Junkyard Find: 1983 Cadillac Cimarron D'Oro

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1983 cadillac cimarron d oro

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.

Symphony Sound!

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  • MadHungarian MadHungarian on Sep 06, 2012

    One thing I never understood was why the Cimarron was based on the Cavalier and not on the Skyhawk/Firenza. Sure, the differences were minor, but people had accepted for a long time Cadillacs being closely related to a Buick or Olds (Electra/DeVille, Toronado/Eldorado). The Olds/Buick instrument panel, in the fully kitted out version with a full set of gauges in four round dials, was a lot more BMW-esque than the Cavalier dash. That, and the V6 option should have been available from the get-go. Would this have made the Cimarron a great car? No, of course not, but it would at least have created some impression that GM was trying.

  • 84Cressida 84Cressida on Sep 07, 2012

    I've seen just two of these in my life. The first was well over 5 years ago, and the 2nd was a few months ago. I laughed hysterically each time, just because it is one the worst cars to have ever disgraced these roads. The Cavaliers were junk enough, this thing took it to a new level. The execs behind this car hopefully live in shame.

  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.
  • Dusterdude The Detroit 2.5 did a big disservice by paying their CEO’s so generously ( overpaying them ) It is a valid talking point for for the union ) However , the bottom line - The percentage of workers in the private sector who have a defined benefit pension plan is almost non existent - and the reason being is it’s unaffordable ! . This is a a huge sticking point as to have lower tier workers join would be prohibitive ( aside from other high price demands being requested - ie >30% wage gain request ) . Do the math - can a company afford to pay employees for 35 years , followed by funding a pension for a further 30 years ?
  • El scotto Human safety driver? Some on here need a human safety thinker.
  • Carlson Fan Stupid vehicle, that can't do any of the things a truck should be able to do. If I want something fast/quick and sporty I'll get a corvette or a 4 dr sport sedan. Taking a truck & neutering it to try and make it into something it's not is just pointless. But maybe that's the point of this road disaster