Often referred to as "The Flying Cadillac," the Allante is a special chapter in Cadillac history. While Cadillac was no stranger to building high-end luxury cars, the Allante was really their first foray into the sporty 2-seater market and GM was determined to create something very special as their flagship. While the "flying" nickname could be used to describe the cars performance, it actually refers to the fact that the bodies were built by Pininfarina in Turin, Italy, and flown to the US for final assembly in a specially-designed 747 jumbo jet 56 cars at a time. Just this concept along should tell you all you need to know about GMs commitment to building something very special. This 1990 Allante is a super clean 2-owner North Carolina car that sports a recent repaint in the original bright red color. The chiseled steel and aluminum bodywork remains handsome even 25 years after it was introduced, and these cars still attract a lot of attention on the road with their muscular good looks. The quality of the respray was very good, and the car presents well, suggesting that the paint job was not to repair damage, but merely to freshen the car that has lived its entire life under the hot North Carolina sun. Build quality on these was always pretty good, and they dont share many parts with production Cadillacs, making them popular cars with collectors today. Cadillac really broke with tradition in the Allantes interior, going with deeply sculpted buckets in soft Italian leather and a very driver-oriented dashboard. Digital gauges were all the rage in 1990, and the Allante has a full array of instruments keeping an eye on the engine, and it was one of the earliest applications of a tachometer in a Cadillac. And unlike many Allantes, the digital dash in this one is fully functional and bright. Of course, as the top-of-the-line Cadillac, everything was standard equipment, from automatic climate control, to power windows and locks, to a powerful entertainment system with both a cassette deck and a CD player. The leather shows wear typical of a car of this vintage, but no damage, and the carpets and dashboard are excellent. Overhead, theres a black canvas convertible top that stows neatly underneath an integrated hard boot that preserves the cars clean, elegant lines. The powertrain is lifted almost intact from the Eldorado, meaning you get a torquey 4.5-liter V8 driving the front wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission. It makes all the right V8 sounds, and has proven itself to be a virtually bulletproof engine over the years. The engine bay is typical of cars of this mileage and age, and shows signs of regular maintenance. It fires up eagerly with a great V8 rumble from the exhaust, and moves the roadster effortlessly. Servicing is easy, since many of the mechanical bits are shared with other Cadillacs of the time, so there arent any exotic motor repair bills in this cars future. The chassis is solid and clean, and since this has always been a North Carolina car, theres no rust. With an all-independent suspension, handling is lively and this car will surprise you with its capabilities. 4-wheel disc brakes were part of the package, and feature ABS for safety. Wheels are distinctive Cadillac alloys in excellent condition and wearing Bridgestone Turanza touring radials. Despite their limited production status and exotic origins, Allantes remain reliable, fun, collectible cars with a strong following. Support for these cars is still very good, with quite a few parts suppliers offering almost anything youd need to keep it running forever. The Cadillac-LaSalle Club welcomes them at any show, and, well, theyre just nice cars to drive. This is a no-stories car with a clean ownership history that presents well and drives like it should. If youve been looking for a convertible this summer, but are tired of all the "me too" Mustangs and Chryslers, take another look at the Flying Cadillac. This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.
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