I’ve always been into Cadillacs, and that means I’ve always been into Cadillac toys and scale models. Recently my friend in Texas, Jayson Coombes, bought this brand-new release by BoS (short for Best of Show) after I told him about it, ha ha. He was nice enough to take some pictures of it and text them to me.
As you can see, it’s a finely detailed model. I have a few BoS Models myself, including a 1972 Coupe de Ville and 1968 Thunderbird four-door Landau, and the quality is high.
Drawbacks? Well, they aren’t cheap, at about $130 on the model car groups such as American Excellence or Diecast Direct. And go even higher on ebay and other secondary markets when a particular model or color combo is discontinued.
Due to limited production (typical runs are 500; this Seville, in this color, is limited to 204 units), if you see one you like, you’d do well to order it while it’s still readily available. Prices on online auctions make 120-130 look cheap.
But since Jayson has a similar full-size Seville Elegante (covered here) he had to part with some of his disposable income for one. As I told him, who else would likely make a 1:18 scale bustle back Seville!
Probably the most impressive aspect to these models, and this one in particular, is the paintwork; it is second to none.
As can be seen on this mini example of Bill Mitchell’s final design for GM before retirement. The color choices in particular, Western Saddle Firemist over Desert Sand Firemist, pop.
The light tan interior complements it well, and I’m happy to see the alloy wheels on this example instead of the frequently installed wire wheel covers.
I personally will always have a soft spot for them, due to the metallic tan Pocket Cars and silver-over-burgundy Hot Wheels toy Sevilles I had back when I was a kid. Love it or hate it, you can’t mistake it for anything else on the road!
I love that Mitchell went retro on his last design. It showed the long sweep of his career and what a legend he built around him. Leaving the front modern prevented it being derivative or Rolls, just as they were going boxy and generic with the Silver Spirit.
Mercedes had just retired their legendary Fredrich Geiger and replaced him with an Italian. Is it any wonder that Audi and BMW would soon take over German design leadership. Mitchell’s replacement Ribicki isn’t well remembered by those who don’t like American cars in the first place, but his stellar results while facing seemingly impossible challenges to shrink and lighten will eventually be recognized. A tacky Sacco like creature at GM would have been far worse.
I agree it was commendable that Mitchell tried something experimental in going retro, but disagree that it was a good design to match a modern front with a retro rear. In fact, the problem with the overall design is it was still trying to follow the longer-lower-wider trend started by Earl in the 1950s, while the bustle-back theme works most effectively on a rather tall and narrow body (such as a Silver Dawn that was 10 inches taller). If Mitchell had dared to make a tall bustle-back Seville with a little more brash retro in the front end, he might have foreshadowed the success of the Escalade.
Remember the extent that the Lincoln of the day was using RR grille knockoffs. If anything even remotely like that was on the Seville it would have just implied a wish for a different career path in England trying to save razoredge, or at least trying to out Lincoln. When Lincoln copied the Seville on the 82 Continental, even they skipped the RR grille.
I bet Mitchell never thought this Seville would be copied. However I think you can see vestiges of it on the 2008 CTS, the W221 S Class, and the current Chrysler 300. The modern homages tend to also suffer the traditional big maw gille, without bothering with the expensive, heavy chromed steel RR surround. Give me instead Mitchell’s design solution.
Agree with you about seeing some vestigial influence of this in the 2005 W22, though I’ll bet the inspiration there was more e65. This design is not my favorite and was a total misread of the market, but it is distinctive.
Btw, you must be the only person I’ve ever heard to say Rybicki is a better designer than Sacco…w126, w201, w124, r129 are timeless designs. As for rybicki, can’t really think of any that hold up very well…
Here is why I don’t like Sacco. W126 was only a natural progression of the W116, probably with many looking over his shoulder. The W201 was good, but then this bottom of the line model cues travel up the line all the way to the big price increase R129, remember 1990 300SL priced over 1989 560SL. He then has the W140, on some silly mission against BMW when Lexus was coming at them with a half priced W126. He brought on their 90s decline. Also, I am sorry but shouldn’t the premier German car company have a German head of design? Remember there was still back then something that was distinctive about German cars.
On Ribicki, 82 Firebirds, 84 Corvettes, the total audacity of the X cars, and the 85 Deville. Remember with CAFE, Ribicki had to change the way everything was done. Even to how front drives came together in factories. Yet through this massive change that I am sure Ribicki would not have chosen, the downsized GM cars retained their unique American feel. It is far more than the current desiccated Mercedes or BMW could do when trying to offer Golf substitutes. The Beetle/Golf transition is the only one I can see even nearly comparable, and that was greatly simplified by the cars being only one size with essentially one engine family.
I know my view is the minority, and completely unexpressed in the car mags, but I can’t be the only one ready to give Ribicki his due.
Wow, what a model – the paint and general fit and finish are better than the real Seville.
Not sure who’s idea is was first, but the 1980 Imperial nailed the bustleback.
The Imperial was a 1981 car, released a year after the Seville.
John, sorry but why should companies be bound to hire people of the same national origins? By that logic, wouldn’t rybicki’s polish heritage prevent him from being head of design for the premier American (at that time defined as WASP) car company?
I don’t see any actual criticism of Sacco’s design cues in your post, just a dislike of the cues starting at the bottom and migrating upwards.
I have a hard time seeing an 85 Deville as any kind of design masterpiece. Proportions are all wrong and say economy car. Traditional brougham design cues slapped onto a contemporary package looks like a design mishmash. Surely American design has more to offer than brougham cues? Not sure how that era vette and firebird are regarded, but the ones you see today do not look like particularly great designs, though to be fair it was a rough era for most cars. Your viewpoint is interesting and I think you make a valid point about design needling to be distinctive, particularly in the luxury class. Though I would argue today’s German designs are quite good
If a person with your attitudes was told in 1975 that by 1985 the Deville would be 1600 pounds lighter, 30 inches shorter, have much greater maneuverability double the mileage and match the 75s room, quiet, V8 acceleration and ride you would think that a near impossible goal. Fast forward to 85 when the Deville achieved all that. Your likeness would have taken a short look at it and simplistically dismissed it as a turd for not turning itself into a fake German car like Lexus was planning. For this you will think yourself sophisticated because cars can only be one way. There are ways to describe that attitude other than sophisticated.
Part of the best part of the old days was that different countries cars were designed to take on the desires of countrymen. This was not true for Japan that only ever thought of exports and why I so resent their cars. That did not continue, I suspect in great part from the international committees that now design cars for all the majors. It is not ethnic, Lido’s Italian ancestors or Ribicki’s Polish ones do not prevent them from understanding the desires of the American men they grew up with. I like my current Volvo, designed by Englishmen Peter Horberry, Imagine what he could have done with a modern Humber or Woselly. I bet he does, or maybe he is one of those sophisticated guys.
Wow, I guess I hit a nerve. I’ m not sure you have a good grasp of what my “attitudes” are. I like the 80 Cadillac brougham and also the w126, but I don’t like the 85 Deville. I’d argue that the former two cars are coherent designs while the latter is not. Anyhow, I would disagree that the 85 technically matches a 75 deville, particularly in acceleration and waftability. Even more importantly the 75 Deville had presence. Admittedly, I would prefer a 65 Deville to a 75 but I can understand what the 75 represented. The 85 does not have presence nor does it represent the same ethos.
Also, shouldn’t a car coming 10 years later be better, not just attempting to match the past?
As to your issue with foreign designers, I still don’t get it. Btw, my questioning of your argument wasn’t racial but cultural. Aren’t Germans and Italians both white Europeans? But by your logic somehow only the German should design a car for a German company? Someone must be of the nation of origin of the company to ideally design its products? If I’m the company, why wouldn’t I want the most qualified designer, regardless of nationality?
Germans and Italians liked and needed different things in cars. The whole world benefited from the choice thus delivered. CAFE, a policy of the USA, meant that Cadillac was not going to be able to build an update of the 65 or the 75 car. They had to go into uncharted territory of how to move forward. The 85 was the result and a jarring result. Even Cadillac fans find it jarringly small. Those that stuck around saw how much of what they loved was still on offer and sales were fine. Thus in my opinion, an engineering masterpiece. Big Benzs changed hardly at all in the same period and just stuck their buyers with gas guzzler taxes in the USA. And oh yea…. diesels in luxury. Yea Sacco….