For those uninterested in my rambling, skip to The CTS

Cadillacs and Me

When I was growing up my grandparents bought a new Cadillac every year. My Grandmother would take to Florida and put about 10k miles on it the first year and the second my grandfather would be driven into Baltimore daily and put about 100k on it. Then it would be traded. Usually the Fleetwood sedan. Last one was a 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Brogham. My grandmother kept that car until she passed then came to me around 1983. I tried to keep it but the east coast rust was just too bad to for me try to restore.

Except for one year (1957 ?) when the Chesaspeake Motor Company made the mistake of calling my granfather and telling him his new Cadillac was there. He told them "I didn't order any Cadillac" and went out and bought an Imperial instead. He hated that car.

Over the years I had other Caddys, e.g. a 67 (67 was a very good year) Eldorado but it did not last too long, I really prefer smaller cars and '78 was when I began a long line of Pontiacs and later Buicks. There were three Grand Prixs, a 70 four speed, 67 Convertible, and a 93 GTP with DOHC 6 and five speed manual trans.

Add to that except for my tow car, I prefer 6 cyl two seaters, Fieros, Reattas, and SLKs. To feel my best have always needed a drop top.

2018 was not a good year

So enter 2018 began feeling very well but as the year progressed started having problems. Balance was never good but got worse. Went swimming and could not stand up in shallows, went to a recycling center and could not help a friend lift an axle. Had three bad falls. Started wondering about longetivity.

On the car front I liked the SLK but have always preferred GM. Like retractibles but did not care for the Pontiac G6. And then there was the Cadillac XLR. Started looking and while there are a lot in central Florida, the owners are quite proud of them. Few were good enough I would consider that had dropped even into the teens yet. Also bothered me that were Northstar V-8s when I prefer a 6. Looked at a cosmetically nice '05 that was a basket case: replacement engine had never been wired properly and would not run. Made a bid that was not accepted (probably fortunately).
Meanwhile it was becomming increasingly painful to open my camper or even to get into my Jeep. Decided to sell the camper since prices on TrailManors are healty and use the proceeds for a road car. Disposed of two other cars that just did not fit in.

But meanwhile it was getting harder and harder to get into any car without pain and was having to lift my left leg in when a medical friend noticed and asked what I was taking for it I told her "nothing but while my total cholesterol was low, my doctor did not like the balance so had prescribed what he said was a very mild statin". Turned out that I had an "adverse reaction" and caused muscular degeneration that was causing the even worse loss of balance and strength plus the pain plus a weight gain. I stopped taking them and now that we are into 2019 am almost back to normal. No falls, no pain, and can lift my legs again. Drove the Jeep several hours to pick up some parts in Ocala and no pain. Just need to lose the extra weight.

Now there have been many times in my life where a thousand or two thousand mile trips were needed with "a short time to get there". Four years ago I thought that would be the Jeep and camper but just did not work out. Also Jeep is a wonderful tow and trip car but is not designed to be really comfortable and was becoming increasingly painful to drive any distance. The Reattas are great road cars but getting a little long in the tooth and have limited luggage space. A little more power (Reattas have a smogged down 165hp) would be nice. So I began looking for a GM car that was a modern "personal luxury car" like the original GPs but quickly found that two-doors other than Camaro and Corvette are rare in the current fleet particularly since Pontiac is no more. Still felt I would like "one more car" that I could get into & out of easily (memory seat is nice). One that had a lot of luggage space and a DOHC 6.


Hadn't really thought about caddies though had a friend who loved his ATS with a boosted four cylinder 2 liter. I know that small boosted engines are the coming thing but have never really cared for them. Diesels are ded. Have never gotten excited about electrics (infrastructure can support limited numbers but as sales mount there are going to be problems).

However since paying cash started looking at the 2010-2015 period and found an anomaly. Cadillac brought out the Catera (actually an Opel) as a smaller model in the last century. In 2002 it became the CTS (Catera Touring Sedan) and was built on the slightly larger Sigma platform.

The interesting part was that in 2008 there was a redesign and both a Wagon and a Coupe were introduced. The coupe (which in typical fashion for GM cars I find interesting) lasted only until the 2014 model year, was designed as a modern version of the Eldorado coupe with fold down rear "seats" (true GT rear seats and suitable for legless children). For some reason they never called it a CTC or CTSC, just CTS Coupe.

Also had the roof chopped and was shortened about 5" plus shaved door handles and poppers but best off all it has a 3.6 DOHV 6 with VVT i&e: my kind of engine. Also has a 7,000 rpm redline and full gauges like my '93 GTP. Makes me wonder if Cadillac is trying to fill the void left by Pontiac. Unfortunately after 2014 the bean counters took over and the CTSC was axed. (since then there has been an ATS couple which accomplishes the same task).

As usual when I look, I find and as often the case Craigslist divulged a nearby late 2011 build CTS Coupe with 50k miles (about 8k/year), the Premium (TOL) package, and Not Black (I do not care for black cars).

After about a month and negotiations, a price I liked was agreed upon and it became mine. Not remaining stock for long, I do not care for wheels with many spokes or erasor tires, have fitted more compliant 235x60R17s on BMW wheels that took a bit of fettling but IMNSHO look much better. Better yet I was able to change the tires myself again.

Could not really take the complicated lattice grille so simplified with something like the one I had on the Crossfire.(and a bit more Pontiacish)

Doesn't hurt that the driver's seat is very comfortable (and when open the door the steering wheel swings out of the way). Interior is roomy, rear seat folds down into more luggage space (just as well, it is nearly impossible for an adult to get into the back seat.

Only drawback is there are buttons in every conceivable place (would think you could autodim the nav screen). It is so complex that I had to affix velcro dots to the buttons I use the most.

So now have a new resident in the garage and have come to the conclusion that it is really a German car that is trying to be a Pontiac (Grand Prix) in a "personal luxury car". Why German ? Gas filler on the passenger side, Simens modules, 14mm wheel studs. And a few leftowers from XLRs (shaved door latches).

Doesn't really matter just a lot of things I like (roof vent, fold down rear seat, real touchscreen (appears to be Windows mobile based), and a few styling eccentricies e.g. boat tail & almost a Kamm back. Did need to fix a few things e.g. Bluetooth that is phone only, no audio passthrough, and annoying "widshield washer low" warning, a very bright "passenger air bag" light that is designed to be on constantly. added the aforementioned 17" wheels and tires, added A2DP audio passthrough to the bluetooth, put a GPS HUD in the lower left windscreen (have in other cars and really like.

Only real remaining annoyance is a wonderful 8" GPS Navagation unit in the dash that is almost impossble to set a destination. Cannot just say "Olive Garden" and it first finds the closest and then calls for a reservation like my cell phone. Will find a way to fix. But enjoying it immensely.

Think it's a keeper..

Copyright (C) 2019 by Padgett, notary sojac.