1 of 600? 1978 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe

Cadillac Seville’s of 1976-1979 provided a luxury package in an automobile smaller than the full-size de Ville. Most of the automobiles were used as they were intended, they were also great foundations for customizing by companies like Grandeur Motor Car Co. out of Florida. If this is one of their creations, it’s now a 2-door, 2-seat coupe in the neoclassic tradition of 1930s automobiles. Only about 600 are thought to have been built and this one from 1978 looks to be in great condition. From Mentor, Ohio, this opulent car is available here on craigslist for $14,000. Another great tip from Pat L.!

Coachbuilders like Grandeur would take completed Seville’s like the seller’s car and remove part of the body and chassis rear of the front seats. They would also extend the front section from the cowl forward to generate one of the longest hoods you’d ever look over.  We wish the seller had provided a photo of the engine compartment because there’s likely a lot of empty space. The fenders have faux dual side-mount spare tires and they’re just for looks as there aren’t any real tires under the covers.

More than likely there’s a 350 cubic inch V8 under that big hood that was supplied by Oldsmobile, rated at 180 hp with 275 lb.-ft of torque when new. The seller says the car runs as it should at just 60,000 miles on the odometer. It has both new tires and brakes to make the Caddy ready to go almost anywhere you’d want.

The truncated interior features two richly upholstered bucket seats and a tilt steering column with a wood-trimmed Nardi steering wheel. This looks like a comfortable automobile that would attract a lot of attention wherever you went, but it’s not particularly practical. But that’s not the reason why you’d get an automobile like this anyway.


  1. J_Paul Member

    That 600 of these were built is absolutely wild—it looks like a one-off backyard mechanic special, not something that hundreds of people would willingly spend their money on.

    Despite being born in the 70s, I guess I was too young to appreciate the heady mix of cocaine, disco music, and shag carpeting that resulted in monstrosities like this.

    Like 15
  2. Big_Fun Member

    600 too many? I think Johnny Carson owned one. This was an era of wide ties, wood skateboards, and leisure suits, along with other oddities we thought were normal, or “neat”.

    Like 9
    • George Simpson

      Wooden skateboards were great!

      Like 8
  3. Sebastian X1/9

    If I were super rich, I would buy this just to destroy it.

    Like 9
    • Steve RM

      I’m with Sebastian on this one. I’m not of fan of any of the “neoclassics” from this time and this one just screams “please pretend I improved this car”. It wouldn’t look good even without the “dual side mounts” which just look ridiculous.

      Like 4
  4. Big C

    Didn’t Huggy Bear, the snitch/pimp on Starsky and Hutch, drive one of these things?

    Like 3
  5. FireAxeGXP

    How revolting!! And I LOVE it!! Dad bought Mom a Seville brand new in 1977. Sort of a caramel brown inside and out. Beautiful when clean. She had seen one in Vogue magazine of the same colour and wanted one so he bought one for her.
    Used to driving his Cobra Jet powered Gran Torino Sport, Dad was disgusted with the Seville’s utterly gutless performance. Nor was he pleased to have an Oldsmobile engine in a new Cadillac! After three months the thing vibrated at any speed over 55 and Dad raised hell at the dealer.
    He wrote off driving it and returned to his car. Mom loved it however, and kept it for over a decade.

    Like 5
  6. Carbuzzard Member

    How were 600 of these built and I never heard of them? Believe mr, if I had seen that, I would have remembered. What an awkward, malproportioned design.

    Like 1
    • Gerard Frederick

      The concept of beauty, as it applies to all things, demands first and foremost -balance-, proper proportions. This thing is so malformed it belongs into a mechanical freak show. Absolutely awful on every level.

      Like 2
      • Carbuzzard Member

        The phony spares aside, the roofline really throws everything off. The angles don’t work together and Make it look like exactly what it is, something else that was cut apart and welded back together and covered with vinyl.

        Like 3
  7. Jim E

    go ahead and laugh, but when you pull into the trailer park driving this bad boy you will get noticed.

    Like 9
  8. Howie

    They even look worse in person.

    Like 3
  9. sterling

    for 6000 i would take it! not for 14000

    Like 1
  10. Bobby

    At least you get an extra set of wire wheels

  11. Ed

    I worked for a Cadillac dealer during that time period and we sold two of those creations. When the first one was delivered to us, I was asked by the dealer to evaluate it before we even informed the buyer that it was there. As it turned out we returned that one and canceled the second order.

    When you closed the doors with any authority, the quarter panels shook. When you drove it over bumps, the entire cowl, steering column and A-pillars shook. In short, it was not something most people would characterize as safe to drive.

    Like 4
  12. Russ Ashley

    Whether you like it or not, it appears that the windshield and firewall were moved rearward, and the hood extended. That would not be a job that would be done at home. It must have been a fairly major re-work to create one of these. I’m eighty years old and when I first saw one I must admit that I thought it looked very good. Remember now, it was the seventies and eighties and garish style was popular then.

    Like 6
  13. MarkO

    I’d probably add a second V-8 (using joined crankshafts)
    making it a Cadillac V-16!
    How about a RR MERLIN engine under that humongous bonnet?
    or better yet, make it ELECTRIC
    The ultimate “FRUNK”!!!

    Like 1
    • Russ Ashley

      MarkO, joining two engines in line doesn’t give you the additional power you might think. On PowerNation TV they built two engines exactly alike, each one dyno’d right at 500HP and I can’t remember the torque. There was less than ten HP and very little torque difference between the two. Then they very carefully and accurately joined them end to end on the dyno to see what the power difference would be, and surprisingly together they only made slightly more power and torque than each one made by it’s self. It surprised them all. The electric version might give the most HP and also keep you politically correct, although I guess you are not worried about being PC since you mentioned doubling the engines, LOL.

  14. Rw

    Perfect Whip for Little pimps,like Kat Williams

    Like 1
  15. Kenn

    Russ, don’t apologize for your favorable opinion of this. The naysayers on this site never apologize for finding fault with vehicles that most others like. ie: the “beauty in the eye of the beholder” train runs both ways.

    Like 4
  16. Claudio

    Was this beauty designed by the drug infested group from ZIMMER
    Or was the opposite , they ruined Grandeur then they went on a binder at Zimmer
    Inquiring minds wanna know !

  17. Chris In Australia

    I don’t have enough chest hair and chunky medallions to pull this off.

  18. Stan

    I’ll take this, and a leisure suit with an 8 ball 🎱 in the pocket.

  19. Ben

    Being a man of this era, l love these over the top Cadillac designs. I recall the owner of a well know club in New Hope, PA had an Opera Coupe along with a Cadillac San Remo (look it up). There’s an Opera Coupe undergoing restoration at a shop here in Bethlehem, PA.

    Like 1

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