The Old Car Dilemma the Siren Song of the Weekend Cadillac

I am often attracted to the idea of picking up an older Cadillac as a weekend car.  There are some really interesting models that are in the $5K-10K range now — the Allante convertibles from 1989-1993, or the classic Eldorado convertibles from 1970-1975.

The goal would be to have a fun car as a weekend car.  Not to restore the vehicle to a show car standard, but to keep it operational as a Saturday out to the store type of vehicle.  We have a 2-car garage, so that means the weekend car would have to go into the garage (on my side), and my prized current daily driver out into the weather, if it stayed here.  Another idea would be to rent a storage area and park the weekend car ‘away’, but that makes it very likely that I would not spend any time working on it, or driving it.  It would just be an expense.

The ‘entry’ cost of buying an older Cadillac is of course just the start.  Then there are replacement parts to be tracked down, and additional cost.   The car itself becomes a hobby even if it is running well enough — planning ahead for the next repair or restoration step.  The 70s Cadillacs were not fuel efficient, so a lot of the fun drives would be near gas stations lol.

There are ‘new’ old skills to learn, and there are things to deal with such as metal fatigue that just don’t come up a lot on newer cars.

There are safety issues — the older cars don’t have air bags, or traction control, or stability control — they are strictly cruisers.

But there is the joy of driving a Cadillac convertible the way God intended, and enjoying one of the finest motorcars available for its time.

Generally the newer the model, the better the performance, handling, comfort, luxury, and safety.  My 2005 CTS out-performs even the 93 Allante’s with the Northstar V8, and far outperforms the 70s Eldorado’s with the massive 500 cubic inch V8s.  Any money spent on a hobby or weekend Cadillac would come right out of my budget for the next Cadillac to replace my current car. So not the sensible thing to do.

But one can dream of  cruising down the street in a classic Cadillac convertible with wall to wall leather and enough torque to move the planet.

[Please see this Ad for the source of my Eldo picture.  Hope it sells soon so it moves out of temptation!]

Design Police wave Cadillac CTS on through

The Car Design Police blog has a thoughtful blog post on the Cadillac CTS redesign in 2008.  I am mainly a function over form person, but I do appreciate a detailed analysis of design elements with explanations, rationale, and examples.  Very well done opinion piece.

I also love seeing the Allante advertisement that they use to start the article.   This reference because the Allante, designed by Pininfarina, was arguably a clean design.  It was definitely the 1990s-Cadillac-chic look and not the current approach.

Overall positive review:

But after seeing them on the road for a while, the latest CTS is actually a very nice design. It maintains the Art and Science aesthetic but is fuller and more dynamic than the previous CTS or the XLR.

but I would still like this type of analysis even if it were not positive. I know what I like, but not always why. This type of discussion can help educate all of us on what works and why we like it.