Cadillac’s Goddess makes return flight

Riley Riley

Just like Roll-Royce, the American Cadillac has a winged bonnet mascot and in this case it is called the Goddess.

We haven’t seen the Goddess in over 60 years but it’s set to make a comeback in a small way with the launch of Cadillac’s flagship Celestiq — electric of course.

The Goddesss is said to symbolise the personalised, handcrafted artistry that is built into each and every bespoke vehicle.

The It was introduced in 1930, when automotive mascots were at the height of their popularity, but has been seen since the 1959 Eldorado Brougham.

In an era that lasted more than 25 years, several different versions were created, as the impressionistic form evolved with the brand’s design language and shifting cultural aspirations.

Early examples reflected more classical influences, while later versions such as those from the 1950s took on a more abstract design that reflected popular Jet Age design trends.

“The Goddess always represented the aesthetical zeitgeist,” Cadillac’s creative sculptor, Richard Wiquist, said.

Wiquist found his inspiration in the 1933 Goddess that distinguished Cadillac’s legendary V16 models of the era.

“The 1933 figure had a great sense of motion conveyed through drapery that appeared to flow from the figure.”

The GM Design Centre’s library provided additional perspective for the sculptor, with references to drapery incorporated in sculpture over hundreds of years.

“Every detail in a sculpture holds meaning or is intended to evoke an emotional response,” he said.

“For the new Goddess, it had to have context and imbue the personal connection the figure represents between Cadillac and its clients through vehicles such as Celestiq.”

With no constraints Wiquist spent months handcrafting the new form in clay.

He refined the delicate impressionistic style until it captured the essence of motion with a soaring stance and a lithe, ethereal quality.

However, there was no mandate on how the new Goddess would be incorporated in the Celestiq.

The goal was simply to reinterpret the form for a new age, while other Cadillac artists had the task of incorporating the imagery.

The Goddess found its way into a pre-production prototype parked in the hallway of the Cadillac design studio.

They included front-fender plaques and multi-function controller on the centre console.

The front fender trim features a three-dimensional Goddess in moulded glass as part of a piece of milled billet aluminium that’s polished, brushed and tinted.

The backlit, three-dimensional Goddess emblem is positioned centrally within the multi-function controller and also encased in glass.

An aluminium dial around the jewel-like feature turns independently, so the Goddess always stays in the same position.

Additionally, there will be a two-dimensional Goddess above the vehicle’s charge port door.

Wiquist said re-imagining the Goddess was a beautiful experience because it required him to study the past and understand the evolution of what Cadillac is today.

The sculptor came to the GM Design studios with a background in figurative art.

“This rendition introduces a new, soaring form that reflects the brand’s heritage while also driving it into the future,” he said.

Celestiq is expected to arrive in late-spring of 2024, in very limited numbers.


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