Junkyard Find: 1982 Cadillac Cimarron

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

As part of the ongoing “What Could GM Have Been Thinking?” series of Junkyard Finds this week, we’ll follow up the ’89 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo and the ’90 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais International Series with a car that really makes you wonder what sort of weird Malaise Era drug The General’s marketing wizards must have been huffing, snorting, smoking, or maybe mainlining in order to stand up at a meeting, pound fist on table, and proclaim “Cadillac must slap its badges on the J Platform!”

Cadillac’s image was already in decline by the early 1980s, thanks in large part to the hot-selling but brand-cheapening Nova-based Seville, but there was still plenty of brand-value capital banked from the era when Cadillac scared the shit out of rival manufacturers with its engineering, design, and build quality. Why not throw Cadillac emblems and a leather interior at the Cavalier? Cimarron!

Does a Cadillac come with an Opel-sourced engine? Sure, if it’s a Cimarron, or a Catera.

We really don’t need to beat this dead horse any longer, because Cadillac somehow recovered from the Seville/V8-6-4/Cimarron/Catera debacle and has returned to its pre-1970 business of selling cars to rich people under 80 years of age. For me, the Cimarron is special, because a Cimarron d’Oro was my very first Down On The Street car.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Chrisgreencar Chrisgreencar on Dec 05, 2011

    I actually think these were good-looking cars. They may have gotten a lot of things wrong, but the styling was clean and simple (much like its near-twin, the Cavalier). I love the color on this one, too. If one presented itself in low-mileage condition, I would be very tempted. You may laugh, but as a collector car, (yes, collector car) it's nothing if not interesting!

  • Katie Katie on Dec 05, 2022

    well said ! i was like WOW that car is in very GOOD cosmetic condtion for being 40 YEARS old ! wow the interioer looks really GOOD too

  • Analoggrotto I did a dozen or so laps around Atlanta Motorsports Park for a charity once. Camber and toe on my car were horribly wrong and made the entire experience awful.
  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).