Does any ony one know where the caldera fitted in in the 1997 kona range pls, on par with cinder cone or above or below regarding the frame?.
I'm not convinced that the 97 Caldera was ever really marketed, but it does seem to have been given at least a notional price of $1,399. That's the same as the Kilauea SE, which had the same specification with a Z2 and LX/XT, and also doesn't appear to have been marketed to any great extent. As the Explosif was $1,699 and only had an Indy SL, maybe Kona realised they had made a mistake with the Explosif spec when they found out how poor the (new) Indy was and down-played the Caldera to protect it. Or not, as the case may be.
I'm not a great believer in US-made myself, I think the tubeset is more important, but in this case the Caldera may have been a better frame than a Hot, at least in one respect. There are some stories that Altitude (formerly Mountain Goat) couldn't build the Hot consistently straight, owing to 853 being very resistant to cold-setting and thus requiring a different technique. If so, the Caldera if it exists might be a lot straighter, albeit a bit heavier as well.
A very rare frame if you have one, and certainly a higher quality than the Cinder Cone, both in being made out of lighter, heat-treated tubing and in being US-made.