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  1. #1
    Stoneage_Caddy's Avatar
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    Cadillac and Pop Culture

    From Commander Cody singing about trying to pass a Cadillac in a “Hotrod Lincoln” to The Marine Corps running in formation singing about how “they took away my Cadillac”. There is probably no other car out there that is so frequently mentioned with music and other indicators of pop culture. Think about it, did Sammy Kershaw sing a song about “my little baby loves me Plymouth Valiant style?” There is something about the Cadillac that allows a person to relate to an audience. Weather its “Cadillac style” or the “Cadillac of microwaves” we find that frequently “Cadillac” is used to describe the quality or style of something.

    To figure out how a noun became an adjective look no further than Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll, a cultural movement that still rages on today got its start in 1953 on a record called “Rocket 88” by The Delta Cats. Granted the band took its name from a fellow GM product line this was the start of rock and Roll. It occurred at the same time that one of the greatest automotive icons also got its start known as the Eldorado. The only other Car that may be mentioned as often in song is the Corvette, also debuting in 1953. Coincidence? I beg to differ.

    By 1953 Harley Earl was really flexing his design muscle at GM, the Cadillac and Buck lines were the benchmark of automotive style. Chrysler and Lincoln by comparison were pretty plain, while Packard and Dusenberg’s days were pretty much done. If you wanted a car to show the world you made it, you drove a Cadillac. High quality, flamboyant styling, chrome, and that smooth v8. There was nothing out there like a Cadillac. As soon as Elvis’s First single in 1955 got him enough cash a skinny Elvis marched right down and got himself a used 1954 Cadillac 4 Door. This car would be the first of many Cadillacs including the 1954 Pink and White car that is so famous now. Cadillac couldn’t ask for a bigger endorsement than a popular musician buying and collecting the cars they made. Like a girl looking at a Brittney Spears style school girl uniform on ebay the world knew if they had one they would be adored.

    Johnny Cash wanted one so bad he stole one “one piece at a time” from a Detroit assembly line. The story may not be true but it reflects a feeling had by many folks over time. By 1959 the Cadillac became the car most associated with the 50s, with only the best seller 57 Chevrolet Bellair and the 50 Mercury fighting it for icon status. When people talk tailfin, the 59 is what comes to mind. King of the fins, king of the latest technology, king of style. Across the world the 1959 Cadillac Line is the quintessential American car. Ask any one from Russia, Japan, or Great Britain what the American car is, they will most likly say the Cadillac and point out a picture of a 59.

    By the middle 70s however the Cadillac got “unpopular” in some regards. While “pimped” Eldorados with huge aftermarket headlamps and “dingle bells” hung from the headliner were the rage in some circles the big fancy cars were falling away due to the oil crisis. With a war raging in Vietnam most pop culture shifted away from what material things we wanted and focused on more what made us happy inside, or in Dan Fogelberg’s case what made us sad. We had sung about love, peace, even what happened one dark day at Kent state. Cadillac was a car of the “fascist pig” or “the man” as frequently mentioned by the keepers of popculture. Even the champion all of things Cadillac known as Elvis was lost in this era. The king of rock and roll and the Cadillac’s pop culture identity died at the same time. We even got to the point we sung a song about a Chevy Van. Good thing “Bread’s” popularity was fairly shortlived.

    The biggest pop culture item to come out of this era was “Cadillac Ranch” where one oil tycoon had an artist bury Cadillacs nose first so the tailfins would show. One pristine 49 would fall the worst victim. The owner of the 49 demanded a higher price than what it was worth, the tycoon ordered the car be bought and its nose smashed right in front of the owner and was then promptly buried. OUCH!!!

    Cadillac had enjoyed a little resurgence in the 80s as Crockett and Tubs were frequently seen in an early 60s Cadillac convertible on the show "Miami Vice". The real rebirth occurred in late 98 when the Escalade was introduced to the world. Pretty soon “it’s been a long time since I rock and rolled” became the battle cry for Cadillac. Almost overnight the Escalade appeared in music videos. One Escalade even leaked oil in a Ludacris video as he proclaimed “check out at the oil my Cadillac spills”. Hopefully this was taken care of under warranty. Then the CTS showed its stuff on the matrix sequel, it brought the “entry level” Cadillac out of the failure shadow (cast from the 82-87 Cimarron) and into loving owners garages everywhere.

    The Cadillac casts a spell on people, I for one cant quite place my finger on it but I think it’s in that v8. As even hardened Import fanatics such as myself found the Cadillac Irresistible, turning down a Supra and a early 90s rx7 to have that V8 and tailfins I had seen and heard so much of my life. Like Rock and Rollers, Politicians, oil tycoons, Rap Moguls, and movie stars, I'm proud to point and say, “ that’s my Cadillac". I for one cant wait to see what the XLR, STS, SRX, V series and DTS will bring us over the airwaves.

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  3. #2
    ben72227 is offline Banned
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Ah, and who ever thought Cadillac would come back with a Yukon with Cadillac Crest/Emblems patched on? I certainly didn't. I mean, who here can honestly say that you thought that one day Cadillac would have such a thing as the "V series"? It just goes to show that GM isn't that out of touch after all

    However, I feel that as Cadillac becomes more "hip" and modern, it will lose some of what has made it so....Cadillac...over the years. Gone are the fancy sounding names like Coupe deVille and Fleetwood Brougham. Gone are the land yachts and the pimp mobiles of the past. It seems that as Cadillac tries more and more to compete on a global scale, it loses some of what makes it THE AMERICAN luxury car.

    But maybe, just maybe, one day we will have a Cadillac that can truly be recrowned as the "Standard of the World."

  4. #3
    90Brougham350's Avatar
    90Brougham350 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by ben72227
    But maybe, just maybe, one day we will have a Cadillac that can truly be recrowned as the "Standard of the World."
    Can anyone say, "ULS" ?

    Brian

  5. #4
    Adumb's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    i love the new cts's and sts's and dts's as much as the next guy, buti wish that cadillac would use elegant words in the model names again. like coupe deville eldorado or fleetwood brougham. they just have that sound to the names.

  6. #5
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Adumb
    i love the new cts's and sts's and dts's as much as the next guy, buti wish that cadillac would use elegant words in the model names again. like coupe deville eldorado or fleetwood brougham. they just have that sound to the names.
    there is alot of folks saying the same thing lately ....we'll see how it plays out after 10 years worth of it...

  7. #6
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Very interesting.
    ~Steve

  8. #7
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    I heard that in like 2008 they are going to re introduce the Fleetwood and it will be rear wheel drive! but if they call it the FTS, FHS or any thing dumb like that I will have to kill someone lol.

  9. #8
    Katshot's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Hey! You got a problem with the name FTS?!
    I have to agree, I found it hard to believe that a re-badged Chevy SUV would end up saving Cadillac but what the hell. Whatever works, I guess.
    Actually, it's kind of a shame Cadillac hasn't joined in the recent love fest with all that is old. With all the other "retro" cars out there selling like hotcakes, you'd think Cadillac might have jumped into the act with a Fleetwood or Eldo retro-mobile. It's probably a little late now. And as for the rumored "ULS", I'm SOO tired of hearing about it.

  10. #9
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    I hope to god that they bring back the Fleetwood Brougham name for the ULS super luxury sedan. Even if it's called the FTS, it should compete with the S Classes, 7 Series, and A8's.

  11. #10
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    [quote=Katshot]Hey! You got a problem with the name FTS?! [quote]
    No I just think cars should have real names. chill out I'm just playing haha.

    Oh and I really do think thay will bring the Fleetwood back, I was told so by the manager of my local Cadillac dealer, and he said that its a sure thing!( I know it sounds dumb trusting a car dealer, but hey were else are you going to find out, right?)

  12. #11
    LaneWvr is offline BAD EMAIL ADDRESS
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    Re: Cadillac and Pop Culture

    Cadillac should do a comercial similar to the NFL ones. Where people use football terms to losely in everyday life. So when someone says the Cadillac of laptops or something. A CTS-V or Escalade would drive buy, or something along those lines. Would be kinda funny.

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