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Which car to buy? Continued... Thanks for advice

840 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  I~LUV~Caddys8792
Okay, friends, as you know I am considering a purchase of an older Caddy.
I have an 88 DeVille with the 4.5L V8, 121k, great condition. I was lucky to find this car last year. This car started my love for Cadillac ... I mean, if a 20 year old car can ride and drive and perform better than most new cars out there, something is happening right for Cadillac. Well, this spring I started looking at an 85 Seville near my home. It fit my love for the 80's Caddys, but then I read here about the 4.1L V8 problem. I started thinking I should consider another model (I mean, I love the styling of the 79-85 Eldorados but am afraid of that same motor). So, I started looking at 87-91 Eldos and Sevilles. Most of you supported that choice, but the inside seems so harsh and dated on these ...and I am not sure that the comfort level is there like in a DeVille (I have to say I have NEVER driven an 87-91 Eldo/Seville, so if I am wrong, please tell me. I just love the drive of my 88 DeVille -- I call it the Cadillac float. I would want a similar ride in my next car.) Then, I started looking at the 92-99 Eldos and Sevilles. LOVE THE ELDORADO STYLING. Some Sevilles looked plain to me, but those with half roof and chrome were incredible. I could not find many low mileage Eldos that I could afford with my savings, but I did find Sevilles with high miles around $7k ... up to model year 2000! But everywhere I looked, there was the dreaded comment -- needs new engine, or needs head gasket -- or there is oil around the pan, etc. SO, now I am back to square one. I think of my love for Caddies as a hobby. I am a working man, no rich guy here. I saved up for an 80's model and now am wondering if I should just get another DeVille with the 4.5 ... even though I have a good one ... doesn't seem to make sense. I would use this additional car for light travel but basically would pamper and admire it, so it has to be a looker, too. As for the 85 Seville, it has only 53K on it ... and is immaculate. But does that matter with the 4.1 anyway? What car would you go with -- 85, 87-91, 92-99? Why? Thanks for helping me. Your forum has always given me a place to share my love for these cars and to learn from the experts!
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In my observation if you want the float you should stick to a Deville. My STS rides much more firmly than my CDV did - the Coupe had the float, while you can actually throw the STS into a corner and expect to be alive when you come out. On the other hand, I liked the throttle response and general performance of the 4.5 in the CDV better than the N* for the kind of driving I do. Other than its appetite for water pumps and alternators my CDV ran perfectly when it went into retirement at 138,000 miles. I find myself flogging the N* a lot to try to get to the torque band. In the years you are looking at you should expect maintenance issues no matter which car you buy. Good luck with your hunt.
If you like the 85 Seville, why not a 1980 model? Same body style, but with the 368 V8. Or, a 79 (350 V8) or 80 (368 V8) Eldo, if you like the 79-85 body style? I never warmed to the interior on the 86-91 Eldo/Seville. Not uncomfortable, just never did anything for me. If I was you, and you like the float and comfort of your Deville, I would look at the 89-93 Fleetwood. With it's rear fender skirts and ribbed side mouldings, it's a very distinctive and elegant car. It also features the 4.5/4.9 V8, so repairs will be less expensive than for a Northstar. If you like the last gen Eldo and the 92-03 Seville, try to find a 1992 model, as they used the 4.9 V8. Hope this helps.

Since the smooth, floaty ride is important to you, have you ever given thought to a RWD Brougham? You cannot beat those for a smooth, floaty ride. I'd stay away from the 82-85 models, because they have the HT4100, but the 86-90 models came standard with the very reliable (but underpowered) 307 V8. Then in '90, the most excellent 350 was made optional and they offered that until the last ones rolled off the assembly line in '96. In '91 & '92 the Chevy 305 (another great motor) was standard, and that was a bit quicker than the 307. You mentioned that you want a car that's a looker, and IMO there aren't many better looking luxury cars than the Broughams, especially the 90-92 models with the single headlights.

Otherwise, I'd recommend an 89-93 deVille or Fleetwood/Sixty Special. Great riding car, not as quite as good as the Broughams, but it handles a lot better. You've got an '88, and in '89 they changed the exterior design of the car a bit...made it a bit longer, looks more impressive, more significant, more luxurious. The Fleetwood and Sixty Special are essentially the same car underneath as the deVille, just with more features and slightly different interiors (plusher seats, real wood trim etc etc) and skirts over the rear wheels. Pretty nice cars indeed, a lot rarer than the deVilles.

If you're anything like me, you like a bit of variety. Since you own an '88 Sedan deVille, I'd recommend a Coupe deVille or Fleetwood Coupe for a bit of a change. They're beautifiul cars, and quite rare.

Good luck in your purchase and go out and start test driving! :)
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