Among a gathering of collector, muscle and custom cars totaling in the thousands, I thought the factory-fresh 2012 Cadillac CTS-V sedan I was driving would go unnoticed. The unmodified sports sedan — Cadillac’s answer to Germany’s BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG performance cars — surely wouldn’t get a second glance sitting next to dream-worthy hot rods, flawless restorations, evil rat rods and more recent models with ludicrous amounts of power added on.
My assumption was blown out of the water.
The White Diamond Tricoat CTS-V sedan with Satin Graphite wheels deserved more credit as a worthy ride for Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour than I was prepared to give. The car’s appearance and paint job was definitely a conversation starter and helped the V stand out. White Diamond Tricoat is a premium color offering for $995 that shimmers in the sunlight with pearlescent flakes. I can’t recall seeing a white CTS-V in the wild, but according to Cars.com’s national new-car inventory, there are 175 examples listed for sale, which is second only to the most popular color black (two variations) with 578 examples.
The optional black wheels ($800) didn't hurt either. Along with the pearlescent paint, the car exuded an aftermarket appearance. They are a no-brainer choice to give the CTS-V an extra kick of uniqueness. The car folk in attendance certainly knew what to look for to identify the V package — the hood bulge and wide-mouth front grilles — from other Caddys. While cruising down the street in parade fashion with hundreds of other cars, I’d hear from onlookers, “Nice V!,” “Look at that white Caddy” or the more common, “Light ’em up!” When the time came to wind down outside our hotel with other participants and talk cars, everyone recognized the car from the day’s activities.
Looking back, I shouldn’t be surprised car people would get excited about a supercharged V-8 making 556 horsepower and capable of zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. I was just surprised they made so much noise over a car that someone didn't need to touch after picking it up at the dealer.
I downplayed the car when people asked what I was driving. I’d say it’s stock, unmodified and no one has ever turned a wrench on the car; mainly because “stock” was a rarely heard word on this event. Universally, everyone replied that despite being unmodified, the CTS-V’s level of power and performance from an unmodified ride is awesome even if surrounded by some of the most custom cars in the country.