69,000, and it’s truly worth every penny.