• Aug 20, 2008
The Cadillac Cimarron from the '80s is perhaps the very best (or worst) example of rebranding gone awry. Based on the never-meant-for-a-Caddy J Platform, which underpinned the Pontiac Sunfire through 2005, the Cimarron marked the lowest point in Cadillac's illustrious history. The Caddy-that-wasn't is so bad, in fact, that it's claimed iconic status way earlier than most of Detroit's past iron, as evidenced by our reader-submitted Future Classics post from last year.

Those of you wanting to get in on the Cimarron action before all of them are crushed the prices skyrocket should check out this posting on Craigslist. Here we have three Cimarron's from the late '80s all needing to be saved from that great crusher in the sky, and each equipped with the General's 130-horsepower 60-degree 2.8-liter boat anchor V6 engine. But wait, there's more! Act now and the seller will throw in a fourth car for parts. All this for the low, low price of just $6,000. Act now! Thanks for the tip, Matt!

[Source: Craigslist]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, odd car to collect, and four of them at that. Those were a odd car in the first place to call a caddy. But, I think that was the beginning of the rebadging madness of the american companies in the 80's and 90's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Besides the fact that this was a branding no-no for Cadillac, I know of one other person who had a Cimarron in her family and they liked it. Some of those old J-cars ran forever and I'm sure there were some differences between a regular J and the Cimarron. I actually liked the looks of the last generation version. I wouldn't mind having one. Too bad it didn't come with the bulletproof 2.5 L 4 cylinder engine that I had on my Olds Calais in college. It had fuel injection, a 3 spd automatic, just enough power, sounded like a diesel at low speed, smoothed out as it got faster and it got me 34-36 mpg on the highway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd buy them just to have the pleasure of using them for target practice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will it blend?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think for a small 80s car it looks quite nice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Besides the fact that this was a branding no-no for Cadillac, I know of one other person who had a Cimarron in her family and they liked it. Some of those old J-cars ran forever and I'm sure there were some differences between a regular J and the Cimarron. I actually liked the looks of the last generation version. I wouldn't mind having one. Too bad it didn't come with the bulletproof 2.5 L 4 cylinder engine that I had on my Olds Calais in college. It had fuel injection, a 3 spd automatic, just enough power, sounded like a diesel at low speed, smoothed out as it got faster and it got me 34-36 mpg on the highway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I seem to recall that Cadillac tried to kee pthis car at arms link by never actually calling it a Cadillac. Instead, it was referred to as "Cimmaron by Cadillac"
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, we are both correct. This is from Wiki:

        The Cimarron, introduced on May 21, 1981, was initially advertised as "Cimarron, by Cadillac" and sales personnel were instructed by GM to not to refer to the car as a Cadillac and to inform customers that it was technically, not a Cadillac. The pretense was woefully ineffective, and in 1983, it became the Cadillac Cimarron.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm disappointed that there wasn't an early 4-cyl 4-speed manual on the list.

      These are all latter ones, which weren't so terrible. I had a former housemate who claimed it was the best car he ever had (!)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bill, I have bad news for you. Your former housemate might be legally retarded. They were, truly, terrible.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I smell a demo derby.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cadillac sold about 20,000 Cimarron's a year. At $13,000 average that put $260,000,000 a year in a combination of dealers and GM's pocket at the time. Actually if you pull out a C&D from the time or a Motor Trend the car didn't fair that badly.

      "One question! WHY?" It's called testing the waters and it didn't do that badly from a manufacturing standpoint in terms of profit for a company.

      AZMike: Yep, agreed.





      • 6 Years Ago
      They really need a legitimate 3 series/C class premium compact and /or subcompact and put the Cimarron legacy behind them.
      That's the new challenge for luxury makes today with gas prices so high.
        • 6 Years Ago
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_BLS

        That's as close as they have gotten so far. It's still a branding exercise though, since it's the same vehicle as a Saab 9-3.

        And before you laugh at the FWD, the Mondeo is FWD and gains plaudits all over the place for its handling.
      • 6 Years Ago
      JUNK IT!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Catgirl, that is why you can't have nice things!
        • 6 Years Ago
        That ball just saved your life, lady!

        But seriously, these were Pieces of S, and my only fear is that they'll become "beloved" just like the carptastic Gremlin and other unmentionable "cherries" of the horrid 70's.

        I think catgirlshyla has the right idea (and the most appropriate movie reference I've seen in a while).
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