This 1970s Cadillac Concept Made Me Furious

For reasons that are probably not possible to explain, I always loved the trim and sharp faces of 1990s Cadillac Sevilles. What a horror it was to open up a copy of Car Styling magazine and realize that Cadillac had been sitting on this look for two decades straight.

Welcome back to Auto Archives, the show in which we dive into my personal collection of Car Styling magazine back issues. These issues are packed with never-uploaded-online pictures, sketches, and interviews. I wish I had time to go through every page.


I do wish I had time to go through this whole issue of Car Styling with you, because this issue had a full visual history of postwar Cads from the 1940s through the early 1970s, basically the entire golden era. You can watch the fins rise and fall, see big broad fenders turn slim and crisp as Bill Mitchell wrestled control away from Harley Earl.


Hopefully soon quarantine will drive me, indeed, to upload each relevant page I find. Until then, please enjoy this little episode detailing how Mitchell’s studio started work on what would become the cult classic Bustleback Seville of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and how the original Seville was inspired by the Velvet-Underground-grade-influential Fiat 130 Coupe from Pininfarina.

The early ‘90s Seville
The early ‘90s Seville
Photo: Cadillac

These were incredible styling exercises that I wish had all the money and engineering thrown at them that they deserved. Until then, I’ll stay mad.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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My impression of GM is that it is a company that desperately wants to make bold, exciting things; but is simultaneously terrified of bold, exciting things. They’ll dazzle us over and over again with exciting concepts, but should something interesting accidentally make production, they’ll nearly always kill it with neglect or frightened attempts to “expand its market appeal”.