People who drive Cadillacs understand what all the hype is about. They join the ranks of some of the most famous people in the world including Elvis Presley and United States Presidents John F. Kennedy and Teddy Roosevelt. Is it about the prestige? We must admit that there is a degree that comes with ownership but that isn’t the most compelling reason. Cadillacs are among the finest luxury vehicles built. If you enjoy riding in comfort with a touch of class that isn’t overstated, then you’re in the majority of fans of the brand. The company has a rich heritage that boasts over a century of automotive excellence with technological advancement that has kept the automaker up with modern times. Cadillac is associated with excellence in American automotive design and engineering, just as BMW represents the country of Germany with international recognition. We’ve included some of their finest concept cars in our collection because they stand with production models as some of the most desired vehicles built by the company and they deserve to be mentioned with the others. Here are the top 20 Cadillac models of all-time for your enjoyment.
20. 2001 Cadillac Imaj Concept
The Imaj Concept was Cadillac’s musing of an innovative design that went against the grain of the current trend in the industry. While the others were moving backwards in time with a retro perspective, Cadillac was more interested in moving forward. The Imaj concept gained its inspiration from the commingling of a mini-van blended with a luxury sedan, with all the bells and whistles that come with the latest in technology of the era. The roofline took on the elements of a Prius and the result was a vehicle that didn’t have the curb appeal of some of the more attractive models, but it couldn’t be beat when it came to comfort and state of the art technology. This model didn’t make it to the production lines because it was a bit too trendy to be a sure bet, but those who were privy to the design found it to be among the more interesting designs that the manufacturer had come up with to date.
19. 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
The Biarritz was a chrome laden beauty that featured a long body with large tail fins which were popular during the late 1950s. The design geniuses engineered this vehicle with covered rear wheels which gave the car a svelte and streamlined appearance. This model was the most over the top vehicle to roll off the production lines. It set a new standard for luxury in its day, with a magnificent presence that was unrivaled by any other American built vehicle. It set the standard for others to follow, but it would be several years before they would begin to catch up.
18. 2003 Cadillac Sixteen
The Sixteen was Cadillac’s answer to the Duesenberg, although it lacked the obvious world charm associated with the Royalty of auto-making, but it did give the competition a good run. This model was innovative with its use of a 13.6-liter V-16 engine that featured cylinder deactivation capability. The use of computerization was the new trend and Cadillac jumped on board with the latest engineering advances to create this giant sedan with a magnificent 1,000 horsepower that only sipped 20 miles per gallon in fuel consumption. What a feat this was.
17. 1987 Cadillac Allante
This is a car that will bring back fond memories for some of the fortunate few who owned one of these luxury Cadillac roadsters. The Allante oozed class and sophistication and the Pininfarina body created an amorous experience for drivers who were privileged to sit behind the wheel. This was Cadillacs near perfect model and the only competitors who exceeded its glory this year were Jaguar with their XJS and Mercedes with their new SL class. The competition between auto manufacturers has existed since the creation of the first motor cars and there is no indication that this will ever change.
16. 1985 Cadillac DeVille
It was in 1985 that Cadillac made the transition from the old style rear wheel drive to the more modern front wheel drive. This is what the public demanded and it was served the needs of the public by providing better handling on surfaces featuring low traction. It cost less for the auto companies to manufacture as well. This move resulted in higher ratings on consumer reports and it made this model a transitional example of how the company was improving in engineering vehicles with enhanced safety and what the public perceived as better handling. It worked for everyone involved.
15. 1917 Cadillac type 55
We take a trip back in time to the model that was named as “The Great War Cadillac.” The Type 55 had taken its inspiration from the previous Type 53 model with regards to the mechanical engineering and stylistic design, but it was hailed as the vehicle of choice for use by the United States Army for staff and ambulance duties. They were so impressed with the Type 55 that when the war went to Europe, the military insisted on hundreds of this model going with them. This makes it one of the most memorable vehicles of its time if only for this reason alone.
14. 1952 Cadillac Bill Boyer’s Custom
Bill Boyer was a plant manager at General Motors. He had a dream that he shared with the design chief at the same company, Harley Earl. He had a strong desire to own a car that was a combination of a sportscar, merged with a Cadillac. He wanted it all when it came to high end luxury, comfort, prestige, sexiness and speed. His wish came true when the 1952 Bill Boyer Custom was built. This is one of the most unique examples produced by the car maker. Engineers and pros in the design shop shaved ten inches off a Caddy and crafted a prototype featuring a roof of metal which made a fold that went underneath its metal tonneau. Cadillac understood how to make a dream come true and this model stood as a fair representation of their true genius when it comes to design and engineering.
13. 1980 Cadillac Seville Elegante
This model evidenced a turning point in the aesthetics with noticeable upgrades with design inspiration taken from the eras of the 1930s and ‘40s. The Seville Elegante was aptly named for its luxurious Year: 1980. The Seville Elegante was a set of aesthetic upgrades inspired by the designs of the ’30s and ’40s. The two-tone paint and perforated leather interiors made these Cadillacs not just luxurious and powerful, but unique.
12. 1946 Cadillac Series 61
The Series 61 became a favorite in 1946 because of its amazing aesthetics. It was one of the most attractive cars that the company made. It set a precedent that created a demand for more of the same. This model kicked off a series of variants that were designed to meet the expectations of a public that was clamoring for more. It was the beginning of a new era for the Cadillac auto manufacturing company that changed the industry as engineers and designers reassigned their focus to the elements that were more popular with consumers.
11. 1941 Cadillac Series 63
The Cadillac Series 63 was unique in that was among the limited number of example of the brand that was just offered with one body style. It was a five-seat sedan with no variants available. The 9- degree engine was a V8 and it supplied plenty of horsepower to reach a top speed of 100 miles per hour which in the early forties was nothing short of phenomenal. This car brought a need for speed to the American public.
10. 1941 Cadillac Series 61
The tenth top Cadillac of all time was built in the same year as the series 63 that became a top seller. There was a lull in the production of the Cadillac brand during wartime, but it was a brief episode in the history of the manufacturer and they returned to production with a fury. There was a sense of urgency because the company leaders realized that they were under the gun to get the market share back in rapid timing. They pulled out all the stops with the series 61 which met with equal success as the 63.
9. 2002 Cadillac Escalade ESV SUV
The 2002 Escalade ESV SUV delivered high on performance in just about every facet imaginable. It became the new rage and sales of the vehicle soared. This vehicle was totally pimped out with the most beautiful aesthetics ever seen in a sport utility vehicle. The 2002 model threw in another seat which brought the total to eight for maximum passenger seating options. There was no want for power as it was given an even bigger and more powerful V8 engine. There was no sacrifice of the luxury that was expected from the Cadillac brand and the styling of the 2002 became yet more distinctive. This was the year that the Cadillac Escalade began to realize its true potential and it has remained a popular choice through current editions. This was a pivotal example for the company that grew an entire new generation of Cadillac owners.
8. 1936 Cadillac Series 80
The predecessor for the 1936 Cadillac Series 80 was the Series 370. This newer version featured an update to a new Fleetwood body and it featured a turret top. It was powered with the short V12 which was one of the two available during this run. There were a few things that made the ’36 Series 80 so popular. The fist was the stylish appearance which was a big hit with the public and the second was that the steering was more responsive, making it easier to operate. This was a memorable vehicle and examples found today are considered to be very rare and in high demand among collectors.
7. 1959 Cadillac Bubble Top Limo
This was one of the most desired vehicles of its’ day. The 1959 Bubble Top Limo was designed and built for Queen Elisabeth the second and her husband Prince Phillip. This was also the car that was favored by American President John F. Kennedy. The feature that made this car so popular among world leaders and high-ranking politicians is that it featured a bubble towards the back of the vehicle that easily popped off to provide visual access to the passengers and it allowed those seated inside to greet their adoring public and be more easily seen. This vehicle was among the most sought after in its era as it stood for high end luxury and prestige.
6. 1934 Cadillac Series 370D
This is one of the older versions of the roadster that became popular in the 1930s. The Series 370D was an elegant vehicle that was built to offer a classy ride with the charm and elegance that would be the keystone of the Cadillac reputation for years to come. It was adorned with a V shaped grill which gave it an aggressive appearance with the balance of the exterior offering a seductive appearance that let the world know that this car was built for a combination of raw power in a highly luxurious and sexy ride. There was no lack of power with the V12 engine that made it the most powerful car that the company had to offer at the time.
5. 1930 Cadillac Series 370
This model was one of Cadillac’s early lines that featured the use of a V12 engine. What makes this example so very special is that it was the very first to be equipped with this large motor and it broke through the glass ceiling by offering more power for a faster trip there and back. This vehicle was an attractive model that gained in popularity among the wealthy and became the car of choice for distance travel when the order was to get there in style. Although not as fancy as the variant known as the 370D, it was a remarkable automobile for its time and it had its place in the history of the company as a bar setter that would lay the foundation for achieving excellence and forward movement in design and engineering in the automobile industry.
4. 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
The 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe was the updated version of the CTS-V that set the world on its ear. A side by side comparison of the two shows us precisely what the design team is capable of doing when they are working with a beautiful luxury vehicle to begin with, then take definitive action to ramp it up on steroids. The Coupe variation may well be the sexiest fast production sedan model that they’ve rolled off the lines to date. Its predecessor was doing fine on its own, but when the Coupe made its appearance on the scene it was enough to make Pavlov’s dog drool.
3. 1934 Cadillac Series 355D
The first Cadillacs weren’t judged, they were simply appreciated for every gift they bestowed upon mankind. With this thought in mind, as we look through the history of the company through the various models that were produced, we see a definite trend. Once excellence was achieved it was made obsolete by the next great idea and innovation. The 1934 Cadillac Series 355D is a good example of the progress that was made during this era. Roads at the time featured pot holes and bumps in a consistent frequency and there was a need to improve the maneuverability of the vehicle when navigating around them or taking them head on. This model was the first to include an independent front suspension which made the car easier to handle on rough terrain. The V8 gave it plenty of soup to move down the road as well. As with many of the Cadillac examples, the Series 355D is yet another that signaled growth and innovation in design.
2. 2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Pick-Up
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade sport utility model was an earth moving event that created a new generation of Cadillac drivers. It offered something different in the way it handled, the passenger capacity and retained every ounce of the class and style that Cadillac is so well-known for. Someone in the design department had the brilliant idea to use the inspiration of the popular SUV and translate this into an EXT Pick-Up version. When it was first introduced to the world in 2002, there were those that had plenty of criticism and this cast a shadow on the hopefulness that it would catch on as well as its SUV relative. Who combines a pickup truck with a high-end luxury vehicle and what is the purpose? Those concerns were soon replaced with the realization that the hunch had paid off. The Escalade EXT became popular and brought yet another success for the company.
1. 1931 Cadillac Series 452A
The 1931 Cadillac Series 452A was an expensive venture that cost the company a high price tag to build. It was not a popular car in 1931 and was not a car that sold in mass quantities. Cadillac didn’t make a cent on any of the few models that they actually sold. This model was considered to be a bomb and despite the fact that it didn’t have a market audience, it was brilliant in design with an attractive appearance, a luxurious interior and a monster of a V16 engine that could all but make the vehicle fly down the road. The 7.4 liter did a great job in its time, but none of this seemed to be enough which suggests that this model may have simply been before its time. Times change and so do attitudes. The 1931 Cadillac Series 452A is one of the rarest and most highly desired car that Cadillac has made. Although it was a disappointment in the early 1930s, there are quite a few collectors who would like to see a few more examples of the vehicle come available. The high retail on the 1931 Series 452A currently stands at $544,000. We placed this highly collectible vehicle at the top of the list because it has come so far from the day when it was all but rejected by the American public. It is now one of the most sought after, therefore deserving of the recognition that it failed to get in the early days of auto-making.