Cadillac, Did You Know?

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FILE - This file photo circa 1958 shows a Cadillac Eldorado, standing outside of New York's Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. General Motors survived wars, strikes and the Great Depression churning out Chevys, Cadillacs and other vehicles that often defined their owners' status in life. But less than a year into its second 100 years, it's coming to the end of a road, ushered by the government into bankruptcy protection. (AP Photo/File)

Cadillac, Did You Know?

After World War II, Cadillac engineers turned their talents to designing an entirely new and better passenger car engine. This engine, and over– head valve, higher compression was even more durable in 1949. New crankshaft, camshaft and piston design added power and quietness. With the new engine, public desire for the Cadillac cars skyrocketed. In 1950 and 1951, Cadillac production past 100,000 each year to almost double any prewar year. The latter year also saw the opening of the Cadillac ordnance plant at Cleveland Ohio producing tanks for the army.

University of Kentucky basketball Coach Adolph Rupp received a new Cadillac from well-wishers after his team routed Tennessee, 104-61 for the Southern Conference crown and bid to the NCAA tournament, March 6, 1955. With Rupp, after the game are his wife and son. (AP Photo)

Cadillac reached the 1,000,500 production mark in 1954. Also when 1954, Cadillac completed an important expansion program which included a new three-story plating building as well as the acquisition of two additional plants in the Detroit area. This also saw power steering made on Cadillacs.

In 1955, the division established new production and sales records by building and selling over 140,000 motorcars in 12 months. A year later Cadillac became the only car and its price class ever to be rewarded with an owner demand for over 150,000 cars in one year. Also in 1956 power breaks became standard equipment.

Model Moyra Sullivan sits at the wheel of the “Debutante” convertible – the most luxurious car ever built by Cadillac – on display at the General Motors’ auto show, “Midcentury Motorama,” at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on Jan. 19, 1950. The car is trimmed with leopard skins which cover the upper portion of the front and rear seat backs, the upper side panels, and the complete floor in the front and rear compartments. (AP Photo)

The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham made its debut in 1957. The new super luxury four-door sedan featured outstanding achievements such as air suspension, tubular center X – frame, pillar list four door hardtop styling and an all stainless steel top. The revolutionary new frame was also introduced on all standard 1957 models. The introduction of air Springs on the Brougham marked the first time that this type of suspension had appeared on any American production car. This advancement open the way to a new era in automotive suspension.

In 1958, Cadillac offered air suspension for the first time as an option on all of its production models, except the Eldorado Brougham where it was standard. Also, the four head lamp system which was pioneered on the Eldorado Brougham with the air suspension, became standard on all new models as did four Link rear suspension. The four head lamp system provided vastly improved night illumination, both in and country driving.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip stand in their open Cadillac limousine as they ride through a ticker tape parade on Bay Street, following their welcome at City Hall, June 29, 1959 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (AP Photo)

One of the most revolutionary changes in Cadillacs famed styling history was made with the introduction of the 1959 model. Some production models had a height as low as 53.7 inches. In addition to the new silhouette there were extensive engineering developments, including another Cadillac first – a new captive Freon– 13 shock absorber.

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