This article was initially published in June 2004.
From the very first, Cadillac and Hot Wheels had been linked. The premier American luxury car-maker and the dominant American toy car maker have shared their history for over 35 years. In the original Hot Wheels models of 1967, the 'Custom Eldorado' was a favorite. Other than side pipes and hood flares, this first HW Cadillac looked very much like the new FWD Eldorado. The 1969 casting of the same Eldorado was dramatically altered to become the 'Sugar Caddy' from the Spoilers series. For the next 10 years, HW neglected Cadillac but returned to the marque in 1980 with the 'bustle-back' Seville. The 1981 casting of Cadillac's classic V16 from 1935 has proved very popular and is still in production. By 1989 the popularity of the '59 Cadillac was clear and HW produced the Eldorado Biarritz, although the width and length are distorted. The 1990 Limozeen had clear Cadillac styling cues and the 'Gas Hog' offered by McDonalds in 1993 was the first small-scale model of the first Eldorado of 1953.
1967 - 1967 Custom Eldorado
1969 - (1967 Eldorado) 'Sugar Caddy'
1980 - 1980 Cadillac Seville
1981 - 1935 Cadillac V16
1989 - 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
1990 - (1990 Fleetwood 75) 'Limozeen'
1993 - (1953 Eldorado) 'Gas Hog' - McDonalds
1998 - 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville custom
1999 - (Cadzilla custom) 'Led Sled' - McDonalds
(1949 Cadillac custom) 'Cadzilla'
1965 'Elvis' Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
2000 - 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville
2000 - 2000 Cadillac LMP
2000 - (1947/55 Cadillac) 'Evil Twin'
2001 - 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
2001 - 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
2001 - 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
2001 - 1953 Cadillac Eldorado custom
2002 - 2001 Cadillac Cien concept
2002 - 2002 Cadillac Escalade
2003 - 2003 Cadillac V-16 concept
NOTE: The first year indicated for the models above represents the date cast on the base of the model.
Beginning in 1998, production of Cadillac models by Hot Wheels exploded. The full Eldorado line from 1957 is now represented with the Biarritz (convertible), Seville (coupe) and Brougham (sedan) being produced. The famous 'Cadzilla' hot rod version of a 1949 Cadillac was beautifully done as an ultra-collectible with a price to match. The budget version was offered for the price of a Happy Meal from McDonalds, carrying the name 'Led Sled'. Three more 1959 Cadillacs have been offered including a mild custom of the Eldorado Seville in 2000, a low-rider Coupe de Ville in 2001 and a lovely woody wagon custom (not shown). The 2000 casting called the 'Evil Twin' has a '55 Cadillac nose and a '47 tail with a bit of 'Chezoom' thrown in. The 1965 Eldorado that was 'pimped-out' by Elvis Presley has been done and surely represents the desire of some Americans to define tasteless excess with their automobiles. A collector model of the 'Marilyn' custom '53 Eldorado was done in 2001. One of the best models of a Cadillac done by HW was of the racing LMP that failed to succeed at Le Mans or elsewhere, but did generate international attention. From 2002, the Cien concept has been offered and a rather cartoonish Escalade. The most recent Cadillac is the impressive V-16 concept that hit the auto shows in 2003. It carries the heritage of Cadillac's V16 models of the 1930's and the stylish creases of the 1967-68 Eldorado. In this way, it brings both Cadillac and Hot Wheels full-circle with the cars and style that have made both companies famous.