Rossini's The Barber of Seville is one of the world's most popular operas, but that wasn't originally the case as its premiere was beset by accidents and a rowdy audience. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Seville has also spent time with the barber, but will its price still require a little off the top?
Back in the '70s it seems as though American auto manufacturers considered small, space-efficient cars to be akin to leprechauns and girls who dig butsecks- fantasy creatures that don't exist in the real world. It took the Japanese invasion of just such those mythical beasts - the small cars, not the shillelagh-wielding little people or hershey highway hitchhikers - to drag the U.S. makers out of their stupor of wretched excess.
One of Detroit's eventual smaller-is-baller offerings from that era was the Cadillac Seville. Built on a modified X-body platform from the mid-size Chevy Nova, the Seville saw enough reworking to be anointed its own k platform rank. The purpose of the Seville was to capture buyers who might have gone to the Germans, Mercedes and the big BMWs having gained increased popularity amongst the monied set at the time.
Caddy hit one out of the park with the '75 Seville, their new 'internationally-sized' car becoming a sales hit, even though being premium priced near the top of Caddy's range. So popular was the marque that at one point the cars were built in Iran under the name Cadillac Iran. Freaking Iran!
The car also inspired a number of aftermarket special editions, of which this 1979 San Remo Ultima is one of the coolest. The San Remo Convertible Coupé was engineered and constructed by Westlake Village's Coach Design Group, Inc., and were sold by Ogner Motors of Woodland Hills, CA, and Hillcrest Motor Co. of Beverly Hills. It should be noted that this is still a full 5-passenger car, and not one of those shrinky-dink Milan jobbers. Unlike those, this one looks perfectly proportioned.
The conversion required reinforcement of the structure of the Seville to account for the loss of the roof, and the bodywork to be modified for both the drop top and the removal of the rear doors. On top of that, the San Remo was offered in two distinct models - the standard and the Ultima.
The standard car had the factory Seville nose, but out in back the bodywork was changed, replacing the factory corner tail lamps with metal caps and bookending the license plate with a pair of horizontal Eldorado lights under a shortened trunk lid.
The Ultima went a little crazy, doubling up the Eldo lights (four total) and replacing the Seville head lights with scooped out units. It's not quite Liberace-level ostentatious, but it's getting close. On the inside, the cars received Connolly leather upholstery and a custom center console.
Total production of the San Remos was in double digits making this brown beauty a car you're unlikely to see every day. Of course you are seeing it today - lucky you - and as such you might like to know that the seller claims its Olds-sourced 5.7-litre V8 runs without issue, and that the car comes with fewer than 75K on the clock.
It also rocks classy Vogue rubber on Dayton wires, and you'll be happy to know that the top goes up and down at the push of a switch. All this stuff is said to be in working condition.
Dealer-commissioned customs are an odd breed. Rarely do they engender much in the way of desirability or collectability, but there are notable exceptions like the Huntington Ford Panrga. The San Remo too might fit that bill, and that might go a long way towards justifying this one's $33,000 price tag.
What do you think about this rare Seville custom for that amount of cash? Is that a price that should have buyers lining up? Or, is this a Seville that's going to be waiting a long time to hear the fat lady sing?
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