The Truth About Cars » eldorado The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:47:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » eldorado Junkyard Find: This One Really Hurts Wed, 16 Mar 2011 13:00:44 +0000
Before GM delivered a one-two-three punch to Cadillac’s image with the Seville, V8-6-4 engine, and Cimarron, the first of the front-wheel-drive Eldorados attained some sort of zenith for strip-club-owner-grade, ridiculous-yet-awesome Detroit Iron. Here’s a ’68 Eldo that will never drive the Las Vegas Strip again.

It’s very rough, though the only severe rust seems to be concentrated beneath the vinyl top— a common GM problem of the era.

You’d have to be really motivated to spend what it would take to fix this rot, and this car’s last owner probably saw that scrap steel was going for $250/ton and decided he or she would take the 600 bucks rather than try to fix the Cadillac.

472 cubic inches driving the front wheels via huge chains! Amazingly, this system worked quite well.

I think I’d prefer a Coupe de Ville, were I going for a late ’60s Cadillac, but the Eldorado of the era made the kind of statement that GM hasn’t been able to make for decades. This car will be missed.

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Wild and Garish Cadillac V16 Concepts From The Sixties Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:29:22 +0000

Bob Lutz’ Cadillac Sixteen concept wasn’t the first time a revival of the classic Cadillac V12 and V16 era was considered. In the mid sixties, Cadillac was seriously mulling production of one or the other, and several versions of a SOHC V12 engine (see post here) were built. But if you think the Sixteen Concept had a long nose and was a bit over the top, check out this rendering by Cadillac Studio Chief Wayne Kady. From the size of the steering wheel and dashboard, it appears they were planning to transplant the V16 from a tug boat. This must be where the infamous bustle-back trunk of the 1980 Seville originated. Well, this is just a not-so-small taste of the creativity that was unleashed when the designers were asked to come up with ideas.

Now this clay is flying a bit closer to Earth. A pretty stock ’63 front end married to a set-back coupe, to leave plenty of room for all those cylinders. They all have that Maybach Exelero look. Well, I haven’t shown you them all though, have I? But there’s a double treasure trove awaiting you this Saturday with the following two links: at hemmingsblog, there’s a reprint of a 1981 Special Interest Autos story detailing the whole program, including lots of clays, many design aspects of which later show decided similarities to cars like the ’66 Toronado (below)

and the ’67 Eldorado (below).

The other link is to Dean’sGarage, where a remarkable set of color renderings by Wayne Kady await your perusal.

Wayne Kady spent 38 years in the Caddy and Buick studios, and is responsible for the “highly successful 1971 Eldorado” (not my quote). The CC Deadly Sin for that is here.  Mr. Kady is apparently also responsible for a number of questionable designs at Cadillac as its Studio Head from 1974 to 1988, which include the disastrous 1985 shrunken head mobiles.

No disrespect to Mr. Kady, whose renderings are highly creative, but I’m afraid history will not smile kindly on all of his production creations. But these wild flights of imagination sure brought a smile to my face on this dark, drizzly Saturday morning. I thank you for that, sir.

]]> 22 Curbside Classic: 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Classic Coupe Fri, 05 Feb 2010 17:57:06 +0000

What words shall we use to describe this 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Classic Coupe?  (actually, it might be a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Classic Biarritz Coupe). Maybe we don’t need any more words at all; the name pretty much says it all. But let’s throw a few at it and see if they stick: faded glory, wretched excess, the last big Eldorado, the perfect symbol of the seventies, the Bizarritz, a bloated horror, a handsome classic; we could go on all day (and I invite you to add your own to the list). Or we could just look at it in wonder (horror?), this vivid reminder of just how far we’ve come as well as Cadillac with their new CTS Coupe, since the decade when this Eldorado and its Lincoln Mark IV and Mark V counterparts roamed this land, proud and unfettered.

Well, maybe proud, but not exactly unfettered. When the new 1971 Eldorado first burst forth from its Brontosaurus sized egg, it proudly proclaimed the title of the biggest engine ever in a post-war car. A nice round 500 cubic inches (8.2 liters) cranked out some 365 (gross) horsepower and about as much torque as a ship’s prime mover. Somehow, the Eldorado’s engine stumbled through energy crisis one without giving up a precious cubic inch, but in 1977, it lost the title. The big Caddy V8 started out in 1968 with 472 cubic inches and was designed to potentially grow up to some 600 cubes in the expansive mood and outlook of the times. For 1977 and 1978 it now was 425 cubic inches and 195 (net) horsepower, but this wasn’t the last stop in the gelding process.

Perhaps Caddy waited until 1977 because they wanted the last convertible Eldorado in 1976  to bow out in 8.2 liter style. That caused quite a sensation and a run on them, having been dubbed the last American convertible ever due to proposed roll-over restrictions that were later rescinded. So to throw a little interest in the coupe after the passing of the rag top, the Biarritz, and its Custom and Classic variants were deployed in that Super-Fly era of Eldorado customs.

The wretched excess and tastelessness of the seventies custom era were all the classic signs that this era of giant personal coupes was already morbid, and due to be resigned to the schlock and kitsch chapters of automotive history. I doubt Cadillac envisoned that when the dramatic 1967 FWD Eldorado first appeared in its knife-edged glory. Trying to recapture the exclusive and true luxury of earlier coupes, like the 1956 Continental, the Eldo arrived at a critical time for Cadillac and Americans. Incomes were up, taxes were lower, as were Caddy prices. Whereas the failed Continental coupe was truly exclusive, the Eldorado ushered in the era of affordable non-exclusivity. And in doing so, it sowed the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the genre.

Lincoln’s down-scale but up-sized Mark III of 1969 managed to capture the public’s frenzy for long-hood luxo-coupes even more definitively, and outsold the Eldorado by healthy margins during their heyday. The ’67 Eldorado’s styling was still trying to be a bit “interesting”; the Mark III was just a blatant land-grab for the biggest hood and most pretentious grille. Not surprisingly, that was the formula for success.

The 1971 – 1978 Eldorado was not a particularly handsome beast, foreshadowing American’s battle with love handles. Lincoln’s Marks stayed with the angular ultra-long hood theme, and steam-rolled the pudgy Eldo. The Eldorado wasn’t an inspiring car to drive either; which probably won’t come as a surprise to those whose lives might feel incomplete for not having had wheel time behind one of these. Use your imagination, and you’ll have the experience down perfectly: billowing, narcoleptic, floating, swimming, drowning, slewing, sloshing; you Eldo drivers feel free to add more to the list.

Obviously, the plastic material Cadillac used to fill the gaps between the steel fenders and the bumper end caps was not a long-lived substance. I see Caddys of this vintage and into the eighties with these charming gaps everywhere. And that’s in western Oregon, one of the most benign climates for solar damage. I find them to be a fitting symbol of the decay of America’s big luxury cars, when cheap plastics were massively employed for all sorts of fraudulent roles inside and out. You won’t see this happening to a 1978 Mercedes. Live and learn.

More New Curbside Classics Here

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