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Is the XLR just another Allante?

David Mader

Dec 15, 2019
Sorry to say but it seems so.
I’ve looked into purchasing one and it seems that in a couple more years they’ll be selling for $8,000.
The problems with these cars seem overwhelming. Headlights, radiator, gas tank senders, engine oil leaks, suspension components, top mechanicals, etc. Any front end damage and it’s totaled. Rear end hits, forget about it, top will never close or open correctly. I’ve been looking at Copart and IIA for a couple of years for a rebuilder and thought how can they be so inexpensive? At $3,500.00 a head light, 2 would cost more than the car. Found 2 or 3 around $4,500.00-$6,000.00 that looked ok but would cost $6,000,00 - $10,000.00 to repair.
So I thought I’ll buy a used one....
You can’t buy anything unless you go though it with a fine tooth comb and that’s means traveling to check it out, which offsets any cost savings. All low mileage examples are priced $5,000.00 more that the market dictates and all the standard problems will raise their ugly heads as the odometer rolls.
Had 3 Allante’s and they all were JUNK! the only good thing with them is that they only cost $4,500.00. You can’t even part them out because all the parts that are desirable are all defective across the board,
Radio, adjustable shocks, trunk lock etc.
Guess it’s sour grapes but I’m tired of riding around in an $80,000.00 MSRP car with check engine lights and no sound system.
Maybe at the end of this year when people can’t make up the 4 months of their house payments that are due they’ll realize that these cars are money pits and will desperately try to get $12,000.00 - $17,000.00 instead of $20,000.00 - $30,000.00 that they think there worth.
I’ll still be in the market, I’m just waiting for them to sit in the garage or the used car dealers for a few more months and hopefully they’ll be some deals available.
I don't think any XLR is / was supposed to be a 'practical' car. It's supposed to be for fun - a second, or a third car, for those moments you want to treat yourself to something perhaps a bit special. And special can be like any exotic or semi-exotic, and that means some headaches of course. :)

You're in Cleveland - how about considering a trip north? https://www.kijiji.ca/b-cars-trucks/canada/xlr/k0c174l0?sort=priceAsc

The 'V' in London, Ontario strikes me as somewhat appealing, and don't forget, the prices marked are C$ which at this moment are rather pathetic compared to USD. Kilometres versus miles too. Oh, and as I'd bet you're well aware, at best, Canadian XLRs that truly live here would only see use for a few months a year.

Just food for thought. I sort of figure I'll cross the headlight / taillight dilemma if and when it ever arises. The fellow getting all wound-up about a radiator being unavailable...that didn't make much sense as you can check RockAuto, and there's plenty, and of various brands if you wish. Yup, some things will take time to fix so the wise fellow might figure out how to do repairs himself and of course not rely on only one vehicle?

As far as the roof goes, well, I've commented about it a few places here prior, and I've approached it my own way. Mine was fine by the way with the exception of a couple of hoses leaking to that front latching cylinder. I have new ones, and everything else that would make a XLR a convertible...in a box now. :lol:

1) I don't like convertibles and 2) I think the car looks horrid with the top down. Don't think anyone else (Benz, Porsche etc) do any better as all the roof shtuff is made by the same company. CTS Fahrzeug-Dachsysteme - Wikipedia (now owned by Magna). They're all still garbage - it's disgusting engineering but they patented the life out of everything they did so they kind of have 'the market' until if and when, someone bothers to actually put some thought in to the design of a retractable hard-top.

Fun car the XLR - don't take it too seriously, imho. ;)

The XLR is definitively a better car then the Allante, because it was build in the US and the allante was import from Italia.

The allante was a front traction drive car and the XLR a rear wheel drive that is what most sports car suppose to be.

The allante was mostly an ordinary luxurious car with the Cadillac name plate on and not really a Cadillac.

The XLR power plan is superior from far, its a GM family car engineering in the old country and build in America on the c6 corvette fiber glass type body.
Contrary of the EVOQ steel body forecast by the GM administration, to build this EVOQ in order to stimulate the poor sales drop of the Cadillac.

The EVOQ was the real Cadillac.

At least we can say that the XLR had the sales of all the Cadillac on a trend up even if the sales of the XLR did not last for many years.

See my thread on headlights replacement done today, it concern the rest of what you are saying.

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Someone asked me this? I felt like it was more negative than “you have a NorthStar”

And, I was looking at a Allante this morning on CL. The way I see the xLR, it’s more of the best they can do about what they did wrong on the last Coupe

Any fwd Cadillac is straight garbage - worst stuff they ever built
there are a few hundred if not thousand Allante owners who would disagree with you > the car was a caddilac with an Italian body. People that have them really like them for the most part expensive and hard to get parts for but a guy in California keeps them going at Cadillac KING. he ships expensive parts all over the world to people that maintain hem to new condition. One of the yards that recycles the xlr started with Allantes and knows them inside out. He still buys and sells parts for them The biggest expense was shipping them by air back and forth to have the body and engine mated. Very similar to the expense involved at the corvette factory even though owned by the same company.
Here is a nice video on why the xlr is so great. haha .If an owner cannot change something as simple as a radiator themselves then they need to have deep pockets to won one. I now prefer my Maserati I just got and love it .the community of owners know what they are doing and actually help each other. Just got about 3000 worth of tools sent me to do a repair on loan just from a phone call. Also got up front money to make new radio knobs prepaid and 15 orders. Wont see that on this site,

+ it’s just a hideous car

that pretty much covers every every 90’s Cadillac tho. I wouldn’t own one if I got it for free - the NorthStar FWD platform is one of the worst designed drivetrains ever built. I remember having to work on these - I think it’s easier pulling teeth

But, Cadillac does need to make another convertible - it’s been a while
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...Just got about 3000 worth of tools sent me to do a repair on loan just from a phone call.

Goodness gracious! That must be some tool / tool set!

Oil filter wrench, Italian style? :lol:

...Also got up front money to make new radio knobs prepaid and 15 orders. ...

Maserati has defective knobs? Curious as all my life I felt it was the other way around. :lol:

...Wont see that on this site,

Pr'olly not. No need for such a pricey tool / tool set best as I know of and the knobs on / in XLR all seem fairly decent...for knobs. :)

Now I won't speak for others as that's not quite right, but imho, derogatory comments towards the entire XLR community come across as a bit offside sad to say. If one doesn't feel this community is 'worthy', perhaps one should wander along quietly? ;)

You should make the difference between a forum and a club of few Maserati very healthy owner$$$$ were they gather together.

This site is a way to all in expressing them self of their concerns and help each others about their XLR….

I believe that this goal is quite filled and healthy.

I've loved every front-drive Cadillac I've ever owned. Quality was poor but the comfort and driving experience were superb. Modern Cadillac interiors, including XLR, are missing the smell and touch that makes a Cadillac a Cadillac. I miss the smell and durability of Eagle Ottawa leather and the classy look of zebrano wood. The XLR, fortunately, retains the steering feel that's distinctly Cadillac.

The XLR's power top seems to be the least worrisome part. Video how-to guides and cylinder/pump refurbishers are out there charging reasonable prices (a grand or two). Everything with the top appears to be surprisingly easy to DIY.

The fuel sender, on the other hand, is horrendously expensive to fix for such a small part. I had three Sevilles with this problem -- you can get away with just using the trip meter to keep the tank topped off. I always filled up after 200 miles to be safe.

It also looks like shops are stepping up to refurbish headlights.
the maserati site has way more members on it than does this site. actually just about double. They also work on their cars and yes some have money many are no more wealthy than many on here.
the set of tools are special to install the camshaft drive chains and yes they are costly. Just like a tech 2 that is real and not an unathorized copy of the original is also an expensive tool . Many on here have no problem buying unauthorized knockoffs from China. I actually owned one my self before getting a real one s o I could do proper updates.
the club bought a special scanner as a group about 40,000 and they pass it around when needed. Again do you think that would happen on this site? Like I said I have a dozen people who have been unable to pay me 15 or 20$ for parts I shipped before payment. I just wrote it off.

A water pump casting was needed by about 6 people and when a former member on here said he would get it cast, he got prepaid plenty of money to have the parts made and then he sent back the difference I actual cost for models and machining.

Oh for your rather uninformed comment about the radio knobs vintage 1950 Maserati's had bakealite knobs like just about every other car made In the period and they do need to be reproduced from time to time. And I am sure no XLR owner has had any problems with the radio or cd changers on their car. that must be why there about 100 post about them and they sell rather fast on ebay. Why you find it necessary to comment on every post I make is beyond my knowledge but you since you seem to like to do that then post on. I actually have other things to do
Oh and you always talk about me being about the money. Well I offered over a thousand dollars worth of parts to a member here who needed them to help them out. Never heard back so I gave them to another customer/member who wanted them in case he ever had the same problem with his top.
long Tall Sally, Not very nice. I would be very shy to help people after that. I have had motorhomes for 25 plus years and I was at a gathering in Jackson Hole WY with about 25 other coaches. While there I had a part break and another attendee had the part I needed and fixed my coach. He didn't want money but said some day he would like the part. When the rally was over I couldn't find the part fast enough and ship it special delivery to him. This has happened twice. Treat others how you want to be treated.
John F.
Real numbers of Maserati sports cars Buid/sold


For the years 2004-09 some 35,000+/- maserati were sold of all the models including the sport cars, the sedans are the ones that were mostly build/sold.

For the years 2004-09 some close to 300,000 Cadillac were build/sold, the xlr roaster were 15,000 +-/.

It would appreciate if you could supply us with the real numbers of Maserati sport cars build/sold, I am mostly wont be surprise that it is less.

The Cadillac forums available are not only for the XLR, I am positive that the Cadillac of all the forums members are greater.



In some ways the Allante experience is very much like the XLR ownership experience. For the former though, the primary issues was that that it was front wheel drive yet was touted as a sports car to compete with the likes of Mercedes and Jaguar. It had many new systems, the novel onboard diagnostics coupled with the redundant lighting system, the SDS suspension system, and the Bosch Anti-lock system to list a few. Perhaps neck and neck and maybe even squeezing out the front wheel drive factor for negatives was that it had a manual convertible top, which was very difficult to operate in the earlier Phase I years. Plus, the soft top had a very bad reputation for leaking. In ‘1991 dollars for instance, a car that would cost 54 thousand dollars having a semi manual raised and lowered top was absurd !!

Beyond these matters, the materials used on the Allante had an abundance of plastic "cheaper" applications. The Allante had, at one extreme, Recarro seats and the Italian body styling (glamor) , and at the other end plastic trim parts which were OK in presentation (glitzy) but were not very durable nor sturdy. The Achilles heel of the Allante though was the Bosch ABS system. If it failed, you had an application maybe two of brakes and that was it before trouble. This system was state of the art, top shelf, when it came to braking and easily surpassed anything on the street. The hitch was, it required maintenance, which was not discussed nor stressed, was involved and mostly went unchecked. By the time maintenance would be needed, repairs could be as much as many thousands of dollars in just components, if they could be acquired. Maintenance was simple. Annual to bi-yearly complete brake fluid flushes with the use of DOT3 fluid ONLY was all that was really required. Of course there are rotors and pads which is expected, but to alleviate the major issue, system fluid maintenance was the solution.

The three phases of the Allante production marked different points in its' evolution. By the '93-year, phase III, the writing had been on the wall. The Allante program would end with the 1993 year. As was typical of GM though was when they had finally begun to get the Allante program to where it probably should have been when it was first rolled out they killed it off. Recall the Corvair, the Vega, the Fierro and the Saturn ?? . Actually, the decision to end the Allante was pretty much decided in early ‘92. And by 1993, the decision was also to have the Allante be the flagship of the NorthStar, The NorthStar was hoped to be the hail Mary pass game changer, but AGAIN, GM was hasty in rolling it out. Plagued by oil leaks and cooling system issues and head bolt problems, this engine would be years in production before it became reliable. And in 1993, comfort options such as the Recarro seats and the Bose audio system went by the wayside as cost cutting measures. Subtle styling differences also took place. (out with the vent window, in with redesigned bumper effects and mirror appearance changes) Updated suspension and transmission systems also occurred. All to no avail.

The value of the Allante has fallen. Primo examples can be had for not a lot of money. Yes, some variants, mostly the latter Phase II and III can get good money, but not very many. Today, parts for the Allante, like the XLR command high dollars. Tail lights and headlights for the Allante, for sure, are not cheap, though still not at the level of the XLR. There are people out there who buy the Allantes on the cheap for the purpose of parting them out. Had for the right price, they are worth more as parts than the whole. Capitalism has no emotional tie.

Notwithstanding all aspects of its' development and roll out, the Allante was a great looking car and in the right hands could be a reliable car. The Italian styling was contemporary and really, if you look to the Cadillac models across the brand that would come out starting around 1987 onward, hints of the new Allante styling would be seen in many of the models produced.

Having the car ‘s coachwork and body fittings completed by Pina' Farina was not the issue with the Allante. One could say incorporating the cost to do that 747 back and forth transport was a factor that did not help. Yes, the convertible tops leaked terribly in the early years, but that is reported to be attributed to the rush roll out by the GM number crunchers.

The XLR in many ways is everything the Allantes should have been. Equally stunning in appearance, the XLR convertible top operation had its initial quirks yes, but was for the most part was worked out by '06. The recent separating top skin issue though is something unique to the XLR. The Allante's aluminum skinned hard top could suffer from corrosion and deterioration along the leading edges. The XLR has a good suspension system; the Allante suspension can be maintained and put into silent mode to stop system failure indicators. . The XLR, like the Allante has had the Bose system throughout its’ production run. It shares underpinnings with the Vette. It has the same family (improved) NorthStar.

The XLR for sure is more involved in maintenance, from the fuel system, to the convertible top system to the potentials of tail light repair and head light issues (I can attest to this, having just sent the passenger tail light from mine to Vettronics for repair), to the various quirky trans linkage matters , and interior annoyances, the faulty CD player, the outdated Nav system and that cup holder integrity.

Not sure the XLR is going to go the way the Allante has …. There were fewer XLR’s built. Cost value wise, the Allante was a 60-thousand-dollar car in ’93; equates to a bit over 100 K in today’s dollars. You can get a real nice example of the newest of the Allantes today, some 27 years later for around 10 to 11 K. Don’t know what the XLR will go for in 2036 when the newest are 27 years old. Right now, in today’s dollars though, the 2009 $80,000 XLR car (the V is not a fair comparison.) would run around 96,000. I know the Math here is fuzzy, Not exactly comparing apples to apples with the spans of years. And by 2036, who knows how many of the around 15,000 XLR's will still be around. I’m thinking today there are less than 10 thousand of the original 21, thousand Allante units made still on the road. By 2036, held to the same calculation, there may only be 6 to 7 thousand, if that, of the original XLR’s left.

The XLR is not just another Allante. The XLR is a vehicle unto its own. The experience maybe reminiscent of the Allante experience but the XLR stands alone on its own merit for sure. The value in the XLR may then, partly come from its’ relative lower production run.

There then would be no reason today to see the XLR being at the 8 to 10-thousand-dollar level except if the car was wrecked or there were serious faults with the car that would require a significant investment to repair or there was some crazy high mileage.

And so it goes,……this is all just my opinion

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Hi Bill

Well and all said, I like also Jesda poster about the allante, its emotions pulsations are also easy to get about the feelings of driving a Cadillac.

It is sad that both models XLR and Allante fails, as contrary what GM planned for those models, hoping that the next roadster will be design and build in America with parts made in USA with the real needs of the consumers.

Vettronic finally is a fine choice, may be expensive….but surely fixed.


PS find enclosed a photo a US car that looks like an Allante, make a guest.

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Ian, I owned that exact car for nearly 30 years. I would go out on a limb and say it was the first Maserati T/C imported into Canada legally.
John F.
Ian, That Chrysler Maserati T/C was built in Italy. It came with 2 engines , a 2.2 turbo Chrysler engine and a Maserati engine. The interior was beautiful.
John F.

Bravo…. it is an other USA car made by the Maserati designers that did not been profitable and successful in term of sales.

Both cars are alike, wondering if its an Allante customised, however both are nice cars for their time.

Ian, This car was assembled in Italy. The first batch that came across the ocean got sent back because Lee Iacocca felt the quality was awful. Anyways I bought mine in Palm Springs CA and when I was declaring the car at Canada Customs a guy came through in a Cadillac Allante, red with camel interior and real wire wheels. What a sharp looking car that was.
John F.

Yes , the Allante was a particularly great looking car when fitted with the real wire wheels. (say, "real wire wheels", five times fast) Regarding that car pic posted .....? I was gong to mention that the car does have that hint of the Chrysler LeBaron vert. look.

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The allante with chrome wire wheels makes so much a different then their regular painted silver wheel set.

Here is a photo that shows a such nice looking Allante.

IAN :thumbsup


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