In the third of a short series, I will remind readers of what was on sale in 1984, courtesy of the much missed “World Car Guide”.
In this little delve into the World Car Guide I’ll take two attempts to dress mutton up as something finer. The Chrysler Executive and Cadillac Cimarron saw two companies desperately or cynically trying to pass off low-end platforms as much finer vehicles. The Cimarron is famously awful and there might still be a retired executive alive who looks into the mirror every day and sees the face of the man who signed off Cadillac’s least good car.
I’ll start though with the Executive, which was very much a poor replacement for what were once quite fine cars. Here’s what the Guide said: “ An impressive looking business car based on a stretched Le Baron. Although there has been a revival of demand for the traditional big
American V8, Chrysler put a 2.6 litre Silent Shaft Mitsubishi engine in the Executive. Voice alert, radio/tape player, computer, central locking, power boot mirrors and boot release, air conditioning are included.” That 2.6 had four cylinders and a Holley 2-choke carburettor and a 3-speed automatic with self levelling suspension optional. Everything forward of the B-pillar came from the Le Baron/K-car platform. Such a car is today only cherishably bad.
The Guide is quietly critical of the J-car-based Cimarron, noting its original 1.8 litre four-pot failed to offer enough motive force. Unlike the Chrysler, it did have fuel injection. The rear deck luggage racks stands out among the unconvincing ways Cadillac tried to distinguish the car from the Cavalier it clearly was. The rear brakes used drums and it managed 95 miles per hour flat-out. Did you know that the Cimarron carried on until 1990? The small image shows a later version which has a more clearly Cadillac grille. Austin Allegro Van Den Plas leaps to mind.
Cadillac has made valiant attempts to regain its claim to be the standard of the world while Chrysler makes no attempt to fight in the upper echelons of the car market