beginning with the release of the 1977 models. All would follow the Seville’s Sheer Look. It is widely reported that downsizing was not a task that Mitchell looked forward to. He did not like designing small cars. Leo Pruneau, Holden’s retired design director, who worked with Mitchell for 16 years, recalls that he liked cars to be twenty feet long. Small cars were not his thing. The development of the Seville went through many phases in the first two years. Smaller cars from all of GM’s divisions were considered, especially the Opel Diploma. The Opel was rejected because Fisher Body in the USA could not work to Opel’s tighter body gap tolerances. Cadillac management finally settled for using the Chevrolet Nova platform stretched by 3 inches/80mm but with a front wheel drive package borrowed from the Toronado/Eldorado. Trouble was, GM could barely make enough FWD components for those two cars, so the Seville became a rear wheel drive car. Meantime, while the engineers were debating the mechanicals and drive layouts the styling team was developing two proposals. One proposal featured a semi-fast back four door sedan, with various “bustle back” rear ends. It was built into a full sized fibreglass model. This was given the La Salle name. Another proposal was a more conventional sedan and coupe called Above and inset: Although the semi-fastback design was discarded for the 1975 Seville, it did appear on the 1978 Buick Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass. Left and below: The La Salle design is matched against its most significant competitor. 33