If you’ve turned on a radio or, you know, walked through a mall in the past month, you will have heard Bruno Mars’ new single, 24K Magic, from the album of the same name. It has a retro, funk sound to it and, like many Mars songs, is very catchy. Watching the music video, it appears that Mars believes that – as a certain 1980s jingle implores – the only way to travel is Cadillac style. Specifically, 1980s Cadillac style with the top down.
An Allanté! Hold up, is the Allanté cool now? It was never as popular as Cadillac had hoped it would be. After a series of embarrassing failures (Cimarron, V8-6-4, HT-4100), GM’s luxury brand decided the way out of the hole they had dug was to start seriously fronting, launching a $50k roadster when they still had stuff like the Cimarron in their showrooms. Their new flagship regrettably suffered from build quality issues as well as so-so dynamics thanks to its front-wheel-drive platform.
Then again, it could be argued that the Allanté and its chief competitors, the Mercedes SL and Jaguar XJ-S, were never meant to be canyon carvers. And while the Allanté was initially somewhat underpowered, Cadillac would continue to up the ante, upgrading to a more powerful 4.5 V8 engine. The final year saw the Allanté receive the new Road Sensing Suspension and Northstar V8.
The Allanté’s main purpose was to look fresh to death and, thanks to styling by Pininfarina, it certainly did, especially against its 1970s-vintage chief rivals. Inside was a striking interior very much of its time and a noticeable step up from the Eldorado on which the Allanté was based. But you needed a lot more paper to buy an Allanté: it cost a whopping $30k more than the Eldorado. Unfortunately for GM, it turned out most luxury roadster buyers weren’t about that Caddy life. Well, sluggish sales did end up helping the Allanté maintain its exclusivity…
Cadillac’s luxury roadster has been forgotten by many despite appearing so many movies and TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s, which makes its cameo appearance in a current Top 40 single’s music video all the more noteworthy. It’s not the only Caddy in the video: when Mars private jet lands, a fleet of brand new, black CT6s are waiting for his crew. That’s tight.