You could drive around in today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Cadillac and pretend you’re a Disney villainess. Let’s see if its price means you don’t have to be too Cruella to be kind.
We live in a world of unprecedented social manipulation. Whether it’s Snapchat filters adding freckles to every fleeting face or calling a pandemic less virulent than the flu, people are trying to mold consensus through frequently blatant manipulation.
I’m not saying that the seller of yesterday’s 1995 Toyota MR2 Turbo was practicing such Machiavellian machinations, but using old photos in the ad to represent its present state—and not letting on that it was such in the ad—doesn’t rule that out.
What was objectively ruled out was that MR2’s $16,900 asking price. No matter how nice a car it was, 91 percent of you weren’t having it until you at least saw it wearing today’s latest fashions. That earned the car a Crack Pipe loss.
Cruella de Vil is a great villainess name, don’t you think? That was the name English author Dodie Smith gave to her 101 Dalmatians protagonist, a character brought to life in the 1961 animated Disney adaptation where she was energetically voiced by Disney Legend, Betty Lou Gerson.
In the automotive world, there have been a number of DeVilles. The name was derived from the French “sedanca de ville” and entered Cadillac’s lineup with the 1949 Series 62 Coupé de Ville. From then on, the de Ville nameplate (eventually morphing into DeVille) became a fixture in Cadillac’s model line, riding a decades-long wave of ever-increasing size and ostentation and the eventual downsizing and rationalization that followed.
This 2002 Cadillac DeVille DHS represents the last of the DeVille series and while it’s not quite the boat its predecessors from the ‘60s and ‘70s may have been, it’s still a throw-back to an era when American luxury meant pillow-soft seats and a good bit of chrome.
This one has the requisite brightwork. The big factory wheels are shiny-plated and there’s both a grille-topping bar of it up front and a wide euro-style license plate surround of it in the back. This particular DeVille’s literal crowning glory, however, is its faux convertible roof. Yes, these were once a thing, and you’re damn right in thinking they still should be.
The last-generation DeVille was built on a modified version of GM’s FWD K platform denoted as the G and shared with the Olds Aurora and Buick LeSabre. The G platform carried on under the successor Cadillac DTS as well as the big Buick Lucerne. It finally went to its grave at the end of 2011 with the elimination of both of those models.
Power here is provided by a 275 horsepower 4.6-litre Northstar V8. That engine sits transversely under the flight deck-sized hood and is paired with a four-speed 4T80 automatic transaxle. The curb weight on the DeVille comes in at under two-tons so while it won’t be winning any races, the car should still be able to cruise with reasonable comfort.
The car looks to be in great condition for its nearly two decades of life and claimed 125,000 miles. That deep blue top really pairs well with the pearlescent off-white paint and the chromed factory wheels.
The interior has also held up and is filled with the widest bucket seats you’re likely to find on a car from this century. Those, along with the capacious back bench, are upholstered in leather, a luxury covering accented by some subtle wood trim on both the dash and the tiller.
The only major issue here is the atrocious panel gaps that afflict the dash under its wood. This car obviously comes from an era when GM didn’t really give a damn about what you had to stare at all day while driving their cars.
Aside from that, there’s plenty to like here. This being the even more luxury-oriented DHS (DeVille High Luxury Sedan—no seriously) there’s an automatic sunshade and heated seats in the back. Of course, everything is power-operated in here and the double-sealed doors will keep it whisper quiet on the highway.
The dealer offering the car is so excited by it that they had to present its ad in ALL CAPS. They also employ, not just one, but two exclamation marks in the ad title so you know something special is going on here. That ad describes the car as “MECHANICALLY PERFECT” and claims it “DRIVES FLAWLESSLY” both of which are encouraging advocacies of it being a solid ride. If you are in the market for such a beast, you’re definitely going to want to get the best you can find. You might even pay a little extra to do so.
The asking price here is $3,995 which in the grand scheme of things, is a lot for a DeVille of this age, but that’s only because most DeVilles of this era are clapped out fright pigs. No, seriously, go look some up. I don’t know what it is about these cars but most of them have lived very hard lives, suffering scraped-up bumpers and abused bodywork. What, are Applebees parking lots that hard to navigate?
This one looks pristine and seems mechanically sound. What do you think, would that make it worth that $3,995 asking? Or, is this DeVille just not divine enough for such a price?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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