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Classic Cadillac Images: Glamor, Style, and The Standard of the World

Back when owning a Cadillac made you the envy of your block.

Conner GoldenWriterGetty ImagesPhotographer

Of all the American automotive marques, Cadillac stands as one of the most evocative and iconic. Once known as "The Standard of the World," Cadillac's rich history and reputation as one of the greatest consumer status symbols created a brand mystique unrivaled save by the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.  As part of our ongoing series of vintage spotlights, we trolled the archives for some incredible old-school images of Cadillacs, their owners, and a world long past. We picked out a few of our favorites, but don't miss the full gallery.

Early Women Drivers in NASCAR, 1949

The caption says it all. "A publicity photo featuring the three female drivers that competed in the NASCAR Cup race at Langhorne Speedway. Ethel Flock Mobley drove the No. 92 '48 Cadillac while Sara Christian is in the middle with her No. 71 '49 Oldsmobile. Louise Smith is on the outside in a '47 Ford. Christian had the best finish of the three, taking sixth in the race."

Actor Larry Manetti and the new Cadillac Allante, 1989

As part of the launch festivities for the updated version of Caddy's new Italian-American hybrid, longtime actor Larry Manetti attended a launch party in 1989. As rotten and overpriced as these drop-tops were, we can't help but admire the clean Pininfarina-designed bodylines. We're talking about the car, of course.

Briggs Cunningham's "Le Monstre" Cadillac Special and other Cadillac entrant at Le Mans, 1950

During the 1950 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, motorsports legend and bon vivant Briggs Cunningham teamed with the Collier brothers to field a pair of Cadillacs. One was a competition-prepped Series 61 with a standard body, while the second Caddy Series 61 had its body chopped off and replaced with a strange aerodynamic wedge shape. Affectionately nicknamed "Le Monstre" by race officials and fans, the rebodied Cadillac placed an impressive 11th, while the Colliers' regular Series 61 finished 10th.

Cadillac Northstar LMP in the Daytona pits, 2000

Seventeen years before the highly successful and popular Cadillac DPi-V.R prototypes stormed the American Le Mans racing stage, GM attempted a takeover with the ill-fated Cadillac Northstar LMP program. Concieved to showcase the engineering and technical prowess of the nascent Northstar V8 engine family, the LMP failed to take any major victory in the three seasons it competed in. Pictured here is the first LMP hitting the pits during the Daytona 24 Hrs.

Elvis walks by a Cadillac on movie set, 1958

The history of Cadillac is indelibly linked to that of The King himself—no, not Richard Petty—Elvis Presley. Throughout his legendary career, Presley was often seen behind the wheel or in the backseat of one of his many Cadillacs.

General Motors Motorama, 1953

Though many of us missed GM's legendary Motorama shows by a handful of decades, we're always a bit nostalgic and wistful when we see images of the concepts shown there. Motorama shows were a chance for GM to show off its latest and greatest products, technology, and design, alongside some of the most fabulous and outlandish concepts the industry has ever seen.