A July 4 fireworks finale. Ice cream sundaes. The 4th quarter of any pro sports contest. What do these things have in common, you may ask? All are quintessential examples of the age-old maxim, “Save the best for last.” Most people are well acquainted with this aphorism that explains our basic propensity for relegating the highest quality items until the end of an experience, thereby committing to memory the finest of form, taste or substance. And who would know this better than two companies entwined in the production of luxury goods?
I refer to Nicola Bulgari. The vice chairman and scion of the Bulgari luxury goods firm, renowned for its jewelry, watches and other upscale fashion accessories, chose to wait until the last possible moment to acquire a Cadillac DTS sedan, the flagship DeVille successor that championed the Northstar V-8 engine. How last minute? Bulgari literally purchased the very last example to roll off the assembly line two weeks ago, complementing the significant contingent of Cadillacs that comprises part of his large automobile collection.
In production since 2005, the DTS and its conservative design have certainly aged over the last few years, but despite the long teeth, according to Cadillac the car last year managed to outsell all other large luxury sedans sold in the United States, including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series. No small claim, indeed.
“I like the DTS because it’s a great sedan,” Bulgari said in a press release. “It’s the last of an era. I thought it would be wonderful to own the last Northstar in a DTS. It’s one of the best engines ever designed – reliable and a performer.”
It’s safe to say that Bulgari knows what he’s talking about. With a sprawling collection housed in Rome and Allentown, Pennsylvania that’s so large he prefers not to divulge its size, Bulgari claims to own every GM model produced in 1941, the year of his birth. That’s a lot of classic Cadillacs, LaSalles, Chevys, Pontiacs, Buicks and Oldsmobiles.
In addition to owning the 1949 Series 62 Convertible Coupe that he poses with above, Bulgari’s collection includes the following classic Caddys:
* 1932 Cadillac 355B V-12 Fleetwood Limousine
* 1934 Cadillac Model 355B Series 20 Sedan
* 1934 LaSalle Coupe
* 1940 LaSalle Convertible Coupe
* 1940 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Sedan
* 1941 Cadillac Series 61 Sedanette
* 1947 Cadillac Model 7533 Limousine
* 1949 Cadillac Model 7533 Limousine
* 1954 Cadillac Series 54-62 Fleetwood Sedan
* 1970 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
Of course, his collection includes a 2009 XLR-V sports coupe that came equipped with the purpose-designed Bulgari instrument panel cluster. And he also owns two different CTS models, a sedan and a wagon, purportedly preferring the practicality of an American luxury sedan to the verve of an Italian sports car. The CTS-V’s 556 horsepower supercharged V-8 gives the sedate appearing car some serious gravitas, too, as Bulgari posits with this stern warning for exotic Italian competition on the road:
“I have news for you with a [CTS] V,” Bulgari said. “I want to see some Ferrari or Lamborghini on the road and I will give him a lesson. They’ll never expect it.”