Monday, March 18, 2024

The history of the love affair with the iconic pink Cadillac

1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty | Photo by Stanisław Tokarski
A pink Cadillac has been a popular iconic vehicle with various Rhythm and Blues singers for decades.

The first pink Cadillac rolled off the assembly line in the mid 1950s with style and glamour and it didn’t take long for entertainers to notice its appeal and start featuring it in their songs and videos.

Elvis in a never seen before video with his pink Cadillac, 1955
The late Elvis Presley was an early admirer of the pink Cadillac and ordered a 1954 Fleetwood Series 60 as a daily driver, which was later destroyed in a roadside fire due to a mechanical failure. The “King of Rock and Roll” quicky replaced it with a blue 1955 Fleetwood Series 60 Special, which was repainted to pink after being mentioned in his song “Baby, Let’s Play House,” which he recorded in 1955. The pink color caught on and became an iconic Cadillac color for entertainers throughout the 50s and well into the 80s.

Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Inc., joined the pink craze with a custom-ordered 1967 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which was the color of her lip and eye palette. In 1969, she added more pink Cadillacs, adorned in a special color called Mary Kay Pink Pearl, as a reward to Independent Beauty Consultants for their performance as Independent Sales Directors. This sales incentive, known as the "Career Car Program," is still in use to this day by the Mary Kay company, although sales consultants can now choose a cash reward or other brand of vehicles and colors.

In 1984 Bruce Springsteen, came out with the song “Pink Cadillac, which became popular in the “heartland rock” genre. He was in his mid 30s and according to published reports, he was inspired by his girlfriend’s pink Caddy.

The late Aretha Franklin recorded “Freeway of Love” in 1985 and mentioned none other than a pink Cadillac, which was first mentioned by Springsteen. The song became a hit single on the Aretha's “Who’s Zoomin' Who?” album. As a tribute to the “Queen of Soul” during her funeral in Detroit on Aug. 31, 2018, around 100 pink the Cadillac of various models participated in the procession.


Natalie Cole, who passed away in 2015, did her version of Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” in 1988 to keep the iconic craze going by featuring a pink 1956 Cadillac Coupe de Ville in her video for the song.

There are more songs about a Cadillac by various artists, but not necessarily pink models. Through the decades the pink Cadillac and the soulful sounds of R&B created the perfect mood to keep your fingers snapping to the beat.