Poor Proportions: 1979 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe 26K – STILL $24,000

by | Mar 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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March 30, 2024 Update – The seller replaced the second expired Craigslist ad we are aware of with a fresh listing.  The pictures, description, and already lowered $24,000 asking price all carry over.

February 28, 2024 Update – The seller replaced their expired Craigslist ad with a fresh listing. While the pictures and description carry over, the seller elected to lower their asking price from $27,000 to $24,000.

One of the more interesting automotive customizing trends during the Malaise Era (1972 to 1984) was Neoclassic. Coach builders would modify a then-new personal luxury car with Gatsby Era styling cues, leaving the stock drivetrain and hard points in place.  One of the more interesting examples from the period were the so called Cadillac Seville Opera Coupes. From the factory, the first-generation “International Sized” Cadillac Seville was a beautiful four-door sedan with great proportions.  Coach builders would take brand new Sevilles, cut the rear door and bench seat section out, stretch the front end, and then tack on faux spare tire mounts on the front fenders.  The result was a bigger two-seat Seville with poor proportions:

White 1979 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe

One of the better known Coach builders from the period was the Pompano Beach, Florida based Grandeur Motor Car Company. Production records are difficult to come by, but estimates indicate the company converted several hundred first-and second generation Sevilles the Opera Coupe treatment between 1978 and 1989. While each Seville’s body received an extensive amount of body modifications, the powertrain was the stock fuel injected 5.7L V8.

The seller of this White Over Tan 1979 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe For Sale, first spotted on Craigslist outside of Los Angeles in January 2024, reports their example has only 26K original miles.  Despite the low miles, the seller also notes the car benefits from a fresh paint job, which prevents us from calling this Seville a survivor quality example.

Currently offered for $24,000 (the original ask was $27,000), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above other Opera Coupes currently listed fro sale.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is double this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $15,100 for a stock four-door example.

The 1979 Cadillac Seville represented a continuation of Cadillac’s venture into the luxury compact car segment. The Seville, first introduced in 1975, was positioned to cater to a niche market seeking a more efficient and compact luxury option. The 1979 model year brought forth subtle yet impactful changes, both in terms of design and engineering, further solidifying the Seville’s place in the automotive landscape.

In terms of design, the 1979 Cadillac Seville retained its characteristic elegance, featuring a squared-off formal roofline and refined lines. Cadillac prioritized a restrained and sophisticated aesthetic, emphasizing the car’s understated luxury. The exterior showcased a prominent egg crate grille, a hallmark of Cadillac styling, flanked by rectangular headlights that conveyed a sense of modernity for the era.

One notable feature of the 1979 Seville was its size. While still larger than many compact cars of the time, it was considerably smaller than traditional Cadillac models. The downsizing was a response to the fuel efficiency concerns and changing consumer preferences of the late 1970s. This shift towards a more compact form without sacrificing luxury positioned the Seville as a distinctive offering in the market.

Under the hood, the 1979 Cadillac Seville featured a range of engine options. A popular choice was the 350 cubic inch (5.7-liter) V8 engine, delivering a balance of power and efficiency. The engine was mated to a three-speed automatic transmission, providing a smooth and comfortable driving experience. While not known for groundbreaking performance, the Seville excelled in delivering a refined ride, befitting its luxury designation.

Inside the cabin, the 1979 Seville continued Cadillac’s commitment to opulent interiors. Plush seating adorned with premium materials, extensive wood grain accents, and a comprehensive array of power accessories created an environment of luxury and comfort. Technological features included power windows, power seats, and an optional AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player – all standard elements in line with Cadillac’s reputation for offering a wealth of amenities.

Safety was also a paramount consideration for Cadillac, and the 1979 Seville featured advancements in this area. Anti-lock brakes, a feature that was gaining prominence in luxury cars during this period, were available as an option, contributing to enhanced safety on the road.

Riding on a refined suspension system, the 1979 Seville struck a balance between a smooth, comfortable ride and responsive handling. The chassis and suspension improvements aimed to provide a driving experience that complemented the car’s luxurious persona.

As a testament to its enduring appeal, the 1979 Cadillac Seville remains a sought-after classic car today. Enthusiasts and collectors appreciate its distinctive design, the blend of luxury and efficiency, and its significance in representing Cadillac’s adaptation to changing automotive trends in the late 1970s.

The 1979 Cadillac Seville is a notable chapter in the history of luxury compact cars. Its refined design, commitment to luxury, and adaptation to the evolving automotive landscape make it a classic representation of Cadillac’s ability to navigate changing consumer preferences while maintaining the essence of luxury that the brand is known for.

The Exotic Car Trader Automotive Marketplace YouTube Channel provides this walk-around video highlighting the stretched front end and shortened rear section:

The seller’s brief description about their white 1979 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe for sale has us asking more questions than it answers.  Our first is whether this car was in fact modified by Grandeur.  Additionally, we would like to see pictures of the engine bay and undercarriage to confirm the frame modifications and related welds continue to hold up well.

 

If you are serious about buying this Seville Opera Coupe, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their custom Cadillac featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“Super rare collector car in excellent condition
26000 original miles
New professional paint
Original interior

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1979 Cadillac Seville Opera Coupe for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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