by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img ADLX ::: 2010 Cadillac SRX Turbo
WATCHING a brand new Cadillac die a horrible death in the dark night, on a cold highway, up some mountain, somewhere south of Ventura, California was not how we imagined this day ending. The day had, in fact, started pleasantly with some good photos taken of the 2010 Cadillac SRX Turbo in Hollywood and up along the Pacific Coast Highway. As these images will attest, before night fell on the SRX, it was a sunny day in southern California.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Pictory Mag ::: Cadillac Ranch
AIN’T been to Texas. And, no, stopping on a layover at George Bush International Airport doesn’t count. But there is one sight I expect I’d like to see and that is the famous Cadillac Ranch on I-40 west of Amarillo.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img via eBay ::: 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
GOTTA love those Dagmars. So solid, they look like they were built to support a corner of Detroit’s Cadillac Tower (a.k.a. “Cadillac Place”). This beauty, a Series Two Eldorado Biarritz is a restoration in “Mandarin Red.”
The stout Series Two Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertibles (1955-1958) aren’t quite as rare as Series One Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertibles (1952-1954). That said, both retain the iconic wide mouth grille, those shark-like features, wrap-around windshield, fountains of chrome, and rocket fins. Harley Earl designed an American Rolls-Royce, to be sure. And GM priced the Biarritz accordingly – nearly $13,000 or $104,000 adjusted for inflation.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img General Motors ::: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe
CADILLAC makes the most visually evocative cars on the road in the sub $100K market. Pointedly, they rule the sub-$50K market. The 2011 CTS Coupe brings a certain superstardom in at a low starting price – $38,165.
There’s drama in every edge and appropriate character line; all pointers to a carefully considered aesthetic. Visually, the 2011 CTS – Sedan, Sports Wagon, and Coupe – tip the hat to the past while looking boldly forward. Trouble is, the new Coupe’s driving manners are – at first turn of the wheel – not as inspired.
Will a week’s time improve the experience? Can the CTS Coupe’s beauty eclipse perceived foibles? More on this slick Caddy next week.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img GM via carofthecentury ::: GM IPO
TIMED during the midterm elections, GM announced an initial public offering later this month of its revamped common stock for between $26 and $29 a share. The US Treasury which owns just over 60% of General Motors will reduce its stake to just over 43% at a loss which the government hopes to recoup with an increase in stock value over time. If history’s any judge, it may be a while.
RECALLS – much like $#!& – happen.
And in so much that GM is now recalling 1.5 million North American cars – some of which have already been recalled in 2008 for the same fire risk- the General is offering customers $100 back for the inconvenience of losing a feature to correct the problem.
Which feature? The washer heater, which is being recalled on certain Caddys, Buicks, Chevys, Humvees, and Saturns for getting a little to hot in what GM’s cleverly calling “thermal incidents”.
So, for you Nanooks of the North, have you considered a Ford lately? For everyone else, go on, take the money and run.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img eBay Motors ::: 1994 Cadillac SLS for sale
BELIEVE it or not, there was a time after 1965 when Cadillac made really great cars. That time included this 1994 Cadillac SLS.
Turning the corner of the late 80s, Cadillac seemed to have just gotten round to reading that late 70s memo. You know the one that said customers wanted smaller cars and mentioned some garbage about VW eating GM’s lunch and that the oil cartels had Americans by the pump.
GM’s response? The first K-Body Cadillacs of the late 80s: shortened, 190″ long sedans designed with fuel efficiency in mind and that featured the same lavish attention to detail and demanding pedigree you’d expect from your local Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet on “Senior Day”.
GM got that message and re-approached the K-Body from the ground up for the 90s.
Cadillac engineers stretched the wheelbase from 108″ to 111″, introduced the mighty Northstar V8, fitted a semi-independent rear suspension and upped the ante on fit, finish, and material quality (not as good as the Europeans or Japanese at the time, but much better) while designers penned a crisp-edged design that stood as classically American as the charcoal suit.
Cadillac reintroduced the Seville Luxury Sedan (SLS) and the Seville Touring Sedan (STS) both to critical acclaim. That was 1992.
By the time this car rolled off the assembly line in 1994, GM boosted the Seville’s LD8 Northstar 4.9 Liter V8’s power rating to 270 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. All that power channeling through the front wheels seemed right back in the days when big front wheel drive cars were the American way.
Nonetheless, history has largely forgotten the early-mid 90s Sevilles and banished them – wrongly – with the rest of GM’s cost cutting past. The STS, SLS, DeVille, and Fleetwood of this period were the brief, shining exceptions to the General’s long, ignominious slide.
This particular SLS has just 48K miles on the clock and appears fresh. Great as they were, that’s rare form for a 90s vintage Cadillac today.
[eBay: 1994 Cadillac SLS]
LOVE or hate the General and its tightened stable of four core brands, it seems universally encouraging that the automotive sector and GM that the car company propped up by American and Canadian tax dollars is turning a profit rather than bleeding more red. A sign of brighter days ahead?
According to GM: [our] first quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was $1.7 billion, after adjusting for the favorable impact of the sale of the Saab brand.
That means $865 million Q1 profit, according to the BBC and GM’s press release.
Regarding the Saab sale, Saab CEO has said GM sold the Swedish car maker to Spyker for about $74 million. That figure differs from GM’s which is stated at $123 million.
Around that same period, Beijing Automotive paid $200 million for the old 9-3 and 9-5 assemblies which according to SaabSpyker CEO Victor Muller were funds that Saab banked – not former parent company GM.
This suggests that the General is gaining ground on the back of a stronger product line.