Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bill Mitchell's Razor-Edge Cadillac Seville

The 1980 Cadillac Seville was among Bill Mitchell's last hurrahs as General Motors design vice-president.  Like some other designs created under his direction, it was controversial.

Biographical information on Mitchell can be found here and here.  The Wikipedia entry on the 1980 Seville is here and a Hemmings article about a 1985 Seville is here.

Styling of the '80 Seville was controversial because Mitchell, enamored of circa-1940s "Razor Edge" coachwork on Rolls-Royces, slapped an interpretation of that style on the rear of a 1980 automobile.  With mixed results, as we see below.


1983 Cadillac Seville Elegante
Seen from near the front, the Seville is a crisp design with some areas of ornamentation to provide interest.  Not all Sevilles had two-color paint schemes, which were more of a 1940s and 50s fashion, but this is one of those rare cases where that practice enhanced the styling.

1980 Cadillac Seville
Here we get a better idea of its version of Razor Edge styling.

1982 (circa) Cadillac Seville
This shows the rear of the car from nearly end-on.  I consider this the viewing angle where the design looks the most awkward.  Seen in person, the styling makes the car appear a little too narrow and high by 1980 standards, even though the vehicle is generally fairly sleek.

1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith by Freestone & Webb
There are many examples of English Razor Edge custom bodies.  I offer this because of its similarity to the later Seville styling.

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