At $9,500, Is This 1976 Cadillac Seville a Classy Classic?
Gioachino Rossini’s world-renowned opera, The Barber of Seville, may also be one of the most popular, but that wasn’t originally the case as its premiere was beset by accidents and a rowdy audience. There may not be anything rowdy about today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cadillac Seville, but will its price raise a ruckus?
There was a lot to like about the 2008 Porsche Cayman that came under our adjudication yesterday. That’s not the least bit surprising. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has owned or merely driven a Cayman of any sort that hasn’t been totally smitten by the model.
The only thing holding back the rave reviews for our candidate Cayman was its $18,800 price. In the end, even that wasn’t a major downer, with the Porsche passing muster in a solid if narrow 51 percent Nice Price win.
The old carpenter’s maxim is “measure twice, cut once”, and nobody should heed that more than Cadillac. Since the 1970s, Cadillac’s history is strewn with attempts to make a smaller car that would appeal to a less consumptive buyer, as well as those who have had a taste of European luxury.
Cimarrons, Cateri, and disproportionately tiny Eldorados were missteps along the way in the attempt to capture some of that sales gold, but the company’s first attempt — the Seville — stands in stark contrast to all of those. Today, it remains arguably the best-looking — and least daunting to park — Cadillac of the ‘70s.
Forged to stem the tide of Mercedes and BMW luxury sedans, the Seville utilized a heavily reworked version of the Chevy Nova’s X-platform for its base. Despite those plebeian underpinnings, Cadillac managed to create a car that was Eliza Doolittle in its transformation. The Seville was more than just a super Nova though, as it could be had with every piece of luxury accouterment that Cadillac had in its arsenal.
This 1976 Cadillac Seville hails from the model’s first year and hence rocks the one-year-only egg crate grille and standard full vinyl top. Later models would get a Rolls-aping vertical grille and the option of a painted roof.
On this one, which is described as being a lifelong California car, the paintwork is Firethorn red and is matched with an Almond vinyl top. It’s a classy combo that is accented by full wheel covers, whitewall tires, and big chrome-plated bumpers.
According to the ad, the car has been garaged and covered throughout its life and it shows the benefits of that care. The paint still shines and the top doesn’t show any signs of cracking or delaminating, even around the opening of the large moonroof.
The interior is in great shape too, with leather that looks to have shined the asses of decades of Sansabelt slacks wearers. The only major downside here is some water staining in the headliner over the rear seat — perhaps the result of once-clogged moonroof drains.
All the wood trim in here is fake, but the ‘70s luxury vibe given by that, paired with tons of chrome trim and puffy seats and door cards is as real as you could want. There are also lots of amenities to be had, including automatic climate control, cruise control, plus power windows and locks. The car even comes with what looks to be the original Cadillac crest floor mats. And, of course, there’s a column shift freeing up the transmission hump for the wide split-bench front seats.
Under the hood, there beats the heart of an Oldsmobile - of course back in ‘78, Cadillac didn’t tell you that, an omission that got GM in a little hot water at the time. The 350-CID FI motor put out 180-bhp new, probably a few less today, but what it gives up in power, it will more than make up for in leisurely motoring. Part of that is due to the TH400 three-speed automatic, and part is due to all the isolators and sound-deadening that Caddy put into the car.
The odometer reads a mere 53,701 miles, and the car’s shape makes that a believable number even if the shortage of barrels means that could have rolled over. The title is clean, and the seller describes its condition as “excellent.” Together, that makes for a car that comes across as a great way to get into a quirky sort of classic. After all, how many other post-gas crisis ‘70s American cars out there are all that collectible?
To collect this Caddy, a prospective buyer will need to count out $9,500 in cash. Is it worth that? What do you say? Is this Seville a steal at that $9,500 asking? Or, is this “smaller Caddy” in need of a downsized price?
Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
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