17 Aug 1993 Cadillac Allante
The 1993 Cadillac Allante was the last year of a short 6-year production run for this, Cadillac’s first attempt to build a luxury two-seater sports convertible to compete with the likes of Jaguar & Mercedes.
This final year of production was the only year the Allante was powered by GM’s then new 300 hp Northstar 32-valve, twin overhead cam fuel injected V-8. Cadillac loaded every available electronic gizmo in GM’s bag of tricks into the Allante, including speed-sensitive steering, road-sensing suspension, traction control, and 4-wheel ABS disc brakes. And all this in 1993! It also has Recaro 12-way power adjustable leather seats with memory function.
My car is one of only 334 built that year with the removable aluminum hardtop. It also has the cloth soft-top.
Historically significant is that not only is the Allante not known or recognizable to many people at all, but its assembly process was unique. Cadillac built the chassis in Detroit and shipped them in bulk by 747 to Italy where body designer and builder, Pininfarina (of Ferrari fame), installed the Swiss alloy body. They were then shipped back to Cadillac in Michigan by 747 where they were finished. The cost of all this was astronomical and no doubt the reason very few Allante’s were ever sold. Mine sold new for over $65,000! This would equate to over $130,000 in today’s dollars!
But the car was a technical success, if not necessarily a sales success. A 1993 Car and Driver magazine comparison test article (of which I have a copy) placed the Allante ahead of both the Mercedes SL and the Jaguar XK of the day in overall results.