Wild and Garish Cadillac V16 Concepts From The Sixties

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
wild and garish cadillac v16 concepts from the sixties

Bob Lutz’ Cadillac Sixteen concept wasn’t the first time a revival of the classic Cadillac V12 and V16 era was considered. In the mid sixties, Cadillac was seriously mulling production of one or the other, and several versions of a SOHC V12 engine (see post here) were built. But if you think the Sixteen Concept had a long nose and was a bit over the top, check out this rendering by Cadillac Studio Chief Wayne Kady. From the size of the steering wheel and dashboard, it appears they were planning to transplant the V16 from a tug boat. This must be where the infamous bustle-back trunk of the 1980 Seville originated. Well, this is just a not-so-small taste of the creativity that was unleashed when the designers were asked to come up with ideas.

Now this clay is flying a bit closer to Earth. A pretty stock ’63 front end married to a set-back coupe, to leave plenty of room for all those cylinders. They all have that Maybach Exelero look. Well, I haven’t shown you them all though, have I? But there’s a double treasure trove awaiting you this Saturday with the following two links: at hemmingsblog, there’s a reprint of a 1981 Special Interest Autos story detailing the whole program, including lots of clays, many design aspects of which later show decided similarities to cars like the ’66 Toronado (below)

and the ’67 Eldorado (below).

The other link is to Dean’sGarage, where a remarkable set of color renderings by Wayne Kady await your perusal.

Wayne Kady spent 38 years in the Caddy and Buick studios, and is responsible for the “highly successful 1971 Eldorado” (not my quote). The CC Deadly Sin for that is here. Mr. Kady is apparently also responsible for a number of questionable designs at Cadillac as its Studio Head from 1974 to 1988, which include the disastrous 1985 shrunken head mobiles.

No disrespect to Mr. Kady, whose renderings are highly creative, but I’m afraid history will not smile kindly on all of his production creations. But these wild flights of imagination sure brought a smile to my face on this dark, drizzly Saturday morning. I thank you for that, sir.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 14, 2010

    Looking over the 1960s Cadillac concepts and some 1950s era Cadillac concepts here, I have to say that the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept makes them all the other in-house Caddy concepts look a little grotesque. The Sixteen is a brilliant design, the work of Brian Smith, who heads exterior design for Cadillac and also did the Converj concept.

    The Sixteen could have gone into production. Contrary to some reports, the V16 was not just two LSx engines welded together. Well, in a sense it was, but only in the digital domain. The engine architecture was based on the LS family, but once they got all the design and finite element testing to optimize strength and weight, they sent the CAD/CAM files to a German company that die casts directly from the code, and made a single V16 crankcase. Since it's a 90 V and bore centers are the same as on the LSx, it could have gone down the same transfer machinery.

    Franky, I like the stuff that Ed Welburn's team has done better than the work of supposed GM giants like Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell. GM Styling is one of the parts of the company that helped make any prospect of survival possible.

    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Nov 14, 2010

      On existing machinery, I could see how it would be possible to machine a 6 in a line designed for an 8, but wonder how one would actually go in the opposite was to machine a 16 in a line designed for an 8 Given that the datum points would likely be at one end of the engine, anything that was longer (regardless of similar architecture) might have problems to get the "far end" machined without significant redesign of the machining center. I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows how such a thing would be accomplished. (p.s. the real savings would be in all the reuseability of all the non-length dependent components that go into a motor.)

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Nov 14, 2010

    As an artist/designer I really love some of those concepts (the top one especially, It really evokes the 20-30's Bugattis perfectly) As a car guy, I can't imagine how those would manage in traffic built with 60-70's technology. But i wish they could have built one of these (and the newer '16' too, as an alternative for those who think a Phantom drophead is boring, or a Veyron isn't classy enough. I'm quite sure Cadillac could not have built it to the expectations of their buyers though.

    • See 1 previous
    • Scotpens Scotpens on Jul 10, 2014

      @Steve65 Judging by the "humps" on the front fenders, I'd say the cut line forward of the doors was meant to be a removeable access panel for side-mount spare tires, similar to the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow special.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.