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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.
New Driver

I have been watching BAT auctions for a few years now. I have first hand experience that you can purchase just about anything elsewhere and list it at BAT and sell it for a substantial quick profit. I don't know what BAT bidders are thinking, but I don't particularly care. I've sold several cars at that site for prices that I'd never thought possible. Most recently: a nothing-special, but lower mileage, Mercedes sedan bought locally for $8k a couple months prior that I sold on BAT for a nice $6k profit ((incl. fees). I also bought a Saab sedan for $5k, and sold for $7800 a month later, Low mileage Nissan Altima bought for $4500 that sold for $9k, and several others. I use BAT ONLY to sell for top dollar, but I've NEVER been able to buy anything there, prices always go way too high.
As for the Allante in this discussion, although it is an ultra-low mileage example, IMO it is worth only HALF of the BAT selling price...TOPS! Another commenter mentioned that the seller won the lottery with that sale...but that's not quite the case, either, it's not as rare as you think for a car to sell at a ridiculously high price on BAT. I've noticed more and more car dealers listing everyday cars (non-collectibles) on that site recently, which only means savvy car dealers are catching on to this. As the saying goes, a (BAT) fool and his money are soon parted.
Intermediate Driver


Thanks a LOT!

Now that I finally found a way to finance my lifestyle in my declining years,

How am I going to get $8900 for my 1 of 1 ‘08 Chrysler mini van when you have announced to the world that BaT prices are ridiculously high?

The next thing you will probably do is explain that a dent on the RIGHT SIDE sliding door and a coffee stain on the LEFT SIDE of the rearmost seat, combined with the “patina” of a rusted out Stow-n-Go hollowed out floor do not add up to a “1 of 1” collectible.

As our Specially Enabled, Newly Inaugurated, Liberal Executive so brilliantly and incisively said in a Presidential Debate, “Come on, man.”
Pit Crew

I think this is exception, not the rule. BAT tends to bring some fantastic results depending on the car, it's condition, and many times the seller. There are some sellers there that are recognized by the community as straight shooters and their cars tend to do well. I would definitely drive an Allante for a short while just to experience it, but wouldn't spend anywhere near that to own one. Heck, I don't think I would spend more than 20k on an XLR. I follow Jags on BAT and if they are clean they tend to do far better there than the local market supports. This Allante having such low miles seems to have had its lucky day.
Pit Crew

Do-Lacca, Do-Lacca-DOO!!
Intermediate Driver

That thing should fly with the "real" Northstar, but it would still have all of the engine oil leak and electrical problems of all '90s GM high end cars.
Intermediate Driver

As they say...When you win an auction, you were the only one in the room that thought the item was worth that much money.
Pit Crew

I wonder if they had Kelly doing the Bundy Bounce to bring up the prices 🙂
Intermediate Driver

Wow, a lot of money for an Allante. I never thought very highly of them but that is subjective. I have nothing but respect for those who own and enjoy them, just not my "cup of tea". Very surprised though to see this price point. I would not be so arrogant to think this is one off though. Once they go this high a new value is set and more nice ones will come out the garages and set a new level. I hope that they do for those who have invested them and are loyal, and hope that whomever wants one jumps not because they will go up now in my opinion. And, to add, when I say that i never thought highly of them, its really not judgemental. I love all cars.
Intermediate Driver

Regardless of your taste in collector cars, nearly everyone agrees they're only original once, and this car is pretty damn original 30 years after it left the showroom floor. And in my humble opinion, the styling is better than the MB SL, and this one does have the Northstar V8. It's not what I would spend $42,000 on, but I don't think the buyer was a fool. Not if he enjoys his purchase.
Intermediate Driver

Sellers got to be elated!!!
New Driver

How easily and foolish The General spent money in the midst of their financial crisis. Not one bankruptcy but two.
Pit Crew

Just WOW!
That's an incredible amount of money for a slow-w-w-w FWD POS Cadillac!!
I don't care WHO designed the body....
I mean really!???
How much crack can you smoke??

Lust. Pure lust. These sales happen occasionally, the right car for the right buyer, don't change anything.
Pit Crew

Sadly, even as improved as the Northstar was for power, longevity is not a strong point, once they overheat they’re junk, Cadillac has been on a non stop ride thru hell, Diesel Eldorado anyone, 8/6/4 motor, the Cadillac that Zigs, on and on
Intermediate Driver

Ahhh....Grasshopper, you must remember, Cannibals, and related decision making, is legal all over the world now.
New Driver

This is a GameStock/AMC blip, sure it's a nice car (drove one in the late '80s, but that kind of money for a '90s Caddy with no provenance, IMO its a fluke/specific requirement sale. just look at what is available on line and there less than 1/2 to 1/3 the price.
For that kind of money, there are SO many better choices, just look a t 1989 - 1991 BMWs and they're well under that price.
Intermediate Driver

Sold my 92 last year for $11.500. low miles and good shape. 3rd person rider crushed the console. had to fix that. Computers and digital dash, no spare parts other than junk yard in Calif. Very thin sheet metal. Nice ride but not that reliable. Too bad. Replaced with 7500 mile Jaguar XK still under warranty. Faster, better ride, real wood. Tired of laying on a creeper.
Advanced Driver

Very nice cars that drive well, although the non-power top was a real shortcoming given the price of the car when new. While many say you should look for a 1993 model, which featured the first year of Northstar production, the 89-92 Allantes with the HT-4500 engine have almost as much torque (at lower rpm) and the head gasket woes of the 4100 engine were pretty much resolved.

wasn’t worth 42 cents;

one of the worst GM designs ever, right there with the Cosworth Vega, Corvair, Diesel Cadillacs, El Caminos and Aztecs;
Pit Crew

Undoubtedly a fluke as despite the low mileage, these models are known to have numerous flaws and few real buyers above $10,000.00
New Driver

Did they ever come with Analog instrumentation, or have the ones I've seen been converted?
Pit Crew

It seems like any decent convertible with very low miles goes for a huge premium on BaT. I'm not surprised at this bid price. I would have thought Hagerty would have known that this wasn't way out line. The Allante is of course a very nice luxury car to start. This particular one was a real 'cream puff' by anyone's standard. Nowadays it seems any unique car in practically new condition brings a very big premium on Bat. No surprise right now. 5 years ago? Yes it would be a big surprise. But the used car market for anything considered collectible in really good low milage shape is in super high demand ... at least on BaT.
Advanced Driver

Ya know, at any auction the seller's hope is the two buyers with deep pockets want your item and compete for using ego instead of common sense.
New Driver

bought a low mileage, Northstar powered White ,both tops, bank repo. strictly on looks. got it home and no radio. amps were in the speakers and someone had removed them. So radio head, nothing else....
car ran well. Had 50 K mile plugs -a good thing because transverse V8 made checking or changing the left bank a massive undertaking. First rain demonstrated leak across top header that I never could stop.
was rear-ended by a woman putting on make up while driving. Blew up the accumulator and Cad dealer could not fix it AND misrepresented the damage to the insurance company..Could not get it safe to dive and it sat in my garage in Honolulu for years until I donated to Kidney cars .
Intermediate Driver

That has got to be the very least of Pininfarina's styling efforts.
From it's first appearance I thought it boring and anonymous and hardly worth what was being asked for it.
My opinion of it has not changed with thirty years hindsight. This is the automotive styling equivalent of a nothing burger.
Tail lights: nothing special, no distinctive shape, could have as easily been found on a Buick. The grille could have been cribbed from a Chevy Corsica. Profile is generic.
Nothing to see here, folks.
Almost as bad as those Sedan De Blobs of the early '00s.
But.... if someone wants one and it blows yer skirt up, go for it. You have my 100% respect and I won't question anyone's reason for wanting one. [Not with my misfit wish list]. The back story alone is enough of a jumping off point. Happy motoring.
The Allante never cut it. For me.

As a kid growing up liking cars, the Cadillac Allante was one of the first cars I felt in love with seeing it on a magazine for the first time and quite frankly, I wouldn't mind owning this beautiful auto one day for a weekend ride here in SoCal. No shame at that!!

Pit Crew

...landing an Alitalia 747 in Hamtramck would be quite a trick, and sure to throw the locals into a quite a panic! To clarify, these specially equipped 747's could carry 56 Allante' bodies each, and they were flown into Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, MI (Detroit's main airport, a.k.a. DTW) - they unloaded in a very visible area. I remember coming-in from various business flights, and seeing one of these unloading - all those beautiful Pininfarina bodies in different colors - as I went to my car in the "Big Blue" parking deck. I was working for Car and Driver, and Road & Track at the time (owned by the same publishing company), and had one of the 1990 4.5 L engined ones (in red, of course) - for a couple of weeks - it had good power for its time, and what a luxurious, sports tourer it was - particularly with the top down!

Beautiful then, beautiful now.