But, the Cadillac Allante was certainly not the most business-savvy way to go about positioning Cadillac against the Mercedes-Benz SL and Jaguar XJS, as told by Motoring Research originally.
You see, Cadillac decided to team up with Italian-based coach builder, Pininfarina, for an exclusive convertible which shared no components with any other GM branded vehicle.
Cadillac had Pininfarina build the bodies of the Allante, paint them, trim them and, finally, install their convertible tops. Then, the cars would hop a flight from Turin, to Detroit via a jumbo jet airliner, where the sub-frames, suspension, drivetrain and other components would be installed.
And, thus, a Cadillac Allante was born. Though, it could have really been called anything, as the Allante name was selected from a list filled with 1,700 random computer-generation names.
In the end, it simply wasn’t enough. Pininfarina’s convertible tops were known to leak substantially, and GM pushed the car out to production anyway after identifying the issue, tarnishing the Allante name from the start. Despite improvements each year, the convertible couldn’t truly contest the SL and XJS.
Cadillac wanted to sell 6,000 examples each year, but its best selling year saw merely 4,670 units sold in the end. If one still desires one of these unique vehicles today, low mileage examples can still fetch $20,000.