As Aaron Severson explains in great detail in his excellent Ate Up With Motor piece, the 1976-1979 Cadillac Seville (which was essentially a Chevy Nova under the skin), accelerated the long decline of the Cadillac Division that continued with the Cavalier-based Cimarron and didn’t really turn around until Cadillac started building trucks for rappers and warlords in the 1990s. Having driven a $50 1976 Nova many thousands of miles, I can assume that ’78 Seville ownership was very similar, though with a plusher interior and (slightly) more engine power. Here’s a brown-on-gold-on-brown-on-yellow-on-ochre-on-umber-on-brown-on-beige-on-copper example that I spotted a few weeks ago in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard. (Read More…)
114 car dealers. Every single last one of them looking for an impossibly good deal among the 150 vehicles at the auction on a near-Arctic Monday morning.
Even if it’s a seemingly bad deal. It doesn’t matter during this time of year.
This is officially tax season… which means that cars that couldn’t even get a $500 down payment during the post-Christmas drought will soon be picked up in earnest by the sub-prime, debt happy public. A $1200 down payment as their first financial tombstone of 2014 will be followed by a long line of bogus fees, and a note that will hopefully be flipped into funny money (now known as sub-prime asset backed securities) before the drowning debtor becomes financial roadkill.
Everything is high. But surprisingly not as high as in years past. Orphaned brands are mostly cheap. Minivans are cheap, and everything from older luxury coupes to younger hatchbacks can be had for decent money if they’re not sporty or popular.
Speaking of popular. Let me show you a little somethin’.
Geek alert! This one is tech-heavy!
TTAC Commentator Skor writes:
Not a question, but it’s good to know that as long as there are cars there are people who will come up with hacks, no matter how complicated things get.
I have an 1992 Cadillac Seville and the blower motor fan disintegrated and jammed up the blower motor, which in turn shorted out the blower resistor. The squirrel cage disintegrated. I checked inside the blower housing to see if there was anything loose, but I could find nothing except pieces of the fan. All of this stuff was OE, no one has been in there since the car came from the factory. I’m sure someone at GM thought that saving a nickel on plastic was a good idea. Well, I bought a new motor/fan assembly and installed it. Wasn’t too bad, about $40. When I tried it, it was a no-go. Next thing I do is check the fuse (30 amp) it was fine. Then I checked the blower motor controller. It was blown. Crap! Apparently when the fan blew up, it jammed the motor, which then took out the motor controller. I’m thinking to myself:
“Nice engineering. The components on this circuit blow before the fuse does. WTF is the fuse for?” (Read More…)
In 1977, GM offered the above two vehicles for sale. Squint a bit; can you see a certain fundamental similarity? Yes, their exterior skin and styling were somewhat different, but once you peel back the vinyl top and other superficialities, you’d find a lot in common, as is obvious from their basic shared architecture. They both rode on the same basic platform/suspension, although the bottom one did have its rear wheels extended three inches for a touch more leg room. They both sported GM’s fine 350 (5.7 L) V8 engines, the top one with 170 hp, the bottom with 180 hp. The Chevy Nova (top), with more than a hint of BMW in its styling, was perhaps the best handling American sedan of its time, given that it also shared its underpinnings with the Camaro. The Nova’s price started at $3500 ($12k adjusted). The Seville (bottom), was aimed at the Mercedes S Class, and went out the door for about $14k ($48k adjusted), or four times as much. Can you tell where this is going? (Read More…)