A closer look at Tim Allen’s Custom 2000 Cadillac DeVille

The Cadillac DeVille was first introduced as a standalone model in 1959, the DeVille name was initially introduced as a trim level for the Cadillac Series 62 in 1949. It was replaced by the Cadillac DTS following a new naming convention for the American automaker.


The last generation of the Cadillac DeVille was offered in the year 2000 to 2005, the design of this last generation was substantially different from its predecessor. Now built on GM’s newly introduced G platform, the DeVille was available in four different trim levels: the base model, the DHS (DeVille High Luxury Sedan), the DTS, and last but not least, the TAD DeVille DTSi.

TAD stands for “Tim Allen Design”, as the name implies, the DTSi is a special high performance version of the DeVille designed by none other than comedian Tim Allen. A copy of this car was recently listed for sale on Doug DeMuro’s car auction platform.

Keep reading to understand exactly what the TAD DeVile DTSi is and why it was so special.

Related: Bringing the ’90s Cadillac Brougham back to life with a modern twist


Under the hood of Tim Allen’s DeVille

through youtube.com

Thankfully, the TAD DeVille DTSi isn’t just some simple cosmetic changes. This high-performance sedan comes with a plethora of modifications to enhance its true, good performance. Starting with the most important part of any vehicle, the beating heart, the upgraded engine under the hood. Unlike most performance sedans, the DTSi did not follow the forced induction route, no turbocharger or supercharger boosting power from Cadillac’s Northstar V8. Engine modifications include upgraded air filters, headers and also modified pistons and quad exhaust. All those changes gave the DTSi about 400 horsepower, which is almost 100 horsepower more than the already upgraded DTS model and 125 horsepower more than the base model. A very respectable increase in power given that the V8 remained naturally aspirated.

More performance tweaks to the 2000 DeVille

Cadillac DTSi
through youtube.com

Aside from the expected engine modifications, Tim Allen’s DeVille offers some additional changes to improve the Cadillac’s handling. Simple upgrades to the car’s suspension, springs, bushings and anti-roll bar changed the Cadillac’s handling characteristics from its traditionally comfortable and plush ride to a grittier yet sportier ride. In addition, the DTSi is on larger wheels to accommodate the larger and wider 18-inch tires. Last but not least, upgraded Brembo brakes were fitted to the performance machine to match the extra power and new shoes. These changes meant that this DeVille would not only have the power to match its looks, but also the handling characteristics to make it worthy of the sporting credentials.

Related: This custom Hellcat-powered Cadillac has a great party trick up its sleeve

The cosmetic updates Tim Allen made to his very special DeVille

Side view of a DeVille
through youtube.com

As far as visual changes go, the TAD DeVille is rather understated, making it a perfect sleeper. As a whole, the car looks almost like any DeVille, but if you pay attention to the subtle details, you’ll appreciate all the small but tasteful changes that set it apart from its run-of-the-mill siblings. Among them are small “TAD” badges, a larger grille with the Cadillac logo taped to it instead of sitting on the hood, and the aforementioned new wheels and quad exhaust. Nothing extravagant was added to the car to ruin Cadillac’s simple and elegant design language.

The cool feature updates on Tim Allen’s Custom DeVille

Deville interior
through youtube.com

As you’d expect from a luxury automaker like Cadillac, this huge sedan wasn’t lacking in bells and whistles. This top version, the Tim Allen Design DeVille, was equipped to the brim with state-of-the-art automotive technology. From the more common fanfare of the time, such as climate control, automatic windows, navigation, six-disc CD changers and seat memory, to rarer features such as touchscreen controls and a ceiling-mounted rear parking sensor. The DTSi also had an LED tail light, although it was quite common these days, was a novel idea at the time. But most unusual of all is the presence of a thermal night vision camera hidden behind the front badge that allowed the car to display heat signature in front of the driver’s window.

The end result of this exercise was the birth of an improved, but rather disappointing, version of the DTS. The car did not deliver the performance and handling characteristics of its competitor and was rather forgettable. All in all, the TAD DeVille got a pretty average Doug Score, but that doesn’t mean the DTSi was a bust. In many ways, the creation of this unusual Cadillac at the time paved the way for the V-series in the manufacturer’s range. That means we owe the existence of the CTS-V and its successors to Tim Allen. The DTSi eventually sold for $35,000, worth about 11 times more than its spiritual successor, the 2004 CTS-V.

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