The Cadillac Catera is a rather forgettable car. It didn’t look special, it wasn’t powered by anything special, and it it wasn’t particularly special to drive. But – and people seem to forget this crucial detail – it was rear wheel drive. And to make things more interesting, several GM Performance parts from other vehicles, like the Pontiac GTO of the same period, would bolt right on to the chassis of this outcasted Cadillac. So when second-hand F-Bodies and rebadged Holden Monaros are out of reach, the Cadillac Catera can be a hidden treasure for those with a bit of imagination (if they can find one). Case in point, this Catera on Bring a Trailer.
This particular sleeper muscle car features a Lingenfelter built LS7 engine under the hood. That’s the 7.0 liter, naturally aspirated V8 you find in the superb C6 Corvette Z06 and fifth-gen Camaro Z/28 under the hood of the car your grandparents probably once owned. Welcome to the ultimate sleeper.
The LS7 is, shockingly, the second engine swap this Catera has seen in its lifetime. While it was leased from a Michigan Cadillac dealer, the owner sent the car to Lingenfelter where the measly standard V6 and automatic gearbox were swapped for a LS6 V8 and a Tremec six speed manual. Yes, they did that to a lease vehicle. Don’t ask us how that worked out, because we are dying to know the same thing.
For some reason, the LS6 wasn’t enough and, this mighty Catera got the legendary LS7 installed, along with several other modifications. Lingenfelter gave it a Corvette C5.R-based engine block, ported LS6 heads, an LS6 intake, and a custom exhaust. A horsepower rating isn’t given, but the LS7 in the Camaro Z/28 and Corvette Z06 made 505 hp, so expect it to be somewhere near those cars.
Handling was also improved with a limited slip diff, Eibach lowering springs, Steinmetz sway bars, disc brakes from an Opel Omega touring race car, and Michelin AS3 tires. It also looks to be in great shape, and only has 42,000 miles on the clock.
While none of these upgrades improve the rather mundane looks of the Cadillac Catera, it means this is one of the coolest sleepers we’ve ever seen, and you’re likely to shock everyone who hears what’s under the hood.