• General Motors celebrates it's 100th anniversary on September 16, and the road that led the company to that 100-year marker has been a curvy one. GM has blazed many trails in the areas of design, engineering and sheer marketing muscle. The company was once such a behemoth that it inspired the oft-cited quote, "What"s good for General Motors is good for America."
  • As GM looks to the future with its Volt plug-in hybrid, and prepares to make changes to stay the leader in the automotive world, it seems fitting to acknowledge its past - particularly, some of the most innovative and notable vehicles that GM produced. What follows is a list of GM's most notable vehicles of the last 100 years ÔøΩ one for each decade since 1908 ÔøΩ compiled with some input from GM historians and archivists.
  • 1912 Cadillac

    1912 Cadillac

    The 1912 Cadillac is significant in that it introduced the electric self-starter, eliminating the labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous task of hand-cranking the engine, thereby revolutionizing the auto industry. By 1916, the electric self-starter was featured on 98 percent of all cars built in America. This car earned Cadillac its second Dewar Trophy, awarded by the Royal Automobile Club of London, for the most important automotive contribution of the year.
  • 1936 Opel Olympia

    1936 Opel Olympia

    Before the 1936 Olympia was rolled out in Germany, almost all production cars were built by constructing the body and chassis separately, and then attaching them, which resulted in a "loose" ride. The Olympia changed that, in that its body and frame were built as a single unit, yielding a more lightweight vehicle, a tighter ride, improved safety and better aerodynamics. This "unibody" construction soon became the industry standard.
  • 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

    1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

    Introduced in 1955, the Bel-Air was a GM stalwart for many years, but the '57 is generally regarded as the peak year for the Bel-Air in terms of styling. Some of the more eye-catching design touches were the gold grille and rear fender scripts, distinctive two-tone interiors, and the striking, chrome-trimmed Caddy-like tailfins that imbued the vehicle with a more upscale appeal. The Bel-Air was Chevy's top-of-the-line entry that year.
  • 1970 Chevelle Malibu SS

    1970 Chevelle Malibu SS

    Muscle-car enthusiasts agree that the '70 Chevelle SS was the high-water mark of that era and sadly, it represented the end of the true muscle-car era. The SS package included a 402-cu.-in. V-8 engine, popularly known and badged as the SS396, which came in two versions, cranking out 350 and 375 hp respectively. Or you could get the 454 cu.-in. V8 (badged as the SS454), which produced either 360 or 450 hp depending on configuration.
  • 1999 Cadillac Escalade

    1999 Cadillac Escalade

    The Escalade brought the luxury-SUV into the mainstream. It would become ubiquitous with sports and entertainment figures where it seemed every rapper, actor or athlete worth his weight in bling was stylin' around town in high-line Escalade - or one of the other high-priced, fully-loaded SUVs that followed in its footsteps. The Escalade was the first truck-based vehicle in Cadillac's history and was the result of the quickest development program in GM history, a mere 10 months.
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