Design Analysis Outtake: Where Did That Tail Come From Again? Duh!

Holden HZ f

Sometimes I amaze myself. I was looking over some old posts to possibly re-run, when I came across one of my earlier Australian CCs, on this Holden Statesman DeVille (HZ).  I discussed its styling origins and influences, but when it came to its tail, I had an embarrassing senior moment. Here’s what I said then: Where the Statesman really diverges from the more predictable GM-family look is in its rear end. Now that looks very home-grown, almost home-baked. And not at all what was being done at the GM Design Mothership. Did Bill Mitchell have to sign off on these cars?

Really? My choice of words were ironic, as I obviously was forgetting one of the ultimate Bill Mitchell-mobiles. And no one else busted me for it. Now that we have more readers, that probably wouldn’t happen now.

Cadillac 1967 Eldorado tail

When I scrolled down aaron65’s post yesterday, there it hit my right in the dumb-struck face. Of course; it’s the ’67 Eldorado’s tail, toned down a wee bit. Doesn’t get more Mitchell-like than that.

CC 146 002

Of course, I redeemed myself in that Statesman post by skipping right over the Eldorado to an earlier incarnation of that tail, the 1953 Studebaker coupe, the mother of all American personal luxury coupes. Bill Mitchell was always encouraging his designers to look to both Europe and the past for inspiration, and I’d say he got a healthy helping here. Maybe elsewhere too. (Update: I’m specifically referring to the combination of a sloping trunk with that style of tail light, and in the case of the Eldo and Statesman, the use of a raised center section of that trunk.)

Got any other historical doppelgangers to share?

Related reading:

CC Holden Statesman DeVille (HZ): If We Can’t Export Cars We Can Export Their Names