3rd Jul 2018, 08:14
I remember in the late 50s and through the 60s how eye catching each individual year's models were. They were elegant cars. The year before quickly became dated, even with subtle changes, especially the slow disappearance of the fins. You could have a new 58 that was beautiful, but in 1960 it was totally dated. Each year smaller fins after 1959 til they disappeared. If you lived in a smaller town, the general consensus was it was someone that was successful or an important family that could afford a new one. On my wife’s side of the family, they owned a downtown new TV stereo and record store. Would not ever buy a new Cadillac for a few reasons. They could have but would not. Not to appear too showy or appear expensive to customers buying a new TV. Or fret on not getting paid by customers paying on time with credit through the store. So they would always buy new Buicks. All that mentality is different today. The Cadillac today is far different. Also more European luxury sedan influenced in size and road manners. The plush ride and size they were once noted for has disappeared. They trimmed down the excess but lost the ride quality. I miss that era.
3rd Jul 2018, 14:21
Engines, body styles, track times. Doesn't matter. The point was the car was a total flop. IMO it was a pretty neat concept.
"Back to the 8-6-4 or Northstar or diesel era"
Sounds good to me, but you did recommend to fast forward to present Cadillac engines.
3rd Jul 2018, 15:17
Yes, that's what I was getting at. Oldsmobile had nothing to do with the HT 4100 nor the 864. But I do believe that Oldsmobile supplied the tooling for the Northstar. The 4.0 used in the Aurora was identical to the Northstar, but with a different bore and stroke. I'm pretty sure the Olds motor came out first, but I could be wrong.
As far as the HT 4100; that was the worst Cadillac motor, and one of the worst to come out of GM. The 864 was a durable motor. All you have to do is disable the cylinder deactivation system.
3rd Jul 2018, 15:53
The problem with Cadillac as a brand is the same that occurred with pretty much every single American luxury brand: Stagnation. While Lincoln, Cadillac, and to an extent Chrysler made truly desirable, highly coveted vehicles, they failed to keep up with the change in vehicle tastes that Americans gradually migrated towards. Americans increasingly went to the European luxury makes. Handling, performance and interior fit and finish became more and more in demand. But the big three kept on making what were essentially big floaty holdovers from the 50s and 60s. The typical buyer for these brands gradually got older and older until the brands themselves became associated as being "grannymobiles".
Cadillac has come a long way since reintroducing their brand and new models. But they are still not up to par in a few key areas as the competition. The performance of the CTS, the ATS, and their "V" variants out-handle the European makes and have been very well received by the automotive press. But consumers still complain about their interiors and the fit and finish. Their boss stepped down and I've heard rumors of a whole new slate of brand new designs they are going to reveal at some point. When they do I hope they finally get it right. It's a shame that a brand like Cadillac was allowed to moulder away for so long and lose the prestige it once held. I hope they can get that prestige back.
3rd Jul 2018, 16:55
Hate to tell you, but Cadillac "prestige" were indeed the large "floaty" 'grannymobiles" that you mentioned.
3rd Jul 2018, 19:13
We can pretty much buy what we want (within reasonable limits). My wife just bought a new Buick LaCrosse. Another car we didn’t really need. Not even sure if I spelled it right. And I was totally shocked how truly nice this domestic is. Heads up display, and an amazing array of electronics. Lane avoidance, remote start, back up camera, nice contrasting leather and dash. Outside from the front doesn’t light my fire. But it drives great and has the big car feel. So not a Cadillac, but a worthy consideration. If we take a trip it’s got room and is serviceable everywhere, unlike our other cars. That has appeal to us. I hate to say that you take out too nice of a car and you have reservations leaving it. So another GM option for you. I heard these cars are very popular in China. My point is we do not have much in the way of a domestic full size today. You can go to a crossover or bigger. But it’s kind of nice having a modern day larger sedan. I wouldn’t have even thought to look at this car. So you might like to check it out, especially how it drives and the nice interior.
5th Jul 2018, 10:51
Eldorado, Fleetwood, Brougham. These were names that conjured an image. The names now are initials with no meaning. Or even Escalade. I have heard many descriptions of the Cadillacs and Lincolns our family owned over many years, but never ever the word “Floaty”. Ones that quickly jump out are “Whisper quiet, Opulent, Smooth, Velvet Ride” soaking up the miles with luxury and comfort. You know you have arrived with a new Cadillac. Yes they were sometimes even called a land yacht. But “Floaty” is one that none of my family can ever recall. Sounds like something I would find in our pool out back. Not a luxury brand once parked in the garage.
5th Jul 2018, 16:43
Agreed - Buicks are pretty nice these days. But there's a little bit of sadness for me when it comes to the brand. Pretty much all of their cars are based off of Opels. The last American Buicks were the likes of the outgoing Buick LeSabre.
Today the Lacrosse, Regal, and Cascada are all re-badged Opels. Their small SUV, the Encore is a rebadged Opel Mokka assembled in Korea.
I sort of wish GM and to some extent Ford would consider making more in-house vehicles using US design and engineering facilities versus simply rebadging their European models.
That said... I wouldn't mind having a Buick Regal TourX. Nice looking wagon.
3rd Jul 2018, 02:26
I doubt Oldsmobile had anything to do with HT4100 or V864. They were focusing on Quad 4 and trying to fix their crappy diesels at that time.