Entries in cadillac (9)


Cadillac's Olympics Campaign is Awesome

I always love to see American car companies get things right for a change, and anyone watching a lot of Olympics coverage on NBC will have for sure seen the new campaign that Cadillac has done promote the new ATS.  The "Cadillac ATS vs. the World" website is well worth a visit. Their crew visited 4 very different and fascinating locations around the globe to film commercials --each chosen to demonstrate a particular characteristic of the ATS. My personal favorite is the Morocco video, which shows the ATS assaulting a snaking canyon road that looks to be one of the coolest driving roads I have ever seen!  The totally crazy Chinese tunnel road is something to behold as well. This unpaved road is literally carved out of a mountain, and its stone surface shows off the magnetic suspension of the ATS beautifully.  I was very excited for their visit to Monaco, but any serious car nut will be let down a little by that video. Skip the Patagonia video. It's lame.

There are lots of reasons I happen to love this campaign. First, the title is a clever play on the old Cadillac slogan "Standard of the World."  Second, it ties in with the global nature of the Olympics subconsciously yet has nothing to do with the Olympics. Watch BMW's awful Olympics campaign to see how painful that can be!  Third, director Jeff Zwart is a true blue car enthusiast (he produced the marvelous book Porsche Rennsport that is one of my favorites in my collection) and that comes through a lot in the filming and editing of these pieces.  The commercials are truly enthusiast-oriented and engaging to watch.  Also, the locations chosen are not the typical famous places like the Nurburgring or the canyon roads of the American West, so frequently used in commercials.  Even Monaco, though it is a famous place, is an unlikely location to shoot a commercial for an American sports sedan.  So kudos to Zwart for also making do with what I am sure were very challenging location shoots!  Last, the driver in these commercials is actually Derek Hill, son of F1 champion Phil Hill!  I thought that was kind of a cool touch. The only let-down in this campaign is the sort of sophomoric narration by the non-driving co-host, who makes reference to "hanging with the natives and seeing how they live" in each location. Honestly, who gives a crap? Female Olympics viewers maybe...but we can't have everything, can we?  Overall, I think this might be one of the best new car commercial campaigns I have seen in a long time. It really shows off what the car can do, and speaks to a casual and enthusiast crowd in equal measure. It also shows me some remarkable places I have never ever seen before.  Well done! I still won't buy an ATS, but I think many people just might go and test drive one thanks to these ads.

Note: This review was in no way solicited or paid for by GM, just in case you were wondering.


Bricklin sits by Brick House

This is probably the first and last time anyone will see a Bricklin and an Allante together. 

The Brickin's license plate read "Buy Me."  Does that mean the owner has been trying to get rid of it from the moment he registered it?


Cadillac Steals the Show at Pebble Beach Concept Corral

Pebble Beach was sensory overload for most attendees, myself included. But one standout among all the beautiful cars I saw was the simply sensational Cadillac Ciel Concept. They should have just called it the Eldorado, because this car wholly deserves the illustrious name bestowed upon it. The car has an extremely long wheelbase, allowing the surprisingly clever surface transitions plenty of time to flow gracefully from one to the next. The result is a study in elegance, fluidity and subtlety.  If the crowds of delighted onlookers were anything to go by, I wasn't the only one smitten by the big convertible land yacht. I heard statements like "Now that's a car!" and "Wow. That's really beautiful!"  This isn't at some mall parking lot, folks. These are comments being made 20 feet away from 2 Bugatti Veyrons and a putting green full of the latest exotic supercars from Europe.  It all made me want to shake Ed Welburn's hand, but I chickened out when I eventually saw him at the Concours.

The placement of the Ciel next to the BMW 328 "Hommage" (the extra M is for Mengele, I suppose? What else could have inspired such an atrocity?) only served as a snapshot of everything that is right and wrong in today's car design landscape.

The 328 "Hommage" Concept had horrific, stubby proportions, a pastiche of mismatched styling cues and textures, a mess of intersecting and folded surfaces that would give even Frank Gehry indigestion. It was ghastly, and actually made me disgusted to see the mighty BMW reduced to such a sideshow freak. Placing an original 328 next to this hideous abomination only rubbed salt in the wound. I bet all those people who hated on Chris Bangle for years wish they had him back.  His 328 MM coupe "homage" was brilliant and innovative, by the way.  My vote for most irritating design detail on the 328 Concept was the inexplicable ornamental double hood strap made of leather, which clashes horrifically with the semi-matte carbon fiber of the body. The Ciel, in contrast, was bathed in such perfect, luminous, lustrous paint that even rivalled the quality of Peter Mullin's "Best in Show" winning Voisin. Seriously.Honorable mention in the Concept Car Corral goes to the Jaguar CX-75. While many people squinted trying to see what if any E-type cues were in the car, it is clear that the designers were looking at the Jaguar XJ-13 for inspiration, with more than a passing nod to the XJ220. It's funny that Jaguar doesn't make much marketing hay around the XJ220 which is now almost 20 years old and still looks sensational (I saw one at the RM auction preview looking every bit the supercar). In particular, the rear end of the CX-75 bears close examination. It's a great interplay of flowing lines and aggressive elements working together. And it instantly says Jaguar. I would love to see this design theme translate into production Jags. Tomorrow.Last but certainly not least was Jason Castriota's "Shelby SuperCar (SSC)."  Now I've been pretty harsh on Castriota in the past, and I still think his talent to hype ratio is way off balance. However, I thought the SSC is probably his manifesto work, as it combines all his signature styling elements into one very cohesive package.  The car has a very slippery, aeronautical feeling to it that I quite liked, and I really loved some of the surfacing details along the bodyside.  The car has a lot of presence in person and I must give credit where credit is due.The Alfa TZ3 Stradale was there, and failed to impress me. The new McLaren was also a yawn. Even metallic chrome-look paint couldn't save it from looking hopelessly outdated when placed next to Castriota's car and the new Aventador. I'm sure it drives better than either of them, though...

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Swing Low Sweet Cadillac

The 1971 Eldorado has a surprising level of presence and refinement, particularly the chamfered tail treatment.  This particular example was really stunning.  I need to stop posting pics of Cadillacs, I know.


Kandy Blue Kaddy on Atlantic Ave.

Not my taste, but still a pretty sweet ride.