Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cadillac introduces the 2013 XTS, as we look back at the history of the Cadillac DeVille
The new 2013 XTS is meant to be Cadillac’s new flagship, filling the void left when the STS and the DTS were discontinued. And, since the STS was a rear-wheel-drive, and the DTS was a front-wheel-drive, everyone can be happy because the new XTS is an all-wheel-drive.
The name DTS was actually derived from the words “DeVille (AKA “Deville” or “deVille”) Touring Sedan.” And although people tend to think of them as upscale rental cars today, the first DeVilles were regarded much differently.
The Coupe DeVille continued to be an upscale hardtop, and followed all the yearly styling changes and enhancements of other Cadillacs. General Motors was known for changing their styling every year, so identifying one year to the next isn’t terribly difficult.
The DeVille followed the trends and fads of its time. In 1957, it lost the P-51 Mustang-Inspired taillight humps for large, pointy fins. By 1959, the fins had grown to otherworldly proportions. If you drove a Cadillac, you wanted people to know it, and the cars got that message across loud and clear.
A fairly significant departure from the original concept came along in 1974, when the Coupe DeVille ceased to be a traditional hardtop. Instead, it featured a more formal, closed-in rear glass treatment that left a little opera window for rear passengers to peek through. All the better to add a pillowed, rear-half vinyl top. Gotta’ love the ‘70s.
The Sedan DeVille got a complete redesign on a brand new platform in 1994. That, with the introduction of the high-tech Northstar V8, did a lot to boost Cadillac’s image after the damage caused by the little ‘80s cars.
Believe it or not, I actually spent a lot of time on the slideshow below. I don’t always have the time or motivation to do what I want, but I really do try to make this place look nice sometimes. Of course, I always think making these little photo compilation things is a good idea until I do a few and realize there are like 60 to go. Anyway, there’s one for every year of the DeVille, from 1949 to 2011, plus a couple of the new XTS. I hope you enjoy the show!