Several of the photos in the ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Seville are shot in what looks to be a cemetery. That may be too morbid for some, but could be overlooked if the price makes the car a killer deal.
The rabble was roused in the comments on yesterday’s 2013 Lotus Evora 2+2. It was plainly obvious that at $58,777, few of you found that base model with an automatic to be terribly appealing when higher-spec supercharged and stick-shifted models are on the market for just a few thousand more. No discrepancy could be found between comments and the vote either, with the Evora falling in a 74 percent No Dice loss
I find it interesting that so many American luxury cars in the ’70s were named after cities or provinces in Spain, a cross-brand coincidence that is oddly specific. We had the Granada, the Versailles (close enough), the Cordoba, and, of course, perhaps most notably, the Seville.
Cadillac introduced the Seville in 1975 in an effort to counter encroachments into the American fancy-pants car market being made at the time by foreign carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Upon its introduction, the Seville would be the smallest, and, interestingly, the most expensive model in Cadillac’s lineup. The new car was based on the lowly GM X-body platform shared with the likes of the Chevrolet Nova and was kissing cousin to the F-body Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. Due to the extensive reengineering undertaken to ensure no one called the car the “Cadillac Nova,” the platform earned its own designation as the K-body.
The first Seville certainly didn’t look like a Nova. Nor for that matter did it look like anything else in Cadillac’s lineup either. With its clean, rectilinear lines and modest overhangs, the Seville stood in stark contrast to the existing Sedan and Coupe DeVille models, the design inspiration for those having been “go for baroque.” Amazingly, the Seville’s timeless design still looks fresh today.
This 1976 Cadillac Seville appears to be proof of that pudding. With 123,000 miles on the clock, it doesn’t look to be harshly used either. One thing to note before we dive in is that those miles are assumed since the seller says the odometer has rolled over and, having only five barrels, now reads 23,500. How jaw-dropping is it that carmakers in earlier eras didn’t have enough faith in the durability of their products to feel the need for them to document accurate mileage over 100K?
That’s a moot point with this Seville, however, since it looks to have broken that mileage barrier as well as that of age, and has come through with flying colors. Those colors are Innsbruck Metallic Blue on the body and white for the elegant vinyl-wrapped roof. A powder blue interior with leather seating, deep carpets, and lots of fake wood and chrome complements the exterior color combo.
Everything looks to be stock and complete, right down to the bright polished rocker panel covers and the faux wire wheel covers, with the latter accented by whitewall tires. Most notably, all of the flexible plastic bumper gap fillers are intact and appear unfaded. This was one of the first American cars to be designed with the then-new five-mile-per-hour bumper standards in mind and so the chrome-plated bumpers are tucked in under the bodywork with the bump-absorbing space filled with flexible plastic parts for a smooth appearance. Those are available in the aftermarket but are costly.
The ad is extremely light on the details, offering only that the car is “Priced for quick sale” followed by the demand of “Serious only.” There’s no mention of the condition of the engine or transmission, nor whether things like the A/C or brakes work as they should. Seeing as the car is pictured in the ad in several locations with no sign of AAA in the background, we can at least assume that it runs and drives.
What motivates it to do so is a 350 CID V8 sourced from Oldsmobile. That engine may share its displacement with the ubiquitous Small Block Chevy mill, but the similarities end there. In the Seville, the Olds engine was fitted with Bosch electronic fuel injection which gave the V8 180 horsepower (stop laughing) and 275 lb-ft of torque. That’s backed up by a three-speed THM-400 automatic, one of the most buttery of self-shifters ever devised. Keep in mind that the Seville’s close relationship to the Chevy Nova and Camaro means that a lot of performance upgrades for the drivetrain, suspension, and brakes are available and relatively cheap.
That makes this Seville an excellent contender for a budget-conscious car collector. In it, you could roll up to any Cars and Coffee show without shame and could also drive it to work the next day in complete comfort. How many old cars can offer the same?
As we noted, the seller is seeking a quick sale and has set a $7,000 asking price in the thought that will set the pace. We now need to decide just how quick a sale that price may mean. What do you think, is this well-kept but sort of secret Seville worth that $7,000 asking? Or, does that price put the brakes on the seller’s desire for a fast trade?
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