Junkyard Find: 1984 Cadillac Eldorado

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

As the owner of a proper California-built custom, I’m always on the lookout for down-at-the-heels examples of the breed when I return to my former state of residence. Last month, I spotted this flamed-and-custom-grille-equipped Eldo in a San Jose-area yard.

It’s not in terrible shape, but there’s some rust in areas with lots of body filler and the interior is a bit on the beat side.

Watsonville, where hot rodder Wally Klock lived his life, isn’t far from this yard.

All this car really needed was a Biarritz interior swap.

I hope some Eldorado owner will spot this grille and rescue it before it gets eaten by The Crusher.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • 1slyphantom 1slyphantom on May 11, 2015

    I was just a kid when these were common on the local roads, I had several neighbors that had them (I grew up in the L.A. area). I remember thinking how nice of a car they appeared to be but even as a kid I remember hearing the neighbors talk to each other on the way in and out of their homes or passing by on their daily walks, comments like "I didn't see your car in the driveway and thought you may have been out of town" to be replied with something like, "No its back in the shop again". It was around this time that I remember seeing more and more of the mid 80s era Mercedes coupes filling the local driveways. For the life of me I don't understand why GM let/forced the Cadillac division to produce such junk, regardless of what the original intention was with the 4100HT. As bad as the 4100HT may have been, I still chuckle thinking of a car of this type/style pulling up to a valet with all the sounds and smell of a filthy non-turbo diesel, lol. What were they (GM/Cadillac) thinking? It seems to me that the majority of cars from this era were of marginal quality but to knowingly produce junk and push it on your highest level of customer is so stupid that I can't make sense of it. I'm aware that GM was trying to make CAFE compliance but I believe that they should have paid whatever fine and dropped a big block in or alternatively, the turbo Buick v6 of that era, neither of those two would leave customers feeling blatantly ripped off.

  • Tomas De Torquematic Tomas De Torquematic on May 13, 2015

    Ahh, the reasons why this car was the pride and joy of each owner throughout its life.

  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉