With an Italian-designer body and full luxury trim, the sporty two-seater from GM's luxury division competed with the Mercedes-Benz SL
In the luxury-car market, it’s hard to compete with the Germans, especially when the specific Germans hail from Stuttgart and work for a company represented by a shiny silver star.
Compete is just what Cadillac tried to do in the 1980s through the 1990s. Not only did they try to compete, they tried to compete against what might be the finest car Mercedes-Benz had ever built, the R107 roadster. Cadillac called their prizefighter the Allante.
The Pick of the Day is a 1993 Cadillac Allante two-seat convertible in red with the desirable Northstar V8 engine.
Cadillac was so sure of its new Allante that the GM luxury division offered buyers a check for any difference in depreciation of the Allante compared with the Mercedes SL. As you might guess, they wrote quite a few checks as the Allante did not begin to hold its value as well as the Mercedes.
That being said, Cadillac did get a lot right. First, they had the car styled and constructed by Pininfarina of Italy. This was a complex exercise involving shipping completed bodies 4,600 miles by air from Italy to the U.S. using specially equipped Boeing 747s. The storied design house delivered a well-built and cleanly styled roadster, although some found it a bit too sedate.
The Allante featured just about every option you could have on a car at the time as standard equipment, including vibrant paint colors, leather interiors, a removable hardtop and a great stereo, with the only option being a then-rare mobile phone.
The dashboard looks like something from the Space Shuttle mixed with a 1980s-era video game. The finish on the seats and interior overall is spectacular and in many ways better than any interior that they have done since, with leather quality that rivaled the Italians.
The original cars came with the standard Cadillac 4.1-liter V8 and are the cheapest on the market today. Most aficionados of the Allante think that the best cars to buy are the final-year models, such as this one, with is powered by Cadillac’s excellent Northstar 4.6 liter DOHC V8 with 295 horrsepower on tap.
These cars can cover 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, the quarter mile in 15 seconds flat and with a top speed of 140 mph, good numbers for a 1993 car, especially one from Cadillac.
This Caddy has covered only 79,000 miles since new and is in exceptional condition, according to the Concord, North Carolina, dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com. The paint and interior are said to be completely original and in great condition. The car also includes everything it came with new, including no less than six manuals and an instructional CD.
The pictures tell the story of a well-cared-for car, and it is getting harder to find these 1993 models in nice shape. Collector have started to finally pay attention to them, and prices are slowly starting to climb.
Sadly, General Motors is no longer writing depreciation compensation checks for the Allante. But an example this nice with an asking price of just $14,995 represents a great buy in a future classic.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day