Junkyard Find: 1982 Cadillac Cimarron

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 cadillac cimarron

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.

Join the conversation
2 of 81 comments
  • 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

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.