1917 vs 2017 Cadillac – You be the judge.

1917 vs 2017 Cadillac – You be the judge.

17 vs 17 Cropped wo Findlay

100 years of Cadillac Progress

We thought it might be a bit of fun to compare the 1917 Cadillac Type 55 Convertible Phaeton to the very recently released Cadillac XT5.

First let’s consider it’s use and of course collectability. 100 years ago the automobile was transporting city and country folk to place they just couldn’t go as a family. This was especially true when the family had small children.

The new 1917 Cadillac Type 55 Convertible was designed as a touring vehicle. It’s convertible top could put down for spectacular views on the road to anywhere. Or, the top would go up and manual side curtains to escape the cold, rain or even snow.

In 1917 Cadillac wasn’t just ahead of the curve, they were delivering features that other cars wouldn’t have for as much as forty years. For example, the 1917 comes with a V8 engine. No, it wasn’t their first. The first Cadillac V8 would appear in the 1915 Cadillac.  Even more basic, all other automobiles required a very dangerous hand crank to start the engine. The first Cadillac to have a self starter was 1912! It seems that design and innovation began early with Cadillac.

Here’s something to consider.   After looking at the 1917, when and why did it become collectible? Was it the unique design (for the time) or was it because the car was simply old by the time the collector car hobby began? Perhaps we’ll never truly answer that question. Here’s another; will the new 2017 Cadillac XT5 become a collectable? Why?

In 1917 the average income was $687.00. In 2013 dollars it is equal to $16,063.   The average income in 2013 (census report) shows that it climbed to $53,246. You’ll note that at $687.00 the Cadillac was out of reach except for the privileged few. It was after all, “The Standard of the World.”

Today, the base mode of the XT5 is within financial reach of the average income earner. It helps that today we can buy on credit. In 1917 you would have paid cash for any automobile purchase.

The 2017 XT5 is one of a kind, just like the 1917 Type 55.

Let’s first look at the background of the 1917. This fully restored 1917 Cadillac Type 55 Convertible Phaeton is owned by Colin and Carole Christie of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here’s information on the car, its history and current condition: (more…)