Q: I have just purchased a 1993 Cadillac Allante with the Northstar Engine. feel this will be a very desirable vehicle in the future, with it being the last production year and a Northstar V8.
My books have little information on this late model. I was wondering if you have any info for me, i.e. who made the body, how many 1993 Cadillac Allantes with the Northstar engine were produced?
I love your column and read it in Auto Roundup, along with all the other good stuff. Thanks for any help you can provide. I'll be watching. Best Regards, Jim Sargent, Penrose, CO.
A: Thanks for the nice words, Jim. The Cadillac Allante is indeed a rare piece, as you don’t see many around. Cadillac produced the Allante to much fanfare from 1987 through 1993, and only 21,300 cars were built during the model run. Allante was Cadillac’s high-end two-seat sports roadster, although removable hardtops were available on 1990-1992 models and as an option on your ‘93.
On the plus side is the fact that the 1993 Allante featured Cadillac’s new “Northstar sealed” V8 engine and transmission, a Cadillac exclusive. Prior years relied on a “normal” 4.1 or 4.5 liter V8, which weren’t noted for any real go power and were rated at just 170 and 200 horses, respectively. However, the Northstar V8 displaces 4.6 liters and 295 horses, which equates to a full 95 horses more than the prior year’s 4.5 V8.
Your Allante’s engine was the first ever Northstar introduced by Cadillac, and is called the L37. Today, GM cars still rely on a tweaked version of the original L37, including the Cadillac DTS Performance model and Buick Lucerne Super, proving it’s a great engine.
As for the body, it, too, is a very important aspect of Allante. Produced in Italy by Pininfarina, noted for its Ferrari designs, and was shipped all the way to Michigan to be attached to the body by GM craftsmen. All of this adds to the value of your car.
If there is an Achilles heel with Allante, it is the fact that non Northstar Allantes, produced from 1987 to 1992, were poor in the performance category. Additionally, all Allantes are front wheel drive, a fact that pure luxury sports roadster enthusiasts to this day don’t like as the choice is always rear wheel drive (or all wheel drive). Today, Cadillac’s Allante successor, the XLR and XLR-V two seat roadsters, are indeed rear drive and mighty capable performers.
Not a cheap car by any means, Allante had a retail of $54,700 upon introduction, although Cadillac introduced a lower priced version in 1990. Still, your 1993 Northstar Allante, which retailed for $59,975, is indeed the best of the bunch and received some rave reviews when introduced. It was also the most powerful front drive car in the world at that time. Total Allante Northstar production for 1993 was just 4,670.
As for value, Haggerty’s “Cars That Matter” list your Allante’s value at $23,500 for a pristine, concours model; $14,400 for a car that would win a local car show; $9,600 for one in “good” daily driver condition; and $6,600 for daily driver with flaws.
Hope all this helps, and remember that price guides are not the final word, they are estimates. All in all, I’d say the Northstar powered Allante’s positives way outnumber any negatives.
You’ve got a nice Cadillac collectible on your hands.