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  • The Cadillac Ciel concept is an elegant, open-air grand-touring car inspired by the natural beauty of the California coast as an exploration into range-topping luxury. (08/18/2011)
General Motors wowed the crowds in Monterey this year with the Cadillac Ciel Concept. In addition to being a larger-than life convertible, the vehicle featured a level of attention to detail that hasn't been seen from the Wreath and Crest in over a century. That includes the beautiful olive wood interior. The good people at Cool Hunting recently sat down with GM Design to discover exactly what went into crafting the intricate pieces. Their story is more interesting than we thought the assembly of an interior could be, so interesting in fact that we went back to GM to get some more images of the process.



As it turns out, the interior wood trim was hewn from a 300-year-old olive tree that fell in a storm just outside of Naples, Italy. The tree was shipped to a Pennsylvania woodyard where it was then sectioned and kiln-dried. That's where the designers from General Motors caught up with it and sent the 30-inch wide planks through a planer from the 1940s, then sanded and arranged them on a gantry, and then photographed the planks so that their unique grains could be recreated in a special computer program. From there, the chunks were sent to 3D Mass Design and Engineering, where they were cut to GM specifications and glued into their final configurations. Then, Metalcrafters in Fountain Valley, California took on the task of test-fitting and applying the final stain and finish.

How's that for craftsmanship?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      WillieD
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's awesome. A lot of work to get that wood in there from where it originally lay.
      Drakkon
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM really ought to build it. 300 year old olive tree or not. There are many much more common species that would still do nicely. Kudos for using satin finish instead of the plastic looking shine the Euro cars always use.
        Ashton Martin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Drakkon
        This is a common trend now in lux cars, to use unlacquered wood. It is beautiful. I would agree that they should do a native species using ultrathin veneers.
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car and its design seem to bring the romance back to automobiles. Too many of today's luxury sport (German) cars are too sanitized. I like it!
      usa1
      • 3 Years Ago
      "the vehicle featured a level of attention to detail that hasn't been seen from the Wreath and Crest in over a century." Seriously? I get sick and tired of over the top writing like this.
      R3TRO
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love real wood accents... I currently have an STS with real eucalyptus wood. Makes cabin look more luxurious and warm, especially when compared to my previous faux wood trim in my Mercury Grand Marquis.
      Jim Lowe
      • 3 Years Ago
      Such a waste of an old growth tree. It should have been turned into a table or a bar or a mantle piece. Anything but a car interior accent.
        Camaroman101
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim Lowe
        now it can be enjoyed by thousands who view the concept, instead of just one :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you really want to go down that route, I could say that the plastic dashes in Japanese cars are all radioactive.
      dezoris00
      • 3 Years Ago
      Such a waste, there pretty much no point of putting wood in interiors anymore. They lacquer it up so much half the time anyway it looks like plastic.
        Jive
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dezoris00
        There's always a demand for wood. Don't believe me? Go ask your wife.
        Stacey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dezoris00
        Respectfully disagree. Why can't anything be crafted with care and quality materials? I do agree that they often lacquer it up too much, but you can thank mass production for our public's consumption of identical products. Any natural "flaws" are going to be viewed negatively, hence the need for manufacturers to take steps to control the allowable variation. I don't feel cars shouldn't be a throw-away commodity. I think there should be more quality and craftsmanship put into them so people might value them a bit more.
        bcworkz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dezoris00
        +1 Don't worry, the production version sounds like it'll be real genuine plastic: "...photographed the planks so that their unique grains could be recreated in a special computer program." I'd settle for a thin veneer of ordinary real wood with an oil finish. I wouldn't mind oiling it once in a while, at least I'm reminded it's real wood.
          axiomatik
          • 3 Years Ago
          @bcworkz
          It looks like they photographed the planks so that they could plan out the graining on the interior pieces and map out exactly which pieces they wanted cut from each particular plank.
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good thing you guys mentioned that the tree fell in a storm...the blood pressure of the eco-nazis returns to normal. :)
      cashsixeight
      • 3 Years Ago
      So wait.. GM can't even stain it's own wood, they have to outsource it?! WTF. No wonder they suck so much.
      That Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why is this news GM Design Team, are more 300-year-old olive trees that fall from storms near the city of Naples, Italy going to be put in the production version?
      Bruno Nekic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Put something like that in a production model then we can talk.
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