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Musings on the 'E' platform


Rawja

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I seem to be an inadvertent fan of the disastrous double-downsized from '86 'E' platformed vehicles. Things I've read recently got me to thinking. The 'K' platform was the four door version of the 'E' platform and from what I've been reading the 'K' (though updated) is still in production and that the various succeeding generations were modifications to the previous edition, not clean-sheet designs.

Now I know GM got a lot of mileage out of the ol' RWD C/B/D platform, utilizing it with generational modifications from '77-96 (20 model years), but doing the math on the E/K '86-11 gets you to 26 model years with one or two still left for the DTS.

Or am I wrong here?

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My complaint is that GM doesn't have any decent mid-sized touring coupes anymore. Besides the styling, I like a two-door because I can simply push the seatback forward, toss in a laptop/briefcase/grocery bag/whatever, and get in. No multi-door opening/closing - or heaving things over onto the front passenger seat and having them slide off onto the floor at the first stop light.

There has got to be some decent middle ground between a Cobalt and a CTS - without going the pony car route. The German and Japanese have both found it...

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Rawja,

Funny, I suffer the same affliction. While the Reatta is among the better liked E platform cars now, I actually really like the 85-91 Eldorado (it has grown on me in the past few years) even though it was generally panned, both when new and now. The 88-93 Riviera was also a very good looking car IMO, even if not nearly as imposing as the previous generation it replaced. The 86/87 were OK, but it took some refinement of the design before they were just about right, seems like 88/89 was the year that happened. I also think the 87-89 Toronado/Trofeo was really sharp, then they screwed up the body proportions in 90-92.

As far as the K platform, this begat the STS (Seville) and Deville/DTS. Obviously, I like the DeVille, as I own one. I will say that 95 was possibly the best year for it since it had the most completely refined version of the 4.9 Cadillac V8 before they went all Northstar; the 4.9 is right up there with the 3800 for reliability. 95 was also the second year of the redesign that debuted on 94, so most kinks were worked out. I can't stress enough that my DeVille has been an unbelievably reliable and solid car. At 127,000 miles it still looks great and runs perfectly. Proper care and maintenance are essential of course, but it really doesn't take that much.

I'm kind of disappointed that the late 80's/early 90's E cars still don't get much respect. Some of them are very decent, and while the styling suffered a bit due to the downsizing, the Rivi and Eldorado at least are good looking cars considering the circumstances. They also seem to stand out as an example of something GM did well at a time when they were doing so much poorly. I don't expect they will ever be the subject of glowing recollections in the pages of Car and Driver, but they really don't deserve most of the dings they get.

KDirk

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The market has moved away from coupes. I primarily blame it on SUVs. The furriners have a worldwide market to amortize the tooling for their coupes hence they're the only ones producing 'em.

KDirk, your post was like reading something I would have written. I have the same fixation on the same model years of the cars mentioned including really disliking the 90-92 Trofeo.

In in addition to my '88 and '90 Reattas, got an '89 Allante and a '88 Seville Elegante which against all odds might be my favorite all-arond car in the fleet. Funny thing is the '88 Elegante seems to get an outsized amount of attention when I'm out banging around or at a show. It seems now that people see it out of it's "original context" it's no longer a "look alike" car as all it's fellow "look alikes" have long attritted off the roads and/or its diminutive size is no longer shocking to people.

I had also a '94 Concours new back in the day, great car.

So does anyone know if we're looking at a legitimate 26+ year run for the platform?

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Rawja,

I think your math is right on the quarter century+ run for the E (and by extension K) platforms. E was intro'd in 85 of course with all the small box FWD stuff. K is still kicking, if only barely.

Having seen pictures of your Seville, it is a nice looking car, and I can see where it gets attention now since one of that style is seldom seen anymore. I see more bustle back Sevilles around (pre 85 body design) than the one you have, those are also a love it or hate it body style. I will say they two tone paint scheme on yours is not only quite unusual (by comtemporary standards) but quite striking.

Re the Allante, if you remember the movie Tango & Cash (Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell) Sly drove a silver Allante, looked just like your own, in the opening scene where he busts the fuel tanker full of "snow".

KDirk

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I have a bustleback '84 as well. I've put a lot into it, love to gaze at it but in the end I don't drive it much as it's just not as much fun to pilot as everything else in the fleet.

I just picked up a rough '93 Sixty Special Ultra with only 60K on the clock with vinyl roof delete option(!) and amazing and near-perfect 22-way seats that I'm going to renovate.

I'm prepping the '84 Seville for sale on Hemmings now.

60s01-2.jpg

photo2-1-2.jpg

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Now I'm jealous. Those C body 60 specials were really neat cars (and a 60 spec ultra in 93 is exceptionally rare), and the ultra power seats are one of my favorite over-the-top options. Yours is a rare color too, the plum metallic. I should say that the vinyl roof delete is a good choice, the landau tops never did much for me. Note that you should have lighted C pillar emblems on this car, they have an EL strip inside the crest, if they still work they look great at night.

I can't tell from the pic, what color is the interior? I would guess burgundy or black. 93 was also the last year for "off the line" interior trim out, you could have gotten white with black accents by special order (was a trim override RPO code to do this) as normally white interiors had either red or blue carpet and accents pieces. To get black, it had to be done by hand at the Fleetwood trim shop. The days of that kind of service are long gone.

KDirk

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Yeah the '91-93 (& 89-90 to a lesser extent) Sixty Special has always been on my wish list, The Fleetwood was nice too but I've always had an strong aversion to button-tufted seats, just too gorpulent. Really dislike vinyl roofs as well, particularly on these cars as it sits too high plus the tops of the doors are cut into it. Had a '91 deVille new back in the day, couldn't afford a Fleetwood, much less the Sixty Special. While I've never seen a Sixty Special without the vinyl roof, though I knew it could be special ordered that way.

Anyway this car popped up on eBay reasonably close and I put in a stoopidly low bid as I sometimes do to tempt fate and well this time fate called my bluff and I got it for (pause for dramatic effect) $ 1,406.99 .

It's dark cherry (a '93-only color) with a garnet interior. I've already sourced perfect, working illuminated sailpanel emblems. It was originally from the suburbs of Buffalo NY so it's kinda crusty underneath but still sound and the interior is near perfect.

IMO it's too unique and otherwise solid to not renovate. They only made like 680 Sixty Special Ultras in '93 and according to the compnine RPO decoder my car is literally one of one. Makes sense to me as most people who bought these would be into the vinyl top, and it was a no money back delete option so you really really had to not want it and special order it that way to get it.

So far I had the caps in the radio replaced and an oil change. Everything works, though it appears that the ABS/Traction control was bypassed when the 2nd owner (backyard mechanic) replaced some rusted brake lines. Seats are beautiful, feel brand new and all the functions work but some of the many many air bladders within leak.

I'm assuming your white and black interior info is sourced from "Sandy" over on the Cadillac Forums. I wouldn't put any stock in his stories; he's a nice guy but he really doesn't know what he's talking about. All's he's got is a trim code override car, built on the line just like any other. Not to say his car isn't lovely and "special", but the cloak and dagger / ghost stories about it's production are nonsense. If you really wanna have a laugh in the same vein check out this page: http://www.rrrclc.org/88_seymour2_story.htm for another NJ Cadillac guy who's living in a fantasy world.

It weird twenty years later to sit behind the wheel of what is the identical interior of my old Sedan deVille which was also furnished in garnet. Kinda deja-vu, flickers of my yout coming back, etc.

60s.jpg

60s02.jpg

Edited by Rawja (see edit history)
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Rawja,

Yes, I used to frequent the Cadillac forums, and that is the where I read Sandy's account of the trim override. I had no reason to doubt the story, as it sounded entirely plausible based on how things were done "back then". Then again, us car guys can sometimes get a little delusional in trying to differentiate our cars as custom one-offs or special orders requiring secret handshakes and human sacrifice to obtain. I will confess to rather liking the button tufted seats. My brother had a 90 Fleetwood (FWD) white over garnet, with the button seats. We called it the pimp mobile, he even carried an imitation ivory handled walking stick in it as a joke. A great car, but he eventually threw in the towel as the repair bills got unmanageable.

Anyway, you have a beautiful car there, and the interior does look perfect or very nearly so. The paint job is not a big deal to do (although somewhat costly) and when done will be a very nice specimen of an exceedingly rare breed. You also have the rarest wheels I believe. My 95 has the chrome 40 slot wheels, [the second rarest and second to most expensive wheel option AFAIK, first available on the 93 Sixty Special] as it was a "spring edition". I had a 91 Deville prior to my 95, Grey over Grey, so not much to look at (boring color combo IMO). It had the vinyl roof delete, which I was happy to find at the time. I wisely unloaded it when it began to eat Cadillac sized holes in my wallet. The difference between it and my 95 has been incredible, in terms of the quality and the amount of work needed to keep it running. The 95 wins hands down in every category, but I still like the more formal look of the 91-93 with the 93 being best due to the appearance-improved grille in front. It's unlikely I'll ever own another one now having 3 cars, and no way to justify any more so it's nice to see someone else trying to preserve one.

KDirk

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I used to have a '67 Fleetwood Brogham, loved the picnic tables but not 12 mpg on premium.

Always thought the first Sevilles were good looking, then came "Billy Mitchell's revenge".

Haven't yet but may be an Allante waiting for me.

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Would be great if you got an Allante Padgett, having you "into" one would hopefully yield similar benefits to the Allante community as we've all gotten here. :)

I really liked the '94-96 deVille and Concours. They lost me when they cut out the rear wheelwells. Got me back with the DTS facelift. :)

Edited by Rawja (see edit history)
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OMG Roger; I WANT that maroon 60 special! When you're redy to sell let me know.

I too love the late '80s early '90s E bodies.

We have two '89 Eldo's and three of the '89-93 Riv's. Absolutely lovely cars.

As for sporty new coupes, we just took delevery on a '11 CTS-V coupe. Pearl white.

This car is my mistress...

Padget, I've got a nice '91 Allante I'll sell you reasonably. Red/blk top and black leather

Edited by harry yarnell (see edit history)
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Guest Double M

I paid $200 for this 1970 Fleetwood Brougham in 1979 or so...

The girl cost me a whole lot more, however...

6292_120986347315_755087315_2963337_4711680_n.jpg6292_120986352315_755087315_2963338_1726031_n.jpg

I used to run over Metal Shopping Carts, Garbage Cans... and not end up with a scratch. It was already banged up a bit. I loved it. My second car!

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