For those uninterested in my rambling, skip to The Allante

Cadillacs and Me

When I was growing up my grandparents bought a new Cadillac every year. My Grandmother would take to Florida and put about 10k miles on it the first year and the second my grandfather would be driven into Baltimore daily and put about 100k on it. Then it would be traded. Usually the Fleetwood sedan. Last one was a 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Brogham. My grandmother kept that car until she passed then came to me around 1983. I tried to keep it but the east coast rust was just too bad to for me try to restore.

On the car front I liked the SLK but have always preferred GM. Like retractibles but did not care for the Pontiac G6. And then there was the Cadillac XLR. Started looking and while there are a lot in central Florida, the owners are quite proud of them. Few were good enough I would consider that had dropped even into the teens yet. Also bothered me that were Northstar V-8s when I prefer a 6. Looked at a cosmetically nice '05 that was a basket case: replacement engine had never been wired properly and would not run. Made a bid that was not accepted (probably fortunately).

Now there have been many times in my life where a thousand or two thousand mile trips were needed with "a short time to get there". Four years ago I thought that would be the Jeep and camper but just did not work out. Also Jeep is a wonderful tow and trip car but is not designed to be really comfortable and was becoming increasingly painful to drive any distance. The Reattas are great road cars but getting a little long in the tooth and have limited luggage space. A little more power (Reattas have a smogged down 165hp) would be nice.

The Allante

Jump to 2020. The effects of a misguided prescription are mostly over and have most of my strength back. Like the SLKs but cannot even store groceries with the top down. Started looking at XLRs but same lack of luggage space. Owners are proud and parts are expensive.

Several times in the past I have looked at Allantes and discarded them, like the hardtop and luggage space but never liked the early lack of power (same as Reatta) or later decontenting. Really disliked the steering wheel and dash displays were often sun damaged. Allante owners were also proud.

So began study. Spent about a benjamin on service and parts manual CDs and .pdfs. Unfortunately owner's manuals are not on CD or downloadable, my.cadillac only goes back to 1994. But leared what I could. First early (87-88) cars were underpowered. Second few late (90-93) had the hardtop but did have early airbags. 93 had the first year Northstar that was more powerful but early units had many problems. Only the 89 had the reliable 4.5 engine (200hp), a standard hardtop, some later improvements, and no airbags.

In addition and important to me. All Allantes were ALDL (computer system) that were similar to the Reatta and am used to reprogramming to run cool and for reliability.

Early on I found an 89 Allante that just felt right about 100 miles away in Port St Lucie on Craigslist. Must admit that the cars I've bought this century have all been from Craigslist. Have also looked on facebook/marketplace, Gurus, and a few others but ones I buy have come from Craigslist (happens to me often, in the '70s I found that just about everything I bought new or used came from Monkey Wards. Didn't set out that way, just happened).

First saw the car listed in mid-May but for a long time there was no response to my queries (no phone just an CL reply to. (Turned out the owner was in New York when the pandemic started)). In the mean time I had investigated several others but either had the small engine or no hardtop. Came close with a 93 in Daytona but had 115k. Finally the people at AllanteSource provided an intro.

Not sure what the reason but lately the Allante has dropped in price significantly (today about 1/4 an XLR). Like the Reatta, it never made "collector" status.

Made contact finally in on the 9th of June travelled down to PSL with dolly for an inspection. Everything was there as described including the dolly for the hardtop which fit in the back of my Jeep) but fuel gauge does not work and had some minor defects. Nothing big to me, cosmetics good for 64k miles, AC new and cold, negotiated a fair cash price & now in the garage. Also has the advantage that unlike an XLR, it qualifies for my classic policy.

Must admit that this one had always felt right and I go a lot by feelings.

Surprisingly it can take a larger package in the trunk than the CTS even with the convertible top folded.

Even has a spare tire (and room for a road wheel if needed). Like many new cars my CTS has no spare. This has always bothered me.

So now have an Allante in the garage to compliment the 88 Reatta. Do have minor work to do but have owner's service' and parts manuals. Have also laid in a stock of parts the could use replacing (that steering wheel had to go, never liked the style on a 78 Monza or 85 Thunderbird) so have a Reatta wheel and panel for the cruise control buttons. A hoist for the hardtop is needed as hard to remove by a single person (not heavy so much as awkward). but can wait for cooler weather.

Suspect it will be around for a while, tend to keep cars I like for decades.

Copyright (C) 2020 by Padgett, notary sojac y'all.