Petersen Archive: A Cadillac Quiz


Test your knowledge of the iconic luxury brand with this Cadillac Quiz, featuring photographs from the Petersen Publishing Archive! Answers are below!

1. True or False? The Cadillac logo is an adaptation of the crest of Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, the founder of Detroit.


2.True or False? Cadillacs were often used as bases for customized cars.


3.True or False? The 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVille weighed 6780 pounds.

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4.True or False? This taillight belongs to a 1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville.


5.True or False? In 1955, the value of this Cadillac Le Mans was $52,000.



1.True.Though it has been altered at least thirty times, the basic Cadillac logo, consists of a wreath and the shield of Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. The pearls on top of the shield represent the royal counts of Toulouse, France. Here, the logo adorns the hood of the 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Fastback. In this iteration, Cadillac’s wreath is a stylized V.


2. False.Though Cadillac engines were common additions to hot rods, Cadillac cars were not common customs. One of the few, and most famous, of these examples is this car, “CadZZilla.” Boyd Coddington designed and built “CadZZilla” for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in 1988. The base for the purple custom was a 1948 Cadillac coupe. Here, the car is shown on a 2200 mile cross country trip conducted by the editors of Motor Trend Magazine in 1990. Cadillac customs seem to be popular as rockstar’s rides. In 2018, Count’s Kustoms restyled a 1970 Coupe Deville, “Twinkle Toes,” for Brann Dailor of Mastodon.


3. False.Cadillacs were indeed heavy cars. Nonetheless, the 1970 Cadillac Coupe Deville had a shipping weight of 4650 pounds not 6780. The 6000-pound figure was obtained when the editors of Hot Rod Magazine added “a couple of surfboards, a spare tire, two extra doors in the trunk, and about eight people” to the coupe, as indicated in the photograph on the left. This exercise was part of the “Caddy Hack Drag Test.” In an attempt to demonstrate the principle that “weight kills performance” Ron Aton cut off the car’s body panels and “French Funny Car driver Floyed ‘Bon Bon’ le Frogge” raced it against various cars. He ultimately got the Deville, or rather its chassis, up to 100.83 miles per hour.


4. True. Technically, this is a picture of the taillight from a 1975 Caribou pickup truck. However, American Built Cars, or Caribou, produced the Caribou pickup from the 1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville. Deville owners bought and delivered the car, then Caribou modified it into a more practical shape. This photograph from Motor Trend Magazine displays one of the products of the company’s efforts. The photograph on the right is a stock 1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville. 


5. True.This is a Harry Karl’s Cadillac LeMans at the 1955 Motor Review in Los Angeles, California. The car was gold plated and featured a sumptuous interior with amenities including a television set, portable phone, and refreshment bar. Though the extra accessories and plating may have decreased the LeMans’ racing capabilities, they gave it a value of $52,000. That is nearly twelve times the price of the average Cadillac model in 1955.

By Kristin Feay

Photography by Mike Parris (1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville), John Lamm (1949 Cadillac), Steve Anderson and Scott Kileen (“CadZZilla”), Pat Ganahl (Caddy Hack Drag Test), and John Lamm (1975 Caribou Pickup)