TerryB

Will the Cadillac XLR be a Collectible?

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Northstar engines have the curse until around 2006 or so. My 2002 STS developed it at just over 100,000 miles. Typical. The 4T80E trans has its own problems. Torque converter lock up solenoid went out on mine also. Typical. I have heard that the input shaft speed sensor is vulnerable. But this engine is wonderful to drive, and if you can get the right deal, it is worth pulling the engine when the time comes. Just fix and replace everything fragile. Oh, and if you have an oil leak phobia, be aware that the only fix is to yank the engine out and replace the 1/2 case gasket. Again, fix EVERYTHING when the time comes to deal with anything.    -    Carl 

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In this age of information it’s possible to hear about all types of issues with most anything on the road.  I wonder what kind of similar information was available to buyers of cars long ago?  We probably would not have purchased many cars if we knew how bad they were going to be later on.  But we did buy them and endure all the problems and quirks that they came with.  Some taught us lessons on how to fix them or be creative to solve a problem.  Not saying it’s bad to listen to everything out there about some cars, the Cadillac Allante comes to mind in that respect, but it seems we can find a reason to not buy anything on four wheels.  The part that’s usually missing is the percentage of failure.  It’s easy to find those who are unhappy with a purchase online but rarely do those who are enjoying their vehicles say much on line about them.

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On 2/14/2019 at 12:21 PM, padgett said:

ps had one of the '78 Sunbird coupes with a V8, 4-speed, and posi. Won a lot of autocrosses & used to crack a Right front Vega GT wheel nearly every weekend. Punched shocks through the top of the spring tower and shoved the clutch pivot through the firewall. Nearly everything I didn't break, cracked but embarrassed a lot of Porches & 'vettes.

"

 

 

OK,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,..just because you made me part of you fan club, I have to ask why your Pontiac Sunbird cracking 4 bolt rim's has to do with the XLR Cadillac's or anything else in this post

 

I really hope to meet you in Ocala next

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On 2/12/2019 at 3:16 PM, Buffalowed Bill said:

Find your Crystal ball,

This is my thought exactly, even if you do find what you think will be "collectable"  sometime in the future it not only comes down to $ but the proper space to keep it inside and free from damp and/or  humidity . Will you live long enough to be able to smile and say " I knew it would be the car to own( and invest in)"  But also consider what you can enjoy now , get in and drive, go down the road. Life is very short ( yes even if you are in your 30's in the blink of an eye you will be older a lot sooner then expected)  .. All of this hit home personally in the last 14 months. Don't think about a crystal ball , think about and use what you can afford.

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Long time ago I was shopping for a new motorcycle and Honda had two overlooked models that I thought would be desirable.  I was smart enough to buy one of them.  The one I did not buy did even better in the market than I expected.  Sure glad I bought the one I did, had it for 10 years of use and sold it for more than I paid for it new.  That time the crystal ball was working.  Wish it worked that good for lottery tickets!

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I bought the white Honda and passed on the black one.  They were both left over from the previous model year when I was looking.

 

6B225DFC-365B-4BBA-8366-612D6D0338B0.png

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a) was responding to John's Wednesday post about H-bodies.

b) AFAIK the NorthStar line really started with the Oldsmobile Quad-4 in the '80s that influenced the NorthStar DOHC-V8 design of 1993. Over the years I have lost track of how many times the head replacement procedure and bolt torque order has changed. For a while it seemed like a TSB on hw to tighten the head bolts came out monthly. One I liked best was the 4.0 "Shortstar" used in the Olds Intrigue and some Cobras. 

c) Remember Duesey's being $600 cars and people complaining about the lack of parts. I suspect that 3D printing is going to change how we think about parts.

d) Looked at a few Allantes over the years but just too many things I didn't like (particularly the steering wheels). I prefer my Reatta 'vert.

 

All that said I expect that sometime in the next few years if nothing major goes rong, I'll have an XLR of some sort. Since having a few SLKs I just prefer a retractable and also prefer GM but just do not care for the G6. I have a service manual and a dongle with Tech2Win in wait. Besides if something seriously was bad with the NorthStar, suspect I'd swap in a 3.6 304 hp 7,000 rpm DI DOHC-6 & six speed automagic.

 

ps I have a Honda

spacy.jpg

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When I was a kid a lot of people were just brimming over with stories about the problems with this or that car, what you should and shouldn't do, and stories repeated so many times the teller thought it actually happened to them. I figured out pretty quick that I needed to buy tools and read books. I have been quite independent about what cars I bought and servicing them. Collectibility of a car relies on one question, "Do I want it?"

 

About 15 years ago I bought my first of two Jaguar XJS V12's. Not a brilliant idea, even to me at the time. But I had to have it. The early 2000's. The last XJS 12 was about ten years old. During that time owners had experienced every problem, resolved them, and even learned how to avoid them. And it was all published and shared online: http://www.nettally.com/palmk/jaguar.html

Discovering the Kirby Palm book opened up the path to all the online pooled experience for anything I wanted. Even an XLR and how to build a bullet proof Northstar.

 

I have the information, though some needs sorting from time to time, and collectibility is at my discretion.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Know what you mean. I still have my copies of "The High Speed Internal Combustion Engine", "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive", and "The Complete Official Jaguar "E"" plus many many service and parts manuals that would have to be measured in board-feet.

 

Most of my XLR information is in .pdf form except for some that requires VMWare.

 

Have gone on the hunt for a nice NA XLR twice now and wound up buying other cars. I suspect the third time will be the charm.

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I think has the potential to be a collectable car but probably the same way a Reatta and Allanté is. Only to those who know what they are. 

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I do think the XLR-V cars will be “collectible” faster.  They were $110k figure cars, produced in lower numbers, and had 440HP (compared to 320).  It will still take some time.  I liken these the appeal to the Corvette C4 ZR-1’s.  They are also slow to turn on in terms of the collectible car world, but they are slowly getting there after nearly 30 years.

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"A step by step manual for the complete idiot" You would have to be a Idiot to follow that book. The only thing it's good for is the hilarious illustrations.

A novice idiot illustration ;

Image result for john muir vw illustrations

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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Agree about "collectivity", the -V will probably always be worth more. However I buy my cars to drive and maintain myself. Think of the XLR as a replacement for my SLK. I just like retractables and prefer GM.

 

Over the years I have had many odd cars some that have since commanded six figure prices. Have had some more mainstream family and tow cars but personal cars are usually fast two doors and roadsters. Just was fortunate to grow up in an environment rich in furrin and exotic cars (today was passed by a Lambo, an F-type Jag was behind me in a gas station, and was the usual gaggle of Mercs).

 

Unfortunately was looking at my Judge on Hagerty and was reminded of a column Henry Manney wrote a number of years ago about his Cobra becoming "too valuable to drive". Sad.

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11 hours ago, Pfeil said:

A step by step manual for the complete idiot"

 

A guy told me he had half a mind to write a manual for idiots. I agreed he was qualified.

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Well I found it useful what had a '70 Westphalia. Even bought the RVEECO oil cooler for crossing the Rockies from Texas one hot summer.

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20 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

When I was a kid a lot of people were just brimming over with stories about the problems with this or that car, what you should and shouldn't do, and stories repeated so many times the teller thought it actually happened to them. I figured out pretty quick that I needed to buy tools and read books. I have been quite independent about what cars I bought and servicing them. Collectibility of a car relies on one question, "Do I want it?"

 

About 15 years ago I bought my first of two Jaguar XJS V12's. Not a brilliant idea, even to me at the time. But I had to have it. The early 2000's. The last XJS 12 was about ten years old. During that time owners had experienced every problem, resolved them, and even learned how to avoid them. And it was all published and shared online: http://www.nettally.com/palmk/jaguar.html

Discovering the Kirby Palm book opened up the path to all the online pooled experience for anything I wanted. Even an XLR and how to build a bullet proof Northstar.

 

I have the information, though some needs sorting from time to time, and collectibility is at my discretion.

 

 

For many years I have been involved with cheap end Lotus cars. Mostly the long unloved Europa but also the once cheapest of all Lotus Cortina.

  Europa's were for decades very cheap because they had a ton of problems.  A Renault sourced powerplant with several handicaps , too much compression for one as Lotus wanted a fairly high power output at a very low unit cost. So Renault took the basic inline valve engine from their low performance economy R16 and bumped the compression to 10.25, slightly  hotter cam , etc. and boosted the power by some 30% to a acceptable sports car figure. 

  Lots of other cost cutting as well including a rather so-so rear suspension configuration.  Performance and road holding was great, however reliability was very poor.  Because they were on paper at least a very promising design when the owners finally ran out of patience trying to keep them running they were often pushed into a corner of the garage or a shed rather than being scrapped. Values however became very low except for the later cars with Lotus's own twin cam engine.

  Eventually the more enthusiastic owners developed a number of fixes for a promising but flawed little orphan.  The best solution involved an entire aftermarket chassis {Spyder or Banks} and a swap to Toyota 4AGE power however the car is finally able to live up to its potential.

  The Renault engine is not a dead end either as the short block is nearly identical to what is used in A110 Alpines and some Gordini's. Substitute Renaults hemi crossflow head and associated parts and the Renault unit also can come into its own.  Only drawback is that the Alpine is a $75,000.00 on a bad day car , many Gordini's only a little cheaper, and the better Renault parts are priced to compete in this market rather than the $20,000.00 range of a average Europa. 

My point is that if a given car has intrinsic merits and  can generate a sufficiently resourceful fan base then many basic flaws can be worked around. It also helps that around 11,000 Europa's were built and a decent percentage survive. 

  It looks like XLR production was slightly larger so they may have a chance long term. They are also a vastly more complicated car compared to a Europa so I suspect far more owners will ultimately give up on them and they will end up in the wreckers.  Only time will tell.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I autocrossed a Cortina for a while, had a bad habit on a high speed corner of hiking the inside rear tire and just spinning forever. Then again was at Sebring one year happily sleeping on the timing corner under my Jag when morning practice opened and Jimmy Clark came blasting by in a Cortina closely followed by Freddy Lorenzen in a thundering GN Ford both about 20 feet from my head.. Was wide awake quickly.

 

About the same number of XLRs as Reattas.

 

Modern cars are like chess games: the functions are not that complicated just are A Lot of them. That is why it is needful to use proper instrumentation to perform triage first and have the proper documentation.

 

Instrumentation: I have Torque Pro, an Autel Diaglink with the GM module, and Tech2Win with a dongle. Plus things like a set of noids, fuel pressure gauge that connects to the rail, and a gaggle of mechanical gauges. Plus a lift.

 

Documentation: Service and Parts manual on DVD, Service manual in .pdfs that gives me the document numbers for the big one. Set of user manuals in .pdf. Assorted component manuals (e.g. nav).

 

Also helps that the top mechanism has a lot in common with my SLKs (same manufacturer and why it sticks way up there in the middle of the air.)

 

Am not really concerned about maintenance and know where there is a big parts supply.

 

So hope people are worried about maintenance and being trapped inside, just waiting to find the right one for the right price (not black and not -V)

 

Only real issue is that even as late as 2011 GM still had not figured out Bluetooth while the Chrysler U-Connect of the same period is great.

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3 hours ago, padgett said:

I autocrossed a Cortina for a while, had a bad habit on a high speed corner of hiking the inside rear tire and just spinning forever. Then again was at Sebring one year happily sleeping on the timing corner under my Jag when morning practice opened and Jimmy Clark came blasting by in a Cortina closely followed by Freddy Lorenzen in a thundering GN Ford both about 20 feet from my head.. Was wide awake quickly.

 

About the same number of XLRs as Reattas.

 

Modern cars are like chess games: the functions are not that complicated just are A Lot of them. That is why it is needful to use proper instrumentation to perform triage first and have the proper documentation.

 

Instrumentation: I have Torque Pro, an Autel Diaglink with the GM module, and Tech2Win with a dongle. Plus things like a set of noids, fuel pressure gauge that connects to the rail, and a gaggle of mechanical gauges. Plus a lift.

 

Documentation: Service and Parts manual on DVD, Service manual in .pdfs that gives me the document numbers for the big one. Set of user manuals in .pdf. Assorted component manuals (e.g. nav).

 

Also helps that the top mechanism has a lot in common with my SLKs (same manufacturer and why it sticks way up there in the middle of the air.)

 

Am not really concerned about maintenance and know where there is a big parts supply.

 

So hope people are worried about maintenance and being trapped inside, just waiting to find the right one for the right price (not black and not -V)

 

Only real issue is that even as late as 2011 GM still had not figured out Bluetooth while the Chrysler U-Connect of the same period is great.

 

 

The need for all that diagnostic gear plus the knowledge of how to properly use it is why my auto-x er looks like this

DSC00842.jpg

 

and not like this.

27ca05e461e26856bf8a8e7422ccca7b22da1740.jpg

 

 

 

The first picture is not my car, mine is a very similar  l.h.d.. homebuilt knock off that is all apart at the moment. The original builder took some shortcuts on things like steering rack position and steering column routing. I am now making it to my liking. Mine has the same simple little Ford X - flow on Weber's . My entire electric system battery and starter motor excluded would fit in a  shoe box.

 

Easy to work on so I can concentrate on driving. And a fraction of cost of my Formula Ford "real race car".

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Did I mention that a long career in electronics and computers pays for my hobby ? Now I can combine both.

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