I love old Cadillacs…I’ve had two, a 93 DeVille, pretty good…and a 91 Seville…pretty bad…I currently drive an 84 Mercedes 300D turbo but found a couple of old Sevilles I’m thinking of getting as a second car. The same guy owns both…the 85 has the slightly improved HT4100 with the improved block and fewer miles but more cosmetic issues…the 83 has the old aluminum block but is cleaner and has fewer cosmetic issues…85 has 96K miles 83 has 103K I’m thinking about the 83 as it might cost me less to get perfect…and I’m thinking that if this car has gone 29 years on the same engine, it’s probably going to be okay if I take really good care of it…Of course I don’t have to buy either and the guy actually talked about selling me both which might be excessive even for me. my question…83 or 85 or neither?
The HT engines were pretty bad all around, but the 4.9L seems to be the most reliable one they offered. If it were me though, the earliest Seville I would consider would be the 1993 model with the Northstar V8. A 1994 Fleetwood with the LT1 would be another option
1981-1989 The dark Years…And not just Caddies…Save your money…
You stated that you are considering one of these Cadillacs for a second car. Both of them have reached antique car status. I really like the design of these Cadillacs and as long as you understand that the 1980s wasn’t the greatest year in auto industry and you aren’t paying too much for one of these Cadillacs, why not? If you aren’t going to drive the car for a long distance, why not choose the one that looks better.
Much depends on the asking price too. If the seller thinks they’re valuable classics then maybe neither one.
FoDaddy, not sure I like either of those body styles, although I know the DeVille you mention has a great engine…one passed me on the interstate the other day going at least 90!
ok4450 he’s asking 3K for each of them…which is…meh…maybe a little high but I may be able to talk him out of both for 4K for the pair…
If you want an inexpensive, older Cadillac, I suggest that you consider a 1960s (7th generation) Model 62. My parents had a 1964 hardtop. It was comfortable and surprisingly quick with the 429 ci engine. It’s also available as a convertible. You might also look at its replacement, the Calais, but I don’t care for the late 60s design.
The engines may work but the electrical wiring in these vehicles is not good. The windows stop working along with the a/c and heater. The make up mirrors do not turn off, heat up and catch fire. I would say no to this purchase. I agree with Caddyman.
I have to say no because of the aluminum engine block and the oil viscosity required by the 4100 engine. If the temperature doesn’t go below 30 degrees F for more than a few hours overnight, straight 30 weight is recommended. Many people just drop 5W30 in there and that isn’t enough protection and won’t produce enough oil pressure. That leads to worn out camshaft and lifters.
You can change the camshaft on the conventionally mounted engine without removing the engine but it’s a real job. You can’t remove individual rockers without stripping threads, then you need nuts and bolts and a grinder to cut off parts of some bolt heads for clearance. Some bolt heads get in the way when mounting the rocker support which is made of pot metal or aluminum. Those supports can break too but not often.
If it isn’t an oil burner it’ll be OK. If the engine and gas gauge and instant mileage thing go crazy along with cruise not working, you will need a new computer which luckily cost $100 back in 2001. It gets the fuel economy of a new full size 4WD pickup. Slightly better, but you would be slightly better off without those Sevilles.
About twenty years ago I had a friend who was an attorney who drove an early eighties Sedan Deville with the 4100. Actually a very nice looking car but the engine turned to slag in short order. Funny thing was he replaced it with an Olds diesel. Now that was one unique sounding and smelling Cadillac…
Texases, I love those Sevilles too…that is for sure an option, but they’re usually a bit more expensive than I was wanting to spend…I have thought about getting a 90-92 Brougham…I think the engines in those are pretty good
The problems I would have with cars older then the early 80 s is the possible loss of fuel injection and electronic FI later. To go back to carbs which had their own problems back then, and adding ethanol to the equation, is more maintenance on a car you use much. Even greater maintenance on a car you don’t use much if you aren’t careful. Give me a newer Caddy any day designed to deal with this crapola. A diesel would be a compromise.
The '78 had port fuel injection and an iron block engine based on the pretty much bullet-proof Olds 350. So it has none of the carb issues or the aluminum block issues. But finding someone that can work on the fuel injection system would be a challenge.
My favorite Caddy is the '76 Eldo Barritz. My sister had one, white outside with white & red leather interior. Gorgeous. Totally austentacoious. Totally without purpose. Just a show of pure personal luxury.
My favorite Cadillac is a late model CTS-V wagon. My fave may become the ATS-V when GM gets around to building it in 2014. But for older Caddies, the 1957/1958 Eldorado Brougham is where it’s at. Still, Mom’s 1964 Series 6200 hardtop was a honey, even if it was merely an entry model.
drove both of them today, the 83 white seville, while in nicer shape cosmetically, tended to accelerate on its own…probably needs new throttle body, etc. The Blue 85 needs more cosmetic stuff, including a radio, hood ornament, headliner replaced, and plastic filler panels replaced, but that might end up costing less than motor issues
Offhand, I don’t see the problem with the 83 as being too serious. The cosmetic stuff on the 85 shouldn’t be that big a deal either and you should be able to round up any of that stuff off of eBay, Craigslist, or a Cadillac site on the cheap.
Slightly OT, but in regards to mountainbike’s comment about a 76 El Dorado, a friend of mine who is now deceased modified one of those for a guy who spent several years while disassembling an oil refinery. My friend was a mechanic on his regular gig and a car customizer on the side while belonging to a local car club.
The oil refinery guy had a 76 El Dorado which is of course is FWD and has a hood that could see duty as an aircraft carrier. My friend modded that Caddy by adding 18" in length to it; between the windshield and front wheels. If you thought the original hood covered an acre or so you should have seen the stretched one! That hood emblem was WAY out there and my first comment when I sat in it was asking for binoculars to spot the nose with.
He also added 2 spare tire Continental kits to the front fenders a la 30s era Cadillac to go along with the one on the rear and finished it up with a set of wire wheels.
It was the ultimate pimp cruiser but the color scheme (black vinyl roof over blue/green body) actually made it tolerable. Sort of.
I never drove it but one would have to be very careful on those right hand turns.
When the car accelerates on its own, the engine may be stuck on fast idle, which may indicate a computer problem. The computer is old after all.
I have actually decided to pass on the Sevilles…I found a 1975 Sedan DeVille with 40K miles, beautiful interior and strong engine…I’m going to get that