Cadillac Style, Volume One by Richard Lentinello
published 2018 by Lentinello Publishing
128 pages, perfect bound softcover
purchased online direct from the publisher
My grandmother’s youngest sister and her family moved to Arizona before I was born. Every so often, Auntie Jean and Uncle Joe would drive up to Toronto for a visit of a month or so. Once in the mid-1970s, I remember being excited not only to see them, but to see my Uncle’s car – a Mandarin Orange Cadillac Eldorado. Funny enough I don’t recall the exact year of the car – probably a 1974 or 1975. But I do remember it being orange, and it had their names inscribed on little metal plates affixed to the dashboard.
I think Uncle Joe was the first person I knew who drove a Cadillac. My dad always talked about having a Caddy someday. In fact, Mr. Lentinello’s introduction to this book addresses that very idea… the dream, the mystique of owning a Cadillac. Owning a Cadillac meant you’d reached a level of success. You were driving ‘The Standard of the World‘, the best. True, as the latter decades of the 20th Century wore on, Cadillac’s reputation (and GM’s as a whole) took a well-deserved beating. Still for many, there was something to owning a Cadillac.
Some time ago, I saw a link to Lentinello Publishing’s website and their first book, Cadillac Style, Volume 1. I was pretty much immediately taken with what I saw on the website – a high quality, photo-heavy, numbered edition, created by Richard Lentinello, whose work I’d enjoyed for many years in Hemmings and other publications. I decided to buy Cadillac Style (and Corvair Style) as a birthday gift to myself and I’m very happy I did.
The book has a great feel, physically. It’s got some weight to it – the pages are large at 9.5″x11″, and on premium 100-lb gloss stock. The layout, by Zach Higgins, is very nice with plenty of white space, and filled with lots of great photography. Content-wise, I was very pleased. Think of this book as a high-end magazine. Each chapter is like a feature story, 2 to 6 pages focused on a single vehicle. There are no intrusive advertisements, just great content.
Lentinello features 27 models, starting with a 1909 Model 30 Demi-Tonneau and ending with a 1993 Allanté. There is a bias towards the tailfin cars (10 cars from 1949 though 1960 are featured), though I expected that, as it’s the era most people think of for classic Cadillacs. That’s not to say other eras are not well-served, including the appearance of 2 mid-1930s LaSalles as well as a V-12.
Each feature is very much about the car shown. There is information about the model year and the specific model, and that gives a great foundation to understanding the car. But, like a magazine feature, it’s Mr. Lentinello’s inclusion of specifics of the particular car – the current owner’s words, highlights of the car’s history – that I found really interesting.
What do these owners say? “…an amazing automobile…”, “more than a dream come true…”, “… a classic in every respect…”, “… I feel like a king in his chariot…”. There is most certainly a feeling to owning and driving these cars.
It was great to read about the 1965 convertible, bought new by the current owner’s father, and twice shipped to Italy to be used during the family vacations. Even better was to see the pictures, which show the worn, unrestored red leather seats, and read how the car is enjoyed as a survivor. I also enjoyed reading about the 1985 Eldorado Biarritz, bought used as a retirement gift, then sold and re-purchased, still with low miles and a colour change from black to red.
As I said, I was really very happy to add this book to my collection. The quality of the publication is superb. Interviews with the owners of the cars give a real sense of what it means to enjoy Cadillac ownership. And the imagery is simply beautiful. If you’re a fan of Cadillac or would just like to add a wonderful book to your collection, I suggest ordering your numbered edition before they run out.
Pros: high-quality publication, great photos, well-written, signed and numbered editions
Cons: none I could find
Where to get it: Lentinello Publishing