Clearly, I’ve got showroom mileage, time capsule cars on the brain lately, as my recent posts will attest. And why not? These unicorns are fun to speculate about: Why would someone buy a new car or truck, and then store it away to never drive it again?
In some cases, manufacturers actually encouraged this behavior, with the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible being the textbook example. A huge public frenzy (ginned up by Cadillac) built up around this being the last open-top Cadillac, as well as the last American-made convertible. Of course, little did people realize at the time that a convertible renaissance was just around the corner, to be kicked off by the 1982 Chrysler LeBaron convertible. Soon there would be convertible versions of everything from Chevrolet Cavaliers to Geo Metros, and yes, more Cadillac convertibles (to the consternation of those who purchased the “last” Cadillac convertible in 1976).
This is why there are so many survivor 1976 Eldorado convertibles, and why they will never be worth truly big bucks: Things that are advertised as being collectible never truly are. Right now, there are no fewer than 17 1976 Eldo ragtops for sale over at Hemmings, many in showroom condition, with odometer readings as low as 246 miles. And that is just the results from one site.
But enough ancient history: If you had to pick a car on sale now to take delivery of and store away in a time capsule for whatever reason (posterity, money laundering, investment purposes) never to drive again, which would it be?
My choice: The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. This will likely be the 1978 Chrysler New Yorker or the 1979 Lincoln of our time: The last of its breed. While the 1979 Continental was the last of the super-sized, big block-powered American luxury broughams, the CT5-V Blackwing will likely be the last of several breeds (OK, the Lincoln 460 V8 was last sold in 1978 – roll with me on this).
For starters, the 668 HP Blackwing supercharged V8 is clearly intended to be the swan song for internal combustion engines for both GM and Cadillac. Alas, the Blackwing V8 engine in the CT5-V is unrelated to the short-lived 4.2L Blackwing twin-turbo DOHC V8 used in the now-departed CT6-V. Rather, it is a variation of the OHV LS V8 that GM has been using since forever, but perhaps for my purposes that is for the best.
Next, the CT5-V is a sport sedan halo car. I repeat, a SEDAN. Future halo cars at Cadillac will likely not be cars at all, but rather a utility vehicle like the Escalade. In fact, several of us here have already speculated that the Alpha platform-based CT4 and CT5 may very well be the last cars Cadillac ever makes (the CT6 is already gone).
Finally, the CT5-V (and platform-mate CT4-V) can both be had with that ever-increasing automotive rarity, a manual transmission, and will be the last Cadillacs to be so equipped. This is probably the device that will require the most explanation to future generations raised on the mile-wide torque curve of electric motors.
So yes, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the greatest car that few people will consider, much less purchase (myself included). So while I would be tempted to drive my hypothetical purchase, I would store one away in my time machine so that future generations can see the last a rear-wheel drive, overhead-valve V8 powered sport sedan from GM.
So that’s my take. What would your choice be for cars to buy and store away?