One dreamy droptop: 1993 Cadillac Allante

The Pick of the Day is an American-powered car with European design and DNA that would give the Mercedes SL and Jaguar XJS a run for their money

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1993 Cadillac Allante

The Pick of the Day is a 1993 Cadillac Allante offered by a dealer in Alsip, Illinois. The final production year of this model, 1993, also had arguably the best GM powerplant of the era: the 32-valve L37 Northstar, a 4.6 liter V8.

The Northstar was one of the first OEM engines that declared its first tune up wouldn’t be needed until a whopping 100,000 miles. With 99,700 miles on the clock, we can say tongue and cheek that this particular 27-year-old roadster could be due for its first service.

Coachbuilder Pininfarina designed and manufactured the bodies in Turin, Italy, in a special partnership with GM. Once completed, the bodies were loaded, 56 at a time, onto purpose-equipped Boeing 747s and flown from Italy to Cadillac’s Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Detroit, where the bodies were paired with the American-built chassis and engines.

It was a very expensive process, but the Fisher Body Plant #18, where Cadillac bodies were made since 1921, had been shuttered.

There was one previous strategic partnership between Cadillac and Pininfarina, in 1959 when the Italian coachworks designed and produced the 99 bodies for 1959 Eldorado Broughams.

This Flax-Pearlcoat-colored beauty was state of the art for its day – and by design was meant to take on the luxury roadsters of the day from Mercedes and Jaguar. The transverse-mounted Northstar engine produced 295 horsepower linked to a four-speed Hydramatic transmission motivating the front-wheel drive car.

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The interior was well-appointed with Lear 8-way power seats, LCD digital instrument cluster and a Delco Premium sound system.

When the first Allantes appeared on roads in 1987, I was a car-loving college journalism student. I already had a love for Cadillacs as my grandfather had driven them my whole life, and my parents had a 1978 Seville, black on red leather, which I loved.

I saw an Allante at the Chicago Auto Show and was very impressed. By the time I graduated in 1989, I swore that I would have one sometime in the future.

The dealer has an asking price of $14,900. Considering that in 1993, this Caddy would set you back nearly $60,000, that just might be a bargain.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Fabulous car, beautiful design! My favorite Cadillac is the 1957 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible…and I’ll have it white over red leather, with white top, please.

    • Thanks for the comment Bruce. I have always loved Cadillacs — as I mentioned in the article. Funny though, my daily is a MB CLK Convertible…

  2. I love the Cadillac Allante. I bought a 1988 and kept it for 13 years. because that’s how long it took to convince my wife that I was mature enough to own a Corvette. Mine was White Diamond with a saddle tan leather interior. I installed a set of Chrome Dayton Wire Wheels…It was a beautiful car, but putting the convertible top up was a pain the butt. If that car had a power top I might still have it.

  3. We bought our red ‘91 Allante with 7500 miles on it in ‘93 and it is still running and looking great after just turning 90,000 miles. It’s been a great vehicle. Lots of power, big trunk for golf travel and drives great. Even used it for camping trips.

  4. I always read your articles my favorite car is an original 1955 Cadillac coupe deville with AC I missed a 1954 Fleetwood last year in west palm beach auction love to get intouch with the buyer it was in a high end auction I will see the auction in April

  5. Have owned three of these beautiful cars. As mentioned if the bastard top (horrible horrible) was as good as my 1963 Ford Falcon convertible I would also still own it.

    The 4.5 liter used in the 1989-1992 was bullet proof. While the 295 hp of the Northstar was amazing, the question was not if the headcasket would blow but rather when the headcasket would go. Really had problems then and a huge repair bill. In 1993 Cadillac took many quality parts out and put in parts out of the regular GM parts bin. My 1989 and 1991 were terrific cars. The 1993, not so much!

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