The America at the top of its game. The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible is pictured. See more pictures of Cadillacs.

The Cadillac story is in many ways the story of modern America itself, certainly of the American car industry.

Cadillac Image Gallery


The previews at the bottom of this page will take you to articles that chronicle the amazing Cadillac saga, as told by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. Every Cadillac, from 1930 through 2008, is described. More than 100 color photos reveal them in their finest light, and the developments, designs, and characters that made them great or rendered them losers are explored in fast-paced text.

From the stately classics of the 1930s with their 12- and 16-cylinder engines, though the Elvis-age extravaganzas of the 1950s, to the luxury marvels of the 1960s, Cadillac represented a particular American brio and symbolized what the resourceful individual could accomplish.

But Cadillac seemed to lose some luster in the 1970s as Americans, sensibilities transformed by the turbulent 1960s, started to view premium-brand foreign cars as the new benchmarks of sophistication and prestige.

By the 1980s, it seemed General Motors itself had lost sight of what made its flagship marque great. It foisted upon the public a string of undistinguished Cadillacs that looked and acted like the Chevys and Oldsmobiles upon which they were based.

Cadillac fought back in the 1990s with cars that could hold their own against any like-priced rival. But so diminished was Cadillac's stature that its toughest battle was one of perception. It took, of all things, the Escalade SUV in 1999 to resurrect Cadillac's image as an object of desire. By the 2000s, the sense was that Cadillac had once again found its motivation and was forging an identity as car to aspire to.

These articles celebrate this fascinating journey. They divide the Cadillac saga by decades, and each article highlights the decisions, the cars, and the personalities that shaped that 10-year-period.

The 1934 engine and was among the stately, sophisticated designs that made a Cadillac a genuine classic.
The 1934 engine and was among the stately, sophisticated designs that made a Cadillac a genuine classic.

Here are previews of our stories about the modern history of Cadillac:

1930-1939 Cadillac

Cadillac asserts its luxury leadership with magnificent V-16 and V-12 models that were among the greatest cars of an era of great cars.

1940-1949 Cadillac

Cadillac produces some of its most beautiful cars and some of its most important engineering developments -- not to mention the tailfin.

1950-1959 Cadillac

Cadillac symbolizes the optimism of a swaggering America with soaring tailfins and Elvis-era glamour.

1960-1969 Cadillac

Cadillac brings unmatched elegance to the luxury market and is rewarded with unchallenged popularity.

1970-1979 Cadillac

See how Cadillac maintained its hold on the premium market by adroitly addressing changing consumer demands.

1980-1989 Cadillac

America's top luxury brand was in crises in the 1980s. Lean about how it weathered the storm.

1990-1999 Cadillac

Import competition and a stale image rock once-proud Cadillac. Here's the low-down on Cadillac's come-down.

2000-2008 Cadillac

Discover how bold design, big power, and an SUV fuel a Cadillac comeback.

The 2004 Cadillac XLR, with its bold styling, 320-horsepower Northstar V-8, and $75,000 price was part of Cadillac's comeback in the 2000s.
The 2004 Cadillac XLR, with its bold styling, 320-horsepower Northstar V-8, and $75,000 price was part of Cadillac's comeback in the 2000s.

For even more on great Cadillacs of all vintages, check out:

  • Consumer Guide New Car Reviews and Prices: Road test results, photos, specifications, and prices for hundreds of new cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs from the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.
  • 2007 Cadillac reviews and prices: Reports, prices, photos, fuel economy, specifications, Best Buys, and more on all the 2007 Cadillacs from the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.
  • Used Cadillac reviews and prices: Looking for a pre-owned Cadillac? Here's all you need to know, including year-to-year model highlights, mechanical trouble spots, safety recalls, fuel economy and more from the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.
  • The 2007 New York Auto Show: Cadillac is among the headliners as the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide bring you the latest news, opinion, pictures, and prices on all the new cars introduced at the 2007 New York Auto Show.
  • Fuel-economy leaders: The EPA admits its fuel economy numbers are estimates. Ours are real. Here are the fuel-economy leaders as determined in Consumer Guide tests.