the view through the windshield
1994 Cadillac Seville: Trim, Fit & Luxurious

For most of the 20th Century, Cadillacs carried a certain cachet. In the old days, Cadillac really lived up to its slogan, 'Standard of the World'. If you look at period newsreel footage, you'll see potentates, dictators, popes, celebrities and gangsters being ferried about in shiny black Caddys.

In the movie 'Donnie Brasco', made in 1997 but set in the early 1980s, Al Pacino's mob character, Lefty Ruggerio, compared the brand to lesser cars, remarking, "Fuggedaboutit. A Cadillac's got more acceleration, more power, it's got better handlin', it's got more legroom for your legs."

In the early '90s, Cadillac still had lots of fans. Auto pundits like to reminisce about the "invasion" of the American market by European luxury cars but, the fact is that, in 1993, Mercedes-Benz sold only 61,899 cars in the U.S., compared with 255,869 Cadillacs and 177,208 Lincolns that same year.

Nevertheless, the Cadillac Seville was a top-of-the-line premium offering with the smaller exterior dimensions expected of European automobiles. It was designed with the idea of winning back young, well-heeled import owners. That was the premise when the Seville made its debut as a separate model line in 1975. It had crisp styling, clean lines and enough unique sheet metal and interior and exterior trim to disguise its humble Chevy Nova platform.

The second generation Seville, introduced as a 1980 model, was an acknowledgement that the model had failed to capture those buyers of Euro-luxury machines but instead was being bought by older women who wanted a Cadillac in a smaller, more maneuverable size. The result was a bustle-backed, overstyled Caddy which was a bit smaller than the DeVilles and Fleetwoods.

In 1986, Cadillac downsized all their models, including the Seville. The cars offered undistinguished styling and Seville sales fell by half. In 1992, Cadillac introduced a new Seville, with taut, crisp European-inspired lines. The wheelbase was 111 inches while overall length was 204 inches. The Seville weighed 3,850 pounds. Looking like a sharp, well-tailored suit, the latest Seville was a hot seller and styling was little changed through the models run from 1992-97.

The fourth generation Seville offered front-wheel-drive with a transverse-mounted 4.6 liter V8 coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission. In 1992, the new European-flavored Seville Touring Sedan was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year and made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list.

In 1993, the Seville was fitted with the Northstar quad-cam 32-valve aluminum V8. In 1994, the Seville Luxury Sedan (SLS) had a 270 horsepower Northstar as standard equipment, while the Seville Touring Sedan (STS) offered a more robust 295 horsepower Northstar motor. The STS also had wider tires, a firmer suspension and a more driver-oriented cabin. 0-60 mph times were 7.4 seconds for the SLS and 7.1 seconds for the STS.

Prices for the '94 Cadillac Seville started at $40,990 for the SLS and $44,890 for the STS model.

1994 Seville production was 46,714 sedans, handily outselling the less expensive Eldorado coupe (24,970 produced). In 1994 Cadillac sold 219,486 automobiles, beating its main competitor Lincoln by 11%.

The 1994 Cadillac Seville is a handsome car that still looks good today. (9/29/15)

Remember When: 1994
auto blogIn 1994, Nelson Mandella was elected president of South Africa. In the U.S. midterm elections, Republicans captured the House and Senate, making Newt Gingrich a household name.

In January, Los Angeles suffered a devastating earthquake, killing 57 and causing $15 billion in damage.

Pope John Paul II was named Time's Man of the Year in 1994. At the 1994 Winter Olympics, skater Tonya Harding and her cohorts tried to eliminate competitor Nancy Kerrigan by having her knee clubbed.

In auto news, Car & Driver its Ten Best Cars, including the Nissan 300ZX Turbo (good choice), Acura Integra GS-R, BMW 325i/325is, Honda Prelude VTEC, Lexus SC300, Mazda RX-7 and the Honda Accord, which was the most stolen car in America in '94.

In 2001, my wife and I traveled From London to Paris under the English Channel on the Eurostar train - top speed: 186 mph. I took the photo at Waterloo Station in London.
The long awaited Chunnel Tunnel opened linking England and France by rail. The Eurostar train could hit 186 mph, making the connection between London and Paris much shorter. The Hubble Telescope provided concrete evidence of the existence of Black Holes.

In June, O.J. Simpson attempted to evade police in a lengthy, televised car chase on a Los Angeles Freeway. He was soon arrested and charged with murdering his wife, Nicole.

Top movies included 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Forrest Gump', 'Pulp Fiction', 'True Lies', 'Dumb & Dumber', 'The Mask' and 'Stargate'.

Top songs included 'The Sign' (Ace of Base), 'The Power of Love' (Céline Dion), 'Hero' (Mariah Carey), 'I'll Make Love To You' (Boyz II Men), 'Stay (I Missed You)' (Lisa Loeb), 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' (Elton John), 'Streets of Philadelphia' (Bruce Springsteen) the re-release of 'December 1963 - Oh, What A Night (The Four Seasons) 'and 'All I Wanna Do' (Sheryl Crow)

Deaths in 1994 included former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onasis, former president Richard Nixon, former Congressman Tip O'Neill, comedian John Candy, singers Dinah Shore and Kurt Cobain, actor and former Bond villain Telly Savalas, actors Burt Lancaster, Cesar Romero and Joseph Cotton, scientist Linus Pauling, singer/bandleader Cab Calloway, boxer Jersey Joe Wallcottserial murderer and clown John Wayne Gacy and serial cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer.

The 1994 World Series was canceled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

More AutoSketch car drawings can be found here.
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copyright 2015 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved - Drawing copyright 1994, 2015


The facts presented in this blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

Spelling, punctuation and syntax errors are cheerfully repaired when I find them; grudgingly fixed when you do.

If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.

If I have slandered any people or corporations in this blog, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal) and try to prove to me that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.

Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.