1999 Cadillac Escalade

Ironically, the big image boost that Cadillac worked hard to achieve in the 1990s, didn’t come from a car but actually from a truck, the first in Cadillac history. This truck was the 1999 Cadillac Escalade, an upscale clone of the posh Yukon Denali sport-utility wagon from the sibling division GMC. The 1999 Cadillac Escalade was an answer to the success of Lincoln's Navigator SUV and the potential of off-shore, big SUV "wanna-be's". Sales of full-size sport-utility vehicles were growing faster in the late 1990s, compared to compact and midsize SUVs. The Escalade included the Cadillac-style grille and interior trim, which used real wood and the same leather found in Cadillac passenger cars.

The name Escalade refers to a siege warfare tactic of scaling defensive walls or ramparts with the aid of ladders or siege towers. The 1999 Cadillac Escalade was capable of towing up to 6500 pounds, and included the standard AutoTrac four-wheel drive that could be used on dry pavement. Cadillac executives were publicly baffled, but privately delighted, when sports heroes, recording artists, and a few movie stars made the "'Slade" their ride of choice, often customized with gold trim and outsized wheels. Despite such debatable alterations -- or maybe because of them -- the Escalade made it cool again to own a Cadillac. The Escalade was essentially a re-badged Yukon Denali and was approved for production just ten months after being proposed.

Engine: 350 CID (5.7L); OHV V8; 255 hp@4600 rpm; 330 lb. ft. of Torque@ 2800 rpm; Bore/Stroke: 4.00x3.48; Compression Ratio: 9.4:1, Multi-Point lnj
Price: $46,525