The Many Saints of Detroit
Whether being used for a late night gabagool run or for strict "business," the third generation Cadillac deVille was a signifier for American luxury.
Picture it, it's a summer afternoon in 1967. Frank Sinatra's My Kind of Town croons through a crackling Magnavox speaker, children everywhere are playing, you and your love just got tickets for a showing of the latest James Bond flick, and someone, somewhere, just laid the top down on their brand new Cadillac deVille convertible for the first time. If there ever was a more perfect picture of 1960s Americana, I couldn't see it.
As American as apple pie, baseball, and trickle-down economics, the deVille once represented the highest echelon of American luxury. Its long, sweeping lines, upright stature, and miles of hard chrome plating was a statement of how the USA treated the idea of higher-living. It was something to work towards, something to be proud of.
Although Cadillac was firmly cemented as the luxury brand of choice for Americans everywhere, the deVille was something beyond a typical Cadillac, it almost became a household name of its own right. A "Coupe deVille" became synonymous with class and uniqueness in much of pop culture, which led to its attachment with famous figures such as Elvis Presley, the aforementioned Sinatra, and, the elephant in the room, the mob.
It wasn't uncommon to see unsightly mob types behind the wheel of one of these back in the day, especially due to their high price tag. The cosa nostra association, added with its classic Bill Mitchell design, added to this era of the brand's notoriety for being some of the most evil looking machines on the road.
Though, I must say, this particular deVille in Doeskin with the white convertible top seems more Wilshire boulevard than mean streets of Newark. I'd say this color combination is probably one of the best to come on any classic Cadillac. Sorry, Springsteen, you got it wrong...brown Cadillacs are where it's at.
And inside, it's not much different. The beautiful buffalo leather seating was extremely plush, and fit and finish was exemplary. The flashes of chrome only add to the roaring 60s vibe that this car gives off. You can almost picture Don Draper cruising along and hanging a cigarette out the window...the car is just insanely retro cool.
Alas, this model is sealed, due to its manufacture by KK-Scale in Germany. Still though, as far as sealed diecast models go, no other brand I've seen has done it quite as good as then. If you really want to see the interior detail, I recommend their open top version of the model, though you have to sacrifice the beautiful bronze color combo for it.
To this day, I remain a strong supporter of Cadillac, and I feel like they're back on their way to greatness once again. But, every once and a while I stop and admire the sheer beauty and quality of these classic land yachts, and this deVille is no exception. I believe the world could use a car like this again, something to help us take things slow and appreciate the comfort of where we are in life, and I hope a company like Cadillac can bring us back to that. Until then, at least we have the third-generation deVille to bring back those memories.