Right here, you might have the automotive illustration of the word ‘overkill’

Back in 1987, Cadillac was looking at ways to break into the luxury cabriolet segment which at that time was ruled supreme by the Mercedes-Benz SL. Looking to blow everyone and everything out of the water, Cadillac went to Pininfarina and asked for help in the design department, promising to handle every other mechanical aspect of the vehicle.

What came out was the Allante.

Unfortunately for the Allante, luxury and over-the-topness don’t go hand in hand

A center console that looked like a keyboard with three small, stripe-width screens embedded into it. More buttons than you can wish for in other areas of the interior. A body assembled, painted and finished in Turin, Italy by Pininfarina, only to be sent via Alitalia Boeing 747 jumbo jets to Hamtramck, Michigan, where Cadillac would drop in the engine, the transmission and other bits and bobs.

This, ladies and gents, was the Cadillac Allante. Oh, and the name was picked out of a list with some 1700 names generated by a computer, for some reason.

Doug DeMuro Is Here To Show You How Weird and Quirky the Cadillac Allante Was
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It didn’t help either that the Caddy Allante had Hollywood’s approval. Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing) drove one in Dallas, as did Sylvester Stallone in Tango and Cash or Joe Pesci in 1992’s Lethal Weapon 3.

All the glitz and the glamor aside, the Allante didn’t really manage to convince the buyer, mainly due a variety of issues. The first 4.1-liter V-8s to be fitted inside the Allante had weak intake manifold gaskets – not to mention the unimpressive 170 horsepower rating.

Doug DeMuro Is Here To Show You How Weird and Quirky the Cadillac Allante Was
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On top of that, the convertible tops – also provided by Pininfarina – were leaky and far from a piece of gear you’d want in a luxury car in the first place; one that in 1992, demanded north of $60,000.

But, to Doug DeMuro’s delight, the Allante was brimming with quirks and (sometimes confusing) features. Hence the 26-minute video awaiting you above.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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