1989 Cadillac Allante: 1989 Cadillac Allante
The 1989 Cadillac Allante is an outstanding Italian 2-seater convertible roadster designed by Pininfarina of Ferrari and Rolls Royce fame. When you purchase this vehicle for between $5,000 and $25,000, you are getting a very good deal if it has been maintained well. The original sticker price was around $57,000 which, even then was a bargain. Each vehicle reportedly cost GM much more than that to build and market.
The chassis (and Delco electronics) were flown on 747s to Torino, (Turin) Italy to be outfitted by Pininfarina. Once the bodies were complete, they were flown back to Detroit to have the wheels installed and to be tested thoroughly by several teams for a minimum of 25 miles on a closed track.
The 1987 and 1988 Allantes were known to have problems. Most were corrected in recalls. Pininfarina begged Cadillac not to release those for another year. But Cadillac did not want to wait to launch its flagship automobile. 1989 was a very good year. Leaks and flaws known to the designers were corrected. The only reason to hold out for a 1990 is to get a CD player and Airbag. As you read about Allantes, you will hear about 3 phases. The 1992.5 and 1993 were Phase III. All the bugs were out by then and a Northstar engine was installed. The 1989 was the best of the Phase I Allantes.
The '89 was equipped with everything standard. There were only 2 options: A built in phone and Pearl White paint which is stunning. Feature highlights include:
• 10-way Austrian-made Recaro leather racing seats
• Power everything
• Manual Soft-top convertible: glass windows, defroster and pull-down motor
• Hard-top: Removable aluminum
• Headlight washers
• Stunning Italian design and special color-matched tail lights from Spain
• 80+ control buttons nicely laid out
• Redundant lighting system. If a lamp burns out there are backups.
• On board computer and diagnostics
• Smooth, tight, powerful drive train self-adjusts with speed.
The Allante body is lightweight aluminum, including the precise, Swiss-made hood and trunk, so the body won't rust.
If something breaks or fails, the computer will tell you about it. It will even tell you about the quality of the oil as it needs to be changed.
The upgraded 8-cylinder '89 engines can last beyond 100,000 miles, providing real power and 27 MPG on the highway.
The superb compressed nitrogen braking system has been known to fail if not maintained. Monitor brake hydraulics and change the brake fluid every 24 months.
INVEST IN A MANUAL before you drive it or put the top up or down. You can do costly damage that you'll kick yourself for later.
Under the hood you will find a wonderful color-coded system for finding the brake fluid, washer fluid, coolant, oil, transmission fluid, etc. A nice touch.
The radios can be problematic. The receiver is easy to remove and repair for under $100. The Bose speakers can not be replaced with random speakers as each one has an amplifier built in. These will need $7 worth of resistors if they begin to squeal.
There are Allante clubs which can help you locate parts and specialists. You will not be alone if your sun visors begin to droop.
You can easily get a fresh set of car mats from eBay and leather dye to make it feel like the million-dollar car it was born to be.
This car can be insured as a collector car for under $200 per year. It is an early classic.
This car is one of the biggest bargains on eBay. It is a joy to drive and to look at as both a coupe and convertible.
67 of 67 people found this review helpful.