On the day after Christmas, many of us are recovering from the experience of buying expensive items that we never would have bought during the rest of the year, items often bearing designer labels. During the late 1970s, you could have this experience when buying a car. Lincoln had its Designer Edition Mark IVs and Mark Vs from Bill Blass, Cartier, Givenchy, and Pucci, starting with the 1976 Mark IV. Cadillac did not offer a similar product from the factory, but a Miami-based company named International Automotive Design, Inc. modified production cars with a Gucci-designed and branded trim package in 1978-79.
A gold plated Gucci hood ornament, green and red Gucci stripes, Gucci upholstery on the armrests, headrests, headliner, and floor mats, a five piece set of fitted luggage, and gold plated Gucci emblems galore made up the “Designed by Gucci” package. It elevated the price of the car to $19,900 in 1978, 40 percent over the Seville’s $14,161 base price, and to $22,900 in 1979 – a whopping $64,714 in 2013 dollars. With a 1978 Mark V having a base price of $11,396 and the designer packages adding $1,600 to $2,100, one wonders whether many Seville Designed by Gucci owners experienced buyer’s remorse on the next day.