[ last update: 10.07.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Cadillac Terms and Definitions

Alphabetical Cadillac and La Salle "Fact File"

Q - S

Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or return to the index page of the Glossary




Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q


Quad headlamps: Introduced on the production Eldorado Brougham of 1957, these became standard equipment on all 1958 models.

Dr56quad.jpg (3731 bytes)
Here is a are 1956 model with quad headlights;
a handful may have been built; I know of one in Peru


R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R  R


Radel: U.S. manufacturer of special aero leathers for upholstery creations. Used in 1930-31 in all open cars and all-weather phaetons (Fleetwood V16 catalogue).

Rader, Willard "Bill": Men of Cadillac; former racing driver, was superintendent of the Experimental Garage of the Cadillac Motor Car Co., and chief test driver; headed crew which drove cars on the GM proving ground.

Str_radr.jpg (10491 bytes)


Radio repairs: CLCA 1974, pp.19-21.

Rasmusssen, Carl A.: Men of Cadillac, was chief engineer from 1.3.1965 to 31.12.1972.

Ramseier, Fritz, Ernst & Hans: Swiss coach builders, of Worblaufen; did at least one body, a town car, on the Cadillac Series 75 chassis for 1938; the car survives [1995] and belongs to one Andreas Eggenberger of Binningen. Built originally for the Baron Von Kleist, a resident of Geneva, it was ordered by Fleury Frères, GM dealers in Geneva. Described as a "Cadilac [with one "l"] Coupe de Ville" on the job No. 1351 (delivery note No. 664), the car was a modified Series 75 car (probably one of the 84 style 7533 imperial sedans that were shipped "crated - knocked down" to overseas dealers via GM's facilities in Antwerp); color was black and the doors opened at the "A" and "C" pillars, like the regular car; it had ¼ windows; an upholstery sample, drawing and spec. list (?) were attached with the job order/delivery note (?); the car was delivered on 15.7.38 and the invoice dated 27.8.1938; the price: SFr 10,500 SFr., less 20% dealer discount (i.e. SFr8,400 net), plus 40% customs duty (SFr951.45). I met Urs Ramseier, nephew of this coach-builder, in January 1995 and was shown photos of the surviving car as well as an original designer's drawing and a colored artist's rendering based on that drawing. The Ramseier brothers were well-known since 1929 for the high quality of their products and their easy-to-operate convertible tops.

dr38swi2.JPG (13164 bytes)
The Ramseier 1938 custom Cadillac convertible sedan


Rancho Cadillac: story of Ed Cholakian, 1940s Cadillac collector, C&D 3/1987 pp.101-109, included "62" sun-visited Sedan , with twin sidemounts, 1947 rear, 1941-1942 hood emblem, 1942, Sedan , inst. panel, parts depot, "67", etc.

Rancho (El): name of custom, westernized Cadillac 62 convertible shown at 1949 Autorama; exterior completely standard except paint; seats and seat backs in saddle leather, bolsters of dark brown sueded kip hides, stitching in white waxed cord, leather covered wheel and instrument panel, hand engraved silver door handles and interior hardware, pockets on each door enclosed a pistol holster branded with Cadillac crest, rear ¼-panel armrests had storage for liquid refreshments, carpeting was of selected Hereford cow hide tanned with the hair on and bound with russet leather [Sch40, p.170].

49rncho.jpg (8281 bytes)
1949 Cadillac El Rancho
For more 1949 Autorama models, click here


Ranch, Cadillac: [see "Cadillac Ranch"]

Raynor & Taylor: Detroit printers who put out some of Cadillac's earliest sales brochures , e.g. 1902

Rear-view mirrors: Various models of outside, rear-view mirrors were available; some of them could be strapped to the side-mounted spare wheels.

Records and Endurance: [see "Reliability Trials"]

Red Devil: This is the nickname of a fire-engine red V16 Phaeton that was donated to Cadillac in 1974 by the widow of the original owner. Story in CLCA 1974, pp.9-10.

V6p260rd.jpg (8147 bytes)


Reinbolt & Christé: Swiss coach builders of Basel, did at least two 4-dr. convertible sedans: one was built on the Series 75 chassis for 1938; that car survives [1995] and is owned by one Julius Leemann, in Uster, Switzerland; the other appears (from the photos) to be a conversion of a  Series 62 sedan; the hood, grille, front and rear fenders and instrument panel seem original; the top, windshield, doors and rear body have been modified [4 photos on pp.128-129 of SA]

38SwisCus1.jpg (7088 bytes)    dr38swi4.JPG (8182 bytes)    Dr47sw2.jpg (9753 bytes)
(Left and center): Conversion on Series 75 chassis; (Right) Custom job on 1947 chassis [ photo: © 1992, Autovision ]

Reliability Trials, feats and records: The reliability of the Cadillac has been tested from the earliest times. Cadillac engineer Alanson P. Brush drove a 1902 runabout up the steps of the Detroit County Court House as a publicity stunt, to show off the car's climbing ability. In April 1903 another Model A runabout into six men were crammed hauled a wagon with 9 more men up a street in Detroit with a 10% grade. Not to be outdone, a man who had had one drink too many drove a 1903 runabout, with tonneau, up the Capitol steps in Washington in 1906. It is reported that in 1904 (???) Cadillac engineers piled seven 70-foot rails on two trucks, hitched them up to a single-cylinder Cadillac and hauled the load (weighing eight tons!) up a 4% gradient from a standing start! The 1904 Cadillac, the factory said, would go up "any grade or well-traveled road without balk and most of the time without a change of gear." In a 1905 catalogue was mentioned the fact that a single-cylinder Cadillac had completed the trip from New York to Boston in 12 hours. In the same catalogue were mentioned the following Cadillac feats: one mile in 74.5 sec., that is 77,7kph; five miles (8km) in 7 min. and 14 sec., that is an average of 66,4kmh); 144 miles (230.4kms) in mountainous terrain in California in 5 hours and 38 minutes, that is an average of 41kph, fuel consumption being 7 gallons (26,5 liters), that is ... liters per 100kms. The 1906 catalog for Models K, M, H and L recalled that in July 1905 a stock single-cylinder Cadillac made a return trip from Toledo to Cleveland, Ohio (390,4km), en 11 hours and 40 minutes, that is an average speed of 68,9kmh, without taking on any gasoline; it did better than a two-cylinder car that fell out of the race before completing half the course. In a 1907 booklet entitled "The Truth about the Automobile and What it Costs to Maintain One" the Cadillac Automobile Company published the sworn statements of numerous owners of single-cylinder Cadillacs. In February 1907, for example, a single-cylinder Cadillac was driven 1000 miles, without ever stopping the engine, over the streets of Seattle, WA (the "City of Hills"); during this feat, the car even had to endure a snowstorm. A similar feat was performed in the latter part of May 1907 by a Model A which, according to a sworn statement by its owner, had already completed 31,000 miles; total upkeep expenses on that car (excluding tires) had been $124. The same month, another single-cylinder Cadillac carrying three and sometimes four passengers completed a non-stop return trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco (977 miles); there were no super highways in 1907! In making the trip the car had to climb hills and mountains, ford streams, plough through sand and travel "roads" that were almost impassable. On returning to Los Angeles, the car completed another 911 miles without the engine ever stopping. After 1888 miles, however, a dirt particle in the gasoline caused the engine to fail; but it started again after about 5 minutes of cranking. James M. Andrews, who bought single-cylinder Cadillac No. 12 in April 1903 reported in December 1906 that his car was running as well as ever. Another happy owner, Chas. D. Pratt ran his Model A for almost 4 years, covering 28,000 miles, and incurred only $4.23 per month in repair costs. Another owner in Rome, GA (Mr. W.E. Grigsby) covered 24,000 miles in his one-lunger, spending only $10 in all for repairs. Circa 1907, a Model G touring car participated in an endurance run from Detroit to New York (photo McC, p. 28). In 1908 a single-cylinder Model S participated in the "one gallon test" in New York (photo, McC, p.31). In March 1908 three Model S runabouts participated at Brooklands race track, in England, in a parts interchangeability test organized by Frederick S. Bennett, the London Cadillac importer, under the auspices of Britain's Royal Automobile Club (RAC); the cars won for Cadillac the coveted Dewar Trophy. Standard 1911 touring cars participated that year in durability trial runs; one was from Detroit to Milwaukee, the other from Detroit to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada (photos McC, p.44). E.G. Baker completes a cross-continent run from New York to Los Angeles (3471 miles) in a 1916 Cadillac in 7 days, 11 hours and 52 minutes [Exide battery ad in ML, 10/1916]. In its 1927 catalog, Cadillac asserted that 250,000 V8 Cadillacs were in operation; some of them were still in regular and efficient operation for the U.S. Government after travelling more than 314,000 miles on the battlefields of France, into Germany, and then in public service in America. Another fleet of Cadillacs operated by the British Desert Mail covered regularly and at great speed the arduous run from Beirut, in Lebanon, to Baghdad, in Iraq, across the Arabian desert. In 1927 a new La Salle roadster driven by Willard "Big Boy" Rader, GM test driver, ran as the pace car for the Indianapolis 50. In 1930 a unique sixteen-cylinder sport phaeton (style 4260A) was used as one of the official cars at the annual Indy event. In 1934, another La Salle paced that race. On May 10, 1937 Ralph De Palma set a new stock car speed record in the 500-mile Indianapolis Speedway run, under AAA supervision, driving a stock 1937 LaSalle V8 convertible coupe 500 miles in 6 hours, 5 minutes and 0.59 seconds, exceeding by over 4 mph the average speed and previous record made by a Marmon V16 in 1931. In fact the run had not been arranged as a record-breaking one; it was merely to prove the La Salle's endurance, roadability, safety and handling ease! [book: LaS, p.118]

Reptile skin: was used as an upholstery material in some modernistic coach work by Fleetwood [not necessarily on the Cadillac or LaSalle chassis] and other custom coach builders. Nordberg of Sweden did the interior of a 1929 LaSalle convertible coupe (below) for HRH King Gustaf Adolf of Sweden.

dr30lssw.JPG (6756 bytes)


Restoring dial faces: useful article, SIA4, pp.49-51.

Revere Copper and Brass Inc.: A company that made Cadillac and La Salle emblems and other decorative hardware in the Thirties and Forties. An example of their work may be seen in SSA, 1982, inside rear cover.

RHD (left hand drive): up to and including 1913 all Cadillacs had RHD (right-hand drive); LHD was made standard on the 1914 models. An article in OCW, 22.8.1991, p.12, says the switch occurred in 1915 with the V8 models.  Trivia: The reason for RHD, as explained by an Englishman ... "We actually drive on the correct side of the road, Washington and Napoleon decided to drive on the wrong side of the road to annoy us. The idea is simple, 90% of people are right handed and as such when driving your horse and cart the whip is, 9 times out of 10, in the right hand. So when you get to a peasant blocking the road you want the whip to be near the outside of the vehicle so that you can use it to clear the way. Now, I have had some of  my American friends point out that they prefer to use guns for this these days, which is fine, but 90% of people would still be right handed and thus would need to be sat on the right of the car in order to shoot otherwise they would be blowing holes in the wind-screen. We can thus prove that driving on the left in right hand drive cars is the natural order of things and is the way things should be."  Obviously this gentleman is half right.  The reason most of the world (except England and its former Empire) drives on the right with LHD is precisely because the majority of people are right-handed and it is easier to operate a stick shift with the right hand than the left.

Rice, Herbert H.: Men of Cadillac, general manager from 13.5.1921 to 30.4.1925.

hhrice.jpg (2199 bytes)


Ride Regulator (Full Range): This was a new suspension feature introduced with the 1932 Cadillac models (see V16 catalog for details)

Road & Track: U.S. car magazine, sometimes had features on Cadillac (e.g. new models); wanted: 6/1988 {***}

Road Sensing Suspension [RSS]: Another Cadillac suspension innovation introduced as part of the Northstar system on the 1993 Allanté model; it featured a high-speed computer able to determine damping requirements once every millisecond (that is equal to about one inch of travel at 60 mph).

Robe, lap, Cadillac: The Cadillac lap-robe was a luxury item that many buyers of high-end models acquired in the twenties and thirties. It was a costly item; the price approached that of a good used car of the time.  These sometimes come up for sale today.

robe1.jpg (9362 bytes)    robe2.jpg (10847 bytes)
Details of a Cadillac lap-robe of the thirties

2001robe.jpg (7448 bytes)
This one, from the New Millennium, looks tawdry and cheap in comparison
[ dollar for dollar, it cost the same as the thirties model - of course $1 in 1930 was equal to $10 today ]


Roche, James M.: Men of Cadillac, general sales manager from 10.7.1950 to 31.12.1956, then general manager from 1.1.1957 to 31.5.1960. Also GM Vice-President [Fifties]. Photo with 1'000'000th post-war Cadillac, CLCA 1994, p.4

jmroche.jpg (2397 bytes)    JasMRoch.JPG (2474 bytes)
RH photo: circa 1955

Rogue: 1949 sports car made by Robert Monroe and Alexis Davydoff on modified 1937 Dodge chassis, using modified Cadillac motor and Hydra-Matic transmission, 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds, hydraulic brakes were off 1936 Auburn, steering was Chrysler, wheels Cadillac, grille was 1950 Plymouth, front and rear fenders were off 1946 Olds "98", bumpers were off 1947-48 Frazer, windshield was off 1937 Cord; car was 200HP convertible on 119" wheel base, with 190" overall length on 6.00 x 16 tires.

Rolled belt: Body styling term designating the convex-curved molding around the car body level with the base of the windshield - GH p.5

Rolling Greenhouses: article on flat-top Sedans of 1959-1961, SIA67, p.46-51.

Rollston [then Rollson]: U.S. coach-builder responsible for at least one Convertible Coupe body on 1930-31 V-16 chassis [photos in collection]. Reorganized as Rollson Inc. in the Thirties

V630rlst.jpg (13293 bytes)


Roof finishings: in the glorious thirties, six different roof finishes were offered for sedan and imperial styles as follows:

  1. stationary (fixed), lacquered metal roof
  2. stationary (fixed), metal roof with full leather covering
  3. stationary (fixed), metal roof with partial leather covering
  4. stationary (fixed), metal roof with full Burbank leather or Haartz cloth covering
  5. transformable (folding) rear roof portion (leather)
  6. transformable (folding) rear roof portion (Burbank leather or Haartz cloth).

Rooftop photos: many Cadillac Motor Car Division and GM styling photos of the thirties and forties were taken for convenience [and discretion] on top of the Division's buildings in Detroit.

V232CUST.JPG (10916 bytes)
1932 custom V-16 job, atop the roof  of the GM building in Detroit


Roper, Don:  Don was responsible for interior design at Cadillac in 1972-1973.

Ross, Arthur ["Art"]: [Men of Cadillac] joined GM's  "Art & Color" as a youngster in 1936; he worked with, inter alia, Bill Mitchell, Roy Brown, Paul Meyer, Vic Froelich and George Jergensen  He is credited with the 1941 Cadillac "tombstone" grille (CA 12/90).  He was made temporary supervisor of the Cadillac Studio while Mitchell was in the military. He later went to the Oldsmobile Division. Notes in CA 8/99, p.76.

Royalite: A pre-formed vinyl plastic fabric.

EL53DASH.JPG (8446 bytes)
Dash pads of the 1953 Eldorado
were made of pre-formed


Rumble-seat or "Dickey" seat: folding seat in rear of open Roadster. or convertible Coupe body; in 1930 V16 Coupe , CC&CC 11/1969, p.36; in 1960 convertible, SIA 3-4/1976, p.23; in 1976 Eldorado, CC 3/85, p.93; TQ, 5-6/85, pp.16-21.

rmblseat.jpg (3291 bytes)
This is the rumble seat in a 1931 V-16 roadster


Runabout: an early 2p. automobile body style closely resembling a horse-drawn carriage; by adding a demountable "tonneau" behind the front bench, it could be turned into a 4p. vehicle.

P02c.jpg (6765 bytes)


Running boards: [see also "step plates"]; they disappeared on the 1938 "60 Special" model, although they were simply hidden behind the doors.

Rust: repairing rusted body, SIA61, pp.42-49; SIA66, pp.56-59.

Ruzzin, Dick: Men of Cadillac; chief designer at Cadillac studio from 1985 to 1990.

Rybicki, Irwin W. "Irv": Men of Cadillac (CA 12/92, p.38); former Vice-President of design at GM; he was involved, inter alia, in the design of the 1953 Le Mans show car. He was assistant executive in charge of design from 1971 to 1977.

irvrybi.jpg (2690 bytes)


Ryder, George: Men of Cadillac; he was liaison person between GM and Pinin Farina in Italy during part of the Eldorado Brougham project.


S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S


Sabre (Le): GM prototype; AF, pp.35/36 + 141. Earl at wheel plus 2 other views, TQ 5-6/79, p.13; have catalog on this model and many original photos from special albums viewed at Styling Center archives in September 1994. The first ideas and sketches for Le Sabre (the sword) were done in July, 1946. In October, 1948, full-sized drawings were prepared; in December 1948 construction of the first part component of the actual car was begun; Harley Earl gave the name Le Sabre to his creation; in December, 1949, a fill-sized plaster model was begun; the finished car was presented to the public one year later, in December 1950, in Paris.  Tests were run in March 1951 and the car was revealed to the American press in June, 1951.

Dr50sab5.jpg (5783 bytes)


Sabre spoke wheels: cast alloy wheels first used on some Cadillac prototypes and show cars at 1954 Motorama; became standard on 1955-1958 Eldorado models and opt. on non-Eldorado models; in 1956 they could be ordered with gold-anodized finish with matching gold-anodized grille and inst. panel facing; used on following prototypes, show cars or Motorama models: 1954 "Le Mans", 1954 "El Camino", 1954 "La Espada", 1954 "Park Avenue", also seen on one private 1954 Eldorado photo, 1955 Brougham, 1955 "Celebrity", 1955 "Westchester", 1955 Eldorado "St. Moritz", 1955 factory photos of Eldorado; 1956 "Palomino" convertible, 1956 "Maharani", 60S, 1956 "Gala" Sedan de Ville, 1956 Eldorado "Castilian", 1956 factory photos of Eldorado Seville & Biarritz, 1957 factory photos of Eldorado Seville & Biarritz; 1957 "62" convertible once owned by Jack Palance, 1958 factory photos of Eldorado Seville & Biarritz, 1958 factory photo of Sedan de Ville.

Wcghia.jpg (6008 bytes)


Sackett (Ansel), Award: Cadillac-LaSalle Club founder member Ansel Sackett grants this coveted trophy every year for the best 1941 car of the show at the annual Grand National.

SAE: Society of Automobile Engineers.

Safety Plate Glass: [See Security (Safety) Plate Glass]

Saginaw: ball-bearing, worm and nut steering first [???] used in 1940 Fleetwood 72; drawing, SIA 4/1980, p.23.

Salon: Closed body style appellation first used by Cadillac with the new 1915 V-8 production of closed cars. Salon is a French word meaning "lounge" or "drawing room" (so, an automobile body style offering all the comforts of your own home lounge), hence the English "saloon" which, in America, became "sedan".

1915 "Salon" or sedan model Cadillac


Salons (Automobile) and Motor Shows: These are generally held every year in most of the world's industrialized nations; car manufacturers use them to display their latest creations. By 1928, the annual Automobile Salon was visiting New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. During the classic era, especially, some of the most beautiful coach work of the times was exhibited in the nation's finest hotel ballrooms and exhibition halls [e.g. Hotel Commodore (New York), Hotel Drake (Chicago), Hotel Biltmore (Los Angeles), Palace Hotel (San Francisco)]. Cadillacs and La Salles were put on show at the principal venues:

  • [1927] (???)
  • [1928] (???)
  • [1929] in the Fall of this year Fleetwood completed a special 5p. sedan for a prominent motor-car executive; it was described in detail in an article entitled "Recent Bodies by American Custom Builders" that was published in August 1929: "Fleetwood's interesting berline-landaulet: (...) Prominent features of the exterior are the mail coach sill and the use of a light Burbank-grained leather for the top. This leather was introduced at the last Paris Salon [October 1928] by [Georges] Kellner [& Fils] to overcome the difficulty experienced in cleaning the light canvas tops so much in vogue in Europe. These leather tops can be satisfactorily cleaned and avoid the annoyance heretofore experienced with the light-colored canvas. The trunk at the rear is also covered with the Coupienne fabric-grained leather, and its silhouette harmonizes with the upper rear of the body [which is collapsible]. The sloping windshield [à la (later) "Madame X"] eliminates light reflections and narrow corner pillars provide exceptional vision for the driver who is protected from sun dazzle by the Neutralite glass visor which also permits him to observe traffic signals in their true colors. A special construction eliminates the usual finish molding across the top [of the roof] at the rear standing pillars and assists in maintaining a pleasing roof line. Harnagell rack-and-pinion window regulators are used on the front windows and there is an automatic ventilator in the roof. The sporting effect of the body, which is mounted on Cadillac chassis, is enhanced by the long wheel base, 152 in. The car is finished in maroon and Paris gray, the latter color being used for the splashers, fenders, moldings, window framing and top leather. The exposed metalwork, including the wire wheels, is chromium-plated. The maroon-and-gray color scheme is carried out in the interior with an Aero maroon leather on the seats and doors. The cloth lining of the wall and ceiling is a Wiese taupe doeskin. The division glass drops completely, giving a sedan effect when desired; there is no exposed channel or beading at the top where the division glass fits into the roof, the headlining of the two compartments practically meeting, concealing the channel, but permitting the glass to pass through the slit into the channel. The interior wood trim is of snakewood which has a dark maroon cast. This is used as a frieze on the doors and on the division in which there is a swept case containing a clock, notebook, mirror and pin cushion. A Cuno wireless electric lighter is also provided, and concealed ashtrays are located in the door panels."
  • [1929] (opened New York 2 Dec. 1928) 18 cars for 1929, the colors of 17 of which were inspired by masterpieces of renowned artists; Fleetwood showed an art moderne Cadillac of sable [black] and polished metal, with damascened hood, polished aluminum moldings around windows, top and back, chrome-plated lamps, windshield frame, wheel spokes and trunk rack, silver leaf striping; the interior featured a new, figured rayon fabric on seats and armrests, piped with silver leather; ceiling and sides used plain rayon; 2 opera seats were fitted in the ornate division that was inlaid with 22 kinds of polished hardwoods in a modern design; hardware was 2-tone color-plated; there were also two La Salles on show (a town car and an AWP) as well as a Hibbard & Darrin enclosed cabriolet.
  • [1929] Los Angeles: this salon ended in disaster on March 5 when a fire swept through the exhibition tents and destroyed everything in its wake.
  • [1929] Paris salon (October 1929): Cadillac showed 3 cars [see the Database section on dream cars].
  • [1930] in Oct. 1929 Fleetwood presented some new styles for the 1930 models: these were styles 4161, 4164 and 4291 [GH book p. 89]; variations on these three styles were mounted on the new V16 chassis when it made its 1930 debut;
  • [1930] (1-7 Dec. 1929 at Hotel Commodore NY, 4-11 Jan. 1930 at Grand Central Palace NY, 25 Jan. to 1 Feb. at Coliseum Chicago, 8-15 Feb. at Biltmore, Los Angeles, 22 Feb. to 1 Mar. at Palace Hotel San Francisco); 11 cars shown included roadster, AWP, 2 town cars, a glass quarter brougham (3991?), 5p sedan-landaulet, 7p. sedan-landaulet, V16 style 4108C, LaSalle Fleetwind sedan, Fleetshire phaeton and Fleetway AWP.
  • [1931] Shows opened in Chicago 8-15 Nov. 1930, New York 30 Nov. to 6 Dec., Los Angeles 7-14 Feb. 1931, San Francisco 21-28 Feb. The National Automobile shows were 3-10 Jan. 1931 in New York, and 24-31 Jan. at Chicago; the Paris show was held 2-12 Oct. 1931, London 16-25 Oct. and Brussels 6-17 Dec. Fleetwood showed 8 creations on V8, V12 and V16 [included 2p. convertible coupe with Caramel [pastel brown] upper body, and Rose-Rust Straw lower body, cream stripe and caramel wire wheels; a 5p. phaeton with molding and fenders in Fennimore green and lower body in Laurel green; a 5p. town car - possibly on V16 chassis [interior on p. 52 of GH book]; a V16 style 4175 imperial, of which interior is shown in GH book, p.48] and the so-called "French Brougham", a special V16 style 4200 that was built in August 1930 presumably to be shown at the Paris salon of October 1930.
  • [1932] The American luxury car Salon was held at the Commodore in New York from 29 November to 5 December 1931 [LaC, 2/32]. Sixty-six cars were shown at prices ranging from $4000 to $22000! Five European countries participated: Germany, Belgium, France, UK and Italy. Custom bodies were shown by Ambi-Budd, Brewster, Brunn, Dietrich, Hayes, Judkins, LeBaron, Murphy, Rollston, Walker, Waterhouse and Willoughby (USA), d'Ieteren Frères and Van den Plas (Belgium), Castagna and Farina (Italy), Fernandez and Figoni & Falaschi (France). Chassis on show included those by Chrysler, Duesenberg, Franklin, Lincoln, Marmon, Pierce-Arrow and Stutz (USA), Isotta-Fraschini and Lancia (Italy), Maybach-Zeppelin (Germany), Minerva (Belgium), Rolls-Royce (UK) and Delage (France). Packard shunned the Commodore; they held an exhibition in their New York showrooms on 61st and Broadway. I have no record of any Cadillac presentation at the Commodore. Perhaps they were preparing to introduce the beautiful, new 1932 models at the Grand Central Palace in New York Salon a few weeks later.
  • [1935]: the 35th NY Auto Show was held at the Grand Central Palace from 5 to 12 January 1935. Only one V16 was on show on the Cadillac stand that year.

San Remo: designation given to custom $46,000 1978 Seville by Coach Design Group, Inc. of California; article and photos CC&CC 1/1979, cover, pp.3, 30-33; details included side, top up, compared with standard Seville, folding top, driver compartment, rear design, specifications.

DR78SANR.JPG (10822 bytes)


Saoutchik, Jacques: French automobile designer, formerly of 46, rue Jacques Dulud, 75016 NEUILLY / Paris; built a handful of custom bodies for the Cadillac, in the thirties including at least two creations on the 1930 V16 chassis (one 4p. Convertible Phaeton, one 7p. Imperial with an interesting sliding roof - that body was built on the chassis of the European Tour style 4260 sport phaeton - an advertisement for an auction in Auburn featured a Saoutchik Cadillac V-16 for sale - no picture but assumed to be ex-Le Gallais convertible sedan, next seen at Gilmore Museum meet in 1993, MK 8/1991, p.53 [HW collection {***}], also Année Automobile (AM collection ); Saoutchik built also a pretty 5p. Convertible Victoria on the V-12 chassis (illustrated in the French magazine LaC, 7/1932, p.13), a 1948 convertible coupe, in Histoire de l'Automobile (Atlas) p.269 (photo Quattroruote) and a 1953 stretched convertible Sedan for King Ibn Seoud of Saudi Arabia. His photo (below) appeared in LaC, 10/32, p.23.

men_saou.JPG (4258 bytes)    Dr53saos.jpg (10589 bytes)
The French coach-builder (left) and one of his creations on Cadillac chassis (right)
[ for more custom creations on Cadillac chassis, visit the Dream Cars section of the Database ]


Saturday Evening Post: now defunct US weekly magazine; major source of Cadillac and La Salle ads, both pre-war and post-war.

Scale Model Cadillac cars: Car Collector, 11/85, p.86-87; CLCA 1985, pp.2-7; Danbury Mint 1909 Model "30" tourer, CC&CC 6/1981, pp.14, 16-17; story, CC&CC 2/1985, p.58-59; Franklin Mint 1953 Eldorado, CC&CC 6/1971, p.3; 1959 De Ville convertible J. Beam decanter, CC&CC 9/1991, p.23; 1967 De Ville convertible , CC&CC, 8/1985, p.4; story, CC&CC 6/1987, pp.50-51; CA 12/1990, pp.89-90; CA 11/1985, pp.86-88; CA 7/1984, pp.91-94; 1931 V12 phaeton model (got photo from Roy Licari, passed to HW 8/95); see also "Thibivilliers". For enthusiasts who have a special interest in miniature Cadillacs and scale-models, check out the "Toys" section of the Database.

Scalloped hood: A motor hood with a curved indentation generally following the curve of the rear portion of side-mounted spare wheels; it was used on many Cadillac-LaSalle body styles between 1928 and 1931; the idea was borrowed from either Le Baron, Inc. [most likely], Locke & Company and the coach building firm of Walter M. Murphy who all used that styling feature in the late twenties.

v6p335b.JPG (9858 bytes)
Cadillac V-16 style #4335


Schebera, Ernest: Men of Cadillac, cigar-smoking Fleetwood president; headed design of Madame X V-16 models.

Scheelk, Bob: Men of Cadillac, headed interior design in late Fifties, photo CA 8/1988, p.11. He was the primary designer of the 1957 and 1958 Eldorado models. See also Car Collector, 5/91. Bob was responsible for interior design at Cadillac in 1962-1963.

scheelk.jpg (2933 bytes)


Schemansky, Joseph: Men of Cadillac, chief designer from 1.5.1949 to 1.6.1951;

Schneider, Roy A.: Cadillac historian and writer of excellent books on topic : Sixteen Cylinder Motor Cars, Cadillac 1950-1959, Cadillacs of the Forties, Cadillacs of the Sixties.

Schutte, Charles (Body Co.): custom coach builder of Lancaster, PA; built a few bodies on the Cadillac chassis, e.g. McC p.76

26schutt.jpg (8343 bytes)
A Schutte-bodied Cadillac of 1925-26


Schwartz, Maurice: [see also "Bohman & Schwartz"] Born in Austria; came to USA 1910; employed first by Fisher Brothers and Willoughby; came to California in 1918 and took job with Earl [Harley Earl ?] Carriage Works in Los Angeles; joined Walter Murphy Co in Pasadena in 1924 until they folded in 1932; teamed up with Christian Bowman but split in 1947; Schwartz was 63. Launched Maurice Schwartz of Pasadena, California and turned out a number of personalized Cadillacs on his own including one for cowboy film star Gene Autry, shoe king Harry Karl for his actress wives Marie McDonald and Debbie Reynolds, Mexican President Miguel Aleman and a run of "Woodies" for the MGM film studios, through Hillcrest Cadillac Co. (one survives - SIA143 pp40-71); did restoration work for Bill Harrah until his death in 1961.

Scientific American: Quality pre-war US magazine that occasionally featured nice Cadillac-LaSalle ads.

Scott, Kenneth N.: Men of Cadillac, general manager from 4.1.1966 to 9.1.1966.

menscot.JPG (2793 bytes)

Script (Cadillac): First appearance of Cadillac script was on the radiator of the 1905 models; sometimes it was added later by owners of earlier models); the Cadillac coat of arms was registered in 1906.

cad_scpt.JPG (2939 bytes)
This style is from the mid-sixties


Seaholm, Ernest W.: Men of Cadillac, chief engineer from 4.16.1923 to 5.31.1943; he joined Cadillac as a designer in 1913; story in SIA 4/1980, pp.18-25.

seaholm.jpg (2919 bytes)
Mr. Seaholm, after his retirement


Searchlight chassis: 145" Cadillac chassis used for transporting 60" searchlight reflector during WW1; photo p.52 of book "Cadillac Participation in the World War".

Seat Belts: The Cadillac Serviceman for January 1968 reads: Shoulder belts are provided as standard equipment for the driver and the right front seat passenger on all 1968 Cadillac styles, except convertibles, shipped by Cadillac on and after January 1, 1968. Shoulder belts are optional for all other forward-facing outboard passengers, including all outboard occupants in convertibles. The belts are fastened with individual buckles, and released in the same manner as lap belts. All models are equipped with shoulder belt anchors built into the vehicle for all forward-facing outboard passengers. When not in use, shoulder belts should be secured in the retainers provided. This is to reduce the danger of the flat eye end striking an occupant in a collision. The webbing must be entirely removed from the retainers before use of the shoulder belts.

Seat Wings: (upholstery term) the side portion of front seats.

Seavers & Erdman: Coach builders on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit who had supplied closed bodies to Cadillac prior to 1910; initially wood paneled, they were supplanted with metal body panels, first of aluminum, then steel.

Secondary cowl: [see "Dual Cowl"].

Security (safety) plate glass; Cadillac was first to adopt as standard in 1928; first mentioned in 1928 product bulletin entitled Cadillac 90 degree V-Type Eight Cylinder Engine.

Sedan: generally a closed body style with 4 doors and with seating for five to seven passengers.

Sedan de Luxe: as name implies; appeared first in 1924 Cadillac catalog.

Sedanette: in the early thirties, name given to a sedan with the look of a convertible with the top up; it had a light-colored, fabric-grained leather covering applied to the metal roof. In the early forties and after the war, up to 1949, the name was applied to the fastback "club coupe" models; good story of '49 in CLCA/93, pp.14-19.

30fwind.jpg (7630 bytes)    4961cpfl.jpg (8641 bytes)
Pre-war (1930 - left) and post-war (1949 - right) Sedanet or Sedanette models


Self-Adjusting Brakes: These were introduced in the 1960 Cadillac models. They were adjusted automatically by riding the brakes while driving a short distance in reverse.

Self Starter: electric device developed by Cadillac's own engineering team, under Charles F. Kettering who adapted to a Leland concept an electric motor that he had developed for the National Cash Register company; Kettering perfected the first truly reliable engine starter which did away with manual cranking. For the full story, check the book "Master of Precision: Henry M. Leland" co-authored by his daughter-in-law, Ottilie M. Leland and Ms. Minnie Dubbs Millbrook (CLC 5/94, pp.7-8 and 10/94, p.8). The name was suggested by the late Tom Bucklen, a charter member of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, for its official publication. About the selfstarter, here is part of an interesting merchandising piece. It came in four parts, or "Cantos"; this is the text of the third one. I guess it was intended as an ad, boasting of Cadillac's achievements which many detractors claimed could not be done. The other three "Cantos"  mention other feats that could not be done, but were. A manuscript note was pinned to the first sheet; it reads: If possible, have this news item run in your papers without alteration.

CANTO III - The next important step in the industry occurred when the Cadillac  Company announced for 1912 that its output of motor cars would be equipped with an electrical self-starting device. It was not something simply to give the engineer a push over and then stop, but something which would actually crank it and keep on cranking it if necessary. Not only this but the device would also furnish current for electric lights and for ignition. Up went the hands again. “It can’t be done.” They sounded the chorus. But it was done and done more successfully than even its makers had dared hope for. It was the greatest and most important single improvement since the inception of the motor car. It proved its case from the beginning. In the face of this, it was berated and it was envied. It was misrepresented and stories of almost every conceivable kind were circulated about it. Of course we had no idea how or by whom. After a few thousand of these Cadillacs had been delivered other makers woke up to the fact that the Cadillac electrical system was meeting with tremendous favor and success. Then there was a wild scramble for almost anything that bore the name “self-starter”. Nearly every car adopted something which would serve as an excuse for the name. And what was the result? Let the buyers tell you. And all the time the Cadillac electrical system was growing in favor because it was proving itself to be right, and proving itself to be the only one that was actually doing what was expected of it. Then there was another unpinning. The handwriting was seen upon the wall. The electrical cranking device came into its own and now you see it rapidly displacing the other kinds. There are electrical cranking devices and electrical cranking devices and some more electrical cranking devices. It is not the purpose to dismiss them here. But there is a difference. Some of them are real ones. No, it couldn’t be done. But it was.

1913canto1.jpg (23368 bytes)    1913canto2.jpg (24034 bytes)    1913canto3.jpg (20030 bytes)


Selfridge Field: the military air-strip near Detroit where Harley Earl first took a design team to view the Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" combat 'plane which inspired the bulbous fins on the '48 Cadillac cars [excellent "75" series].

Series 314 and 314-A: These were new, eight-cylinder Cadillac models, built from 8/1925 to 8/1927 [the "314"] and from 8/1926 to 8/1927 [the "314-A"]; MH has written a fine article on these cars in CC&CC 9/1982; it includes on pp.25-29 a designer's drawing of a roadster, a convertible coupe [that looks like a fixed coupe (???)], a 7-pass. touring sedan, a 4-pass. touring car and a phaeton with RH drive. These models were engineered by Ernest Seaholm [chief engineer at the time], C.W. Strickland [assistant chief engineer], Frank Johnson [responsible for engine and transmission design], H.H. Gilbert [a research engineer], G.E. Parker [a designer] and W.N. Davis [a body engineer]. These models constitute the link between the Leland era and the Seaholm/Earl era, where styling became pre-eminent. It was the "third generation" V8 since the first 1914-15 model. In late 1925, Cadillac asserted that of the 180,000 cars the company had built since 1902, not a single engine had ever been replaced by the factory for any reason. The new V8 engines used in the "314" and "314A" cars had the same bore and stroke as the first V8 engine of 1915. The crankshaft and general structure were the same; major differences were in cooling and electrics; only one pump was used in the newer engine; thermostatic radiator shutters replaced the valve type; a Delco 2-unit electrical system was installed; there was a vertical starter motor and a separate generator; engine weight was down 130 lbs to 714 lbs. The cars had new longitudinal, semi-elliptic rear springs in lieu of the former platform, giving them a lower profile; they also featured a new rounded radiator shell.

Service policy: Cadillac first introduced nation wide servicing possibilities and policy in 1930.

Service (roadside): Article in CLC, 1/90, pp.4-5

Serial numbers: On Cadillac cars of the classic era, this number is generally located on the RH rear cylinder block and on LH side of dash, under hood; see book "California Classics", pp. 68-69 for serial numbers from 1924 through 1948.

Series 53: it has been speculated that this is the series number that would have been given to the 1941 La Salle if production had not ended in 1940 (CLCA 1991, p.35)

Service Policy (Comprehensive): This was introduced by Cadillac in 1926.

Service Shops of the past: photos in SIA 48/1978, pp.28-33 [no Cadillac].

Seventy-Five: Well known designation used by Cadillac since 1936 to identify the roomiest closed bodies in the range. Use of the two digits "75" goes back, nonetheless, to the late Twenties; a body style with these last two digits designated the roomiest of the 7-pass. sedans.

Seville: Spanish province and capital city of that province, renowned for its history and its treasures of art and architecture. The Spanish master painters Velazquez and Murillo both were from Seville and their work, in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, belongs to the Seville school. The name was used from 1956 through 1960 to distinguish between the convertible and coupe in the top-of-the-range Eldorado series ["Seville" was used for the coupe]. It came back into use in 1975 to designate a new, "compact" 4-door Cadillac in the European style [still current 1993]. Story in CS11, pp.32-42. Article on 1989 model, MT 9/88.

El56scl1.jpg (9197 bytes)
The first "Seville" - a 1956 coupe


Seville Show Car: 1992 model (CCI, 31:8)

Seville (with) Touring Suspension (STS): [see "Seville STS"].

Shipley, James R.: Men of Cadillac, former La Salle studio designer, photo CA 4/1986, p.71.

Short-deck sedans: Cadillac models with a reduced overall length; these were available in 1950 (Series 61) and the Series 62 sedan, 1951, and 1961 through 1963 [see also "Park Avenue" and "Town Sedan"]

63pasdv.jpg (10164 bytes)
The short-decked Park Avenue Sedan de Ville for 1963


Shoulder Belts: see "Seat Belts".

Show Cars: see "Dream Cars".

SIA: [see "Special Interest Autos"].

Side marker lights: introduced on US cars in 1968 by governmental decree; first used by US designer Brooks Stevens on futuristic Die Valkyrie in 1954; MC Autumn 1974, p.24; see also Opera lights.

70ELDET1.JPG (3997 bytes)
Rear fender side-marker lamp
on 1970 Cadillac Eldorado coupe


Sidemounts: spare-wheels (generally in pairs) mounted in fender "wells"; cars were generally delivered with one rear-mounted spare wheel as standard equipment; the five standard wheels were made of wood; on request and at extra cost, two spare wheels could be ordered. In such cases, the front fenders had to be specially made with wheel "wells" to accommodate the side-mounted spares; a special brace mounted to the cowl held the spare wheels in position; one enterprising pessimist ordered his special V-16 coupe (style #4207) with seven wheels of which two side-mounted spares and another mounted in the rear for good measure; four types of covers were available to "dress" the side-mounted spare wheels or "sidemounts": 1) long-grain leather cover enclosing the tire completely (available with Cadillac "crest"), 2) Burbank cloth cover enclosing the tire completely (available with Cadillac "crest"), 3) a broad metal band covering only the tire treads, 4) a full metal cover enclosing both tires and wheels; it is interesting to note that the majority of factory photos (and there were many) taken in 1930 and 1931, showed the cars without sidemount covers of any kind.

v634awp.jpg (10486 bytes)    v634cpx.jpg (8542 bytes)
Two V-16 models (1934-37 Cadillac production), with (left) and without (right) the side-mounted spare wheels


Sill: the lower edge of the automobile body where it is generally attached to the frame rails. The most common version was the straight or horizontal sill; later came the curved "carriage" or "mail coach" sill that partly obscured the horizontal frame area; some rare models combined the horizontal and mail coach sills for a special styling effect (e.g. 1930-31 V16 style 4264-B).

MMX_SILL.JPG (8676 bytes)    li31lenj.jpg (8520 bytes)
(Left): Detail of a straight sill from a V-16 model of 1930-31
(Right): Custom job on V-16 chassis by Van den Plas (sill is hidden by body overlap)


Sills, Richard:   As a former President of the Cadillac LaSalle Club, Inc., Richard deserves to be mentioned here for his tireless efforts to promote the marque and the models from its glorious past.

R_sills.jpg (2585 bytes)


Sitek, Richard: Men of Cadillac, Cad International Marketing Manager (1993).

Six-Pack: Common appellation of Rochester carburetor installation featuring three two-barrel carburetors mounted in series and used, inter alia, in the 1960 Cadillac Eldorado models (photo in CC&CC 10/93, p.29, shows unit mounted in '58 Chevy Impala)

Sixty-Seven: Series number of 1941 Cadillac model; comparison made with Buick 90 in CLCA/93, pp.20-23

4167sd1.jpg (7848 bytes)
1941 Series 67, style 6719 Touring Sedan


Sketches and renderings: The initial stage in designing a new Cadillac is to have the studio artists draw numerous sketches, to give shape to the designer's various concepts. Theme sketches are then drawn up in a larger format and the details begin to appear. The designers use felt-tip pens, the airbrush, water-colors or colored chalk, to create shadows, shapes and contours. A promising design is subsequently drawn up in full-size, with "tape drawings" and airbrush renderings.

Ar57grl.jpg (8297 bytes)
A Cadillac stylist's proposal for 1957-58 front clip [ artist: Bob Scheelk ]


Skirted fenders: These fist appeared on Cadillac-LaSalle cars in 1933; they were a first attempt at hiding chassis components that were not pleasing to the eye.

P28tbggn.jpg (7647 bytes)  P33rdst.jpg (6848 bytes)
Left: 1928 town car (unskirted fenders);  right:  1933 roadster with the new fender skirts, front and rear

Skylight: special 1960 Coupe [see "Pinin Farina"] AA 1958-1959, p.92 [color].

Brpfstr3.jpg (6009 bytes)


Skyview Limousines : Common name given to special sightseeing station wagons named "Caravelle" on Cadillac chassis ordered by Hess & Eisenhardt for Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado; other models by same firm carry "Custom View Master" or "Caravelle" ID plate.

Dr59crvl.jpg (9823 bytes)   
This survivor (left) was in the collection of my friend Ted Grill, Bayshore, LI, in the late seventies [ Photo: © 1978, Yann Saunders ]
The restored car (right) was seen at a number of classic car meets  ... 30 years later


Showrooms (Cadillac):  I guess many of you, like me, would love to have been around your local Cadillac showroom when the new models were announced. I'd like to add on this page some photos of such thrilling moments captured on camera, back in the day.  If you happen to have similar pics, do share them with the Museum & Research Center of the Cadillac & LaSalle Club, Inc., through me or JC Franchitti.

I believe the car on the right is the new LaSalle roadster for 1927-28;
on the left is possibly a 1905 Model E touring car

These views are from Cadillac showrooms of 1955


Sloan, Alfred P., Jr.:  He was General Motors'  CEO for many years.  Check out "Car Collector" 8/76 for more information.

SLSRussel "Rusty" Shepherd writes [1999]: " I have a Seville SLS, which stands for Seville Luxury Sedan.  Yes, I know, this means the car really is the   "Seville Seville" Luxury Sedan.  That issue was addressed in Motor Trend a few years ago ...but who knows about Madison Avenue and marketing?"

Smith: U.S. coach building company of Springfield, Mass.; they built at least one body on the Cadillac chassis in the late Teens or early Twenties; the accessories, upholstery cloth and trimmings were supplied by the Boyriven company of Paris and New York. A poor photocopy of the interior of this car (a 3p. coupe) was obtained from the Detroit Public Library in Sept. 1994). Any other information would be appreciated.

Smith, Roger B.: [men of Cadillac]

jsmith.JPG (2755 bytes)


Snyder, George [Men of Cadillac] joined GM in the late thirties and worked in the La Salle studio for a time before moving on to the Oldsmobile Division.  Notes in CA, 8/99, p.27

Soft top: [see "convertible top"].

Solitaire: concept car, first shown Detroit Auto Show, 1/1989, 2-door, 2+2 coupe on the Eldorado theme, V12 motor, 6.6. liter, 436 HP, 304cm wheel base, 544cm overall length, 1800kg weight; article RA (in literature drawer); color designer drawing and full specifications in 1989 press portfolio, CCI 30:7

dr90ssol.jpg (7967 bytes)


Sotheby auctions: report on Sotheby auction 7.3.88 at Geneva, MK 4/1988, Geneva; so-called "Pope's" 1938 V-16 said to have been bid to 240,000SFr (HW collection ) {***}.

Spare tire (concealed): in 1934 Cadillac produced first American car with spare tire concealed within the body.

V634tir2.jpg (7829 bytes)
1934: Spare wheel storage in convertible and town sedan styles


Speaking tube: early "interphone" system used in chauffeur-driven automobiles allowing the owner/ passenger to communicate with the driver; consisting of a portable mouthpiece [in the passenger compartment] and a fixed, "trumpet"-shaped listening device mounted near the driver's ear.

27fwlibg.JPG (8054 bytes)
You can see the "trumpet" ear-piece placed strategically
near the chauffeur's ear, in this 1927 formal town car


Special Cadillac issue: NIT33; Cadillac-LaSalle Club issue [???].

Special editions: Limited production Cadillac models became popular in the late seventies and early eighties; they were basically standard body styles incorporating one or more special features, e.g. 1980 Brougham d'Elégance, DeVille d'Elégance, Cabriolet [1980 brochure]; see also "Dream Cars".

Special Interest Autos: specialized U.S. automobile magazine by the publishers of "Hemmings Motor News"; in activity since the early seventies [?]; address: RT 9, West Road, Box 196, Bennington, VT 05201, USA; a good source of articles and photos on Cadillac and La Salle automobiles.

Speed-Dependent Dampening: Another Cadillac suspension innovation introduced on the Allanté model in 1989; it provided increased steering feel at highway speeds, yet light steering effort for city parking.

Speed -Sensitive Steering: Another Cadillac safety innovation introduced as part of the Northstar system on the 1993 Allanté model; it featured a high-speed computer able to determine damping requirements once every millisecond (that is equal to about one inch of travel at 60 mph).

Speedster: 1920 Custom Cadillac model by Don Lee, San Francisco (in reproduction copy of 1920 Don Lee catalog ).

Dr20le3s.jpg (9937 bytes)


Spellman, Francis (Cardinal of New York): in 1948/49 was given 1938 Cad V-16 Town Car [style #9053] by daughters of first owner [Countess Rosario Larrachea De Schiffner] on her death; he donated car to Vatican garage for use by Pope Pius XI. The car has survived and has been seen quite regularly on the auction circuit since the 80s.

9053_38b.jpg (11263 bytes)
The so-called "Pope's" V-16


Splash apron: the sheet metal panel that concealed the chassis frame members and generally supported the running boards, known also as the body sill.

Spohn (Karrosseriebau): German coach-builder from Ravensburg started business in the thirties; in the fifties it did some "custom" jobs for Brooks Stevens (e.g. Die Valkyrie) and for US military personnel stationed in W. Germany in the fifties; article on "Germany's Kustom King" in SIA20, pp.40- 42; also SIA 1-2/74 pp.40-42; MC Autumn 1974, pp.20-29, 33; SIA20, p.40; SIA21, p.6.

Dr55vlk1.jpg (7670 bytes)


Sponsoring activities: in 1987 and 88 Cadillac sponsored the America's Cup yachting event; pictures of 1988 event in Cadillac news sheet, Vol. No. 2, issue 1 (in 1988 literature drawer). In 1990, sponsored NY Liberty Cup Regatta, Baltimore's Cadillac-Columbus race and Long Beach Congressional Cup. Also National Football League and Professional Golf Association sponsor, plus 7 grand Champion tennis tournaments and show jumping in 1990; $3,000,000 to Dennis Conner's quest to defend 1992 America's Cup aboard "Stars & Stripes"

Sport [body style]: An open car with second cowl protecting rear-seat passengers or simply fitted with a second windshield between the front and rear seats.

Sport Phaeton: a relatively rare body Style used on Cadillac and La Salle chassis in the late twenties and early thirties; it is identified by its folding cowl and equally folding secondary windshield for rear seat passengers; some "special" Phaetons with fixed or wind-down secondary windshield are erroneously referred to as "Sport Phaeton".

P284spph.jpg (9914 bytes)     spphdetl.JPG (4656 bytes)
1928 Fisher-bodied sport phaeton (left)
Secondary cowl in raised position for easy access to rear seat (right)


Sport Salon: UK equivalent of Sport Sedan (see 1927 models in SAB book, p.46).

Sports marketing, Cadillac style: see "sponsoring activities"

Sportsman (The): Quality pre-war US magazine including some nice Cadillac-LaSalle ads in the thirties.

Sport Utility Vehicle: see "SUV"

02pkfrnt.jpg (7542 bytes)


Spur (The): Quality pre-war US magazine that occasionally featured nice Cadillac-LaSalle ads.

S&S: Insignia and name of funeral cars, ambulances and service cars manufactured by the Hess & Eisenhardt Company, Cincinnati, Ohio (formerly Sayers and Scovill).

Stabilitrak System: another steering and suspension innovation introduced in 1997 on the Seville touring sedan (STS), Eldorado touring coupe (ETC) and  DeVille Concours models; it provided more secure handling during cornering and emergency maneuvers; incorporating road texture detection, it improved also braking on rough road surfaces.  It became standard on all front-wheel-drive Cadillac  models in 1998.

IMHO, these systems all are designed for the poor driver who is incapable of adjusting his speed to different terrain and road conditions; it should be obvious to the least skilled of drivers that safe, courteous driving will avoid the need for any "emergency maneuvers";  I've often wondered, in fact, why during basic driving instruction, learners are not taught the basic theories of mass, movement, friction, traction PLUS that number-one teen-killer called "centrifugal force";  most inexperienced drivers do not understand that a speeding car won't necessarily round a curve just because the driver has turned the steering wheel in the right direction; in fact, depending on the car's speed, it may just go straight ahead ...right into that tree or that oncoming car or truck!  So, kids, ease off the hammer!   Think of your folks who might otherwise have to come to identify your horrible, bloodied remains in that mass of torn and mangled steel you used to call your car!

Stainless steel roof: first featured on 1957 Eldorado Brougham; the 1959 Imperial Southampton hard-top also had such a roof [source ???, p.149]

BRG_ROOF.JPG (4919 bytes)


Stallion: name of 1967 Eldorado prototype built 1963 (CA 12/01, p.24).

Stamped wheel: these replaced former wooden, wire and disc wheels; the were cheaper to make and rarely needed repairing.

"Standard Catalogue of Cadillac 1903-1990": A most useful Cadillac-LaSalle reference book put together by Mary Sieber & Ken Buttolph for Krause Publications at 700 E. State St., IOLA, WI 54990 [ISBN 0-87341-174-9].

B_80yrs.jpg (5747 bytes)


"Standard Catalogue of Cadillac 1903-2000": Updated version of the preceding book, edited by James T. Lenzke.

bkstacat.JPG (5752 bytes)


Standard of the World: a Cadillac slogan that first appeared in 1908 after Cadillac earned the Dewar Trophy of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), in England, for demonstrating convincingly the total interchangeability of the parts on three randomly selected 1907 models.

Standard Officers' Car: the 1918 Cadillac touring car was adopted by the armed forces of the United States as the standard officers' car following a series of grueling tests in the Texan desert proving grounds.

18MILCAR.JPG (5623 bytes)


Starlight: special coupe and convertible, by Pinin Farina; AA 1959-1960, p.105 [color]; see Pinin Farina section. PF "Starlight" Coupe was black with white top.


Starrett, Charles: Cowboy star of many a "B" movie; had a custom 1941 Cadillac station wagon built by Coachcraft Ltd of Hollywood, CLCA/93

dr41ccft.JPG (8165 bytes)


Stars with Cars: 1927 La Salle Roadster with Clara Bow, CLCA 1990, p.25; 1930 V-16 limousine and 1931 V-16 town car, with Ernestine Schumann-Heink, opera singer, CLCA 1990, p.26; 1930 V-16 sedan with Al Capone [a "star" with a different "light"], on flyer from Imperial Palace collection 1938 V-16 Town Car 9053 with Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, CLCA 1990, p.25; 1948 "62" convertible with Sonja Henie, CLCA 1988, p.32; 1949 "62" convertible with Liz Taylor & Monty Clift ("Ant Farm", p.27); 1950 "62" convertible , with French pop star Christophe (my photos); 1952 "60S" with Gene Autrey, CLCA 1987, p.36; 1956 "60S" with Little Richard [Richard Penniman] (my photos); 1958 Eldorado Biarritz with French pop star Jean-Michel Jarre (my photos); 1959 Eldorado Biarritz with Jayne Mansfield [in J. Mansfield book from Desvaux, p.31]. For more "Cars with Personalities", visit this section of the Cadillac Database.

Station wagons: were never offered in the Cadillac line; many coach-building firms offered them to a discriminating clientele: 1955 "sightseeing" model, good photo in CLCA 1980, inside rear cover, also CLCA 1989, p.32; 1956 model, SIA92, pp.40-43; same car in CAM {*** - only have photocopy}; car carries "Custom View Master" plate on rear fender [color photo from J.-M. Roux 8/93]; NIT special M1602, p.79; Wagon De Ville [among "custom" photos]; 1960 Estate carriage by Peter Stengel, CLCA 1980, inside rear cover; 1963, CLCA 1982, p.31 and rear view, CLCA 1981, p.34; 1968 model, CLCA 1990, p.29; photo of 1969 model, SS 1980, p.27; same model in "custom" photo album; 1971, McC p.393; 1972, McC p.397, also CLC 4/90, p.18 advertised one for sale; 1976 "Castilian", CLCA 1989, p.32; 1978 by Wisco Co., McC p.425; 1981 by American Standard Coach builders [McC p.440]. Saw in ZTV collection, May 1994, an article on the "$10000 Cadillac station wagons"; a 1951 version is shown at the top of the Dec. 1951 Mechanix Illustrated; the 1955-56 version is also shown in Mechanix Illustrated; at the top is a 1956 version; below is a 1955 version; it says in the article that Bill Hess of Hess & Eisenhardt (a graduate of the [Massachusetts] Institute of Technology [M.I.T.]) designed the station wagon under supervision of GM and Cadillac. Seven were built, but no indication is given whether production was in 1955 AND 1956 or only 1956; each completed car was a different color and finish from the others; cost was estimated at $10000.

Dr68elwa.jpg (8249 bytes)
This wagon was converted from a 1968 Eldorado coupe


Stationary: as opposed to "transformable" or "collapsible"; implies that the roof portion of the car is fixed.

Statistics: miscellaneous statistics included in 1918 booklet Cadillac Motor Cars, p.2.

Steel bodies: Cadillac and LaSalle bodies began to rely almost entirely on steel, starting in 1938. All wood-framing was eliminated, permitting stronger bodies that also lent themselves to automated production

Stengel, Peter: Post-War US coach-builder, Hollywood; in the late Fifties he took over the former Dutch Darrin (post-war) custom shop where the Kaiser-Darrin sports cars had been built; he designed and built an "Estate Carriage" on the 1960 Cadillac chassis; hand-built in England, the rear compartment was trimmed in formica imitating wood-grain; it had a 360 ci. Cadillac motor giving 325HP at 4800 rpm, wheel base was 130", and length 225". Have photo and drawings of other Stengel proposal, CLCA 1980, inside rear cover. Cost of wagon was $14,000.

dr59stg2.JPG (11656 bytes)
The fins on this 1959 wagon (sans wheel covers)  by Peter Stengel seem
to have been inspired by the Eldorado Brougham model of that year


Step plates: [see also "running boards"] flat castings mounted laterally in lieu of full-length running boards on sporty body types to assist entry and exit; these became popular in 1930. There were also small flat, rear-bumper and fender steps allowing access to auxiliary, fold-away seating in the trunk or "rumble" area.

Stephens, H.M.: Men of Cadillac, general sales manager from 12/1925 to 9/1930;

Stevens, Brooks: known as "the Seer that made Milwaukee Famous", US designer and coach-builder, did some Cadillac-powered cars [see "Gaylord" and "Valkyrie"]; he was involved with Willys, Kaiser, Alfa-Romeo, Excalibur,  J and SJ, SS, SSK and Series II, Paxton, Jeep Studebaker, Aero-Willys,  Volkswagen and AMC.article MC Autumn 1974, pp.20-29, 33; SIA71, pp.18-23. Mr. Stevens passed away on 4 January 1995 of heart failure. His work is reviewed in SAH No. 151, 7-8/94.  See also CC 10/74 and 12/74 for 2-part story of this US designer. Read his obituary in CC, 5/95.

Stillman, K.W.: Wrote series of articles in Automotive Industries emphasizing unusual methods and tolerances used by Cadillac compared to other automobile makers of the period [source MH]

St. Moritz: designation of special Eldorado model for 1955 Motorama, CLCA 1979, inside front cover; special news item by Cadillac, 13.5.1955. Car had white "pearlescent" body, interior of white ermine fur trimmed in "pearlescent" white English-grained leather, white "mouton" carpeting with brushed aluminum treads bordered with white "mouton" carpeting, combination vanity in rear seat (center?) armrest.

dr55mrtz.JPG (5765 bytes)


Stool Printing House: Detroit-based printers of some Cadillac merchandising lit. (e.g. 1919 catalog on advertising techniques).

STOP sign: the first one appeared in Detroit in 1914 [source ??? ..., p.57].

Story, Tom: made 2-seater sports car in Portland, Oregon in 1950, using Mercury steering, Willys suspension, 1949 Chevy front fenders, 1949 Pontiac rear fenders, Ford, Cad., Olds or Mercury motor.

Straight-Line runabout: and straight-line Touring car (1907 Model M)

P07mstln.jpg (10418 bytes)


Streamlining: in automobile body construction, unifying uncoordinated body elements into a whole and giving a shape intended to reduce to the greatest extent possible the turbulence caused by the automobile penetrating the air at speed. The first truly streamlined Cadillac was built for the Chicago World's Fair, A Century of Progress  in 1933. It was a special fastback sedan on the V-16 chassis, style #5599.

V6335599.jpg (9979 bytes)


Stretched cars: SIA66, pp.34-39; NIT59 {Key collection ***}, many photos in CCI,

000mrage.jpg (10801 bytes)
Cadillac stretches ...from the sublime to the ridiculous


Strickland, William R.: Men of Cadillac, joined Cadillac as assistant chief engineer in 1922; photo, SIA 4/1980, p.24.

STS: Russell "Rusty" Shepherd corrected me on this one.  The abbreviation does not stand for "Special Touring Suspension" but "Seville Touring Sedan", i.e. "Seville Seville" Touring sedan !!! [see also "Seville SLS", above].

Studillac: a Studebaker powered by a Cadillac engine; article in Bond No. 36. Cadillac aficionado, Erik Calvino who lives in Tokyo, Japan, sent this quote from the James Bond Website: The car appears to be a black Studebaker convertible. When Felix talks up the car's performance Bond thinks he's spouting nonsense, until Felix stomps the fuel pedal and reveals to Bond the car's hidden abilities. Leiter's car is under the hood. Cadillacs in the 1950s were real performance cars. When the horsepower of the Caddy engine was put into the aerodynamic, lightweight, Loewy designed Studebaker body it yielded a potent, high velocity, weapon! Special rear axle, brakes and transmission had to be added to handle the extra power. This car is not the product of Fleming's fertile imagination. Such a car was actually produced by a specialty shop in New York. It was dubbed with the singularly un-mellifluous sobriquet, "Studillac".

54stula2.jpg (6718 bytes)


Styling: Cadillac automobile styling may be said to have begun in 1925, the year Fleetwood was absorbed by the company. Harley Earl played a leading role in the new trend. His La Salle of 1927 was evidence that art and technology could be happily married. Interiors of the luxury sedans, limousines and town cars, however, tended towards the baroque and it was to be a few more years before a conscious effort was made by the new auto stylists to match interior designs to exterior styling themes and colors.

Suburban: Late teens closed and luxurious Cadillac body style; first seen 1919 catalog (???).

P22subu.jpg (6485 bytes)
This is the 1922 version of the Cadillac Suburban


Suburban de Luxe: as name implies; first used in 1924 product catalog

Suffixes; many Fleetwood body styles have a numerical "Styling Code" (the so-called "Style" or "job" number); it is sometimes followed by an alphabetical or alpha-numerical suffix to designate a special or custom body feature. These suffixes are explained in the database relating to Cadillac styling codes.

Sun roofs: aka "Sunshine Turret Top Roof" was available on some Cadillac and LaSalle models from 1938 through 1941; it was not without problems, which may explain why the company dropped it in 1942. The patent for the Cadillac-LaSalle sunroof was held by Emery Glenn Simpson who filed it on 1 November 1938. A total of 1509 cars were built with the sunroof. These were:

  • 1938 La Salle 5019A 4-door Sunroof sedan 72
  • 1938 Cadillac 6119A 4-door Sunroof sedan 12
  • 1938 Cadillac 6019SA 4-door Sunroof sedan 108
  • 1939 La Salle 5011A 2-door Sunroof sedan 23 [image, below]
  • 1939 La Salle 5019A 4-door Sunroof sedan 380
  • 1939 La Salle 5019A 4-door Sunroof sedan, CKD 24
  • 1939 Cadillac 6119A 4-door Sunroof sedan 43
  • 1939 Cadillac 6019SA 4-door Sunroof sedan 225
  • 1939 Cadillac 6019SAF 4-door Sunroof sedan, division 55
  • 1940 La Salle 5011A 2-door Sunroof sedan 9
  • 1940 La Salle 5019A 4-door Sunroof sedan 140
  • 1940 Cadillac 6019SA 4-door Sunroof sedan 230
  • 1940 Cadillac 6019SAF 4-door Sunroof sedan, division 3
  • 1941 Cadillac 6019SA 4-door Sunroof sedan 185

Articles in CLCA 1975, pp.8-11, CLCA 1991, p.7,  MH p. 466. Cars with the optional sunroof had an "A" or "AA" suffix; cost (in 1939) was $150 extra (see also CLC 4/92, p.10), SIA #167 pp.10-17. A post-WW2 version of the sun-roof was introduced in 1970, on the Fleetwood Eldorado models. During the 1950s, Hess & Eisenhardt of Cincinnati, OH, was instrumental in the development of Cadillac's first post-WW2 electric sunroof. Actual production was given to ASC [American Specialty Corporation]. The body tags of Cadillac cars, like the 1978 Eldorado Biarritz,  fitted with an approved ASC sun roof carry the letter "Z" or combination "Z3". After-market sun  roofs that DO NOT have that letter code were not covered under a factory warranty..

1SUN_ROOF.JPG (3960 bytes)   2   373elsnrf.jpg (9449 bytes)

 4   5
1. 1939 La Salle, style 5011A [ Photo: courtesy Special Interest Autos ]
2. 1941 Series 60 Special with sun roof
3.  1970 Eldorado [ Photo courtesy GM/Cadillac archives ]

4. 1970 Fleetwood coupe, sedan and Eldorado  [Cadillac promotional piece - cropped]
5.  1970 Fleetwood Eldorado [Cadillac promotional piece - cropped]

Superior Coach Corporation: of Lima, Ohio, manufacturers of so-called commercial cars, Crown Royale models have roof arch molding (like Imperial Crown); "landau" models have blank rear quarters and dummy landau bars; "Royale" models don't have arch molding across roof; Service cars have "wreath" emblem on blank rear quarters.

Super-Safe Brakes: this was a feature introduced on the 1942 Cadillac models.

Super-Safe Headlights: These were a feature of the 1932 Cadillac models

Surrey: Body style introduced on 1904 Model B. Tonneau replaced with full width rear seat and entrance from both sides (no doors); ample storage under rear seat. Photo in AU, 16.7.04.

P04bb.jpg (7315 bytes)


Suspension advances: occurred in 1961, eliminating all chassis lubrication fittings.

Suspension, air: (see "Air suspension")

SUV: [Sport Utility Vehicle] News began to leak out in late 1997 that Cadillac would start building its own SUV in 1999. It would not be a re=badged vehicle and was expected to cost around $30,000 (this piece of breaking news from Craig M. Seman, Charlotte, NC).

Swans: White swans replaced the traditional black "merlettes" (legless birds) on the Cadillac crest on Typs 53, 55 and 57 Cadillacs of 1916 through 1919; the reason for the change is given in the magazine Antique Automobile for November-December 1993. The writer, Mr. Ed Jacobowicz of Connecticut, explains that this was a gesture of gratitude towards a Mr. Albert C. Swan, formerly co-owner of Smith & Swan, a company that had given Cadillac precious help after the disastrous plant fire of April 1904 when it had not been possible for Cadillac to build any cars for some three months. The firm reverted to

Swetish, A.F.: Men of Cadillac, was Comptroller in the Fifties [recorded on back of 1955 factory photo]

Syncro-Flex: name of new flywheel system starting on 1938 cars [information from 1938 catalog].

Syncro-Matic: name of new column mounted gear shift starting on 1938 cars [information from 1938 product catalog].

Syncro-Mesh transmission: went into full production in Aug. 1928 for all Cadillac and La Salle models; drawing, SIA 4/1980, p.25. By the way, I saw reference to the new transmission in the pre-WW2 German monthly magazine Motor for October 1928, on pp.65-68].



Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or return to the index page of the Glossary

© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image:  Cadillac by Saoutchik, France]