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GM takes a shot at armored DeVilles


By Rick Kranz
Automotive News / June 09, 2003

DETROIT - Cadillac is making it easier for rock stars, professional athletes and others to order armored DeVilles.

Beginning in late fall, buyers can order the vehicles from about 50 dealers.

The program features two armored 2004 Cadillac DeVille models. The cars will carry a full General Motors warranty.

"Consumers are concerned about their safety," says Susan Docherty, marketing manager for the DeVille and Escalade. "We are talking about kidnappings, drive-by shootings, acts of violence that one can protect themselves against by having a vehicle that provides enhanced security."

Likely buyers are celebrities and people who deal with cash or valuables, such as jewelers, Docherty says.

Cadillac aims for annual sales of about 300 units. Docherty says it is difficult to determine the size of the armored-vehicle market in the United States.

"There are independent companies that are doing this, but nobody reports armored-vehicle sales," she says.

Now, Cadillac dealers selling armored vehicles select the coach builder for the conversion. Under the new program, Scaletta Moloney Armoring of Bedford Park, Ill., will be automaker's authorized converter.

Cadillac will offer two armored DeVille models: the standard-sized sedan and a version stretched eight inches. A wider C-pillar, combined with a rear seat moved back to put passengers next to the C-pillar, provides additional protection.

Armor on the DeVille is capable of withstanding an attack from a .44-caliber Magnum handgun.

Joseph Scaletta, president of Scaletta Moloney Armoring, says, "The vehicle is designed to stop random acts of violence - handgun protection, not an assassination threat."

Tony Truelove, Cadillac marketing analyst, says the car will not be sold "in countries that have a high population of high-powered firearms, for example, an AK-47 in the Middle East. This vehicle would not give you that kind of protection."

Each armored DeVille will have the commercial vehicle chassis that was developed for the limousine and hearse-conversion business. The DeVille will be equipped with a 275-hp version of the 4.6-liter Northstar V-8, a heavy-duty engine cradle and cooling system, along with heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers.

The car will be shipped from GM's Hamtramck, Mich., assembly plant to Scaletta Moloney Armoring in Illinois for armoring. Scaletta Moloney has a research and development office in Farmington Hills, Mich., that does design and validation work.

Armor will be added to the roof, undercarriage, A-, B- and C-pillars and the doors. All glass will be replaced with bullet-resistant glass. A self-sealing gasoline tank will be added. Run-flat tires will be mounted on eight-lug, two-piece truck-type wheels.

Pricing has not been determined, but a sticker of about $135,000 is likely for the stretched DeVille. Production is expected to begin late this year. It will take about three months to fill orders.

The conversion increases the sedan's weight by 1,200 pounds, and the stretched model's by about 1,500 pounds, said Scaletta.

Dealers participating in the program will be expected to pay about $12,500 for tools and training.

Meanwhile, says spokesman Mike Vaughn, about 10 Lincoln dealerships will start selling a factory-authorized armored Town Car in late summer for about $145,000.
 

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Seville STS
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Well IMO, if thats all Cadillac is going to do then they should stay out of the armor business and just leave it to celeberties and athletes to pick a car and send it to the armor company up in (I think) Minnesnowda or the Dakotas that does all the Presidential limos as well as Secret Service and a bunch of other important peoples vehicles.

The reason being is because if I'm someone that important and I'm gonna spend $135,000 on a Cadillac Deville instead of a Mercedes S-Class ( I know, I know, but lets be real here not blind), and it only stops a .44 caliber bullet. Well..... whats the use.

If someone is trying to take you out they aint using a .38 to shoot up your car if your that important, and if your not that important whos got a 138 bills for a Cadillac with 275 hp??? I mean even if your just a drug dealer you know the people that want you dead are shooting sub-machine gun, Uzi type weapons, including AK-47's at your ride if they don't wait for you to get out of the car.

Well... I think most of you get what I'm saying anyway. If your gonna do it, do it right, build a tank like Mercedes does for other heads of state and celebs, or like the presential motorcade vehicles. The special that I saw on Discovery that talked about celeberty armored vehicles said that armor plating a vehicle started as low as $30K up to $100K and that they would armor plate any vehicle you brought in.

So lets see 2003 Deville approx. $50K, Top of the line armor plate job $100K, hmmmmmm thats only $150K, so if you can pay $138 for a half a$$ job, I'm sure your willing to pay $150K and have your stuff machine gun and bomb (yes bomb) proof...
 

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I think its a good idea....... BMW has been making armored 7 series, and a magnum is all they can withstand.......

For all you that are afraid of KC, sorry, this will just not do! :histeric:
 

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Once the word gets out, the Escalade will no longer be the gangsta vehicle of choice.
 

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One shot through the C-Pillar with a .308 or even a .223, and you got one dead rich fool sitten in an armored overpriced DeVille. If I was armoring a vehicle, go all out or nothing at all. If I was trying to assasinate someone, I wouldnt use a 22.
 

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03EscaladeAWD said:
One shot through the C-Pillar with a .308 or even a .223, and you got one dead rich fool sitten in an armored overpriced DeVille. If I was armoring a vehicle, go all out or nothing at all. If I was trying to assasinate someone, I wouldnt use a 22.
I wouldn't try to hit them in the car in the first place! Looks great on TV but too many complications in the real world...
 

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03EscaladeAWD I say "Ditto" its not the fact that Cadillac is getting into the armor business, its just that if your gonna do it, then do it right and have people saying you better get one of those armored Caddys like "_________" has gotten. Because if you build it like a tank and the minute someone has a failed attempt on their life, it will be the Caddy that saved them, thus all Caddy sales will see a boost because people will think that Caddy's are the shiznik :D not thinking that the dude had a $150K in it, and just the opposite.

You build a half a$$ armored Caddy and someone gets toasted they will say that the Caddy was not well built because reporters are always looking for a story.
 

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Keep in mind there is no such thing as a bullet "proof" vehicle. Just like there is no such thing as a bullet proof vest, only bullet "resistant" vests. I was an armed guard for a large security company and even with level 3 bullet resistant glass or steel, a 7.62 x 39 cartridge from an AK will penetrate, maybe not the first time but hit it again and it's end of story. The problem with the glass is that you can get away with level 2 because it is not as thick and may not distort your vision too badly, but Level two will not stand up to high powered rifle cartridges, only pistol or revolver. And as far as I know level 3 is just too thick for vehicle glass, so they must rienforce it with some material (ie for side windows) to make it stronger? I am doubtful there are any truly bomb-proof vehicles in the world.
 

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And yes there are small bomb proof vehicles. I saw a nice piece on Discovery Channel about a year ago on the car company that retrofits all the presidential limos and secret service cars and SUVs. This company ships cars all around the world for dignetaries, celebs, princes, and such so the showed the different levels of vehicles that are built for various types of people (no names, just types such as CEO's, movie stars, Politico's, etc...). Well they make some cars with enough armor plating to withstand running over a land mine and still be able to limp out of the danger zone. They also shot it up with a Uzi like gun, but I agree it can only take sooooooo many rounds to the glass before it caves in, but thats what you pay that damn driver the big bucks for to do a donut in that FWD Caddy :D and get you outta there. They did say that you might not necessary come out without a scratch (on running over the mine) but that you more than likely live and just be shook the hell up real bad. Kinda like being hit wearing a bullet proof vest. Just because it might stop the bullet don't mean it won't hurt like hell. So don't think you can keep drinking you tea in the back seat while chaos is going on outside :D.

It's a Caddy not a Bentley
 

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Bombproof?

the Hummer that is used in the Army

It is designed, so that if it went over land mines, the actual truck will get destryoed, but the cabin will remain intact and so will the people inside, and they will be safe.
 

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Kat, good article on the TownCar, I guess Caddy does have to compete. Hope you don't take "flak" promoting a Ford! LOL The technology grows and grows but if a vehicle was truly bomb proof, it would not be immobilized after one event, it would continue to be mobile. I guess I am being too technical in this area. I equate "bomb" and "RPG" in the same cateagory, and even military tanks (Canadian) may not necessarily stand up to a rocket attack. PS Our Coyote tanks are the most advanced in the world BTW. How much would a vehicle like this cost?
 

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No I dont mean a RPG necessarily just if something like a mine or small detenation type device goes off under ore around it. Lets not get carried away this aint the M1A1 Abrams or the Presidential Limo. Just something to get you out of the danger zone enough to save your life. Didnt mean that a bomb will blow up and you can hit the freeway doing 90mph to get away.

If you can limp your ride out of the danger zone and your that important your people should be able to blaze the joint with enough fire power after that to twart any minor to mid level assault.
 

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I would be happy with a reinforced front-end (for clearing a baricade) and runflat tires. I think runflats are a good idea. Have any of you had them, do they make for a harsher ride? I heard the first car to have them was the '92 Corvette, but now with the air-pressure monitoring systems, I guess they will fade away.
 

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-----I am doubtful there are any truly bomb-proof vehicles in the world. [/B][/QUOTE]
Yes, it is - i saw documentary about Georgian president Zewarnadze - he lives after bazooka attack to his armored Mercedes.:shocked2:
And in next day he bought new car from MB.... :eyebrow:
 

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See I'm not the only one who has seen this... Thanks, and Yes Ralph I do believe the run flats started on the Vettes, and they are included on the pressure monitored wheels on vettes still. I was actually gonna by a rag top C5 Corvette with the run flats, magnesium wheels and pressure monitored tires instead of the STS but we couldn't come to terms :banghead: so I told the guy he could keep the Vette cause I could drive an STS with plenty of power + comfort and be just as content (ok almost) instead of letting him try to rape me on his car :D
 
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