15th Mar 2008, 20:57
Gad! The CIMMARRON! YIKES-What memories! The Ads on the billboards in 1982 said: Presenting Cimmaron by Cadillac-Put on your driving gloves!!" I had a brand new 1982 Cimmarron as a company paid car. (It was my only choice available). Dark silver metallic & Every option available, nice dual 6 way power black leather seats, power options for everything,& a weird factory installed "pop-up & snap-out" sunroof contraption. Sticker was nearly 15 grand in 1982 (for a car that didn't run very well.) In fact, the car was sooooooo absurdly gut-less that it was truly dangerous to drive in Los Angeles. Entering a freeway on ramp was an exercise in terror. I used to joke with my passengers that the car accelerated 0-60 in 4.5 MINUTES flat & did a quarter mile in a quarter hour. OK-so performance wasn't its best attribute... But Then it started leaking fluids... and the power steering system would cut in and out. Nothing could resolve the low quality parts issues & we were forever changing major components. The crappy transmission was shot at 22,000 miles, AC compressor was changed three times in 3 years, alternators galore. steering pumps, etc.. The Cadillac agency who leased this winner to me said, "Well it isn't really a Cadillac you know..."
22nd Jul 2008, 23:02
The Cimarron is a wonderful car. Here in So. Cal, where everybody loves to buy import, the 1980s J car has almost been wiped off the face of the earth. Even the 1990s versions are becoming scarce.
Actually, the only small economy American 80s car here that is still easy to find somewhat would be mostly the 1980s Chrysler K Car, Ford Taurus, and Ford Tempo. Now, you can barely find any Cavaliers and most of the 80s J cars left here are in bad shape. I find it sad and unfortunate.
I rather like the body styling of the Js. However, there is one J car that whenever I see one, is usually in mint condition and I have thought of buying. I still see these now and again.
CADILLAC CIMARRON! I think it is a beautiful car.
23rd Jul 2008, 01:00
I have been a service manager at 4 dealerships, both domestic and import, and the reason why I like the Cimarron is it you can usually find a low mileage example for low prices, and they are extremely simple and inexpensive to maintain.
I have found that while a Honda Accord is a good car, try to find one that has not been modified by a teenager for street racing under $1,000 is just about impossible unless the transmission is junk or the head gasket is blown.
I find that most people who hate the GM J car series have been the victim of shoddy mechanics. A basic set of Craftsman tools and a little mechanical aptitude is all it takes to keep these cars running.
I picked up an 87 Cimarron for $100 from a guy who just wanted to clear out his driveway, and drove it home by just adding gas and jump starting it after it had been sitting for months.
The V6 versions are very fast, and unfortunately my 17 year old son ran it into a pickup and crumpled the front. I bolted on a front clip from a Cavalier, and it looks a bit odd, but it still runs.
I latter picked up a 85 Cimarron with a V6 with only 35,000 miles on it, and it still runs and looks like new. I will not let my son drive this one, and it is noticeably better than the other 3 Cavaliers I have owned.
While the early carburated models were terrible, the fuel injected ones work well.
My latest Cimarron was found while I was looking for parts for the 87 my son damaged, and it was a 1984 with only 26,000 miles on it, and after I changed the ignition module, I drove it home. The fact that the mechanicals are based on the Cavalier makes finding parts easy, and much cheaper than any import. Things like water pumps, starters and alternators fail more often than the some cars such as an Accord, but getting these repaired by an honest mechanic is simple and cheap, and the design clearly lends itself to backyard mechanics. Changing a timing belt on my wife's Eclipse was a nightmare compared to changing a headgasket on my Cavalier.
The reason why the Cimarron did not have the long production run like the very successful Cavalier did, is because by the time it came out, the gas crisis was over and people wanted V8 power in the luxury market. When the gas shortages disappeared, so did the desire for gas mileage, and people in the luxury market turned to big trucks and SUV, and small luxury cars fell out of favor to the gas gulping giants, that now because of high gas prices, are being treated with the same bashing that happened to the Cimarron.
3rd Sep 2008, 08:56
Come on people - you've got to have a little sense of humor.
When someone actually calls the Cimarron a "Great Car" or a "Highly Sought-After Collector's Car" you've got to expect some sarcasm.
The Cimarron was a gussied-up J Car, and GM actually did have the audacity to market it as an alternative to more expensive, more refined, better engineered European sedans such as Mercedes.
The Cimarron had a fancied up dash, fancy tail-lights, and Cadillac Wheel covers - other than that it was basically a Cavalier.
Perhaps the J Cars were decent transportation in their day, but I don't think they compare to a Mercedes or BMW.
All in all the Cimarron was over-priced and under-engineered, this is not the formula "Great Cars" are made from. Aren't most great cars over-priced and over-engineered?
Please keep a sense of humor - you can actually get some good info. and have a good chuckle at the same time!
28th Aug 2009, 09:42
I have been an avid J-body fan for years. And as a couple of people have already said, these cars are very easy and inexpensive to repair. I do 95% of my own repairs, I am not a mechanic, but I know my way around my 1991 Sunbird better than most people know their way around their house.
There are two major international clubs that are GM J-body specific; one is specific to the manufacturing years between 1982 - 1994 AKA 1st generation and 2nd generation GM J-bodies (V6Z24.com), and the other based in the later years 1995 - 2005 AKA 3rd generation GM J-body (j-body.com).
For those Cimarron owners that read this, I would recommend that you visit V6Z24.com as it is a veritable wealth of information regarding the earlier GM J-body cars. There are even maintenance/appearance and performance "How to"'s that help you not only save a bunch of money, but assist in keeping your car running smooth.
As to the longevity of the J-body... I had one that was 3.1 5 speed with 285,xxx miles on it that still came off the line quicker than its BMW equivalent. I got decent (not great in my books) gas mileage; that being a combined 25 MPG. It has been passed on to a guy that is currently racing it on the oval and is consistently finishing in the top 5. He has done nothing aside from a typical tune-up. I sold it because the body needed more work than I could do.
The Cimarron is very rapidly becoming a collectors item, as many of them are disappearing every year into the scrap yards of North America... give it another 5-10 years, and one that is in showroom condition may be worth their original sale price's current equivalency of 30K.