The Urban Dictionary commonly defines a “Cowboy Cadillac” as a fancier, high-end expensive American-branded pickup truck, 4 doors (crew cab), lots of chrome and sporting a fancy edition name. However, for those of us not necessarily versed in the lingo of today’s urban youth I was able to locate a REAL Cowboy Cadillac a couple of weeks ago in Laramie, Wyoming in the City Hall parking lot as I was securing a permit to improve a property.
Wyoming is the state I associate most with cowboys these days, maybe not in terms of actual numbers of ranches or head of cattle, but certainly in their embrace of the spirit. The image of a rider holding his hat while on a bucking horse is everywhere in the state, not just the license plates and welcome signs, but on buildings, stickers, signs, and many other places. The image on the license plate has been there since 1935 and in fact was the first logo on any license plate in America. Wyoming is also commonly though informally known as “The Cowboy State”, although its official nickname is “The Equality State” as it was the first state to give women the right to vote back in 1869.
In any case, it’s the least populated state in the union and the second-least densely populated compared to overall land area but the tenth-largest in terms of said land area. Wyoming has less than 600,000 total inhabitants and its largest city, Cheyenne, has a population of just over 60,000. Laramie, where this car was found, has about 30,000 inhabitants and is home to the University of Wyoming, whose sports teams are the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls (Go Pokes!). On a sadder note, Laramie is unfortunately also the place where the tragedy involving Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming native, occurred almost two decades ago.
Rugged beauty abounds, and the roads are generally good, fast, relatively empty and bordered by spectacular scenery. Forever West, indeed…
Upon spotting this Cadillac deVille and noting the license plate, I immediately tagged it as a genuine “Cowboy Cadillac” in my mind. While there are Cadillac dealers in the state, Cadillacs aren’t exactly common so this one stood out.
I can’t place the exact year but it is from between 1997 and 1999 (I’m calling it a ’98), and I believe it is the “d’Elegance” trim level, as that level apparently has chrome and gold trim, which appears to be evident at least on the front fender trim (but I could be mistaken, no doubt someone will correct me if so). The “5” to the left of the bucking horse on the license plate designates the county of registration, in this case Albany County, which encompasses the city of Laramie and its environs (but not Cheyenne, which confusingly is in Laramie County, go figure) so this Cowboy is a local one.
These are my favorite of the near-recent Cadillacs, they still embody the spirit of the size and majesty of the older models but are modern in terms of style and performance. Powered by a 32V Northstar V-8, this put 300hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque to the ground via the front wheels, which is plenty for rapid and smooth progress across the state. I can’t readily think of many more comfortable ways to drive across Wyoming from Nebraska to Utah via I-80 or Colorado to Montana via I-25. Or just around town, for that matter. Giddy-up!