Le Sieur Antoine De La Mothe Cadillac was born in Gascony on March 5, 1658. He was of a prominent family since he earned a comission in the Royal Army. He founded Detroit in 1701, as well as the governorship of Mississippi. King Louis XIV awarded him the rank of Chevalier of the Military Order of St.Louis.
Breaking the coat of arms into its components:
The Couronne (Crown)-The crown symbolizes the six ancient counts of France. Each tip is topped with a pearl, a symbol of descendancy from the royal counts of Tolouse.
The Shield-In heraldry, a shield represents the origins of a noble family. Its shape is of no consequence, and it pertains to those shield shapes used during the Crusades. The original Cadillac shield though, is round.
The First and Fourth Quarterings-They display the arms de la Mothe. The birds are merlettes, which are heraldic adaptations of the martin. They are set in trios to represent the Holy Trinity. Merlettes were usually awarded by the school of heralds to knights making significant contributions in the Crusades. The color- black against gold- represents wisdom and riches. The "fess" or lateral black bar, represents an award for Crusader service.
The Second and Third Quarterings-The red band symbolizes prowess and boldness in action. The silver represents purity, charity, virtue, and plenty. The blue represents knightly valor.
The emblem was adopted for use on Cadillac cars in 1905. It was registered as a trademark on August 7, 1906.
The images below show the different designs which were used from 1906-1910. The emblem marked "Standard of the World" was used from 1908 on, after winning the Dewar trophy.
The images below show different radiator badges used from 1915-1925.
The 1930's were a time of classic design, mostly based on art deco motiffs, which are abstractions of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian decor. The following images capture this spirit.
Above and below, are the hood emblems for the 1938-39 Cadillacs. As the body design became more streamlined, so did the emblem as seen below.
And finally, this is what the trunk emblem looks like on the 1939 models. Notice a hint of the famous "V" which became so distinctive for Cadillac after WWII.
The 1940's continued the art deco style. The follwing emblems adorned the hoods and trunks of the 1940-41 Cadillacs.
Following the war, Cadillac adopted the "V" to symbolize the V-8, and many variations on this theme followed.
Below is a sample of the Cadillac emblem for the 1957-60 models.
And then the emblem changed again for the 1963-69 moodels.
The famous wreathed crest became the emblem for Eldorados from 1963 on, as well as fleetwood 75's. Of course,this is the current symbol for all Cadillacs.
The hood emblem for the 1970-1971 was "V"-less. The division thought it was no longer necessary to emphasize the obvious.
Then in 1970-73, the parking lights were adorned with this emblem; An abstraction of the 1940-41 design.
The wreathed emblem has been a Cadillac standard issue on all models since the mid 80's. The famous "V" was also dropped around that time on the Fleetwood Broughams.
The emblem has not faced any major changes until the year 2000 when a new wreathed emblem was introduced with a more abstract design. Cadillac claims to have been inspired by the works of Piet Mondrian.
It is a refreshing design with clean looking lines and an uncluttered
appearance which reflects their latest styling studies.
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