Crapwagon Outtake: 1987 Cadillac Cimarron

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

I wanna live with a Cimarron girl

Life would be crappy, on the side of the road

With my Cimarron girl

Apologies to Mr. Young. Even more apologies to anyone who has ever heard my attempts to sing. And more to those enthusiasts at, who might consider punishing anyone who dares slander the pride of Janesville.

Today, we look at possibly the lowest mile, cleanest car to wear the Crapwagon tag. We all know that the Cadillac Cimarron was and is widely panned as a remarkably bad decision by GM product planners. Turning the lowly Cavalier into a entry-level luxury car was a misstep. The car was not competitive with the Germans, and overpriced compared to the functionally identical J-body stablemates.

That said, I come not to bury the Cimarron, but to praise tolerate it, and perhaps appreciate it a bit. This one for sale, with fewer than twelve thousand miles, is a remarkable time warp. Trunk-mounted luggage rack and overwrought badging aside, the styling looks pretty clean, and the blue leather interior wouldn’t look too out of place in a period Seville or Eldorado.

Knowing that underneath the frills lies a Cavalier would turn just about anyone off. We all know someone who limped a J-body along for years, with failing wheel bearings, rusted exhausts, and oil-spewing engines. I rather doubt anyone will pay $8,900 for this nearly 30-year-old car, either, though I applaud the chutzpah of the dealer. Maybe, just maybe, someone, someday will decide this is the next hot collector car.

I rather doubt it.

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

More by Chris Tonn

Join the conversation
5 of 84 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 17, 2015

    I doubt the dealer is that interested in selling this car if it is priced at $8,900. Some dealers collect odd ball cars or classics and put them in their showrooms at ridiculous prices. If someone is willing to pay the price they are asking they will sell it otherwise they just as soon keep it.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Sep 17, 2015

    Even more confounding are those PA inspection/emission stickers. J bodies didn't survive in the Rust Belt and I saw more than a few of these and their lesser brethren full of Rust in their day.

  • 415s30 415s30 on Sep 28, 2015

    My grandmother went out and bought that exact car back then, my grandfather died in 83 and nobody told her what to do. She had a hug Lincoln wagon before it and then showed up in this. No explanation.

  • Jeff in Richmond VA Jeff in Richmond VA on Feb 28, 2016

    I know the history of this car----it came from Albany old woman's car. This guy bought it on e-Bay and had it shipped to him. He DOUBLED the price and is expecting to make a killing. I doubt it will happen...anyone paying $9K for a Cimarron is nuts. We found an '86 in Florida, a real cream puff with only 24,000 miles and only paid $2500. I think this seller will be sitting on it for quite a while. $9000?? HAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!