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1987-1993 Cadillac Allante

1987 Cadillac Allante Debut
The 1988 Allante saw a 23.6-percent drop in demand to 2,569 cars.
The 1988 Allante saw a 23.6-percent drop in demand to 2,569 cars.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

To commemorate its birth, Cadillac published a limited-edition coffee-table book, Allante: The New Spirit of Cadillac, with text in four languages. “From the company that became the ‘Standard of the World,’” it began, “now comes a car unlike any Cadillac that has gone before. A luxury roadster in the tradition of the great European road cars."

Grettenberger personally delivered a new Allante to actor Larry Hagman about the same time that Hagman’s character, J. R. Ewing, started driving one on the internationally popular television series, Dallas.

"It was very prominently used and displayed on the show for a long period of time, and we kept replacing them when they needed new ones," Grettenberger said. "I think it did a lot of good for Cadillac to have Allante on the Dallas show and others like it.”

Media reaction was generally positive despite skepticism about the Allante’s Mercedes-like price and its ambitious volume goal in a market that had absorbed fewer than 3800 Jaguar XJ-Ss and 2600 Porsche 928s the previous year.

Most complaints focused on its modest performance -- 10-second 0-to-60 acceleration, “video-game” instruments, too-hard seats, and difficult manual soft top.

Still, Automobile mag­azine proclaimed Allante’s debut “a significant event, probably a milestone, in modern American automotive history. It represents a refreshing attitude, a renewed willingness to specialize and to appeal to a narrow slice of the buying public.”

The start of the end began in 1988. Visit the following page to see how the Allante panned out.

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