Shorty Tomaso Coupe: 1979 Cadillac Seville

This rare Cadillac Seville Tomaso coupe is a limited production conversion of Cadillac’s flagship sedan. Basically involving a cutting torch and likely loads of body filler to create the dramatically truncated coupe, they were the choice of 1970s Hollywood elite who clearly lived by the motto, Money doesn’t buy taste. This example has been refreshed via what’s described as an OK restoration, but certainly not concours. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $14K.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Patrick S. for the find. This Tomaso started out in this condition when the seller began stripping it down for some cosmetic refreshing. The listing notes it was supposedly owned by Johnny Carson at one point, but there’s no paperwork supporting this. Given who tended to own these oddballs, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Carson owned one.

The seller notes it was in rough shape when he got it, as seen by this “before” photo of the interior. He invested in what’s described as an 8/10 paint job to the current mint green color; new landau top; $3,500 worth of engine work; new Bluetooth stereo; and a $4,000 interior refresh that’s described as nice, but not by any means perfect.

The seller notes the mint insert is vinyl but the rest is real leather. There are numerous small, annoying issues that shouldn’t be too hard to fix, like the passenger window not rolling down, inoperative cruise control, a nagging check engine light with no obvious cause, and a busted passenger seat motor. Not for everyone, but I’m sure someone out there collects these. Would you?



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  1. slickb

    Its adorable. I want it and I am not even sure why

    Like 3
  2. tom swift

    These cars were sold by Tomaso Of America in Little Rock Ar my father owned the company he is 90 years old and still alive we also built this car in convertibles as well the gangster car 1980 Cadillac Seville in coupes and convertibles approx 200 total were sold they were actually built by Armbruster Stageway in Fort Smith Ar they built them for us and we sold them. Also sold approx 480 Mustang Swift Addition convertibles from 1979 to 1983 sold replacement parts for years the Mustangs were built by Classic Coachworks in Orlando Florida there are still quite a few around I personally went all over the US and sold the cars!!Also no bondo on any cars they were done with sheet metal and leaded in!!We had a great time doing this but as they say all good things must end!!

    Like 38
    • Miguel

      Tom, ,how does this car drive with the shortened wheelbase? Does it bounce around at all?

      Also, I really dislike the interior that was chosen for this example.

      Like 2
      • tom

        I always thought the car drove well a little choppy but people really didnt care they wanted something that would make people look and it did that for sure I would pull in to fill up and couldnt get away because of all of the onlookers and questions it was crazy.

        Like 2
    • Dean Moon

      I own a 1979 Cadillac Seville Tomaso Coupe, White in color, all red leather interior, i was told Custom Car and Detail Inc. out of Ft. Smith Arkansas customized only 42 of the Tomaso Coupes, they were contracted to do 50 cars but only 42 people had this done,what is the number of the Tomaso Coupes were customized,

      I own a 1979 Cad Seville Tomaso Coupe white exterior all red leather interior.

    • Dean Moon

      I thought they were to customize 50 of the Tomaso Coupes but only customized 42 is this the correct number made. I have a badge on the trunk lid that says Built by Custom Car and Detail Inc. Tomaso Coupe

  3. Chebby Staff

    Sevilles are a tasteful adaptation of the Nova platform. I’ve never thought about it before, but a proper Seville coupe would have been a great idea. This, however, is not it. The proportions are stunted and clownish, which makes it look like a backyard “shorty” hack job. Longer front doors and wheelbase would make such a difference.

    Like 13
    • Miguel

      A Seville coupe is an Eldorado. I know it is front wheel drive, but I am not sure Cadillac would have been able to sell both 2 door coupes next to each other.

      It is better to do one thing really well than two things half assed.

      Like 3

        A Seville coupe is NOT an Eldorado and is not a front wheel drive.

    • DavidL Member

      “Stunted and clownish” is a perfect description of this. Shortening a proportionally designed car is doomed to design failure. The proportions are just wrong. A ‘head-turner’ to be sure but not for the right reasons. Parts car?? Engine must be worth something.

      Like 1
  4. sir mike

    Just because you…oh never mind

    Like 8
  5. Andrew Franks

    There’s also Milano, and a couple of other approaches, none of which were worth much. They come up for sale occasionally, and the reaction from me is Pass.

    Like 3
  6. normadesmond

    Blechh, those interior colors!

    Like 6
  7. Ralph

    The only thing worse than one of these… the Versailles version of one of these.

    Like 5
    • Tom

      Oh forgot to mention we built those as well less than 10 were built and sold I agree those were not the best!!

      Like 1
  8. CanuckCarGuy

    This needs to be sitting on a 4×4 Blazer chassis, in order to achieve its full automotive potential.

    Like 14
  9. canadainmarkseh Member

    I think it would have worked if it had a shorter trunk lid and a bit of a fast back sail pillar. But the fact remains you cannot get the proportions right without making 4 splices one to shorten the nose one to shorten in the middle and one to shorten the back and one length wise to narrow the car. Nobody is going to do that much work and that’s why they never look quite right.

    Like 2
  10. Mike

    When these were new I thought they looked silly. Time has not changed my opinion. A properly proportioned, real Seville coupe would be nice, but Eldorado—which was and is still stunningly beautiful.

  11. Joe

    That looks like an abortion that lived.

    Like 5
  12. art

    Harley Earl is spinning….

    Like 3
  13. Stevieg

    A check engine light in 1979?
    I kinda like the ones with the long nose. A friends Dad has one of those & I would LOVE to own it. My inner pimp thinks his is cool. But like everyone else here, I too think this one looks kind of “clown-ish”. The colors sure don’t help.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Stevie, time travel is real. Somebody went back and installed a computer system on this car from today.

      Like 1
  14. LARRY

    Why Harley Earl is puking

    Like 1
  15. fran

    Looks like a death trap to me. I wonder if they fixed the Nova swag? Its where you follow it and it looks like it is turning…

  16. ACZ

    Between this and that Custom Cloud……..What is this?? Take a nice car and f%&@ it up day?

    Like 1
  17. PairsNPaint

    Clown car.

    Like 2
  18. Bubba5

    Grab a wire hanger boys!! Time to abort the mission!!

    Like 1
  19. Pete in PA

    I owned a 79 Seville, drove it for years, and liked it quite a bit. Never could understand these two door conversion abominations though. Horrible proportions. And then add the Rolls Royce pimp mobile grille…
    Clown car is a good description. Sorry i clicked on the link.
    I do like the green paint color.

  20. Pete Phillips

    Sorry if it offends anybody, but the proportions are all wrong and these look absolutely awful, even in perfect condition.

    Like 2
  21. Comet

    I’d make fun of it, but I drive a Chrysler Crossfire coupe. I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

    Like 5
  22. Mark Evans

    Just looked up the convertible version of this. Looks just as awkward with the roof up. That oddly proportioned looks seems to disappear with the top off.

  23. Rob

    I have owned a ’77 Seville tri-silver 4 dr. since 1983. I still love the car and can’t bring myself to parting with it. The 350 EFI engine still has lots of pull! I never would have bought a Seville if it had looked like one of these!

  24. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It has been relisted. Now at a 9K starting bid with no Buy It Now option.

  25. j. klash

    So I just found this site. I own a 1978 White Tomaso and am amazed at all the negative comments about “Proportions” etc No where did I notice this was a site for auto designers. You all must be 30 ish, as you are from America’s new Negativist generation.

  26. Stevieg

    Well, actually no. The “regulars” are older, gear heads, usually into either muscle cars or foreign & American oddities (Yugo’s, MG’s, AMC products, Pintos, things that are not “popular”). Some of us love all things with 4 wheels.
    I have a friend that owns a couple of these. I always wanted one, after seeing his. I do think they look a little “clownish”, as I said in a previous post. But in the case of this car, it is more the color scheme.
    Taste is so subjective, I hope you take no offense to anyone else. You might think my taste sucks lol. Plenty of these guys do!
    All in all, they are a great group of guys. Even if you don’t appreciate any of us, I guarantee you will learn a thing or two about cars. That is really what this is all about. Learning more about these objects we love!
    Peace, friend!

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