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Autotrader Find: Well-Preserved 1986 Cadillac Cimarron

If you’re a connoisseur of unusual cars, you probably already know all about the Cadillac Cimarron. Likewise, you probably know the Cimarron if you read those lists that purport to name the “worst cars of the 1980s,” or, in some cases, the “worst cars of all time.” That’s because the Cadillac Cimarron was both: unusual, and, by many accounts, quite bad.

For those of you who don’t know the story of the Cimarron, here it is: The 1970s and 80s were the height of General Motors’ rebadge era, by which I mean there were barely any cars in the automaker’s entire portfolio that weren’t badged as Oldsmobiles, and Buicks, and Pontiacs, and Chevys, despite the fact that they generally looked almost identical and had roughly the same features, engines and trim. See the 1986 Cadillac Cimarron models for sale near you

Although Cadillac was largely exempt from the worst of the rebadging, GM finally decided to “go there” for the 1982 model year by rolling out the Cimarron: a rebadged version of the bargain-level, bottom-end, ultra-cheap Chevy Cavalier. The response was disastrous. Even though the Cimarron offered far more luxury-oriented revisions than a usual rebadged General Motors vehicle, car reviewers — and car shoppers — couldn’t believe GM would sully the Cadillac brand by giving it a thinly disguised Chevy Cavalier.

The result is that very few Cimarrons were purchased — and in the 30-plus years since its debut, many fewer have survived. And that brings us to today’s Autotrader Find, which is, shockingly, a perfectly preserved 1986 Cimarron offered by a private seller in Needham, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.

When I say “perfectly preserved,” I really mean it. This Cimarron has covered just 26,190 miles, verified by its Carfax report, and the current owner has added just 1,000 miles in 15 years since buying it. If you were ever searching for a time-capsule Cadillac Cimarron, this is it. Best of all, it can be yours for just $8,900 — or a few grand less than the original Cimarron’s base price when it first came out in 1982. Find a 1986 Cadillac Cimarron for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. I talked to that guy about the car in 2015. $9000 was ridiculous. We found an equally nice white Cimarron with blue interior and the EG Classics trim package with 24K miles for $2600 in Florida. Proverbial “old lady car”, a real cream puff….and we saved $6300……. 

  2. A friend of mine worked at Carmax.  Carmax has to give a warranty on every car they sell.  Carmax would sell any Catera’s for the simple fact their underwriters did not want to accept that risk.

    • I actually had a Catera for about 6 years. I honestly never put a dollar into in the entire time. However that is until the timing belt broke and grenaded the engine. It was actually a fun little car.

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