Another Reason Not To Buy This Car

According to a new report, Cadillac is America’s least wanted brand. No car spends longer on the showroom floor.

Vile: source
Lens flare, clicheed modernist house, no signs of life. Vile: source

This image accompanied the story. As you know I really dislike adverts that show cars parked on sterile pavements outside modernist houses. The vast expanse of dark grey hardcore caught my attention here. Can you imagine how hateful it is when all that crushed rock throws out its stored heat on a hot evening? And how large is that runway of stone anyway: it seems to be at least half the length of the house and twice as wide, with the actual countryside well off in the far distance.

These people in the image are confused: so drawn to nature they want their greenhouse right in the middle of it but don’t want anything organic growing anywhere near the building, hence the lunar landscape of carparking. Where’s the sense in that?

Second, take a closer look at the scene. The huge sliding glass door opens onto the car-park’s rough surface. You can’t walk out of the house barefoot. You must put on shoes. Second, when you walk from the car to the house there is no floor mat inside the entrance. What do you do with the shoes? Leave them outside? Does a servant take them from you? You could, I suppose park right next to the house and clamber directly in, without touching the nasty outdoors at all.

And is that the place the car normally parks? No, there’s surely a covered garage somewhere else which means this house has 400 square metres of grassless, treeless dead gravel around it for no reason at all. How vile.


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

12 thoughts on “Another Reason Not To Buy This Car”

  1. Who drives a new luxury car on gravel anyway? All these little stones and pebbles are going to ruin the precious anthracite metallic paint job…

  2. In the USA desert regions, wildfires are quite common and vegetation near buildings acts as fuel. So the new normal is houses set on gravel pads. It’s definitely not for aesthetic reasons.

  3. In the desert regions of North America wildfires are very common; any vegetation planted against the house acts as fuel. So the new normal is a home set on a gravel pad. It’s not for aesthetic purposes, it is fireproofing.

    1. That’s alright. It takes a while for the moderator to wake up. I’m glad you like the site. How did you find it?

      About the gravel: my experience is from the temperate NW of Europe where people still go for large gravel pads or hard surfaces. It’s a minor obsession of mine. I think it’s hot and dusty without plants. If a street of residents have paved yards the effect is awful. There are lots of low-maintenance green alternatives to lawns. Actually, the lowest maintenance “design” is natural shrubs and plants. Weeds love gravel but can’t compete with natural perennials.
      Where do you think the house is supposed to be situated? I think it is a Photoshop montage. The background looks dark and northern.

      More to the point for this site, when is de Nyschen’s plan going to pay off? Cadillac has been having turnarounds since the early 90s or since they abandoned their audience.

    2. I think the entire pic is a photoshopjob. I sincerely doubt anything in that pic is real. All that gravel looks highly suspicious, it looks almost like a stamp tool job. The house is reminicent of the Stahl House by Pierre Koenig, one of the so called Case Study houses. It’s an iconic building that’s been used in much advertising. It isn’t that one, but it’s made to look like it.

  4. As an American I have seen Cadillac’s prestige dwindle steadily ever since the days of the notorious Cimarron. Most Americans view these as “generic GM” vehicles. And the durability of most Cadillacs is suspect as well. We’ve been burned too many times…
    I found your site through Curbside Classic.
    Keep it up, I love thoughtful writing on design, especially automotive.

    1. Thanks! CC is a wonderful site. As well as Paul’s great work the community is really knowledgeable and friendly. There’s a decent group there and that’s a relief since a lot of forums can have abrasive visitors.
      After 2000 Cadillac’s cars have deteriorated markedly. The current crop are much better though missing the feel the 90s cars still retained. I wonder why Hyundai can do a good RWD V-8 and Cadillac and Lincoln can’t.

    2. I’m a fan of CC as well, been part of it since it started. I don’t remember where I found this site, but since I found it a couple of months ago I’ve actually read the entire blog from start to finish. And I must say it’s a great job you’ve done here. Very interesting articles, very interesting insights. I especially like that it’s not like any other place, I like the different takes and different views on things. Good job!

  5. Thanks, Ingvar. It´s great to hear that our project is being enjoyed. The nice thing is we don´t seek approval and yet people like what we write all the same. That´s very gratifying. I didn´t know about the Stahl house. I had in mind Philip Johnson´s glass house in New Canaan (1949) or Mies´Farnsworth House (1945-1951). They are all much the same. I think the furniture gets wrecked in due to the heat and privacy is a problem at the New Canaan house.

  6. As an outsider looking in, I find there is much to like about Cadillac’s current output. The cars boast a unique, crisply edged styling language that sets them apart from the slightly generic and overworked European marques. Where I can imagine Cadillac might struggle is in terms of perceived quality. That will not change unless GM lets Cadillac forego their practice of undercutting rivals on price and spends the extra money on materials. Many reviews also seem to suggest that Cadillac needs to stop pretending their cars are four door Corvettes and dial the waft back into their chassis set ups.

    1. As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, the Cadillac Elmiraj concept was among the nicest new car designs I’ve laid my eyes on over the past few years.

      That car, with its strong, but far from grotesque Americana vibe, was the best interpretation of modern American luxury in years. Would something that’s not trying to be a-bit-European-like struggle in the marketplace? Maybe, but it’s also possible that the wealthy, silver haired drivers of America (of which there are quite a few, supposedly) would enjoy a car that’s neither primitive – as American luxury cars have been for a while – nor ‘sporty’. As would I.

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