The very first car in my Down On The Street series was a Cadillac Cimarron d’Oro. That was 2007, and I didn’t see another Cimarron d’Oro until last weekend, when I spotted this car in an Oakland self-service wrecking yard.
A lot of folks will tell you that the Cimarron destroyed Cadillac’s prestige image, damage that took until this century to repair. Ate Up With Motor‘s Aaron Severson thinks the ’76 Seville was what torpedoed Cadillac, and I’m on board with those who believe that Cadillac’s pursuit of big sales numbers in the late 1960s and early 1970s— plus simple demographics as the Baby Boomers started buying smaller cars around that time— was the root of the problem. Anyway, the Cimarron was emblematic of a long downward spiral by GM’s luxury division, and the d’Oro package (with its gold emblems and grille) really does an excellent job of highlighting the fact that this car is a very, very thinly disguised Chevy Cavalier.
“The smaller dream.” Cadillac buyers didn’t want to dream small!
This isn’t the Iron Duke engine, which would have been too rough even for the Cadillac of Diminished Expectations, but it is the nearly-as-miserable Opel-designed 122 pushrod engine. Later Cimarrons could be had with the 2.8 liter (pushrod) V6.