Today, we would like to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce about the Cadillac Allanté. The Cadillac Allanté is a two-seater luxury roadster that was in production from 1986 to 1993. As you will read below, the production of this unique convertible was quite the process. During its seven-year production life, only 21,430 Cadillac Allantés were produced. While you won’t find one in our used Cadillac cars for sale near Louisville, we can help you find this iconic vehicle if you are looking to get one of your own. Keep reading to learn more about this two-door roadster and understand its history.
The Cadillac Allanté was introduced in 1987 in order to help Cadillac have a solid position in the luxury car sector in the 1980s. The goal was to combine European design with a well-known automotive brand to help Cadillac compete with automotive giants like Mercedes Benz and Jaguar.
The Cadillac Allanté interior and exterior were designed with Pininfarina (an Italian styling house). This was one of the biggest draws about the car. At the time, the Cadillac Allanté was considered a stunningly designed convertible. It was low to the ground, had sleek lines, a clean look, and didn’t look like anything else in the Cadillac lineup.
An independent suspension was used all-around the convertible to make a two-seat layout. It had MacPherson struts on the front and struts that resembled a Corvette on the back.
Perhaps the most talked about component of the Cadillac Allanté was its incredibly complicated assembly process. This vehicle was a hodgepodge of many other vehicles. The chassis was a mix of parts from the Buick Reatta, the Buick Riviera, the Oldsmobile Toronado, the Cadillac Eldorado, and the Cadillac Seville. Sure, this made the car unique. But it also made production slower than usual.
Additionally, the assembly required airplanes. Yup. The bodies for the vehicle were produced by Pininfarina in Italy. From there, they were shipped about 50 at a time on a specially-designed Boeing 747 airplane over to the GM plant in Michigan. Then, the bodies were installed onto the chassis being created in Michigan. For this reason, the Cadillac Allanté was given the nickname “Flying Italian Cadillac.”
Early models used a version of the Cadillac 4.1L V8 engine with higher compression. This engine gave the first Allantés 170bhp and 230 pound-feet of torque. The transmission was an upgraded rendition of the GM HT400 FWD transaxle.
In 1989, the Cadillac Allanté received several upgrades to allow it to keep up with the competition. The then-new engine was a 4500HT all-aluminum V8. This added a lot more power to the convertible, giving it 200bhp and 270 pound-feet of torque. The 1989 model also included a speed-sensitive damper control called the SD²C. This technology increased stability at all speeds.
The final 1993 Allantés had a 4.6L Northstar DOHC V8 engine, upping the power to 295 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. It also added road soaking suspension, a revised power steering rack, a newly designed front spoiler, and new windows. In the final year, 4,760 Allantés were made. Fun fact! The 1993 Cadillac Allanté was selected as the Pace Car for the 76th Indianapolis 500 and was driven by Bobby Unser.
We’d say so! Considering there were only 21,000 made, they are very rare. The Allanté is certainly a unique car, given its interesting chassis and assembly background. Back in the 1980s, this car went for about $50,000. Today, you can find one for around $12,000, depending on the condition and where you buy it.
Yes. The Cadillac Allanté was only designed with a front wheel drive drivetrain. Allegedly, Pininfarina suggested the front-wheel-drive layout to GM for packaging reasons.
We wish the story was more exciting. According to GM Authority, the Allanté was a completely randomly selected name. GM selected the name from a list of 1,700 completely random computer-generated names. How interesting is that.
We are proud to be a Cadillac dealer Louisville drivers can trust. Whether you are here for a brand-new Cadillac or you need help securing an old classic, our team is here to assist. We are passionate about all Cadillac vehicles and want every driver to be able to own a vehicle they love. Let us know how we can help you today.
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1Source: Car Throttle.