5 Cadillacs to buy, sell, or hold
For an entire generation, Cadillac was the benchmark by which other luxury brands were measured. However, from comfort, amenities, and styling standpoints, Cadillac has built cars that were both stunning hits and outright flops. With so many choices to fit the varying tastes of so many collectors, it can be hard to keep track of what’s in vogue at any given point in time. If you’re a bit lost in the storm of what’s hot in Cadillac Land, here are five noteworthy Caddys that our research indicates are wise to either buy, sell or hold for now.
BUY: 1971-1976 DeVille – HVR 82
Without a doubt, the mid-’70s DeVille is the poster car for the American land-barge cars. Their mile long panels, sofa-like interiors and massive displacement V-8s pumping out minuscule power figures is ‘70s American car culture writ large. This so called “malaise” era has for some put a damper on the collectibility of many cars that are otherwise great drivers.
Solid, original examples are not hard to come by and while they are relatively inexpensive still, values, especially that of sedans, has started to rise. With interest equally spread among Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials, don’t expect these to stay cheap collector cars forever. If you happen across a clean, original DeVille, it might be worth a second look. We don’t expect them to get any cheaper.
SELL: 1987-1993 Allanté – HVR 23
The Allanté was a valiant attempt by Cadillac to compete with European two-seater luxury cars such as the Mercedes SL and the Jaguar XJS. The bodies were built by Pininfarina then flown to Detroit for assembly. It had everything going for it—Italian body, fancy European name and the most advanced electronics in the space at the time. Ultimately this wasn’t enough to sway sufficient buyer volume willing to pay the steep $50,000 price tag. Production was halted with just over 21,000 cars built.
Despite a passionate following, prices for the Allanté have been creeping downwards; the best examples are roughly $16,000 cars. Going forward, the main concern surrounding the Allanté market is that it is dominated by older generations (baby boomers and pre-boomers), who make up nearly 84 percent of quotes for these cars. In comparison, just under 4 percent of Allanté quotes are coming from millennials, the fastest-growing segment in the hobby. This isn’t sounding any alarms, but unless you dearly love your Allanté, those looking to move on likely won’t benefit by waiting for prices to climb.
SELL: 1955-1958 Eldorado – HVR 18
The 1950s was the age of the tailfin, and nothing embodies that more than the ‘55-’58 Eldorado. Granted, everyone was fully invested in jet-age styling at the time, but Cadillac set the bar. They also set the bar for luxury with many features gracing their cars that we take for granted today. Things like power windows, air conditioning and self-dimming high beams were major luxury options at the time. Due to the complexity to restore and their iconic nature, these cars have commanded high prices for years, especially for Convertibles.
Over the past few months though, the market has shifted. Weak sales have resulted in Convertible values dropping to a 10-year low, and with below average quoting activity, the Hagerty Vehicle Rating for the Eldorado has hovered in the market depths of our Bottom 25 list. If you have had an Eldorado in the stable and considering downsizing, now may be a better time than later to sell.
HOLD: 2009-2015 CTS-V – HVR 68
Cadillac’s introduction of the CTS-V in 2004 was concerted attempt to break with a decades-old image of a large luxury barge marketed to people who watch Wheel of Fortune and get hype for bingo night. The concept really gained legs with their second-generation CTS-V with the addition of the 556-horsepower, supercharged LSA engine. With a 0-60 time in the 4.0-second range, the CTS-V put down M5 performance at a discount to its German counterpart.
Today, the second-generation CTS-V is still a sought-after car, especially if you have a six-speed wagon in your stable. Wagons, especially ones with low miles have regained value to equal original MSRP or better. While these don’t seem to be primed to explode, the collector potential down the road is hard to ignore.
HOLD: 2004-2009 XLR – HVR 57
Ten years after the cancellation of the Allanté, Cadillac was ready to try again at the two-seat roadster market again. Instead of the complicated supply chain with Italy, the XLR was produced alongside the Corvette at GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky plant. While they weren’t fitted with the more powerful LS based V-8, Cadillac’s 320 horsepower Northstar V-8 proved adequate. Ultimately production numbers were a bit over 15,000 before production was halted in 2009.
Values for the XLR appear to have reached the bottom of their depreciation curve, however there are no signs of them growing either. This is possibly due to the fact that they are so similar to the Corvette that it becomes a no-brainer for many sports car buyers to go with the name more associated with performance. We expect that factor to keep values stable for the foreseeable future. If you have bought one recently, it is a reasonably safe bet that these should return your investment without too much trouble or risk.