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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

$42,000 Cadillac Allanté: Were we wrong? | Hagerty Media

Yesterday, a Cadillac Allanté sold for $40,000 ($42,000 with commission) on Bring a Trailer. Eyes popped. Heads exploded. Refresh page? Yup, still $42,000. The result generated this sort of shock because, well, the Allanté is not a vehicle we'd anticipate to be caught up in the rising tide of '90s classics.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/valuation/42000-cadillac-allante-were-we-wrong/
77 REPLIES 77
joekids
New Driver

Body by Pininfarina. Dependable Cadillac drive train. Can be repaired anywhere at a reasonable cost. I have had mine for almost 30 years. Top down driving with CD music. Air Conditioning, and I drive from NJ to Fl. straight through. This car is a hidden gem. Find one while you can still afford it.
avideo
Intermediate Driver

So true! What's not to like about a drop top with CD player, factory AC, Recarro seats, a nice looking body that can be serviced at most Cadillac dealers? I see junkers from the 1960s that are largely inoperable selling for more money - and they aren't even complete cars.
Punk
Detailer

Never owned one, but I have always liked them, particularly the concept, and with almost 300 horses, I am sure it is fast enough to surprise many young people at a light who assume its a small Fleetwood, or something. The one thing that still puts me off is the interior. It somehow doesn't seem up to the rest of the car in quality, certainly not the match for a Jag or Merc. And how is it to live with that dash that looks a bit like a Hewlett Packard calculator?
Bostwick9
Intermediate Driver

Young people won't have a clue what it is, much less what a Fleetwood is.
gerald102413
Detailer

My parents best friend owns a 1992 Allante for many years now and still runs smooth as it should be as long as you, the user take good care of it with annual maintenance which is key. Love the handle and steering response to the Allante, especially driving out here in Southern California. 

PaulyG
Pit Crew

Seems to follow my observation over the years that cars that cost the manufacturer way more to build than the selling price end up being pretty good investments.
JDHilton
New Driver

My sister-in-law scheduled Cadillac's pre-production cars while the Allante was being developed. We both admired the looks, but she told me they never could get the tops to keep out water - I guess either Pininfarina couldn't build the bodies consistently or they got shook up on that 747.
CJinSD
Advanced Driver

Surely the cheapest body by Pininfarina is a rusty one draped over a FIAT 124 chassis.
TG
Instructor

I read a comment in another article about how a bunch of 'rich old white guys' were jacking up the prices of collector cars so high nobody else could touch them. I never did, but I was going to respond that the 'rich old white guys' have been somewhat selective in what cars they have jacked up, and other great cars, like the Allante, have been deemed un-collector-worthy and can still be obtained very reasonably. I paid $2500 for mine and could have probably gotten it cheaper. Maybe I might have to eat my words
Olds34dude
Pit Crew

In the Tampa area , there seems to be a fairly regular supply in the (way) sub 5k range, and what appear to be real nice ones far below 10k.
mfp4073
Intermediate Driver

Same prices here in the Plains States. Very nice one here for $6,500 and it didnt sell, and was later traded. The Auction process is subject to too many voodoo like variables.
JasonFromCT
Pit Crew

I believe this was a case of, somebody wanted one of these very badly, and this was the nicest one in the world. Those early Northstars were not exactly LS1 reliable/cheap to maintain. And at the end of the day its a FWD car.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

This is a one-off. There have been some pretty hefty vehicles that have gone bonkers on the price in the very recent past - many of them showcased here - but either this car has some cocaine hidden in the door panels or the Buyer had too much cocaine before logging onto BaT and jamming off the "winning" bid lol
That being said, I would totally drive one of these, but not for more than $12k
Miketheump
Pit Crew

Definitely a fluke as far as price point, no a bad car, but like the Fluke it's a bottom dweller, but one man's garbage is another's treasure, go figure.
edwardsgw
New Driver

I think at the typical prices of these cars, they represent a great value in the market. BAT auctions always seem to go really high to me and since I'm always looking for a great value at a reasonable price I have never bought a car on BAT. Hard to generalize from an extremely low mileage car though - they always seem to bring crazy high money and seems to me that they also have a really limited market.
charlylutz
New Driver

I owned a used 93 with Northstar engine, a true gentlemen's cruiser with great trunk space, folding top wasn't wasn't too bad. I enjoyed the car until I hard an electrical issue with the radio, had the center display sent to Delco 3 times by Cadillac dealer, and the problem was never corrected. Then the engine started to leak at the bottom and the cost was high as the engine had to be removed to repair the seals. A great car, but some issues, for a weekend cruiser, are just to great to deal with when they happen.
jaysalserVW
Detailer

If auction prices were the single indicator of values--we'd all be stuck with inflated ideas about our vintage vehicles.
Tinkerah
Technician

Yes, but auctions are a quick and accurate method to find out exactly what the market will bear for any particular item. I've never used BaT but I'm curious to know if there was a bidding war taking place (indicating wider interest) or just one desperate buyer with FU money to spend.
Richie
New Driver

When the top goes down THE PRICE GOES UP !!
MrKnowItAll
Detailer

Not always. Fastback early Mustangs and Ford Starliners seem to go for more than converts
Cornbinder
Intermediate Driver

Then there's 1963 Corvettes - the split-window coupe always selling for far more than the drop.
avideo
Intermediate Driver

I bought a low mileage 1992 Allante from a friend in our car club back in 2013. It had belonged to his brother and was nice enough to have won awards at Cadillac car events on the east coast.
We had it for about three years and sold it to another couple in our car club - who later used it to tour the USA. It was a pretty decent car for road trips; with lots of trunk room and because of the sharply raked windshield and curving side windows - it was one of the quietest cars I've ever driven with the top down. It was easy to have a normal conversation at freeway speeds with the top down.
The car was decent looking and other than normal fluid changes and a pesky radio antenna that was always failing (and replaced) - we had few issues with the car.
Postie-13
Pit Crew

Just another example of inflated prices published to keep the collector car industry moving.
Comparing this "selling" price to other Allante pricing shows the possibility of false inflation or fraudulent reporting. No respectable, responsible or knowlegdeable classic collector would stick their neck out for the " bogus" amount!
cyclemikey
Intermediate Driver

Oh please. Conspiracy theories? Seriously?

This sale on BaT is an outlier, for sure, by a couple of bidders who really wanted this particular ultra-lo-mile car, but there was nothing "false", "fraudulent", or "bogus" about it. The auctions on BaT are about the most transparent sales anywhere. Just because you can't afford something that someone else can, does not mean that they are not respectable, responsible, or knowledgeable. Get over yourself.
Rider79
Instructor

Some people see conspiracy theories behind every tree, and around every corner.
greatscott73
Intermediate Driver

I thought maybe someone paid 2 bucks apiece for the entire 21000 car model run...
Pdxcarguy
Intermediate Driver

Seller hit the lottery with this sale...
I'd be willing to bet my weekly $4 lottery ticket money, this high sale number, has set the all time record for a Allante at auction for internity...
dooscoop32
Intermediate Driver

I've always said these would be much more in demand if they had been rear-wheel drive.
JAG
Intermediate Driver

The Allante epitomizes Cadillac. Great idea... but somehow it gets lost in translation. The car, with the Northstar, was very nice. Pininfarina did a nice job with the styling considering they were boxed in by the FWD platform. There body shop was not very good so lots of issues. Nice car but not a halo car like the top dog MB 500 SL in the segment. Like joekids said a great car to drive and enjoy. Don't collect one, drive it and enjoy! If you want to take a chance on a collectible two seater Cadillac get an XLR-V. It was closer to the mark.
mfp4073
Intermediate Driver

Most people "very" familiar with auctions won't bother to comment here. The variables, smoke and mirrors, helping friends etc. too many to explain. Mixed with monetarily induced neurosis , can present all possible outcomes. In my town, a friend struggled to get $6,500 for his low mileage example. Eventually trading it off. You decide!. I personally ask my dog for the correct valuation when the price is in question!
Rich
New Driver

I've always thought these were cool. So, yes you were wrong!
67CougGuy
Pit Crew

Years ago, I purchased a deeply-depreciated '87 Allante' that had lived a hard life with its one former owner. This was not a car blessed with horsepower.

My greatest Allante' pet peeve: The manually-operated tonneau cover (which disguised the dropped convertible top when manually slid/snapped-into-place) occupied quite a large surface area. Despite this part being Very-Noticeable on the car's exterior, the part had been manufactured from a mysterious "brittle-plastic/compressed foam-like" material.
The upshot: This tonneau cover was EASILY DAMAGED. It's incredibly "flimsy" composition left it prone to chunks falling-off; especially along the forward, outbound edges. I have no doubt the material-of-assembly was selected due to its weight-savings.

Not having learned my lesson based upon my 'Allante' disappointments', I purchased a Base XLR, a few years later. I believe that my subsequent 'XLR-disappointments' have cured me from purchasing another of Cadillac's products -- for all-time.
Tsaxman
Detailer

At that price, I was expecting that it was a wedding present from Sean Penn to Madonna or some similar provenance. For that price, one could buy a really nice Cadillac convertible and resto-mod it into something truly special.
JohninNC
Advanced Driver

Is there no back seat?? The look of these I think holds up well. I just remember people ragging on them, similar to the Cimmaron or whatever it was (Cavalier with Caddy name).
Patrician
Intermediate Driver

Nostalgia must be setting in to whoever wrote this article. I'm I suffering from amnesia or was the 4100 family of Cadillac engines total pieces of junk. The water pump looked like something off a washing machine and the pullies would go in orbit. In my repair shop I can't count how many camshafts we had to put in these engines because of inadequate low rpm oiling. The stepper motors kept stripping the gears. The intake manifolds would spit the gaskets on the ends causing an antifreeze leak and overheating condition. Thanks to the wonderful drivetrain in these cars the impossible happened. Lincoln for the first time in history outsold Cadillac. by 1986. These are the very 4100 engines that destroyed Cadillac's reputation. .
cyclemikey
Intermediate Driver

You don't have amnesia. The HT4100 engine was a disaster; even well-maintained ones would grenade for no particular reason. The only Allante worth going after is the '93, and collectors know this. The 1993 model should be considered, and priced, in its own category, since it's just not comparable to the HT4100 versions.
OldBryan
Intermediate Driver

Early model Allantes languished unsold on dealer lots, even when discounted $20,000 to $25,000.

As others have indicated, the HT-4100 (and its later iterations) STINK.

The 4.6 Northstar, which was supposed to be the salvation of the Allante, and of Cadillac in general, was also something of a turd.

I was suckered into buying a Northstar deVille.
I believed the hype. Just as I had believed the HT hype.

Slow learner no more.

Check out the price and availability of repair, replacement, and maintenance parts for an Allante.

OK, I am cheap.
Or belatedly sensible.
If I could get a spring and summer of top down fun out of a $1500 convertible I might take a chance.
The truly terrible examples have probably been scrapped by now, and the remaining Allantes might possibly be of the statistically insignificant number that beat the odds.

Maybe not.
$1500 buys me a spring and summer supply of Chivas Regal.

I know that choice will make me happy.





Rider79
Instructor

Take a trip without ever leaving the farm, eh? Personally, I'll take the convertible drive, and have something cheap to drink when I get home. ;<)
noah300g
Intermediate Driver

Right up there with Chrysler's TC Maserati and the Buick Reatta!
DougL
Intermediate Driver

Under 500 miles, final year with the Northstar? I can see why this particular car is worth more than 4 times the median quoted value.
BDink
New Driver

I owned a beautiful black 1993 Allante. It was in the shop 11 times in the 12 months I owned it. Every electrical glitch that could happen happened. The horn would honk when I turned right. The back top latch would just cycle up a d down as I drove down the road. That was just a few of the problems. It was a great car to drive when the gremlins stayed away. I traded it for a Porsche and was much happier.
bblhed
Advanced Driver

This car was bid up to $40,000 did someone actually show up with a check and take delivery? I will reserve judgment until I hear that part of the story.
Tinkerah
Technician

As I admitted in a previous comment, I've never used BaT but can someone really just type in a number and disappear?
sego
Intermediate Driver

They can but will lose their upfront deposit that BAT takes automatically.
OldFordMan
Detailer

40 PLUS? Ya got to be looney. I guess the old saying sings true: "A fool and his money will soon part company".
Zephyr
Advanced Driver

I know that a fool and his money are soon parted - what I want to know is how they got together in the first place.
tahend
Detailer

Biggest mistake is believing auction prices are real world prices.
Roy12
New Driver

Just like me. I wanted a 1978 Corvette really bad. at an auction i won the bid kinda high, found out i was bidding against the owner
ed
Detailer

I would not use BaT as any sort of benchmark.