The first-generation Cadillac Seville was a sibling â€” or maybe first cousin â€” to the proletariat rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Nova, selling well while also cheapening the Cadillac brand. The second-generation Seville, introduced for the 1980 model year, moved to the Eldorado’s front-wheel-drive platform and gained a bold “bustleback” rear body design.
Here’s an example of a Bustleback Seville I spotted last week in a Phoenix self-service wrecking yard.
“Neoclassical” kit cars reached their pinnacle of popularity during the 1970s, and all of these cars featured mash-ups of various styling cues of the 1920-1940 era. The bustle-type trunk, along with (fake) leather hood straps and (nonfunctional) side exhaust pipes, was seen on many such vehicles.
Some Cadillacs and LaSalles had bustleback trunks through the late 1930s, so there was corporate precedent.
Cadillac shoppers weren’t enthusiastic about the look in 1980, however, and sales numbers for the 1980-1985 Seville was lower than that of its predecessor.
The Arizona sun has not been kind to the upholstery inside this car.
The Touring Suspension option made the Seville handle a bit better, and included 225/70R15 radials. The cassette deck boasted auto-reverse (a highly desirable feature in 1983, when a lot of factory cassette decks didn’t even have a rewind feature) and Dolby noise reduction.
The problem-plagued V8-6-4 engine that came in the 1981 Seville was gone by 1983; this car has one of the early HT4100 V8s, rated at 135 horsepower in 1983. The HT series of Cadillac engines continued in production into 1995, finally replaced by the Northstar V8.
“The car for those who, like you, choose to go first classâ€¦ all the way.”