Author Topic: When did Cadillac stop making cars with the classic 'Cadillac' ride quality?  (Read 4357 times)

Online TJ Hopland

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Recently came back from looking at new cars with a friend.   He just got a big promotion at work with a big bump in his expense account and can actually afford a new car in the class of a Caddy.  I cant so I dont even bother looking at the current models.  I will find out in maybe 10-15 years when I can afford one.   The newest Caddy I have personally owned was a 95 Deville.  I only had it for about 6 months.  It had a decent ride (for a transverse FWD) but too many other features that they for some reason left off the model that other cars in the class had at the time, It just did not make it a good fit for me at the time so I traded it in on something else but figured things would be improving and some day I would get a newer one that had everything I wanted.  We rode together on this shopping trip because he was actually thinking it would be possible that he could be driving a new car home, that is how serious he was.  My friend has owned several cars including a few Cads.   The last several years he has often had a lot of rental cars so he as got to experience quite a variety.   One thing we know we dont like is the Euro stiff sports like feel.  If we wanted that we would be looking at Benz or BMW.   Guess what every Cadillac feels like now?  Including the DTS which is apparently supposed to be the 'classic' Caddy....

I love the classic RWD land yacht feel that Cadillac had for so many years.   Even my 80 Eldo is a little stiffer than I would like but when compared to the current cars even that is a boat.   Everything now seems to have pretty stiff fancy suspension which is made more uncomfortable by the standard what 50? series tires?  Why even bother putting air in them if there is no side wall?   They might as well just wrap solid rubber around a 30" wheel.   

Next trip is going to be to go check out Lincoln but I suspect they are going to be similar.   Im really bummed now because when I have nothing to look forward to buying when they get old enough to get in my price range.   

My friend and I cant be the only 2 people that like that old land yacht ride are we?

Another thing we encountered was the Cadillac sales people practically tried to chase us off the lot.  Just because he gets a kick out of riding in it I drove my 80 Diesel Eldo which is in less than perfect condtion.  There was one older sales? guy that sort of smiled when he walked by and said you sure dont see many of those around anymore.  Im a working man so I dont have fancy clothes.  My friend normally wears a suit but is on vacation so he was dressed casual.   No one came up to us when we were walking around the lot but it looked like there were several people keeping a close eye on us.  When we went into the building a person met us and asked us why we were there.  He asked in a way that made us think that he would have rather said 'there is nothing for you here'.   I would have walked out but he really wanted to get a closer look so it took some talking to prove that he was serious and he did end up driving a few models and the sales person was very helpful and knew his product, too bad none of it seemed to be what he was looking for.  I remember getting the same treatment back in 05? when the SRX? came out.   A sales person didnt even seem to want get off his chair to come outside and open one for me to look at.  I even told him that I was not looking to drive one yet just wanted to see how the interior was arranged.  I was so mad I never even gave it a second chance, I ended up buying a loaded Dodge the next day for not a lot less than the base Cad I wanted to look at.    Anyway back to the recent trip, on the same day we also hit an Audi, VW, Subaru, and Buick/Chev dealers.  All of those we were treated like potential customers. 

Open to hear what others think of the recent / current line up or how they have been treated looking at new cars.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline okccadman

  • Posts: 713
  • Name: Jim Jordan
Being in the Limo business, i get to drive lots of Cadillacs, Lincolns and other luxury makes.  The last truly smooth riding car in my mind is the Lincoln Town Car, which just ceased production.  The last Cadillac was my 1996 Fleetwood Brougham.  It is smooth powerful and still gets close to 25 mpg on the road.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 04:39:03 PM by okccadman »
Jim Jordan CLC# 5374
Oklahoma City, OK

56 Series 62 Coupe
56 Fleetwood 60 Special
56 Fleetwood 75 Derham Limo
56 Superior Beau Monde
58 Fleetwood 60 Special
67 Fleetwood Sixty Special
70 Coupe de Ville
74 Eldorado Conv.
76 Fleetwood 75 Sedan
90 Brougham d'Elegance
93 Allante
95 Fleetwood Brougham
58 Buick Limited
58 Olds Ninety Eight
72 Olds Cutlass Conv

Online TJ Hopland

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I suppose the Town Car maybe survived this long because it shared parts with the Marquis and Crown Vic?  And all those models combined made it worth the trouble to keep em in production?

Even the DTS didnt have much space in the back compared to what they used to be.   Cabs now days are a joke.  Even the mini van ones are usually a little tight. With 'Americans' getting bigger it seems that space in the cars is getting smaller. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Dan LeBlanc

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I bought a CTS three years ago. I sold it this spring and bought a VW that's how disappointed I was with it. You wouldn't catch me dead in a new Cadillac. The VW so far seems to have better all round quality than the Cadillac and is not all loose and rattly like the Cadillac was.

GM has lost my vote.
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
Vice President - Trillium Cadillac and Lasalle Club
1953 Series 62 Sedan
1961 Fleetwood 60 Special x 2
2004 Deville

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 385
  • 1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
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TJ,

As you see from my profile information, I own a 2000 Eldorado ETC and a 1962 Eldorado Biarritz. I bought the 2000 in 2005 from the original owner who had put a mere 20k miles on it. She still had the leather sample hanging from the driver's seat. There wasn't any creases in the drivers leather seat either. She said she wasn't the typical woman who like jewelry, she liked cars. She wanted the car to go to someone who would take care of the car. I have owned the 1962 Eldorado since March of 1999.

I find the ride of the 2000 to be equal or better than the 1962. The ride leveling system with Hydraulic dampeners, Michelin tires and magnasteer technology influence the ride positively. The 1962 has very smooth ride but with more interior noise than the 2000. Of course the 1962 has the captivating ambiance of its design from every angle. Current cars have that prevalent homogenized look.

I have been happy with the 2000 as my every day driver. I have always liked a coupe over a four door vehicle and in 2005, Cadillac did not offer a coupe. One day I may purchase a CTS coupe but my 2000 will probably last another 15 years or more, giving that it only has 80k miles on it. I have always been one who takes extremely good care of what I have and my vehicles probably experience even more.

It is funny that recently I have had several people stop and comment on my 2000.  I was sitting in a parking lot and a guy commented what a beautiful car and what great condition. In a restaurant, a past Cadillac salesman remarked to me that these were great cars. He said I should get a good price for it should I ever decide to sell it. I guess my 2000 is becoming a collectable car.
Steven M. Tuck CLC#16507
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Online TJ Hopland

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CTS wagon was one that we drove and both came away with the same impression, it didn't feel like a $40,000+ car.  Maybe 30 but we could not see paying 40 for it. The overall finish sort of had a cheap plastic feel to it.  It also did not have what we thought was a Cadillac ride.  Maybe that is the 'sport' part of the wagons?  And the Sedan would be softer?

I did drive an Eldo around 05 before I bought the 95 Deville.  I dont remember the year, it would have been in the 2000 range.  I do remember really liking it but at the time I needed more space.  I was driving a Roadmaster wagon at the time so dropping to a 2 door would have been too big a jump.  That Roadmaster was a great car, one of my favorite daily drivers ever.

When they first went to the letters didnt they have a models like SLS vs STS?  Wasnt that Luxury vs Touring? What was the difference?   Wasnt the touring a little stiffer?   

« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 11:15:05 AM by TJ Hopland »
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/aftermarket EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 385
  • 1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #16507
TJ,

Yes it was Luxury vs Touring. I don't think the Touring had a more stiffer ride but stiffer handling/steering.
Steven M. Tuck CLC#16507
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Offline Alan Harris CLC#1513

  • Posts: 314
  • Name: A Harris
Edsel Ford was once asked why the company stopped making the K serles senior Lincolns.

His answer was "We didn't stop making them. The customers stopped buying them".


Offline David Smith

  • Posts: 1875
  • 1968 Eldorado. Hartford, Connecticut
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #17592
  • Name: David Smith
I find the ride in my 2007 DTS is very comfy.   Several people I know said they wouldn't buy a DTS because it was too floaty!   

So I guess it is all about what you are comparing it to.

I've rented many many Town Cars over the past three years.   They are just boat like in comparison to my DTS.     I've also rented a few new CTSs.   Fine cars, but just too narrow to fit me and the shorter wheelbase sacrafices the ride in my opinion.     The DTS was just right.   
Do people get more out of life because they own a Cadillac?

Or do people own a Cadillac because they get more out of life?

(1972 ad copy)

Offline "Cadillac Kid" Greg Surfas 15364

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No big mystery guys,
The "Cadillac ride" resulted from the stability that weight, power, adequate tires, and a long/wide wheel base provides.  The last (standard production) heavy cars were the 76's, and speaking from my personal experience, my 76 Coupe is rock solid and smooth.  When they started paring the cars down in 77 they reduced the weight and size in incremental steps.  At each "downsizing", compromises were made in the handling and ride "envelope" in an attempt to maintain a "luxury" ride.  When they got down to the current size platform, there is very little difference in physical dimensions between just about any vehicle.
Just to remind you that a '66 Cadillac weighed in at about 4800 pounds, while the same year Impala was about 3700. You know the difference in ride, and there is very little difference in the design of the suspension components.
The newer you get, the further you get from the "Cadillac Ride".
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #3877
The new "low profile" tires with the narrow sidewalls and 21 inch rims
may look really "cool" in the showroom -- but they make the ride very
harsh.

Like it or not, the tire is part of the overall ride package and this new
variety doesn't help.  There's very little sidewall to flex and cushion
the wheel.

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Maybe the new Cadillac "Ride" is the new Standard of the World?

But I suppose the next question is "When did Cadillac start making cars with the classic 'Cadillac' ride quality"?

Those very early cars must have been real bone breakers.   Big wheels with "O" Ring Tyres and buggy springs.

Bruce. >:D

'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'55 Buick Special Post Coupe (LHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing RHH
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline Dan LeBlanc

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  • Name: Dan LeBlanc
Putting ride quality aside and looking at build quality, like I said earlier, the build quality of my VW is far superior to that of my CTS.  The 2.0L turbo engine is much more responsive, the fit and finish, and quality of materials is far superior to that I found in my CTS.

So, the question should be, when did Cadillac stop making quality cars?  I've driven newer DTS's and the like and they're just not stacking up to their import counterparts.

The new commercial I saw not long ago stated, "we don't just build cars, we build Cadillacs."  My response was, "yeah, and?"  They're not what they used to be!!!!
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
Vice President - Trillium Cadillac and Lasalle Club
1953 Series 62 Sedan
1961 Fleetwood 60 Special x 2
2004 Deville

Offline "Cadillac Kid" Greg Surfas 15364

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      CLC Member #15364
Dan,
With all due respect, neither are we.
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Online ericdev

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      CLC Member #8621
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Most Cadillacs ride pretty well. Here's my short list of Cadillacs which I personally found a bit disappointing- to various extents.

Seville '76-'79
Cimarron '82-'88
Brougham '87-'89 (non d'Elegance only)
DeVille '94-'96
Eldorado '92-'97
Seville '92-'97

The most comfortable car seat I've ever sat in- '79-'80 DeVille w/leather.


« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 01:56:12 PM by ericdev »
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for Which There is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline Dan LeBlanc

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I remember my dad fixing a 76-79 Seville frame that had rotted out when he had his body shop.  Rotted out completely over the rear wheels on the driver's side.
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
Vice President - Trillium Cadillac and Lasalle Club
1953 Series 62 Sedan
1961 Fleetwood 60 Special x 2
2004 Deville

Offline Rob Troxel

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    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #26014
I have some Volkswagen headlights as well as some BMWs that were stuck the back of my  2011 CTS V wagon. Do you need them?  I have never owned a better faster greater handling car than the CTS V.  Times have changed, I still love my 68 Eldorado, but there are different levels of excitement.  GM is getting back to what it takes to gain market share.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 02:54:39 PM by robtroxel CLC26014 »

Offline Jason Edge

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    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #14225
  • Name: Jason Edge
I have found the 1995 Fleetwood Brougham to be the Best Riding Car of any make, model or year that I have owned and would love to find another 95 or 96 Fleetwood. It was big enough to give you the Cadillac Float, but powerful, agile and handled like a dream. 

I've been into 63's and 64's the last 16 years and have all new suspension on my 64 CDV and it really rides great, but that 95 Fleetwood was out of this world.  At this point I love 'em Big and Powerful and guess that's why an Escalade is my daily driver.
Jason Edge
Director CLC 1963-1964 Cadillac Chapter - www.6364Cadillac.com
Vice President CLC Eastern NC Region - www.clcnceasternregion.com
Owner Classic Cadillac Parts - www.ClassicCadillacParts.com
email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
1964 Coupe DeVille
2002 Escalade EXT
CLC Museum Benefactor #221

Online INTMD8

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I'll throw my opinion in on this. 

I think the demise of the "Cadillac" ride is due to magazine testing/etc.

I for one can appreciate, and enjoy, a classic Cadillac that floats down the road. I know, that for it to be able to ride like that there will be compromises in handling.

Problem is, with the magazine and various other "comparo's" they will take all the latest "luxury" cars and pit them against each other on a road course or similar.

Now, I've driven a lot. I mean a LOT of miles on the street and rarely witnessed anyone approaching the handling limits of their car's on an off-ramp.   Considering that, do I really care about an 07 DTS's time around VIR or the Nurburgring? Really, that's my deciding factor?

All the luxury car manufacturers want to brag about class leading handling because they forgot handling is not the priority in the class they are in.
Jim Moran.  1957 Eldorado Brougham #70 1959 Series 62 Convertible  CLC member #26752

Offline Greg McDonnell

  • Posts: 205
I have owned many Cadillacs in my lifetime...My '78 CDV D'Elegance was one of THE most comfortable cars I have ever driven.  Wish I  had it back...would like to have another one!  Good looking, plenty of power, quiet, and fun to drive!  I also currently own a '77 Seville with a mere 40k original miles.  Very comfortable car and no rot anywhere-rare color combination and almost fully loaded-turns heads everywhere I take it.  Also own a '98 SLS that is very nicely equipped and currently has 43,xxx original miles on it.  I like the way it handles but it doesn't have that big car feel like my '78 CDV had... My '66 Eldoado rides and handles nicely for a 46 year old convertible...It's fast and has a lot of torque and does have that big car feel and boulevard ride...nice and cushy. Just recently drove a low mileage '05 Lincoln Towncar on a 300 mile round trip.  VERY comfortable, quiet and pleny of power...reminded me of how Cadillacs USED to feel. 

Greg McDonnell
CLC #20841
Greg McDonnell
CLC #20841

 



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