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There are proof that you can't fool the public by putting a badge on a J-car POS and charge twice as much as the Chevy Cavalier and keep your brand image strong.

Roger Smith gave Lexus and Mercedes the keys to the professional set with this joke.

They even lowered themselves to the FoMoCo bankrupt logic that "the engine is made of all of the parts that met the highest standards of inspection" meaning that the parts were selected from the run of parts for the dogmeat Cavalier/whatever engine and the ones they got right go into the Cimmaron engine, ala' Lincoln. So if I buy the Chevy, Pontiac, Olds or Buick J-car I'm getting the B or C grade engine?

Bob Luta and his team has finally restored the luster of Cadillac, in passenger cars, let's hope it keeps going long enough to get back those buyers who think only good cars come from Germany and Japan. I'd like to think the new Cadillacs are good cars, time, miles and repair bills will tell.

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My favorite Cimarron story.

When the guy in charge of the project was pitching it to senior management a wiser more experienced executive took him aside and said "You better watch your step. You are doing awfully well in there and if you aren't careful you are going to get your wish. And I want you to know that you don't have enough talent, and GM doesn't have enough money to turn that sh*tbox into a Cadillac".

Later he admitted "He was right".

Sorry I don't remember the names of the executives involved.

Edited by Rawja
expletive (see edit history)
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They were actually pretty decent cars by the end of the run when they finally received a V6 and more distinctive styling, but the car which had been rushed into production ahead of what had been originally scheduled (for a fuel crisis that never materialized), had already become an object of derision.

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Rusty,

To me, "badge engineering" is kind of a shell game, even if the product you're trying to sell isn't that bad. I'm assuming the name for the car came from the river in southwest Kansas, which is more of a mirage than a river most of the year.

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There was a movie "Cimarron" dealing, I think, with the Oklahoma land rush.I assumed the names were associated.Not being from that part of the country, I didn't know it was a river.

There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.

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It is easy to laugh at the Cimarron today, but at the time, I recall that they sold in large numbers. There were a lot of them on the road.

Today, they have all disappeared, but I bet they were a moneymaker for GM, since the were selling a Cavalier and getting an almost DeVille price.

Speaking of another joke, does anybody recall the Granada-based Lincoln Versaille. This was a Granada tarted up with a faux Continental kit, a padded roof, and a Mark IV type grille. I don't believe that they sold as well as the Cimarron.

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It is easy to laugh at the Cimarron today, but at the time, I recall that they sold in large numbers. There were a lot of them on the road.

Despite being the lowest priced Caddy every year (by as much as $8000.00), the Cimarron never made up more than 10% of Cadillac sales in any one year. It's sales hovered around 20-25,000 from 1982 to 1986, dropped to 14,000 for 1987, and dropped to 6500 for 1988 (according to The Standard Catalog of Cadillac).

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I recall as a young Chevy salesman in 1990 I took a Cimmaron in trade. Being aware of it's derision from old car circles I took a ride and found it to be the nicest J car you could ever want, with a good V6 and leather power seat. But still not a suitable Cadillac. I did not realize it's sales numbers were as good as Dave mentions, I certainly saw very few.

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It is easy to laugh at the Cimarron today, but at the time, I recall that they sold in large numbers. There were a lot of them on the road.

Today, they have all disappeared, but I bet they were a moneymaker for GM, since the were selling a Cavalier and getting an almost DeVille price.

I recall seeing many of them in the Mpls. area.

I think GM assumed no one would make the connection between the Cavalier and the Cimmaron. Most likely, only those with an interest in cars knew what they did.

Speaking of another joke, does anybody recall the Granada-based Lincoln Versaille. This was a Granada tarted up with a faux Continental kit, a padded roof, and a Mark IV type grille. I don't believe that they sold as well as the Cimarron.

I still see one roaming the streets near me.

Not a great car by any means.

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Guest my3buicks

Marketing the Cimarron

If memory serves me right - was not the Cimarron sold under the

"Cimarron by Cadillac" and not as a "Cadillac Cimarron"? Probably the same difference but there was some seperation there.

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Ya gotta give it to GM. They did a better job disguising a Nova then Ford did disguising a Granada...

The Granada had very sculpted sides. So it was impossible to disguise it even with new front, rear, roof, etc. It would have had to have all new sheetmetal to remove it. The Cavalier had smooth sides, so no problem with identifiable side sculpting. Yet it still looks more like a Cavalier, and is usually mistaken for one until you take a second look.

I am not a fan of the Versailles, but would much rather have one than a Cimarron. The Nova Seville doesn't impress me either. I'd rather have an '80-'85.

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If you could not tell the early Seville (77-9( was based on a Nova you were blind,the 80 and up were just a 4 door version of a Eldo,Riviera or Toronada.

I do not believe there was a single piece of sheet metal that interchanged from a Nova to a Seville, nor an interior piece. The Versailles shared most sheet metal with the Granada, and also the instrument panel and all glass.

To me, that's even more egregious than making a Cimarron out of a Cavalier, in that a Versailles was a much-more expensive car than a Cimarron (adjusting for inflation of course).

Bill

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The early Sevilles might not of shared much sheetmetal but you can still tell it was based off a nova as it just had the look of one,I hated pulling a seat out of one as the doors would not open wide enough or the door panel stuck out too much. If I can remember correctly the door panels (drivers side mainly) would fall apart after a few years and was hard to repair right,I am glad I did not spend the money to buy one of those three when they were new since they were just over glorified versions of what they were based on and not worth the extra money.

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I did see a early Seville on the road the other day and will see a Citation now and then but have not seen a Cimaron for a couple years,one would think that you would still see quite a few 80s vehicles on the road but I see more older vehicles then the early to mid 80s. Either they were just not that good or the harsh Ohio winters took them out,I cant believe the manufactures produced those over glorified cheap cars and the gullible public that fell for them.

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I do not believe there was a single piece of sheet metal that interchanged from a Nova to a Seville, nor an interior piece. The Versailles shared most sheet metal with the Granada, and also the instrument panel and all glass.

To me, that's even more egregious than making a Cimarron out of a Cavalier, in that a Versailles was a much-more expensive car than a Cimarron (adjusting for inflation of course).

Bill

I have heard before that the Seville shared practically nothing with a Nova. Don't know if that is true or not, but if it is, then I think it is even worse than a Versailles because GM went through a lot of extra effort and expense to produce a car that looks like and everyone thinks is just a dressed up Nova.

As far as Versailles vs. Cimarron, the Granada was at least being marketed as a plush smaller car. The Cavalier was just the bottom of the line Chevy sold at double the price.

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As I recall, the first Sevilles had very little in common with the Nova. They may have shared a wheelbase or something, but that was about it. Those Sevilles were very nice looking cars for the time, much better than the horrid bustleback with the 241 V8 that followed. The Lincoln Versailles was brought out to compete with the Seville, but as everyone has said, they were little more than gussied up Granadas. There are still some around. The later Cimarrons were decent vehicles, but they never overcame their Cavalier origins.

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The original Seville was based on the GM X-car platform. Gussied up and massaged, yes, but it was based on Nova. They did designate the X-special as the K body. Basic architecture was X, but changed enough to give it its own body designation. I expect Cadillac had a little more pride about it back then too, as opposed to later when they got that ratty little J-car.

Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo.

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If you could not tell the early Seville (77-9( was based on a Nova you were blind,the 80 and up were just a 4 door version of a Eldo,Riviera or Toronada.

i was a young man selling Cadallic's in Spokane, WA when the Seville came out - i had a white one with black leather for a demo (in those days we got a driver as a perk) - i actually enjoyed the car - we had 12 or 13 in stock when we got a note from Cadillac - all of the wire harness had to be replaced - this was a huge deal but the dealership handled it! i was thinking they had to do a frame off on each one but maybe not? - i do know it took alot of man hours to do all of them, - tom

PictureTrail - Gallery

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Cadillac did not produce the Cimmaron because they thought it was a great idea. They were forced to add it to their line because of CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). Federal legislation required that the average fuel economy of all Cadillacs sold not exceed a certain level. Since Cadillac could not get their then-current product line down to that level, they had to add a rebadged Cavalier to their line, in order to bring the average down.

And, it is true that Cadillac did not market it as the Cadillac Cimmaron. They knew it wasn't a Cadillac, so they called it the Cimmaron by Cadillac.

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I always knew what a Opel was but when they said it was by Isuzu I had no clue what was going on at that time,today a Isuzu is nothing to get excited about like back then and last weekend I seen a Buick version of the Citation.

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