Northstar Equipped: 1993 Cadillac Allante

It was just a few days ago we featured an as-new Cadillac Allante being sold by a dealer for a hefty chunk of change. If that got your wheels turning that you might want to own one of these cars but didn’t want to pay the piper, than this example here on eBay may be more your speed. The opening bid is $5,500, but there’s no reserve on this driver-quality example. 

And it’s the best color combo out there: white on red! One of my pet peeves of automotive design are automatic shifters that look like a manual; I did a double-take when first looking at this cabin shot. The seats appear to be in very good condition though the seller does say the driver’s seat shows some signs of wear. With less than 60,000 original miles, they haven’t seen excessive use. The many, many buttons on the dash are all said to work.

Overall, the body presents well. The Allante was removed from an estate, which leads me to believe the previous owner passed away. There is one bit of damage on the left front quarter (just barely visible here) from hitting the side of the garage door frame when exiting the house. This can be repaired easily, though the door might also be affected. Otherwise, the paint is said to be in excellent condition.

As a later production model, it is equipped with the more powerful Northstar V8. On our previous post, some of you commented that this motor is not without its issues, but I’d think the extra power over the earlier models would be worth it. The convertible top is also said to be in good condition and the interior isn’t suffering from excessive sun damage, so overall, this Allante could be a worthwhile buy if the bidding stays under $8-$7K. Which one would you rather have – the driver-quality car here or the time capsule from last week?

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Comments

  1. Capt RD

    Had one in this color combination for over 10 years, earlier w/o the Northstar – excellent highway cruiser – comfortable and responsive – always attracts attention – the paint fix will not be cheap – I know from experience, these paint jobs are beautiful – strong club support – known for electrical gremlins and ABS problems but put over 100k miles on ours with reasonable maintenance costs – parts are available easily except for the specialty model items – not especially prone to rust – most stereo systems [Bose] fail over time – if you buy it join the Allante forums you will need their expertise since most Cadillac dealerships know very little about their idiosyncrasies .
    These have not really reached serious collectible attention yet – I had a hard time selling ours outside the Allante club members.
    This is a far better choice than the unused one posted last week and a great car to drive.

  2. Kevin

    I love these cars and wish Cadillac would have been a little more realistic with their pricing when new. If they would have dropped the price a little I feel these things would have sold so much more, but buyers at the time weren’t ready to spend over $50k on a Cadillac when a comparable Mercedes 560SL (since the Allante was introduced in 1987, this was it’s most logical competitor) could be had for around $55k. Especially given what Cadillac had been producing up to that point. Looking at you Cimarron. Granted, this price came from the 1987 model which still had the 4.1 instead of the later 4.5 or Northstar, but the damage was already done by that point. The Cadillac is front wheel drive too, while the competition was all rear wheel drive. Overall I think these were fantastic cars and I’d love to have one, but Cadillac shot themselves in the foot when they introduced them.

  3. Rustytech Member

    I never owned one of these, but drove several on road tests after doing repairs. I found them to be fine road cars, and the North Star Engine was smooth and powerful. Very expensive to repair though. I thought the MSLP was outrageous on new ones.

  4. dirtyharry

    The 93 had a lot of one-year changes, no Recaro seats, no Bosch anti- lock braking system, no 4.5 with first year Northstar instead. I personally drove the wheels of my 91 and it wasn’t fast but wasn’t slow either. Frankly, with front wheel drive I didn’t want any more power. Yes, they have a few issues but nothing the average BF reader can’t sort out. The car is just a shortened El Dorado and I bought most everything from local auto parts stores. This one went 170k without any major work, built like a small tank. It isn’t a sports car, but was comfortable and most of all FUN to own.

  5. dirtyharry

    The 91 with non-original paint and original top

  6. Walt

    These engines when they get hot its the end of it

  7. Squanto

    I bid $99,000.00

  8. Ed P

    Can someone elaborate about the Northstar’s problems?

  9. Jeff

    The Northstar engine is a fine and very smooth V8. The problem and bad rep comes if the engine overheats…..then it will almost always blow the head gasket. ($$$$). The way to avoid the problem is to perform proper maintenance on the car. I had the coolant in my ’96 Eldorado changed yearly and never had a problem with the Northstar. I sold that car last summer to another Cadillac enthusiast and still miss it!

    • ACZ

      Any aluminum engine is fragile to overheat. Doesn’t matter who makes it. The cure is simple. DON’T overheat it. With regular maintenance and periodic coolant changes (like any other vehicle), you’ll get tired of driving it before it needs major repairs.

  10. Rustytech Member

    Ed P. I don’t remember a lot of problems with the NS engine. They were all aluminum so if they overheated the damage was significant. My complaint with them was, everything you had to do was a hassle, even replacing the starter was a major job. Just looking at the picture of the engine should tell you all you need to know. When it comes down to it though l’d have to say no worse than the Hemi they stuffed into my Grand Cherokee. If you like it, don’t let the negative comments scare you away, just do your deu diligence.

  11. Macon Michaux

    It’s a tight engine bay for sure! I’m the seller, and while I am more of a classic car non-convertible guy (getting old I guess) I really like this GM car. It runs like my daily driver 08 Jag XK, and is almost as fast. No signs of old coolant or overheating. Really a great stealth sports car with all the amenities of a much later model sports tourer. College tuition x2 is making it leave my garage.

    Barnfinds.com, LOVE this site and visit daily!!

  12. Ed P

    Thanks guys. It sounds like the same old song, lack of maintenance is the big problem.

  13. Clay Byant

    I have a 89 that is a pure pleasure to drive. Brought it back from California last January to Nebraska (2,000 miles) and very comfortable ride with the Recaro seats. Nice cruiser across the desert and Kansas at 90 mph. I’ve had a lot of Corvettes from 53(#160) thru L-88s and this is like a smooth old man’s ride. I’m well into my 70s now and I’m a smooth old man(that still enjoys chasing skirt) These are a good buy right now, especially with both tops.

  14. Rob

    Just sold my 95 Eldorado because of health issues (mine not the car) had it 8 years with no problems,always did regular maintanience. Pearl Red over Gray leather. I relly miss that car . Fast and had all your creature comforts. magna flow exhaust didn’t hurt anything either.

  15. Rando

    My understanding of the heating issue is that you need to replace the head bolts with studs. It is a pricey fix, about $3K according to my mechanic to fix it all back to right. Then the problem is supposed to be gone. The key is to not overheat it after the repair. Or before if you can help it

  16. Ray Cavedo

    I bought this car for 6 grand. I was the only bidder. It is a joy to drive.. There is not a single issue with it. Replaced the fender with one bought on eBay for 135 dollars. It was the exact same color and had to do no additional work. This article makes this car out to be a daily driver. It is not.. This car was a pampered weekend garage queen. it is immaculate.

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