Unrepeatable? As-New Cadillac Allante for $77K

There are moments every car guy says he’s going to be ready for. Most often, it pertains to having the cash and poise to jump on the exact car you’ve been searching for with no hesitation when it comes up for sale. This practice is made easier if the car in question is effectively brand new, as you’ll see with this 1993 Cadillac Allante here on autotrader.ca with an asking price of $77,743!

The Allante has always been a striking car to me, and far more special than the ill-fated Chrysler Maserati TC. Even today, the Allante looks good from practically every angle, especially those half-clear and half-red taillights that I always wished I could retrofit into one of my vehicles. The prominence of the “collector car” signage on top leaves little doubt that this Caddy is at a dealership, where it’s surely being used as eye candy to get people in the door.

But, at least give credit where it’s due, as using an Allante as bait is a sure-fire way to get a few more interested onlookers to stop in. The program to build these cars was nothing short of remarkable, if not a bit wasteful, considering the bodies were formed in Italy and then flown home – 56 bodies at a time – via an airship catering specifically to Cadillac transport. Credit the loss of GM’s Fisher Body Plant for the convoluted assembly process.

As a final year Allante, this hardtop-equipped example should have come with the 4.6L Northstar V8, churning out near 300 b.h.p. With that in mind, I can see why the seller dealer is pushing the envelope price-wise, as if you have to own one of these, a late-production example with next to no miles is likely as good as it’s ever going to get for Allante fanatics. Do you think the dealer will see his number, or will it just gather dust in the showroom?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jamie, one of the attractions of the Allante — at least to buyers back in the day — was its Pininfarina-built body. Fisher Body could never have duplicated that aura, even if it could do superb panel- and paintwork. It was worth the cost to GM just for the “halo effect!”

    A ’93 would certainly be the best one to have, as it had the Northstar V8, which provided a good bit more oomph than the previous Caddy engines used. If I remember, the four-cam engine had something like 290 horsepower, while the previous model had something around 220. But these were also fairly heavy for two-seaters, which made them better at cruising than canyon-running.

    I liked them well enough, but would rather have a Corvette. Just not a “Cadillac Guy,” I guess. And I’d be dubious about buying a car that has essentially sat unused for 24 years: I would have to replace every hose, belt and seal before trying to use it.

    Nice “find” for a collector, especially one with a hankering for Cadillacs. But its value would plummet as soon as it was put on the road, so to me it’s not worth much at all.

    • The Walrus

      You might be surprised on the ‘replacing every hose, belt and seal’ portion. I purchased a 1987 Daytona Shelby Z 2 years ago that was always garage kept, but ran regularly in its 19000 miles… all of those items you mentioned are still original, and show wear as if the car were new 2 years ago. Replacing them would literally be ‘fixing something that ain’t broke’.

      • RayT Member

        Just one difference, Walrus: your Daytona was at least driven, so went through a fair number of heat and operational cycles. In my experience, that’s far better for all those pesky “soft” parts than letting ’em sit idle for so long.

        It’s entirely possible that one could buy this Allante and go zooming down the road in perfect safety, without worrying about any of the issues that concern me. I’m being fussy…and I have had some experience with little-used cars not “waking up” without leaking, squeaking, and just plain not working.

  2. RayT Member

    Jeff, not Jamie. Why can’t we “lucky” Early Access types have an edit function, hmmmmmmm?

    • Jeff Staff

      It’s OK Roger, I don’t offend easily

  3. Joe

    It is a Canadian car so really US $59,307 asking price. Nice car but probably 2 or 3X overpriced. I’ve never bought or seen a new car with the claimed 0 km (just .62 of a mile). That can’t be correct. Might sell to a museum or admirer but the value appreciation probably won’t beat inflation.

    • Lin

      Exactly Joe, at least 3x too high!

    • Mark-A

      My father used to work in the Bodyshop of the local Ford Dealership in SW Scotland & even the unregistered vehicles had usually between 8-25miles showing so I’m another who isn’t exactly convinced about the 0km claims, how did it get onto/off of the train or truck that delivered it without registering ANY kilometers? Sorry but I’m just to Skeptical to accept the fact that it’s got ZERO registered kilometers (only way I can think of it showing ZERO is were they delivered with the Speedo cable disconnected & it was reconnected during the Dealership PDI? If so it’s still not a Zero Km vehicle it’s just been dishonestly shunted!

  4. MikeG

    Why no mileage shown?

  5. racer417

    Think what else you could buy for that kind of money.

    • JRATT1956

      A Cadillac from the 50’s, that will go up in value, not down.

  6. Anthony Rodrigues

    The Northstar had more horsepower but it has a lot more problems with head bolts pulling out of the block that’s why today i still see more late 80’s – early 90’s Caddy’s on the road than 90’s or early 2000’s

  7. G.P. Member

    Northstar engines suck, they blow head gaskets and when you try to replace them and torque the bolts to manufacture specks, the aluminum block treads strip out. A lot of wasted time and money.

    • The Walrus

      You should not be re-torquing headbolts on these (and most aluminum engines)… the head bolts are 1 time use, designed to stretch. Backyard ID-10T’s have ruined the reputation of modern mechanical engineering.

      • G.P. Member

        It’s a new complete head gasket set with brand new bolts., And don’t call me back yard, Worked on engines for over 45 years. I saw and still see modern mechanical engineering that should have never left any factory.

  8. Rustytech Member

    Re-torque would not strip threads, it’s not proper, and would certainly cause a re-do, but pulling out of threads would be from not cleaning threads, or over torquing. The only way this price makes sense is if your going to wrap it bubble wrap forever! For $77k I could buy several driver quality cars, maybe even a Cadillac or two.

    • rando

      I had a 2001 Aurora with the V6 “shortstar”. 201K miles. No head bolt issues. There is a mod that replaces the head bolts with studs. This is the way to go when needed. my mechanic on the Olds is a Northstar expert. About $3K for the fix and only do it when needed. It can be an issue, but doesn’t necessarily mean it will. My guy said anytime I test a northstar, find the biggest hill possible – we live at foot of mountain. Drive it up and look for overheating. If it gets hot, then it will be needing new studs. Otherwise drive it til it does overheat, then fix it. Who is going to honestly pay for this car and actually drive it? not a huge issue on this one.

  9. Luki

    Chocolate Teapot.

    • Mark-A

      There was me thinking it was a Chocolate Fire Guard or maybe even as useful as an Ashtray on a Motorbike?? 😊

  10. gord

    for 77k, you can get a used caddy xlr… only 20-30k these days and that IS a corvette (albeit in a tuxedo) so… Ray T can have his cake and ….

  11. Mr. TKD

    It’s a wonderful museum piece, but I’d rather have something that isn’t so nice that I can’t drive it.

  12. curt

    If he can find a sucker,sorry buyer let me know i’ll sell him my 01buick park avenue. That needs some work at a real good price $15.000 lol

    • curt

      I’d like to apologize to all the Barn Find readers for my stupid remarks and wont be remarking on any more cars.

  13. BRAKTRCR

    Was it two weeks ago? The listing for the 95 Vette with only 255 miles for $32k? Now that seems like a bargain in comparison to this Caddy.

  14. RandyS

    Years ago (decades really) when the crappy 4.1 models were at the bottom of their deprecation curve and could still be found with decent paint and interior condition I had visions of dropping a 4.9 short block from a Deville in one. 275 ft lbs at 4000 rpm would have pushed it nicely.

    • Dylan Burden

      Would the 4.9 drop in easily? Seems like a lot of electric work. Allantes are computer heavy.
      I have an allante with the 4.5 and I’ve had a Deville with the 4.9.

  15. RandyS

    @Dylan. I mistyped, just the long block is swapped. The intake manifold, ECU and wiring from the Allante stay as-is. The ECU will easily adjust fueling for the small displacement difference. Worse case is you bump the injector size slightly.

  16. Reelsnrods

    I don’t care if it’s rare, hand-built or has zero miles… I don’t think it was a good looking car at any point in it’s life, and certainly looks dated now. Makes me think of a Lebaron that ate to much lunch.

  17. Luki

    Drop a 289 with a four speed rock crusher and a set of 4.11s to get it off the line.

    • CarNut from Winnipeg Member

      Would need a lot of fab work. Allante is FWD.

  18. Fred W.

    Pie in the sky pricing. Nice looking car though. Wouldn’t trust it to drive, but would make a good museum piece for 10K.

  19. Squanto

    I come to this site every day for a good laugh. I have never been let down.

  20. Scot Douglas

    I’d rather bid the 77K on the 64 Vette that’s currently being flipped. :)

  21. Bill

    Ridiculously overpriced. You can get a nice 2017 Corvette Grand Sport for that kind of money.

  22. AMCSTEVE

    this guy is on every drug known to man

  23. swm

    Only if Kelly Bundy came with it.

  24. MrF

    I suggest unspeakable rather than unrepeatable. I can’t see how this would be useful anywhere but a museum. Not very attractive, engine with well-known problems, and ridiculously expensive. A perfect symbol of the “old” GM.

  25. Chuck Foster 55chevy Chuck F Chas Foster

    He is looking for a coked up drug dealer to buy it, that is his only hope. I never thought these were a great style, they just looked OK, reminds me of the 1998 black SL500 MB I have at the moment, but not as neat looking. Now a 1991 Buick Reatta is a stylish car.

  26. Bill McCoskey

    About the “prestige” of having PininFarina build the bodies: These were always intended to be a limited production, something that GM plants were not set up to do. P-F could make them cheaper, so they got the contract.

    As for the cost of shipping by aircraft; Remember, these were bodies only, not complete car. To ship by boat would take a month or more, and require a special body rack for each one, with wheels so it could be moved on/off the boat. Plus, with an incomplete body, the unit would need to be protected against the corrosive salt in the ocean air. It was actually cheaper to ship by aircraft when all factors were considered.

    I remember when the Allante first came on the market, and the local Mercedes-Benz dealership [Herb Gordon M-B in Silver Spring, MD] bought a brand new Allante and put it on the showroom floor right next to the new Mercedes-Benz SL roadster. The lack of build quality was easy to point out when the sales people showed buyers the Allante first, then the Benz. I knew Mr. Gordon from working on his vintage cars, and he said the cost to buy the Allante was nothing when he figured the number of M-B SL roadsters and coupes his sales staff sold as a result of the comparisons.

    After a few years he sold the brand new Allante when they didn’t need it anymore. Because it was still a brand new car, and the Allante production was over, he sold it at a premium!

  27. charlie Member

    I have the identical car with 130,000 miles. I drive it almost every day when the salt is gone from the roads and it is not raining much. It cost $3000, plus another $3000 in repairs to make it reliable – radiator is plastic and had cracked, rear brake cylinders and pads were toast, transmission solenoid(s) were bad, hoses and belts were in bad shape, etc. It had sat for at least 6 years. So far, no sign of head gasket failure. Reviews at the time said 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, plenty of power, comfortable at speed, but lots of wind noise with no top, soft top, and, regrettably, even the hard top. But I love it except for the Caddy grill and the exhaust sound which is like a mid 80s GM V6.

  28. CarNut from Winnipeg Member

    Test drove a 5 year old used one with my father in the mid 1990’s. Cowl shake was unbelievable, roof jammed and would not fully raise, dashboard looked like any cheap 80’s GM except with LED’s stuck in place of gauges. Horrible.

  29. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    I think Jeff hit the nail on the head, showroom bait is all it is. The dealer has no intention of getting this kind of money for it. Heck, we’ve all bit on it just by reading about it here.

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