The History of Cadillac

The flagship brand of the General Motors Corporation for its 116-year history has collected a whole genealogical tree of model names with a very confusing application of most of them. We should start the story with the name Cadillac. Yes, it is really a name, or rather, a surname. On July 24, 1701 Marquis Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac at the head of a couple of hundred soldiers and colonists landed on a river bank in the region then known as New France. It was decided to build a fort there. The idea belonged to the Marquis Kadiyak himself - a 43-year-old sea captain from a noble family of Gascon, who by that time had served in two important military positions in the American colonies of France. Kadiyak's authority was great enough that his idea of a settlement was supported by the Comte de Ponchantrin, a minister of King Louis XIV, so that the fort built was even named after the comte: Fort Pontchantrain du Détroit (Fort Pontchantrain du Détroit - 'Fort Pontchantrain on the Straits'). The Marquis's further career and life resembled a seesaw: in 1704 he was arrested and tried in Quebec for a conflict with the Jesuits, but was acquitted and returned to Detroit, where he was head of the settlement that grew around the fort until 1711. He was then appointed governor of Louisiana, but made enemies there as well, causing him to be recalled to France in 1717 and sentenced to imprisonment in the Bastille. However, after his release a year and a half later he was made Chevalier of the Order of St. Louis, royal colonial commissioner and mayor of Castelsarazen, where he died in 1730.

Now let's travel back to 1902. The French Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit had long since become the American city of Detroit, and the name of the Marquis of Cadillac had been kept mostly in the history books all along, but suddenly became popular in light of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the city's founding. At that time Detroit was not yet the center of the American auto industry, but among the many industrial enterprises was the Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company, whose co-founder and vice president was the eminent engineer Henry Leland. His interests were wide-ranging (he began as a gunsmith with Samuel Colt), but Henry's main specialty was the accuracy of his manufacturing processes and interchangeability of parts. This is what interested Ransom Eli Olds: Oldsmobile commissioned Leland to develop an engine structurally identical to the standard Dodge Brothers engine for their cars, but a quarter of the power - 3.7 hp instead of 3. Under the 1901 contract, Leland & Faulconer supplied 2,000 engines to Olds Motor Works, but Leland did not stop. Without changing the engine design, he increased the valves, intake and exhaust ports, changed the characteristics of the camshaft... And the engine spun up to 900 rpm vs. 500 rpm, and power increased immediately to 10.25 hp! Unfortunately, Oldsmobile, though delighted with the work, could not accept it - such an increase in power would require redesigning the car itself and re-equipping production. And the first large-scale automaker in the world could not afford such a risk. The engine remained in Henry Leland's personal car, but it soon found a much more interesting application.

CTS. Abbreviation for Catera Touring Sedan. When Cadillac developed its own compact rear-wheel drive model to replace the Catera imports from Germany, it was called that abbreviation by analogy with the then existing STS (Seville Touring Sedan) and ETC (Eldorado Touring Coupe) as the names of certain modifications. But, this time, the abbreviation itself became the name.

CT6, XT5, XT4. Alphanumeric soup was an attempt to mimic Infiniti, Lexus, BMW and other brands that traditionally use similar naming methods. In this case, the letters stand for the type of car (CT - sedan, XT - crossover), and the number stands for the relative position in the lineup. The ATS and CTS are also expected to soon be replaced by cars with indexes like CT4 and CT5, which will make the current Cadillac lineup more logical. Do not forget to use Cadillac VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

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