Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Classic Eldorados that Inspired the Creation of the Cadillac Ciel Concept

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Cadillac has seen some dramatic ups and downs (mostly the latter…) over the past few decades but General Motors' flagship brand seems to be heading down the right road in the 21st century, slowly but steadily improving its product portfolio.

And it's not just the upcoming ATS small sedan, the XTS full-size saloon or the pure-electric ELR coupe that make the future look very promising; it's also Cadillac's most recent conceptual model, the Ciel, which drew a lot of attention at the Pebble Beach classic car show in August.

Cadillac Seen On www.coolpicturegallery.usA modern day Eldorado convertible with four doors measuring a lengthy 203.7-inch (5,174mm) from nose to tail isn't exactly a recipe to rev up enthusiasts, yet Cadillac's designers somehow pulled it off and the Ciel proved to be a hit with most show-goers, not to mention readers as well.

The more you look at the Ciel, the more you appreciate the details and the work that went into designing the car. One of many such examples is the lower, nickel-plated profile strip that begins from the front bumper and swoops up at the rear-end of the car. Together with the subtle twin upper creases, and the rounded body sides, it helps lighten up and reduce the visual weight offering a balanced blend of dynamism and elegance to the Ciel's form.

Cadillac Seen On www.coolpicturegallery.usWhile not so obvious at first, Cadillac's designers drew the essence of their inspiration from two Eldorados of the past: the lavish 1957-1958 Eldorado Brougham, and the edgy 1967-1970 Eldorado coupe.

The 1957-1958 Eldorado Brougham was one of GM's great designs made under the supervision of Harley Earl and a milestone for Cadillac styling. At $13,074, the hardtop model with the small suicide-style rear doors was GM's most expensive offering ever costing twice the price of a regular Eldorado and nearly as much as a Rolls Royce. The Brougham loaned its body style and wraparound windshield to the Ciel.

But when it came to the styling details, the vehicle that inspired Cadillac's designers the most was the 1967-1970 Eldorado. Penned under the direction of another great GM designer, Bill Mitchell, it was the first front-wheel drive model of the series and it shared its underpinnings with the Oldsmobile Toronado.

Cadillac Seen On www.coolpicturegallery.usNo where can the 1967's model styling influence on the Ciel Concept be seen more than at the rear end of the car with its razor lines and slim, almost jewel-like tail lamps.

If you take a look at the pictures below, you'll see that the front end of the Ciel also owes much of its existence to the 1967-1970 model with its edgy lines and elevated center section of the hood as well as the vertical headlamps that hark back to the 1968-1970 Eldorado's parking lights (the headlamps were hidden on the 1967/1968 models).

And there you have it. Now, if only GM's brass could find the courage to take the Ciel, put a roof on top and create one fancy flagship limo...

You can take a look at our gallery below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

By John Halas

Photos Courtesy: GM, RM Auctions, Hemmings Classifieds (1) and (2)


2011 CADILLAC CIEL CONCEPT

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1957-1958 CADILLAC ELDORADO BROUGHAM

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1967-1970 CADILLAC ELDORADO

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