World’s Nicest 1985 Cadillac Seville Sits In The GM Heritage Center48
The second-generation Cadillac Seville isn’t a very celebrated model from the luxury automaker’s past, so we were a bit surprised to find out that General Motors decided to make space for one in the GM Heritage Center, where it sits alongside iconic models like the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and the 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.
While not one of Cadillac’s most beloved vehicles, the Seville is still an interesting museum piece, as it featured unique exterior styling with a short, “bustle back” rear deck inspired by Cadillac designs from the 1930s. The GM Heritage Center refers to the vehicle as having “statement styling” due to this dramatically tapered rear end. The second-generation Seville was also one of the last vehicles designed by Bill Mitchell, who led the GM styling department from the late 1950s until his retirement in the late 1970s.
Standard equipment on the Cadillac Seville in 1985 included power disc brakes, power steering, air conditioning, bumper guards, radial white sidewall tires, seat back recliners and rear-seat reading lamps. Oddly, the second-generation Seville was also the first American car to have a standard diesel engine, with GM using the Oldsmobile-developed LF9 5.7-liter diesel V8 in the front-wheel drive luxury sedan. A 4.1-liter V8 and a 6.0-liter V8 were also available. The only available transmission was a four-speed automatic.
The second-generation Cadillac Seville wasn’t really a hot seller, unfortunately. Sales hovered between 20,000 and just over 39,000 units between 1980 and 1985, reaching their highest point in 1984, when Cadillac managed to sell 39,997 examples of the sedan. Due to these relatively low sales numbers, along with a lack of interest in the car, we feel quite confident saying the GM Heritage Center probably has the world’s nicest Cadillac Seville. This car has been perfectly kept, spending a pampered life in GM’s secretive personal collection, has some of the shiniest chrome trim we’ve ever laid eyes on. We’re curious how many miles this showpiece has on the odometer and if it was ever actually owned or driven.
Check out the GM Heritage Center’s dedicated landing page for the 1985 Cadillac Seville at this link, where you can view some more photos of what just may be the world’s nicest example of the seldom seen sedan.
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I have a unique “perspective” on this car. I was on the cusp of adolescence in 1980, a kid in an affluent neighborhood where my parents were, financially speaking, “very small fish in the big pond,” struggling to make payments on their Oldsmobile Cadillac lookalikes when neighbors had the real thing or exotic European sports cars, the occasional Rolls, and lots of Lincoln Town Cars (I was partial to the “Continental” with its round trunk detail– ask Freud about that one) and Jaguar sedans in their final curvy models that literally made me think they were miniature Rolls Royces.
When I first started to see the Seville, they created a delightful visual shock I won’t forget. As a younger kid (toddler or barely past) I was fascinated by hatchbacks which my parents would never dream of getting; they were a bit like little spaceships to me just exotic compared to my parents’ conventionally 3-box-shaped cars. In my very early youth I assumed hatchbacks, being so “exotic,” must be too pricey for my parents, who tried to tell me they were actually cheaper, and undesirable.
When the Seville started to appear. with their sloped unconventional back, my eyes seemed to register them as a magical synthesis of the “exotic” hatchback look and the uber-luxurious Cadillac. My eyes would pine for a glimpse of one of these, and I’d stare out the window of our Oldsmobile hoping for a “fix.” Naturally, I never stopped torturing my parents, “Why can’t we get a Seville?” When we were on a road trip, “spot the Seville” was of course the game that passed the time. But for me, more than a “game”, it was a hunger. And if had shiny, densely packed tiny spokes, I was agape.
I was in the 8th grade when the 1980-1985 generation Seville was introduced and it was a stunner. Had a couple of friends’ parents that owned this generation. I never thought the build quality was all that great, though. The interior design became much more refined in later years. It’s a beautiful car, one only GM could design. Bose radio was nearly $1k option though surprisingly rarely highlighted in ads for these. This was a pricey, major option. That Bose unit sounded great even by today’s audio standards. This gray Seville is a knockout and the cloth interior probably would hold up better than the leather, long term. I remember the Cadillac dealer near my home had at least a dozen unsold 1985’s into the spring of 1986. The leftover 1985’s were low option cars with cloth, no cruise control, cassette radio or Twighlight Sentinel; I was surprised at the number of base cars this dealer had. The dealer added that tacky cloth convertible looking roof to a few of these to sell them. If I bought a Cadillac in that era, I would want to have Twighlight Sentinel on my car, thank you.