When Cadillac decided to get serious about being the "Standard of the World" once again, they called some friends in Italy, shipped them a chassis with an aluminum V8 in it, and the result was the Allante. OK, so it wasn't the smash success that Cadillac wanted, but this 1991 Allante is a wonderful way to get a V8-powered convertible with the perfect blend of performance and luxury, all at a bargain price.
Triple black is one of the more unusual colors for the Allante and it suits the trim 2-seater just fine. The styling was Pininfarina in Italy, but it captures the essence of what Cadillac was trying to create and perhaps its only real flaw was that it wasn't quite flashy enough. The smooth flanks give it a slight wedge shape that emphasizes the performance aspect of the car, and with hand-assembly in Italy, this lovely little car does fit together nicely. Sure, it was a product of its period, with urethane bumpers and "aero" halogen headlights, but there's a future in collecting these cars the same way we look at the cars of the '50s today. The paint remains fairly nice for its age and shows off what you got for $60,000 and change in 1991 dollars, and the chrome grille still glitters, evidence that someone has taken very good care of this one. The Allante also wore special taillights that pre-dated the clear taillight phenomenon by several years, and you'll note that the emblem in the center of the deck lid is also the third brake light, which is a neat detail.
The all-black interior shows off a lot of European sophistication, starting with those supportive seats that each cost more than a Yugo. That's real leather that has been exceptionally well maintained, showing minimal signs of use and no cracking, which is really remarkable for a convertible. The digital dash is a wonder of '90s technology, certainly delivering on Cadillac's promise of art and science, and it offers advanced features such as a trip computer, automatic climate control, and a great-sounding premium AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo system, all arrayed in an impressive display of buttons and digital readouts in the center stack. The top is a handsome black canvas affair that stows beneath the hard tonneau cover behind the seats, and the trunk is actually usefully shaped and big enough to handle real luggage.
Cadillac's only engine in 1991 was an aluminum 4.5 liter V8 with cast iron heads. Known for its smooth torque, it works well in the Allante. Thanks to only two dedicated owners in its entire life that knew about proper maintenance, it has had all necessary services and boasts just 114,059 miles, so it's still quite fresh given that it just passed its 28th birthday. It starts right up with a throaty burble from the exhaust and the 4-speed automatic overdrive makes short work of rush-hour traffic or a wide-open freeway, always read to drop down a gear or relax in overdrive. The all-independent suspension never seems to put a tire wrong, rides beautifully, and thanks to 4-wheel disc brakes, it's confident under any conditions. This is a Cadillac that can surprise you with its moves. 16-inch alloys add some sophistication and wear 235/60/16 Goodyear radials to finish the look.
Documented with its original manual and a reproduction window sticker, this is a very affordable future collectable with V8 power, a top that goes down, and a lot of charisma. Call today!