Built for Presidents: 1981 Cadillac Seville Limo

This 1981 Cadillac Seville, with its iconic sloping rear end and integrated spare tire mount, isn’t exactly loved today. But the bodywork actually translates fairly well to a limo design, and this example has just 80,000 miles from new. It is exactly as you’d expect for a 1980s limo, from the paint job to the interior accomodations. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $15,500. 

Built by a company called Dillinger Coach Works in New York, the company’s main claim to fame is apparently building the personal limos for now-President Donald Trump. This makes sense, as everything about this Cadillac screams 1980s opulence, from the colors inside and out to the old-school cell phone. Of course, it is shocking to see cloth instead of leather in the passenger compartments, but not so surprising to see the LCD TV/DVD player combo. I wonder if the champagne is still cold?

Curiously, the Cadillac retains its full leather interior up front, and in a different shade of maroon. Perhaps the original leather interior in the backseat area was trashed, hence the quick refresh in non-matching cloth. Regardless, the seller says everything works as intended and that the driving experience is a reliable one. Your driver (and you) will enjoy ice-cold air conditioning, while the front seating compartment is the only one that gets to recline in power bucket seats.

Ah, yes – the boomerang antenna. Our transformation to 80s VIP status is complete! The whitewall tires, wire wheels, landau roof – oh, and that stunning two-tone dark claret over black paint job – all tell us more than we need to know about the era in which it was conceived. As 1980s-themed parties and car shows become more frequent, this Cadillac Seville limo is perhaps the ultimate method of saying you’ve arrived.

Fast Finds


  1. Hoos Member

    I know these cars are not too popular, but I like them. If my garage was deeper, I’d consider it. You would certainly never see another at shows and cruises. I am left wondering why it has been updated with a modern flat screen/DVD player. It looks like everything else is period. That might be the only cosmetic change I’d make.

    • King Al

      You are right. If you like bustle back Sevilles, this was last year of the vaunted cast iron Caddy 6.0L V8. Sure, as an 81, it has the Modulated Displacement V-8-6-4, but if it was one of ones that unfortunately manifested driveability issues in switching cylinder modes, a simple in-line switch disables the MD function, and it operates as a silky smooth 6.0L. 82’s would unfortunately be equipped with the gutless aluminum block HT4100 just waiting to puke coolant into the crankcase. But this car is one sweet ride. Classy looks, body, build quality for body and total powertrain.

  2. Puhnto

    If you look at old Rolls Royce limousines and other, older, chauffeur driven cars, you’ll see that the driver’s compartment was almost always leather and the passenger compartment almost always cloth!

  3. Ed P

    I prefer cloth over leather and the red interior is my favorite. This is certainly appealing.

  4. Mountainwoodie

    All it needs is a gold plated chandelier………….bad taste on 4 wheels. Call the president or Fity Cent!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Nah……..he had too much taste.

    • LAB3

      I’ll just leave this here.

  5. Fred w.

    Just be thankful- for what you got….


    • jesus bortoni

      Thanks for the memories, it was a great song.

    • Mike

      Completely forgot about this song! Thanks for reminder.

  6. JimmyZ

    I would buy this in a heartbeat if I had a place to put it. Make your kids shuttle YOU to the movies in 80’s style!

    That interior….wow…

  7. Sam

    Great car! The continental kit is just a little bit over the top….very period. Could be alot fun.

    I think Cadillac referred to this as a “bustle back”. The Lincoln Versailles and Chrysler Imperial of that time had a similar, not as graceful, interpretation.

    I see a side hustle doing a few weddings. Purchase this along with the recent two door Seville and a vintage HD cop electra glide for your own motorcade.

  8. Dr. D

    “Of course, it is shocking to see cloth instead of leather in the passenger compartments, but not so surprising to see the LCD TV/DVD player combo”

    The LCD TV/DVD combo is surprising to me, and certainly something added years after this limo was built.


    Beautiful attention getter. Always loved this style although I wouldn’t want a limo.

  10. ACZ

    The design has grown on me. I don’t think of it as negatively as I once did. As far as the interior, I agree with the others as to what is normal for a limo. The only other thing is that if you are not familiar with custom limo builders, you’re lucky that the back seat isn’t out of a Ford. They tend to use what ever is available at the time.

  11. Spridget

    The cloth/leather combo is actually quite normal- cloth was an “upper end” fabric fpr many years, seen mostly in luxury cars until (by my reckoning) the 1965 Ford LTD. Leather was seen as being vinyl but more expensive. After cloth entered the mainstream, it slowly replaced vinyl and the snobbery that went with it, and leather became an upper end material. This process was helped by cars like the W123 Mercedes and E30 BMW, which had an entirely different culture about this sort of

  12. RoselandPete

    LOve the car and 2-tone paint jobs.

  13. dr fine

    Tough, long wearing leather seats for the driver, and soft plush cloth for the lord and lady’s tender backside was standard for limos. Leather was not even that big a deal. I bought a leather bicycle seat in the early sixties, and it was so thick it didn’t even need a frame. I’ll never forget the name embossed on the side: A.S.S.

  14. gbvette62

    I never liked those bustle back “Seville’s. I thought the 76-79 Seville’s were among the nicest looking Caddy’s ever built. I couldn’t believe they replaced it in 80 with something that looked like a rear ended Rolls.

    After years of Buick’s, my father bought a Seville in 79, the last of the original “small” ones. I loved that car, painted a copper metallic color (Western Firemist???), and without a vinyl top, it was pretty classy looking, and drove great. In 81, he replaced it with a white bustle back Seville, with a maroon cloth interior, that looked like the inside of a bordello. His next Seville was even worse, an 83 in maroon with a gray “roadster” top!

    • Tom D

      Having owned gen1 and gen2 Sevilles, I can say the gen 2 is a better driving/riding car, though I personally like the gen 1 looks a little better.

    • Ed P

      I also prefer the Gen 1 Sevilles. The bustle back did not appeal to me, except on this car.

  15. Jeff V

    In ’82 in Madison, WI I went on a trip to buy a limo to start a svc here. My first stop was St. Louis where I read was a ’81 stretch Seville owned by a rich kid real-estate clown, I met him and he took me for a ride in it right to the car wash where he proceeded to run it through leaving the back windows down a few inches by accident lol. I politely left shortly after that and ended up buying an ’80 Caddy DeVille executive stretch by Armbruster In Dallas with only 12K miles for 25K$ back then. I’ll never forget the look on the kids face trying to sell me his limo filled with water & suds! lol

    • Ed P

      I’ll bet he was not the top agent.

    • Mountainwoodie

      hmm……”.rich kid real estate clown”……………….why does that ring a bell? Bad taste must be their coin of the ream. LOL.

  16. Rodney

    You can almost smell the cocaine…….

  17. whippeteer

    I always wanted to have one of this vintage with the roof removed and converted into a dual cowl phaeton.

  18. whippeteer

    Just because it’s an 81 it doesn’t mean that it was not still being used by a limo service or rental. So the TV upgrade would make sense.

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