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Cadillac V-8s: A rich heritage of technology and Performance

Cadillac has a rich history of noteworthy engines: the first mass-produced V-8 engine starting in 1915 models, the V-16 of the 1930s and 1940s, and the overhead valve V-8 introduced in 1949. Fast forward to today, and there’s the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that cranks out 640 horsepower and is found in the 2019 CTS-V; the Escalade uses a naturally aspirated version of the engine, where it makes 420 horsepower. While the CTS-V has been discontinued, there are rumblings that the 6.2-liter will be the engine in the upcoming CT5-V Blackwing. And then there is the intriguingly named Blackwing DOHC V-8 in the now-defunct CT6-V.


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My first Cadillac V8 was a big, black 1937 Model 65 Fleetwood, four-door sedan.  I bought it for $150 when I was a junior in high school.  Innovations were AM radio with hidden antenna, hydraulic (silent) valve lifters, traditional grey wool gabardine interior (felt like cashmere), triple-beam headlights and more.  The engine was loaded with torque and the car drove quietly and smoothly.  Gas mileage was lousy, but gas was cheap back then, in the early sixties.  Cadillac kept that same engine through the 1948 model, then went to the 331 overhead valve engine.  By the way, the Cadillac V12 and V16 were overhead valve also.  Wonderful automobiles.

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