The Cadillac DeVille sedan is 50 years old. I'm 54. We have something in common. It's big in the middle. I'm losing my middle, which, according to my doctors, has been big too long.

The DeVille has what some detractors call a "frumpy interior," meaning that it's staid and rather fuddy-duddy. My adult children have been saying the same thing about my exterior for years. They've sent me off to the Men's Wearhouse for an image remake, which slowly is taking shape.

People misunderstand us, the DeVille and me. They see me and think, "He probably can't dance." But I can salsa, swing, hand-dance, ballroom dance and waltz with the best of them; and when I'm back home in Louisiana, I can give zydeco a more than decent go, too.

Similarly, people look at the two-ton DeVille, such as the 2003 DeVille DTS I drove for two weeks, and they figure it can't run. If you are behind the wheel of a large Cadillac sedan, and you have graying or vanishing hair, you can see other motorists sizing you up, moving their cars into position to cut you off and blast you away. I pity the fools for their ignorance.

The DeVille DTS, especially dressed in pearlescent white paint, might look like a corporate limousine; but it's equipped with one of the best engines made anywhere -- a 300-horsepower, 32-valve, Northstar V-8. I had fun watching the children eat my dust.

There were several cars in the driveway when the DeVille arrived, and they all had considerably more sex appeal than the big Cadillac. But the "S" version of the Mini Cooper was too small to carry five people and their stuff. The BMW 530i did not have XM Satellite Radio -- a great feature in the 2003 DTS -- which gives you exactly the kind of music and news you want when you want it regardless of where you are driving. And the new Volvo S60 T5 was hip, but it just didn't have enough hip room in the rear seats for certain folks.

So, people wound up in the DTS by default, which, of course, is not the best way to market cars. But a funny thing happened when they put aside their self-image for convenience, comfort, practicality and XM Radio. They fell in love with the DTS. "Hey, man, this is a nice ride," one said. "This sucker can move," said another. "Can you get blues on that thing?" asked another, referring to the XM radio. I gave her the blues.

But I was under no illusion that the DTS, despite its many virtues, was enough to woo that crowd away from their personally owned Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars. Cadillac isn't fooling itself, either. The luxury division of General Motors Corp. is well into remaking and reshaping itself, preparing for a new generation of buyers. It is enjoying some success in that endeavor, as indicated by soaring sales of its sporty new CTS sedans and its Escalade sport-utility vehicles.

Cadillac hasn't made any announcements about the future of the DeVille and its various iterations. B ut I've been covering the car business long enough to know how to read the tea leaves. The young folks have the money; and presumably they have the longevity to support Cadillac for years to come. Cadillac would be foolish to ignore them. It's time to say "Goodbye" to the DeVille.