Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cadillac Coupe DeVille is painted in a factory hue of Heather Firemist, which less creative types might describe as light purple. Let’s see if its price might make us all green with envy.
It’s been said that time is a great healer. That may be true, but time is also a great eroder. When new, the 1990 Daihatsu Rocky we looked at yesterday wasn’t popular enough to warrant its parent company investing any more time or money in trying to sell cars in the U.S. market. One might think that, in the years since, the Rocky might have gained something of a cult following, or at the very least an increased level of interest owing to its rarity.
Unfortunately, our Rocky looked to have been time-worn a factor that really impacted its presentation and hence any interest in paying its “firm” $5,000 asking. That ended up firmly in the red with a 64 percent No Dice loss.
When it was introduced in April 1984, the sixth-generation Cadillac DeVille was touted in its marketing materials as “the Cadillac of tomorrow.” A whopping two feet shorter than its immediate ancestor and riding on a wheelbase that was nearly a foot shorter, the new DeVille still offered interior space almost equal to that of the previous edition. That was owed to the car riding on an entirely new platform.
Not only that, but the DeVille’s new FWD C-body underpants allowed Cadillac to offer a nearly flat floor in the cabin and, in a first for the model, four-wheel independent suspension.
Both of those features were made possible by the C-body being designed around a transversely-mounted engine driving the front wheels. In the Caddy, that engine could be the 4100 V8 (more on that in a bit) which was the first use of a transverse V8 engine powering the front wheels. Also notably, and a bit poignantly, this generation was the last of the line to offer a two-door body style.
That makes this 1985 Cadillac Coupe DeVille one of the last ever to carry that venerable title. Looking at the color scheme, though, it’s obvious this Caddy has more going for it than just that history.
The car is painted in Heather Firemist over a color-matched burgundy leather and plastics interior. The combo is unique and almost lurid, but harkens back to prewar-era luxury cars like the Ruxton that were painted in outlandish and unique colors. The Ruxtons, by the way, were also FWD.
This Caddy’s color scheme probably wouldn’t be as appealing if the car were in rough shape, which, it is not. According to the ad, this Coupe DeVille has done a mere 54,600 miles and it presents as though those were done in the safety of an enclosed trailer. Really, the only visual miscue here is that the white walls on the new Uniroyal tires are looking a bit dingy. A quick scrub with one of those magic eraser sponges should fix that right up.
Both interior and trunk look to be in as-new condition with clean carpet, and very little wear evident on the incredibly comfortable-appearing seats. Everything here is original, and according to the seller, it all works as it should. And no, I don’t know what that blue wire in the boot is for either.
The only real fly in this Caddy’s ointment might be that 4100 V8 under the hood. When it debuted, the 135-horsepower throttle body-injected engine was not Cadillac’s finest moment. The aluminum block/cast iron head engine had a number of teething issues that manifested over the years. Those weren’t properly addressed until the 4.5-liter update that followed the 4100.
There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this one, and the mileage is so low that there hasn’t been much chance for things to go sideways, so maybe it’s a moot point. The car’s 4T60 four-speed automatic isn’t known for being particularly problematic, and again, this one is remarkably under-used.
Along with a clean title, this Coupe DeVille comes with its original Caddy 23K gold keys. That’s a great throwback to the days when Caddy often mistook ostentation for luxury. The price for this great-looking ‘80s Caddy is $14,000, which is not too far off the $18K to $20K it cost when new.
Does the current $14,000 asking price seem like a deal considering the car appears to still be new? Or, is that too much to cop for this Coupe?