It is well documented that I am a fan of the Cadillac Seville. All of them. No, really. Part of it is that one of my first toy cars as a tot was a 1980 Seville made by Tomica, which along with my 1/64 scale Continental Mark III, Fleetwood Brougham and Mercury Cougar Villager station wagon, introduced me to Brougham at a very early age. My favorite? The 1976-79. But I like them all to some extent.
And when they’re in that classic Cadillac color known as, depending on the year, Colonial Yellow, Cream Beige, Light Yellow and finally, Cameo Ivory, this author takes note.
Last Monday evening, my Cadillac compadre down in Texas, Jayson Coombes, messaged me about a really nice 1990 Seville on ebay. And, at least from the pictures, he was right.
Really nice. 1990 was the next to the last year for the ultra downsized Seville. In 1986 and 1987 it was still powered by the 4.1L V8 that was introduced on the 1982 Cadillacs.
That engine was not exactly a powerhouse in the bigger 1982-85 Sevilles and Eldorados (and likely less so in the large and in charge ’82-’84 De Villes). It also had its share of issues, but in 1988 it was enlarged and became the 4.5. And, by all accounts, a much improved engine over its previous iteration.
1990 was the last year for the 4.5. In 1991 it was bored out again to become the 4.9, and that engine, I can tell you, was a little TOO fun in these mini-me Eldorados and Sevilles. In 1999 I was in college and working part-time at the insurance company. One of my pastimes was to check out the dealerships in the afternoons, and test drive interesting used cars.
One of those was a 1991 Cadillac Seville, sitting out front at Green Chevrolet Chrysler Plymouth. In Polo Green over tan leather and with the lacy spoke alloy wheels, it was a fun car! Plush but with plenty of power. And despite all the hate the 1986-91 Sevilles and Eldorados get, the ride, NVH and handling are excellent. With that big 4.9 in these smallish Caddys, they were stealth hot rods.
So, I’ve always had a soft spot for these. I don’t recall ever seeing one in this combination, at least, not without the then de riguer horrid aftermarket dealer-installed rickrack on them. Like fake convertible tops, fake Rolls Royce grilles, and-God save us-fake Continental kits! I was in middle school when these were new, and I estimate at least 50-60% of these Cadillacs had that tacky stuff on them.
I’ve driven these with the 4.5 as well. About a year before I test drove the ’91 Seville, there was an ’89 Eldorado at the local Chevy dealer in Moline. I took that one out for a spin, and really enjoyed it.
Sure, it didn’t have the presence of a ’70 or even an ’82 Eldorado, but times change. And it was smooth. Quiet. And plush. And the 4.5 had plenty of oomph as well. All historically important qualities in Cadillacs, no matter the decade.
In 1990, both the Eldorado and the Seville got a standard driver’s side airbag, a big deal at the time.
One other new feature were clear taillamp lenses. Unfortunately they were recalled due to moisture issues, according to Jayson, who was a salesman at Moritz Cadillac in Fort Worth, TX back when these cars were new. They were replaced with solid-red lenses, same as the ’91 Sevilles received.
He told me they did get in a ’91 at Moritz in this color combination, but it had (of course) the ungainly ‘dealer extra’ gold spoked Vogue wheels on it. They put it right out front on the patio in front of the showroom.
1991 was the final year for Cameo Ivory as a factory color, and also the last year for the light yellow leather interior option. The all new Seville and Eldorado were due to arrive in 1992, and a lot of the more traditional styling cues, chrome and options were going away. Clean and modern was taking over at Cadillac Motor Division, and the ’92 Seville would lead the charge.
At any rate, this Seville is currently on eBay, and is scheduled to end Monday November 12. It’s a no reserve auction, so someone will be getting it. So if you want to get your early ’90s Cadillac on, check it out.