Last post on Jun 03, 2002 at 9:25 PM
You are in the Classic Cars - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost In The Town Hall... discussion.
What is this discussion about?
Jun 14, 2001 (5:07 pm)
My main evidence to suggest a sluggish value in the future for the car is based on the fact that no car that was a failure in the public eye (no matter what the car was really like) ever became highly collectible--so I would guess Allante prospects are...well...not grim....but not particulary rosy either. I'd peg it with Reatta, , '76 Eldo, C4 Corvette for future value. One not so good indication already is that the Allante is behaving like a used car in value, that is, the NEWER ones are worth more than the older ones. A collectible behaves the opposite, the older the more valuable. I think it will behave similarly to the Mercedes V8 SLs from the 70s, which are now over 25 years old and selling in the $12-14K range for excellent examples. For big bucks in a collector market, a car needs POWER, GLORY and PRESTIGE. I don't see the Allante with any of these in any significant way....not like Dodge Hemis, '57 Chevies, fuelie Corvettes, or even the '59 Cadillac Eldo, which have at least one or more of those three characteristics.
Here's an interesting quote from Business Week, 1993 issue, that I think is a fair and balanced assessment: Perhaps you would like to comment on it pro or con?
For starters, the car, with its 170-horsepower engine, was underpowered compared with foreign rivals. The body, handcrafted at the Pininfarina workshop in Titrin, Italy, was attractive, but not especially distinctive or well made. The roof leaked, and squeaks and wind noise marred the luxury-car hush.
These were all clear signs that the car's handlers should have waited and ironed out the bugs. But signs work only if they're heeded. One executive who worked on the Allante later on says that Cadillac couldn't bring itself to delay the launch. "They had made a big hoopla about the introduction of this car, and when the car wasn't ready, they didn't want to make the hard choice anti hold hack," he says. The result was a car too small anti expensive for core Cadillac buyers. hut not really good
enough to lure import buyers. No wonder Cadillac sold fewer than half the expected 4,000 Allantes in the 1987 model year. And it never sold even half its goal of 7000 cars in subsequent years.
By the time GM decided to pull the plug, Allante (now priced at $61,075) had finally become the ultra smooth, high-performance luxury coupe it was originally intended to he. Cadillac had added the 295-horsepower multi-valve V8 Northstar engine and an electronically controlled transmission. But buyers were thoroughly confused. It was five Years too late.
Taking a different view, Cadillac's general manager. John 0. Grettenberger. says: "The car was a victim of economics, not a failure."
Jun 14, 2001 (6:37 pm)
Failure? How about a front wheel drive car in a rear wheel drive marketplace? I like the Allante alot, but there are plenty better car, albeit for 10 to $20,000 more. This is a car to drive, repair, & enjoy.
Dec 17, 2001 (4:43 pm)
Why are the Allantes so disliked in the motoring community? I do know that the early '87s had the same sort of problems as our '87 Cutlass Ciera, but hey, Allantes are Cadillacs. I'm not sure why they don't get a lot of respect, even though their build quality was never that good.
Dec 17, 2001 (5:38 pm)
I think because they promised so much more than they finally delivered. I think people felt disappointed.
I don't know that they are "disliked" so much as generally ignored except by a small group of dedicated enthusiasts.
That's my own feeling about them. I don't really pay much attention to them one way or the other.
#23 of 37 Allante: Good or bad? It depends...
Jan 06, 2002 (11:04 am)
I read some of the posts on this board here and have an interesting perspective about the vehicles. I work with Allantes from time to time and can tell you that most of them aren't bad vehicles per se, the largest difficulty is that many Allante specific parts only are becoming close to impossible to source out. Most if not all of the early vehicles 1987-1989 have had the various updates to improve the water leaks, top concerns etc. The later vehicles, especially those built 90 or later had much improved workmanship and Cadillac had slowly gotten the hang of re-designing various aspects of the vehicle. As a daily driver, its not a bad choice.
But as an investment, well, probably not a good choice. The 1993's, which are highly prized, are more powerful, best built, but, in my thoughts, I'd pick a 1992. The early Northstar engines are not all the reliable compared to the 4.5/4.9 choices and the Northstar engine tends to be expensive to repair.
Jan 06, 2002 (2:25 pm)
Tahnk you, Dennis, that was an interesting and informative post.
Jan 09, 2002 (9:47 am)
Why does the Northstar engine tend to be expensive to repair/fix? I'm of the thinking that it would be really cheap and simple to maintain, just like the old 4.0 straight-six in my '92 Jeep.
Jan 09, 2002 (10:46 am)
...well, it's a DOHC engine, so it's just going to be inherently more complex than the older pushrod 4.1/4/5/4.9 Caddy engine. And as things age and wear out, complexity can work against a car in the long run.
Jan 09, 2002 (12:28 pm)
Yes, it's kind of like those ads that Buick used to run plugging the simplicity of their V6. The idea was that an engine with no moving parts had fewer things to fix .
#28 of 37 Allante Northstar Motor.
Jan 09, 2002 (8:49 pm)
I work with the Northstar motor from time to time and can answer the question about why its expensive to fix. The main problem with the Northstar engine is that it is an all alloy block and head. These engines need regular maintenance and don't take kindly to missing regular service. Personally, I feel that GM recommendation of 5years or 100K coolant changes on some Northstars (up to 7/150k now?) is not doing the engine any favours. The Northstar by its nature can run up to 228 degrees before the cooling fans kick in and reduce the temp back to 192-200 degrees (depending on vehicle equipment and year). When these engines overheat, they pull the threads out of the alloy block and it becomes time to install brass inserts into the block to hold the headbolt threads. This usually requires the removal of the motor to repair it.
The other two issues are that the Northstar and to a lesser extent, the Ford OHC v-8's, use a fair amount of oil and owners don't check the oil level often enough...so they run low and guess what happens...The Northstar is a strong performing engine, but, like some imports it needs to have the right audience who can both appreciate its strengths and respect the maintenance it needs.