Saturday, August 6, 2016

Italian Bones: 1991 Cadillac Allanté Convertible

It's's a's somewhat it must be Italian? Close, but not quite! What it is can be described as an affordable way into some Italian-American interbred DNA. Find this 1991 Cadillac Allanté Convertible for $6500 near Carlsbad, CA via craigslist.

In the mid-80's Cadillac was on the hunt for an offering to compete with European sports coupes of the day. GM came up with a complicated scheme to produce an Italian/American hybrid at an outrageous cost and try to move these cars on to discerning buyers. Total production from 1986 - 1993 hit close to an astonishing 21,000 units. Given the cost & logistics of flying completed Allanté bodies from Pininfarina in Italy to Detroit on-board specially equipped 747's (56 at a time mind you...) it is amazing these cars were produced for as long as they were. This 1991 example retailed for the princely sum of $57,260, roughly 100K in today's dollars.

Once the completed bodies arrived at Cadillac's Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit, it was mated together with the American built chassis and power train. This example left the factory with the 200HP 4.5L V8, and all were equipped with automatic transmissions. With 270 lb-ft of torque on tap, it held bragging rights of all other FWD vehicles of the time. The 4.5L is well known for longevity and minimal problems. Proper maintenance can see these last well over 250K. With mileage listed at just under 100K, this one owner example has the potential to deliver many more trouble-free years.

Only 1928 specimens were produced in 1991, and roughly half were equipped with this Charcoal Grey leather option. Overall condition presents as well maintained over the last 25 years. '91 models added power latching top & digital instrument cluster as standard equipment. GM tried to capitalize on the Italian lineage and this example looks the part in Euro Red.

Taking condition, reliability, uniqueness, and depreciation into account, this example seems to offer a lot of bang for the buck. A convertible isn't for everyone...or every climate...but if your looking for an affordable way to enjoy Italian styling with American reliability it would be tough to beat this.

Find another cross-bred barchetta for minuscolo Lira?

When not receiving complaints of "distracted by cars...again" from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.


  1. Why do I want one of these? But only a '93, which was actually fast as hell for the time.

    1. '93 was the first year with the Northstar as hell was right!

  2. Maybe if I was a down on my luck, womanizing, used-car salesman. Perhaps to follow a funeral procession in the hopes of unloading it on the recently bereaved.

    1. Robin Williams in one of his best. ��

  3. Did they ever figure out how to keep them from leaking?
    Also back when these were newish cars they had a reputation for the Bosch ABS systems needing replacement at $5000 . Repeatedly. I wonder how much it costs to source and replace the brakes 25 years later.

  4. The car that killed the Fiat Spider.

  5. My wealthy bachelor uncle had one. It went through two digital dashes and several other electrical problems before he gave up on it. If this one is sorted out, its a deal.

  6. Italian Bones?

    Yes, Chicken Bones!

  7. One car I don't ever want, don't ever want to be seen in, don't ever want to be seen near.

    Exactly everything GM got wrong in that decade.

    And yes, I've even driven one. And it wasn't horrible. But it also wasn't remotely competitive with those vehicles it HAD to compete with.


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