I do believe this finishes up our Top Ten lists of the "Big Three" (and miscellaneous) American cars. We've done Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury from FoMoCo; we've done Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge from Mopar; and we've done Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile from GM. There's been an "other" category, albeit prematurely. So it's time for my favorite marque of all.
Today's Automotive Top Ten List is my Top Ten Favorite Caddys.
1. 1959 El Dorado convertible. This car is, bar none, my all-time favorite automobile. The Harley Earl design is breathtaking, with sweeping lines culminating in those deliciously ostentatious tail fins. Everything about this car is just right, there's simply no other way to put it. It's been in dozens of movies, has served as one of the shining icons of American post-war automotive styling, and is just plain gorgeous.
2. 1971 El Dorado convertible. Bonus points for horns on the hood. Really, any of the El Dorado convertibles from the early- to mid- 1970s will do. These were ginormous cars, with hoods large enough to land helicopters and motors (500 CI!) to match. Toss in a leather interior (white if possible) and you've got the land barge di tutti land barges...
3. 1940 Series 90. This car has, for a very long time, been one of my all-time favorite cars. There's just something about that removable panel over the driver's compartment; the way the rear streeeetchs back to offer unparalleled comfort; the neither over- nor understated opulence of the car that simply exudes class. A shame they don't offer such style today.
4. 2009 XLR. Okay, so it's basically a Corvette with modified sheetmetal. It's still got a 443 horsepower V8 with a supercharger and four intercoolers that propel A CADILLAC from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. FOUR POINT SIX seconds. Much was made of the > $100K price tag, but when you put it up against the Mercedes and BMW supercars that it was intended to face, it's downright cheap.
5. 1983 Coupe De Ville. For sentimental reasons - it's the only Cadillac I've ever owned. I've always liked the late 1970s to 1985 (the end of the rear-drive Coupe and Sedan de Villes); while the body was shared among GM, the Cadillac incarnation was my favorite.
6. 1930 V-16. Designed, built, and marketed before the stock market crash of 1929, the V-16 roadster was Cadillac's top of the line model from inception until WWII stopped production. This Harley Earl designed roadster was inspired by custom built European models and would set the Cadillac standard for years to come.
7. Pre-war Series 62. With just enough styling cues to distinguish the Cadillac from it's more plebian brothers, the Series 62 was Cadillac's mid-sized model. Designed to be an "entry level" Cadillac, the Series 62 would become a test-bed platform of sorts, with trim levels spinning off to their own models if they proved popular.
8. 1996 Fleetwood. Not only is this the last of the full-sized Caddies, it's a personal pick as well. We rented a brand-spankin' new '96 Fleetwood for our honeymoon to Quebec, driving it north into Canada and all around the Great White North. Nothing gets you through the border faster than being newlyweds in a rented Cadillac on your honeymoon!
9. 1956 Series 60S. The Elvis model was a 1953, but pretty much any Series 60 from the 1950s will do. The "Sixty Special" offered a host of amenities, from air conditioning to wire wheels, power brakes, and even gold script well in advance of the "tuner craze" of the 1990s...
10. 1968 Series 75 limosine. And not just because it was the vehicular conveyance of choice in "One Crazy Summer". The mid-late 1960s styling of the Series 75 remains a favorite, with the car a ubiquitous staple of Hollywood movies. The long body conveyed the limo aspect, while the Cadillac appointments exuded muted opulence.
That wraps up this Top Ten list, as well as my Top Ten lists for the "Big Three" American car manufacturers. I've been toying with the idea of doing a "Top Ten" list for foreign cars next, perhaps by country (England, Italy, Germany, Japan, etc.). Additional ideas are always welcome, either in comments or via e-mail.
So, what other fine Cadillacs should be on the list?
That is all.