1993 Cadillac Allante - $9900
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  • Overview & History
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You should probably count on strangers asking you what color it is whenever you stop for gas, it’s that kind of car.

In the 1980s, the Mercedes-Benz SL became so ubiquitous that it would be easier to list the celebrities who DIDN’T own one rather than those who did. It was about that time that Cadillac decided they were through being the punchline of jokes and wanted to capture a piece of that high-end pie. The all-new Seville was still a few years away, and a sedan wasn’t the right way to kick in the door and announce that you were back with a vengeance, so Cadillac set their sights on the SL with a V8-powered 2-seat roadster, the Allante. At a glance, the formula was a great one: bodywork by legendary Italian design house Pininfarina, bulletproof American V8 power, and a sumptuous leather interior that had every trick GM could imagine stuffed inside. Better yet, in 1993, the final year of production, the Allante got the mighty Northstar V8, a 4.6-liter DOHC wundermotor that cranked out 300 horsepower. Suddenly the Allante was more than just pretty, it was fast, too!

Truthfully, the 1993 Allante is really the only one you want to own. The earlier cars were nice, but with 50% more horsepower, the Northstar completely transformed the Allante. This beautiful Pearl Red Allante is really a handsome car and even though it’s now 25 years old, it still looks contemporary. Pearl Red was the catalog color and showed up in all the ads, and that’s for a good reason: it exactly right on the angular Allante bodywork. The shape hadn’t changed since the introduction, although the Northstar cars got a slightly deeper chin spoiler that made it look a bit more aggressive. The Pininfarina-penned shape has aged well and still looks crisp and contemporary, so nobody will think you’re driving some primitive antique and most folks will think it cost thousands more than it does. The finish is still in good shape—better than you’d expect from a 25-year-old car with this mileage—and it remains very attractive (no wonder it was on the cover of all the catalogs). You should probably count on strangers asking you what color it is whenever you stop for gas, it’s that kind of car. There’s just enough chrome to remind everyone it’s a Cadillac and the little Cadillac symbol on the trunk also being the CHMSL is a neat touch.

The luxurious interior was state-of-the-art in the early 1990s, and like the exterior, it has aged well. The handsome tan leather buckets are comfortable and supportive and show medium wear that’s probably in line with the car’s age and mileage. Yes, there’s a little scuffing on the outer bolster but it’s quite minor and certainly in line with the car’s age and mileage. One or two small holes in the outer bolsters, but nothing substantial beyond that. Everything else is in good shape, including the original carpets and door panels, with the center console showing some discoloration that’s simply a function of age. More importantly, everything works, which is important in a car this complex. You’ll note that it has the optional digital gauges (a very reasonable $495 on the window sticker), which remain bright and crisp and fully operational—pretty rare in the world of Allantes. Everything else was standard, including automatic climate control with ice cold A/C, power windows, locks, seats, and mirrors, cruise control, and an information center that monitors everything from coolant level to ambient light where it recommends that you turn on the headlights (or it’ll do it for you). The AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo sounds pretty, even with the top down and there’s a lovely carpeted package shelf behind the seats. One other reason to own a 1993 Allante is the improved convertible top, which uses power header latches and a motorized pull-down to make folding and securing the top a lot easier, although it’s still best to practice a few times before you really need it. There’s also an accessory wind blocker that makes the interior a lot nicer at highway speeds. And, of course, there’s a fully lined trunk that’s big enough to be useful for road trips.

It would be a mistake to dismiss the Allante as a poser, because the 300 horsepower Northstar V8 is potent as hell. It’ll chase down a Mustang GT and take you to the symphony on the same day and has the most wonderful V8 exhaust note this side of a Corvette Z06. Take it easy and it’s smooth and unobtrusive but let it run and you’ll be more than pleased with the acceleration—take it easy because it’ll spin the tires pretty easily. It looks handsome under the hood thanks to a special engine cover (one of the first of its kind) and the distributorless ignition was also a first for GM. With proper maintenance over the years, it runs superbly, starting quickly and idling smoothly even when it’s cold and it pulls the roadster around without ever seeming to work very hard. There’s absolutely no sign that it has ever seen winter weather and all the factory decals are still in place. This isn’t necessarily a car for show, but for inexpensive fun the Northstar offers a great deal of performance. And if the past 25 years are any indication, they tend to be reliable when properly maintained.

You also get a snappy 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission that always seems to find the right gear and doesn’t mind dropping down to give you the acceleration your right foot is calling up. The suspension is fully independent and quite athletic, unlike any Cadillac except maybe the Corvette-based XLR. It’s not a sports car, don’t make that mistake, but it doesn’t mind hustling and it always feels confident, which is the ultimate luxury. The chassis shows well, with zero evidence that it has ever seen winter weather and even the stock exhaust looks like it’s got plenty of life left in it. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are powerful and it sits on original alloy wheels with 225/60/16 Michelin radials.

We’ve sold a number of these and we always forget what great cars they are. Fast, comfortable, and surprisingly fun, it’s still a great Cadillac. We love this color combination and with so much performance at such a reasonable price, it’s an inexpensive car to own and maintain. But don’t just take our word for it, come drive it and see for yourself. The Allante is an awesome convertible that stands out no matter where it goes. Call now!

Vehicle: 1993 Cadillac Allante
Price: $9900
Stock Number: 116034
Mileage: 116,617
VIN: 1G6VS3397PU126485
Engine: 4.6 liter DOHC V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.71
Wheelbase: 99.4 inches
Wheels: 16-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 225/60/16 Michelin radial
Exterior Color: Pearl Red
Interior Color: Tan leather
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