Retro car buffs with fin fetishes would get some sympathy from digital automobile designer Marouane Bembli, who personally bemoans the absence of some of those exterior nuances from yesteryear. As an artist specializing in portraying what previous-generation models would look like today, a feat he recently performed with a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, Bembi—better known as The Sketch Monkey—frequently earns high praise for his works that combine tradition with modern design perspectives. This time, a video released Thursday saw Bembi try his talents on bringing a General Motors classic Cadillac Deville from 1968 up to speed and up to date.
A Cadillac Combo Of Classiness And Comfort
As far as Caddies go, the Deville was one model that stressed comfort as much as appearance to appease its well-heeled customer base. It’s no accident that Mad Men‘s lead character Don Draper commuted to Madison Avenue in a Deville, or that it was the choice vehicle for the mob movie Donnie Brasco. It’s also telling of the Cadillac as part of a culture that underscored the old-school American Dream: the bigger the car, the more successful you appeared to be.
All of which might echo Bembi’s sentiments about the Caddie, but he believes a more modern design could still do enough to retain the character of the GM classic. But watching how Bembi reworks the Deville’s look is like witnessing a sculptor shape a giant piece of rock. His touches aren’t dramatic, but smooth enough to ensure that changes don’t distract too much from the original look.
This Caddy Slopes Like It’s MovingThe Sketch Monkey
Case in point is when Bembi slopes the rear window so that it blends better with the trunk section. He also converts the straight, unbroken folds on each side of the car extending from the front fender to the trunk area into arc-like lines that add a more fluid dimension to the Caddy, helping to tone down the boxiness of the body. And Bembi removes a fair bit of the chrome, including the door handles and rear trim, especially around the tail lamps.
But the biggest noticeable change is how he slopes the car forward by altering the front angle of the front and rear. By sloping the grille area downwards towards the rear, a feat he repeats on the back, he’s italicized the Deville. Even when it’s standing still, the remodded Caddy looks like it’s in motion. Bembi calls this particular design maneuver “raking,” which definitely makes his project look sharper. The crowning touch? A cool set of wheels for this altered set of wheels.
Older Cars Had More Unique DetailThe Sketch Monkey
Even though Bembi is best-known for design upgrades on older classic cars, it seems that his occupation has him pining for what cars looked like way back when.
“The older I get, the more I appreciate older cars,” he said. “It seems like they put more effort into the details and making the cars stand out more from each other back in the day.”
However, there’s no argument that this Deville certainly stands out.
Source: The Sketch Monkey