Author Topic: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?  (Read 738 times)

Offline chrisntam

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What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« on: February 07, 2018, 08:36:37 PM »
Mid '60s?  1970? 1968?  Earlier?
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Offline "Cadillac Kid" Greg Surfas 15364

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 08:52:53 PM »
In essence when they brought out the Catera.
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Offline Eldorado James

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 09:49:38 PM »
Tough question!  I'd say 1980.....They did well in meeting the 1977 downsizing, and the introduction of the 1979 replacement Eldorado - a big sales hit.  But 1980 didn't add much new other than sheetmetal (that went another 12 years)..then the awkwardly timed Seville replacement (1980).....and then the 8-6-4 nightmare engine...then the Cimmaron (1982).....then the 4100 nightmare engine V2 (1982)....etc etc.

Why not earlier?  I'd say there was a "stumble" in the early 70's but they bounced back -- and huge sales years said that the public was loving them.  Take for instance the 1976 Eldorado convertible.  Where else could you find an electronic fuel injected V8 in a car with Hydro-Boost 4 wheel disc brakes, with optional Air Bags, Maintenance-free battery, Weather band radio, Illuminated entry systems, Lighted vanity mirror, Automatic door locks, Automatic ride level control, 50/50 seats with recliners, Fuel economy lamp indicators, space saver spare tire, Trackmaster anti-lock brake system, Guidematic and Twilight Sentinel systems, power assist trunk...and a mirror with an outdoor thermometer?  Hey, that was all progressive high-tech stuff for the day...things that a "Standard of the World" company would do. 

That's my 2 cents!
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Offline 64CaddieLacky

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 10:17:18 PM »
Hard to say, quality slipped around 67-68 lots of plastic instead of metal and chrome. It Got worse from 71-73, in 74 it got a little better again until 80 when Cadillacs of yore which were grand and marvelous, went away for good.

Performance wise, the 64-71 were the best, even the low power of the 500 CI engine in the mid 70ís was still powerful and very reliable.

Styling is very subjective and I donít want to offend anyone, but Iíll say the last grandiose cool looking Cadillacs that stood out and actually had a sense of presence is probably 76 model or the 79ís as I really loved the interiors of the downsized Caddies.

Thickly padded soft door panels with chrome trim instead of the cheap injection molded plastic armrests that cracked easily of the early 70ís Cads is what impresses me about them.

You take some good with the bad the newer the Cadillac, but to have the best of both worlds in terms of size, cool factor, importantance, styling, comfort and great quality if you stick to Cadillacs from about the late 40ís through 65-66 MY.

The standard of the world lost itís charm when Cadillac gave up on being innovative and decided to cost cut materials heavily during the early 70ís.

You can say this with just about every automaker back then. The 70ís is when quality declined mightily for American cars.
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Offline D.Smith

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 10:32:13 PM »
I think he was referring to their ad tag line.

They changed "Standard of the world" to "An American Standard for the world" in 1981.   
The 1982 slogan was "Best of all it's a Cadillac" but the ad text still mentioned the "American Standard of the world" phrase.    That is the last I saw of it mentioned in my archives. 

Offline Cape Cod Fleetwood

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 11:30:51 PM »
The following is my opinion:

Personally, and I'm a girl, the *ENTIRE* American auto industry died in 1972 and took all the breeds with them. Alleged emissions mandates took over and to this day destroyed one of the things that made America great, our auto industry. Getting unicorn farts to come out of our tailpipes wasn't enough, its never enough when the government gets involved, manufactures were mandated to get 100mpg. Now our cars are made out of recycled soda cans and plastic, are measured in pounds instead of tons, have more computers than the Space Shuttle which simply makes the cars more expensive to own (a backdoor 'car ban' in my mind), 3 billion tax dollars thrown away on 'cash for clunkers' which was another back door tax on the poor, 80 billon thrown away to prop up manufacturers for creating cars no body wanted because they were JUNK, simply to appease a union voting block. I would have let GM and Chrysler fail. If you run a business, either GM or a flower shop, you need to know your customer and cater to them, otherwise you are starving. Hard to learn a lesson when you're rewarded for failure. Ask any one who owns a 'slade with their aluminum foil tranny's if the bail out resulted in a higher quality product.

So, to answer the question, Cadillac stopped being the "Standard of the World" in 1971 - again in my humble opinion. You can put all the wowie, wiz-bang tech you want in a car and all the luxury items as well. The bottom line is that car has to start in the morning and be reliable transportation for YEARS, mntx schedules being well followed is implied. When was the last time 'anyone' made a reliable car.... at any standard....

Laurie?
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Offline chrisntam

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 04:37:55 AM »
I think he was referring to their ad tag line.

snip...


No, actually was referring to when Cadillac (the manufacturer) was no longer the car it once was.

I suppose you could look at sales and when other manufacturers surpassed Cadillac sales.
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Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 08:10:20 AM »
Depends on the definition of "Standard of the World"...

Anybody want to have a go at that one?   ::)
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Offline e.mason

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 08:16:08 AM »
Depends on the definition of "Standard of the World"...

Anybody want to have a go at that one?   ::)
 

Didn't Cadillac start calling themselves the standard, when they became the first manufacturer to "standardize" parts?
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Offline 35-709

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 08:47:11 AM »
Catera, Cimmaron, diesel, and the final and fatal blow --- the HT 4100.  IMO.
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Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 08:47:58 AM »
 

Didn't Cadillac start calling themselves the standard, when they became the first manufacturer to "standardize" parts?

Yes, standardization of parts [interchangeability] was the origin of the "Standard" tagline, but I suspect the OP's question is a more loaded one. 
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Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 09:05:20 AM »
I don't think they ever truly were but if I had to pick a year it would be around 1914.  One of origins of the "Standard of the World" slogan for Cadillac was related to their Dewar Award Trophy which I believe they last won for a 1914 model.   Otherwise, it's largely just been an advertising/marketing slogan not unlike "What a Luxury Car Should Be", "The Ultimate Driving Machine", "The Best or Nothing", etc.

More recently Cadillac referred to itself as "The New Standard of the World"........again, just marketing!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 01:16:05 PM by Big Apple Caddy »

Offline jdemerson

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 12:20:20 PM »
Tough question!  I'd say 1980.....They did well in meeting the 1977 downsizing, and the introduction of the 1979 replacement Eldorado - a big sales hit.  But 1980 didn't add much new other than sheetmetal (that went another 12 years)..then the awkwardly timed Seville replacement (1980).....and then the 8-6-4 nightmare engine...then the Cimmaron (1982).....then the 4100 nightmare engine V2 (1982)....etc etc.

My vote is with James -- 1980 was the year they began to slip. My definition of "Standard of the World" would be something like this: the car that consumers most aspired to own, whether of not they could afford it; and the car that other manufactures tried to emulate. I think that Cadillac was the standard through 1979, and by 1982 it was not the Standard.

True, the 1977-79 models had more plastic and perhaps less "individualized distinction" than models though the mi-60s. But they were superb cars, sold in spaces, and were emulated by others. So (subjectively) for me, the Standard of the World" extended at least through 1979, but not much farther.

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Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 01:20:05 PM »
True, the 1977-79 models had more plastic and perhaps less "individualized distinction" than models though the mi-60s. But they were superb cars, sold in spaces, and were emulated by others. So (subjectively) for me, the Standard of the World" extended at least through 1979, but not much farther.

I was and still am a fan of the 1977-79 models but what about them was really emulated by others?

Offline Bentley

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 02:33:42 PM »
I would have to agree with John Emerson. It ended in 1979. I don't know about sales numbers, but I remember out here in the Southwest, the Mercedes sedans started getting popular around 1980. The fit and finish on the exteriors and the leather interiors just looked so much better in those cars. And they had a reputation for quality. And that is when Cadillac started to become less relevant.
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Offline jdemerson

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 03:32:07 PM »
I was and still am a fan of the 1977-79 models but what about them was really emulated by others?

Mr. Langley, you raise a good question about "emulation" of Cadillac (my word, originally), and I likely cannot respond fully to it. I was thinking more of the domestic makes, Lincoln and Imperial, and not the European makes which did go in a different direction.

I do believe that the 1980 Lincoln Continental and Mark VI, downsized by 14 inches and nearly 1000 pounds, were responding to Cadillac's lead. Same for 1982 Continental. In 1980 they had fuel injection and floating cushion velour seats, perhaps inspired by Cadillac's lead.

Imperial was a second-rate player by this era, but the 1981 - 1983 Imperial two-door resembled, at least a little, the 1979 Eldorado and 1980 Seville.  In style, I'm looking at the classic grill and the bustle-back. Of course Imperial wasn't close to Cadillac then, and it died in '83.

Perhaps my saying that others emulated 1979 Cadillacs was somewhat a stretch, but at least for the domestics it appears that way to me, at least to an extent.

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Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 04:06:29 PM »
Despite a reduction in displacement and a modest drop in horsepower, 1980 Cadillac was overall every bit as good of a car as it had been in 1979.

Sales figures were off about about a third in the 1980 model year is no reflection on the car, but rather a number of economic factors, not least of which being record gas prices. Not helpful to the sales of cars with a sterling reputation for thirst.

Still haven't heard any objective criteria for "Standard of the World". The case can be made for any number of model years that may be pointed to in which Cadillac lost "something", depending on what is important to whom.

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Offline Eldorado James

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 07:39:53 PM »
@Eric - I'd say the Standard of the World criteria for a company would entail leading the way with technology (8-6-4 and the 4100 engines all but killed that idea in the 80's)...and lead the way in design (the 1977 Fleetwood were basically the same til 1992 (the Deville til 1984), the Seville was a (bold) cut against the grain of trends, the Cimarron -- enough said, and the 1985 downsized "full sized" cars were bland as hell.  Cadillac lost it's Standard Swag right after introducing the well made, well designed 1979 Eldorado.  The next car that had any impact was the 1992 Seville.....13 years later.  (Sorry, Allante).  Nobody wanted to follow Cadillac during that period.  IF they did....woe was them!  LOL.....as John pointed out.... The Imperial.
~Eldorado James~

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Past Cadillacs:  Too many to remember.

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 08:29:08 PM »
It could be when the next Dewar Trophy was presented, as that organisation could legally carry the words.

And the Trophy wasn't presented to Cadillac, but the organisation, or person submitting the vehicles or parts to the judges to test.

There has been 39 winners since 1913

1908
The Anglo-American Motor Company Limited Ė Standardisation test of three 10hp Cadillac cars

1913
F.S. Bennett Limited Ė 1914 model 32.2hp Cadillac car.

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Offline jaxops

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Re: What year did Cadillac stop being the "Standard of the World"?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2018, 06:31:16 AM »
Not sure when it started but notice they lost the "crown" on top of their emblem!!!!  It is telling.  1980s sounds right though as that's when Lincoln captured the limousine market from Cadillac with their "stretch-able" town cars chassis.
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