The newest addition to the fleet is a 1992 VS Allante. The story of how this car came to join the rest of the stable started in June of 2011 at the Guinness Book of Records attempt at the Largest Cadillac Parade in Barton Vermont. While in the staging area waiting for the parade to start there were three Allantes close by where I was parked. I of course spoke with the driver whose car was just in front of me and two other Allante owners soon joined us.
I asked what questions I could think of about a 20 year old model that had such a fleeting time among the Cadillac models of the era. Then I pretty much listened as the three owners shared stories and compared notes about their unique Cadillacs. The feeling I came away with was that each of these owners was still enthusiastic about their rides. I was surprised that someone that had been driving the same car for almost twenty years could be so pumped up about a widely ignored model. Following this encounter I took it upon myself to do some research about the Allante.
Over the next four months I learned a great deal about the cars and even had an enlightening conversation with the President of the East Coast Allante Club, a very educational conversation. After all this I had settled on the year Allante I was going to search for – really the only decision to make as the Allante pretty much came loaded and the removable hard top was just about the only option. I decided to look for a 1992 model, this being the last year before a major change in the power plant for 93 which resulted in a great deal of problems. The 92 was also the lowest production number for any of the models. I felt that the benefit of a proven engine and low production numbers would put the 92 on the cusp of becoming a highly desirable collector car in the foreseeable future. There was also those guys claims that the car was “Fun to drive.”
I cyber-searched for the Allante of my dreams for several weeks, all to no avail. I could find seriously flawed, ignored project cars that were less than accurately represented in the ads, but not the right car that spoke to me. I had concluded that my search was over this year and I would pick up the quest in the spring.
Then two weeks ago I was joined by my brother and his wife on a trip to the sea coast to enjoy an Oktoberfest special at one of the taverns there. Afterward I suggested that we visit one of my favorite places on the coast, a used car dealer that is more like a car museum than dealer. He has an incredible collection of antique and collector cars and does not mind if you browse through his collection at you leisure. I had also heard that he did written appraisals on collector cars and I wanted to confirm this. I wish to have such an appraisal on the Flower Car when I complete the refreshing it is currently undergoing. The dealer confirmed that they did indeed offer this service and as I turned to leave I spotted the Allante on the far side of the showroom.
I asked as to the details of the car and listened as the salesman clicked off just about everything on my checklist of desirable traits in the car I had been searching for. It was a 92, it was a one owner car, it had a mere 45 thousand miles on it, it was in excellent condition. All this and it was even the color I wanted, RED. I arraigned to come back a few days later and take a test drive. After leaving the parking lot, I knew I had found my Allante – it was indeed speaking to me. All I had to do was strike a deal with the owner. I knew his asking price, and had my counter offer speech all worked out and rehearsed, no spur of the moment action here. I made my assessment of the car and my offer. After what seemed like an eternity he made a counter offer that was well within my preset parameters, and we had a deal.
That was four days ago and due to an unusual spat of perfect Indian Summer here in New England, I have logged over four hundred miles on the Allante and can whole heartedly confirm what those guys said in a field in Barton VT, it is indeed a fun car to drive. I am looking forward to many good times in the car and although the list is understandably short, I have a few observations.
The car is not a family car, it is a two seater meant for you and someone special. There is a surprising amount of storage space. Plenty of room for luggage, enough for a week end get away. The 4.5 V8 is peppy, and may not suit everyone, but is enough to get the kid in you excited. The car handles superb. It’s cornering abilities will inspire aspirations long thought to be gone. It would seem that all you have to do is point it where you want to go and it will take you there. The coach builder, Pinafara, built a surprisingly comfortable two seater. I am not of a smallish size and I am quite comfortable in the car. It sounds like no other Cadillac in my collection. It has an authoritative report without being overbearing.
Perhaps the most surprising thing I have noticed so far is the fuel economy. While it does prefer premium grade fuel, I have been pleasantly surprised at the report of the on board fuel management system that tells me I am getting 24, yes, twenty four mpg. This is not highway traveling and I will admit that while not pushing the limits of the car, I have been driving slightly more aggressively than I normally do in order to get to know the car.
I am pleased with the newest member of the fleet, and look forward to many years of enjoyment and, oh yeah – like they said and like I say now – FUN.