Entries in Cadillac (23)
A bit of nostalgia...you surely heard of Harley Earl from the golden days of GM styling.
1957 Cadillac Eldorado...still cool
This morning we have The Colonel with us, he seems to be in a good mood, lets ask him a few pointed questions.
Q- Colonel Good Morning, you literally grew up with GM, are we correct?
A- Good Morning guys, I'm doing great thanks for asking, yes...grew up with GM.
Q- How long have you been driving a Benz?
A- What a silly question, a few decades as you know, and lets leave it at a few decades.
Q- How did you gravitate to Benzes, from being immersed with GM?
A- Great question, it all started in the mid 1970's ( a few decades ago) when it became increasingly obvious that GM and Detroit were basically just slamming cars together.
Q- Those were the days of catalytic converters, 5 MPH bumpers, emission controls, and sitting on top of the mountain after decades of success for the Detroit manufacturers.
A- The Japanese knew how to assemble cars correctly with impressive fit and finish, and Detroit know how to meet emission and safety standards. The actual car was an afterthought.
Q- You were probably familiar with Benzes, but what caught your attention at that time?
A- Sometime in the early 1970's sold a Riviera to an individual that was debating between a Riviera, and a 450SLC for double the money of the Riv at the time. Prior to that getting into some sort of a Benz taxi. Observing a fellow repair a 190SL.
Q- But what caught your attention?
A- Must have been in the late 1970's I had an opportunity to drive a 450SEL, and another time a 300SD with a turbo. Incredibly solid cars, phenomenal brakes, the car drove like nothing else on the road.
Q- You had a thing about brakes...
A- Big time thing about brakes, the challenge was that the cars of the day could go faster than they could stop, which is a huge problem...was a huge problem.
Q- That 450 SEL caught your attention, the way it drove, handled, stopped.
A- Precisely, it did what a car was/is supposed to do, and did it very well.
Q- How about the diesel, that must have been clunky?
A- I was in the truck business, diesel engines were noisy, clunky, cumbersome to start, it was all normal back then. The 5 cylinder Benz diesels of the day are a story in itself.
Q- That was an S Class car, how did the features compare to a Cadillac?
A- No power seats, lethargic power windows, strange cruise control, mediocre HVAC system with a GM a/c compressor, immense steering wheel, the features were rudimentary, the interior was solid, the drive was superlative.
Q- We heard that at the time you could drive a Benz hard.
A- Big time, you could drive the snot out of them, which was a redeeming feature due to the lack of features.
Q- Do you still get aggressive with Benzes?
A- The driving environment has evolved, the moments when it all comes together the car must perform. Lets leave it at that.
Q- Did those older Benzes accelerate hard.
A- No...they had a tall rear axle ratio for autobahn use, acceleration from a stop was not a priority.
Q- Do you still have issues with cars that have less than a V8?
A- Yes...I'm old school, I need a V8, I prefer RWD.
Q- Today most folks assimilate Benzes and luxury.
A- As Detroit especially Cadillac lost its sheen, folks acquired a Benz because it was a good car, while giving up on numerous features (luxury) to have a good car. If you could afford a wonderful driving good car, you got a Benz.
Q- Were they maintenance intensive?
A- What do you think...yes...and if they were not maintained they performed and drove like sh*t
Q- Did those cars have issues?
A- Start with an over engineered Teutonic car that is maintenance intensive, with fragile transmissions, weak differentials, bullet proof engines, amateurish catalytic converters, mechanical fuel injection...and expensive parts. Its costs money to have a Benz runs strong like a Benz should.
Q- At some point we should continue this conversation.
A- Anytime guys.
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.
The Cold Snap, or now known as the Polar Vortex, might not be good for auto sales, but its excellent for the service side of the business. Do remember that the digital front line is not affected by the climatic conditions, you can browse, shop, at your convenience.
Yes...we discovered a photo of a Pete in frigid conditions. Hopefully there is a "hot box" to keep the sleeper warm, and warm up the engine.
Ever wonder why winters aided by massive media coverage are presumably getting colder. Agreed minus 25C is cold, but its Canada, its minus 25 every winter. What is the big deal?
Canadian sales in 2013, what can we say, wow moments for almost everyone. Great to see huge results, we often wondered what would develop if every manufacturer truly made an effort; now we know. We will have additional comments in a few days.
Yes...The Rolex 24 will be exciting this year. The preliminary testing, the amalgamation of ALMS and Grand Am into the TUDOR series ensure a diversified field.
Yes...the show season starts with NAIAS (Detroit Auto Show) this coming week, there is still a magical aura in seeing hundreds of shiny vehicles at their best, accompanied by a bunch of folks which are often masquerading at their best too. Its an exciting spectacle in Detroit which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The other day we were entertained to read a story from an auto pundit getting embroiled with more snow than the vehicle he was driving could handle. Reminded us of our Suburban Story from a few decades back, agreed some things never change. Although newer AWD vehicles are so seamless that they do not transmit the old school shudders of a 4x4 in low range on the cusp of getting into a deep yogurt situation.
Just in case you missed The Start of the Passion...click.
Yes we started the year with a review of the 2014 Cadillac CTS, and are still wondering what would have happened if this car or it equivalent was around 30 years ago.
Our weekly old race cars today from Watkins Glen...enjoy the photos.
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, we have cappuccino and biscotti, come in make yourself comfortable, join the conversation. We encourage you to leave a comment.
As anticipated GM continued to have ink flowing this past week on the appointment of Mary Barra, its been interesting to read the various perspectives, from different pundits. At Strada we have been associated with GM for countless decades, The Colonel grew up with GM (a story for another time), we think its GREAT that a woman is CEO of GM.
This past week we spent a few days with a 2014 Cadillac CTS, its all wheel drive and it snowed too. Can it get more Canadian? While remembering back in the day when a bunch of folks were trading in their Cadillacs for German cars. Imagine if a car like this CTS was offered by GM back then...gotta wonder how many folks would have traded their Cadillacs for a German car.
You also have to wonder how many folks will trade a German car for a Cadillac today?
In case you missed it, the upcoming new C Class, assembled in Alabama (great for Canada probably no duty), bigger, wider, longer, lighter, with a turbo 4 cylinder, and a C400 with a 3 liter engine and an air suspension. Why do we get the feeling that the C class is becoming an E class?
Yes...winter tires are very useful, you knew that!
A perspective on luxury items, and the increasing spread of luxury brands.
We do hope that at this time of year you make a contribution to your favorite causes, foundations, hospitals, places of higher education. Also clean out some of your older stuff, clothes, and again make a contribution. There is always a sense of fulfillment when we take a moment to give.
By now you know that The Colonel has a Saddleback briefcase which is well travelled. If you are considering a delayed Christmas gift for yourself, and the classic briefcase is perhaps too big, take a look at the new Thin Front Pocket briefcase from Saddleback.
Huge photo gallery of behind the scenes at the Goodwood Revival 2013...enjoy.