Back in the ‘80s, The Cadillac Allanté hit the scene as a two-door, two-seater luxury roadster fitted with a body designed and produced by the legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. GM’s arrangement with Pininfarina included flying the completed bodies from Italy to Detroit for final assembly, resulting in what some called “the world’s largest assembly line.” Now, we’re getting an inside look at what the Cadillac Allanté factory In Italy looks like today after it was abandoned.
Clocking in at a little over 12 minutes, the video includes some background on the factory, as well as the Cadillac Allanté, plus a recent walkthrough of the factory as it stands today in disrepair.
As the story goes, GM and Pininfarina reached an agreement in 1983 wherein the Italian coachbuilder would design and build the Cadillac Allanté before final assembly by GM in Detroit. The project led to Pininfarina building of the San Giorgio factory featured here in 1985.
GM saw the Cadillac Allanté as an aspiration model to take on European competition like the Jaguar XJS and Mercedes-Benz SL. Pininfarina was responsible for producing the Allanté body, as well as painting it, installing the trim, and installing the convertible tops. The partially assembled vehicles would then be flown from Turin International Airport to Detroit via specially equipped Boeing 747s, creating what became known as the “Allanté Air Bridge”. Roughly 56 bodies could be shipped at one time. Upon arrival in Michigan, GM would drop the bodies onto the U.S.-produced chassis, suspension, drivetrain, and anything else that was still missing.
Unsurprisingly, all of this made the Cadillac Allanté unbelievably expensive to produce. Production lasted between the 1987 and 1994 model years, and although Cadillac sought to sell 6,000 units annually, the Cadillac Allanté’s best year saw just 4,670 units sold. The entire six-year production run resulted in a total of 21,430 units produced.
Now, we’re checking out the factory where the bodies were originally made. Hit play to see it for yourself: