By on June 20, 2016

1999 Cadillac Eldorado ETC in California junkyard, LH front view - © 2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Cadillac built the tenth and final generation of the Eldorado for the 1992 through 2002 model years, and one of the trim levels had a maddeningly irritating acronym that could have come only from a large organization with many, many 14-hour airless meetings under soporifically humming fluorescent conference-room lights: ETC!

1999 Cadillac Eldorado ETC in California junkyard, ETC badge - © 2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Yeah, luxury, performance, et cetera. Cadillac buyers edged away, embarrassed for GM, when they spotted these badges in the showroom.

1999 Cadillac Eldorado ETC in California junkyard, grille emblem - © 2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

ETC stood for “Eldorado Touring Coupe,” but nobody cared. 1999 was the first model year for the Escalade, and rappers did a fine job of lowering the average age of Cadillac buyers while erasing memories of the ETC.

1999 Cadillac Eldorado ETC in California junkyard, Northstar engine - © 2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Northstar V8 was the sophisticated DOHC unit that German-car-envying Cadillac salesmen had been wishing for since the 1970s.


“As captivating now as ever. Drive the dream.”


“America’s favorite V8 luxury coupe … is now America’s only V8 luxury coupe.”

[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

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91 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1999 Cadillac Eldorado ETC...”


  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Looks better than many junkyard cars from the outside, and interior looks in relatively good shape. What sent this car to the junkyard?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      My guess is that the N* bricked it.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      OMG, I SAW A BUICK ENVISION COMMERCIAL TONIGHT!!!

      It featured a suburban white couple who had a toddler that was finding it difficult to fall asleep, so dad took him out for night time car ride IN HIS CHINESE PARTS-COMPRISED AND CHINESE ASSEMBLED BUICK ENVISION THAT GENERAL MOTORS NEVER ONCE MENTIONS IS 100% A CHINESE VEHICLE THROUGH AND THROUGH.

      THIS LOOKS WAY BETTER BUILT THAN THE 100% CHINA PARTS-MADE & CHINESE ASSEMBLED ENVISION…

      …which it a not a your fader’s Bruick!!!

  • avatar
    skor

    Body and interior look really nice. My guess: Another victim of the 4.6 ‘Deathstar’ cylinder head-bolt fiasco. Once these 4.6 engines grenade, and they all do, the cars are almost never worth repairing.

    As for that ‘sophisticated’ engine it was like a lot of GM ventures, with a bit more effort it would have been great. Light-weight, powerful (300hp/300ft/lbs), efficient, smooth…..critical cylinder head bolt design flaw. The head bolts all failed, in many cases cracking the block. Once the engine blew up, the only way to repair the car was to drop the engine/transaxle from the bottom of the car as a unit. A professional repair cost many thousands of dollars, more than the book value of these cars, while dropping the engine from the bottom eliminated most shade tree mechanics, since most don’t have lifts under their shade trees. Pity really, the engines were quite impressive when they ran. Another example of GM snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Your observations are valid for this particular era of Northstar engines. However, you are perpetuating the myth that this flaw persisted throughout. It did not, later engines (as installed in the RWD models) were very reliable. And, yes, it was a wonderful engine, smooth, nice flat torque curve, decent power and with a nice growl under full throttle. The primary reason GM killed it was manufacturing cost. The 3.6 V6 was approaching its power levels (albeit without the smoothness) and the economies of scale (using the 3.6 across a much broader base of models) had more to do with its death than the issues with the early models.

      One has to wonder if Ford is willing to continue producing the 5.0 V8 as they are betting heavily on boosted V6s instead.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        I know that the problem was eventually corrected, but GM could not get the stench of death off these engines, so they were taken out back and shot in the head. Typical of GM, they screw up, then they fix the problem long after the consumer has lost interest….started with the Corvair.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Northstar seems to have been fixed in 2005. I found a few very high mileage examples which suggests there were at least a batch of them which don’t fail in the expected way. Northstar was also killed because its primary platform (G-body) was retired. The Sigma II CTS never carried it, only the XLR and Sigma II STS.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          What about the SRX? They had Northstars. Fixing a fatal flaw of an engine introduced in 1993 in 2005 doesn’t seem like the act of a company overly concerned about its customers. That’s something Porsche could get away with, but you probably won’t catch me spending my own money on another of those any time soon.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You’re right, not sure what the take rate was on the Gen 1.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_SRX

            GM hubris is the only explanation for a broken engine design from 1992 to 2005, and by the time it was fixed the motor no longer mattered much.

          • 0 avatar
            skor

            That’s it exactly, it took them years to admit there was a problem, and more years getting around to fixing it.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Chatter on various message boards seems to indicate that improved head bolt design began in 2000. Still too late, yes, but not 2005.

            Per Bunkie’s comment, it’s a shame the later LH2 went out of production.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I have personally seen MY01s and MY02s with the coolant leak affliction, and this was in 2006. The high miles examples I found via auction data were MY06s or later.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          A family friend of ours has a 2006 STS-V with the longitude 4.4-liter supercharged Northstar. Even it has been reliable over 100,000 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        agent534

        And the 3.6 is another POS with Timing Chain issues that cause engines to grenade. They didn’t learn much from the N*.
        Its an Lsx engine or skip it for me with GM products.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Was this the car with the extra loud turn signal (extra loud to help the driver hear)? Following the introduction of that feature, there was probably a measurable down-tick in the incidence of forgotten-turn-signal-is-still-on-vehicle-miles-driven in southern Florida…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Which is interesting because GM cars now play the indicator “tick” sound (as well as the chimes) through the sound system, meaning they could definitely now control the volume of the tick. I know GM cars let you control the volume of the chimes.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Enron era sporty vehicles like this give me a hard on, the E39 more so.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Someone at my job has a 540i 6 speed…. looks like he is pretty diligent about maintaining it… but this morning I heard it creaking as it went over a speed bump.

      BMW: the ultimate gambling machine.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    These always make me think of Yul Brynner in “The King and I.”

    King: Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

    When I was a teenager I did think that these were sooo cool, 150 mph top speed, almost 300 hp! But unfortunately as other have said, another good GM idea – poorly executed.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      IIRC, when I was a teen and doing first car shopping, the earliest N* Eldorados (and STS) were pretty much within budget – so long as they had high miles. Boy am I glad I didn’t make that choice.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “King: Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

      Et Catera.

      Only not, because it would be somewhat more credible if was a Catera, instead of an all-dressed Toronado.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    The Northstar engines were pretty hot for the time. For a few years I wanted to get a used STS for myself, but the engine reliability was always enough of a question mark that I never pulled the trigger.

    My old man _still_ has a ’99 Auroa with the 4.0L version of the Northstar – it’s been a really reliable car – 120k miles on the clock and he was never one for religious car maintenance,

  • avatar
    rickentropic

    I bet one of the B&Bs can tell us when the ducks left the Cadillac emblem. To me that was the last nail in the coffin.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      1998 was the last year for ducks, as 1999 debuted the new rounded logo with unified wreath, and “bars” crest.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I seem to recall the Catera commercial had a duck on it…

        (oy)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          His name was Ziggy.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Too bad the Catera zigged when the market zagged. In many ways, the ATS is the same kind of car—although not for a lack of effort on GM’s part.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve noticed the Catera and its second generation (quickly changed to “CTS” just after the new model year) were such disasters I seldom see any examples today. However one will still occasionally see G/K Body Northstars, although in fairness the sell rate was probably 5:1 in comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Catera is a textbook GM fail. How a rebadged Opel with a $hitty engine got approved for sale as a Cadillac boggles my mind. Instead of doing it right and waiting for a new platform, GM baked up that loaf of poo and served it to 95,000 Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “GM baked up that loaf of poo and served it to 95,000 Americans.”

            True… but the flipside of that is it boggles the mind how 95,000 individuals, with the freedom to choose in a market with a lot of choices, chose to buy this loaf of poo only ten years after the Cimarron and V8-6-4 era ;)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wish there were statistics to show how many people bought a Cimarron and a Catera. Some guy that looked at the Catera and said, “It’ll be different this time.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Cimmarons with the 60V6 ran though…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Every_single_Opel GM has tried to foist on the US market as something else has failed. I wish they would stop trying it. The Cascada will be the current experiment/fail of course. Unless they bring the Regal over for a new generation.

            A house about five or so away from mine has a later Catera (big yellow LED blinkers at back) in black on black. They daily drive it, and it looks in excellent condition!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If only GM had the 54 degree Ellesmere Port V6 to put in the Cimarron…

            I guess they could have threw the Opel straight six in the Cimarron.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Why don’t they just turn the ATS into the Regal and make everything better for everyone?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @28-cars… lol

            A mint Cimmaron with the 2.8 V6 from final year of production, I would actually find that a desirable car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think the Regal costs more.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            We MUST HAVE the Opels!

            Even if they cost $10,000 more than they should and are too small and cause product overlap at Buick and are not as reliable as an American car should be.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I found one on Ebay a while back, black on whorehouse red leather. I think he wanted 3K for it and it was in NJ. My spidey sense tingled me away from it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            But they have issues selling the Regal. Just throw the Tri-Shield on the ATS and use the leftover badging they have lying around all over the place. Boom Buick Regal that is cheaper than the current version and Cadillac doesn’t have the ATS anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            LOL.

            FOREMAN: Ok Johnson just switch the grilles from now on and ship these to the BPG dealers.

            JOHNSON: What about the current Regal?

            FOREMAN: We ah, fixed the glitch.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Can’t they just dump all the Regals in the ocean and write them off? I’m sure GM can find a Chinese company to massive over load a container ship.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nah, they just switch the grille back to Opel and sell it where Opels are sold.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            “Every_single_Opel GM has tried to foist on the US market as something else has failed.” I realize TTAC preemptively declared the Encore a failure, but that doesn’t actually make it so.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Cadillac: The potential of mixed feelings!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      So I can tell my Friday GM story here.

      Got off 275 at Indiana to head to my parents’ house. Coming up the hill, and what do I see coming the other direction?

      A Holden.

      Which one?

      A Maloo VXR. From about 2010.

      My face: :-O!

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    I second the “Bricked by Northstar” comments.

    GM emulated foreign brands’ luxury engine design, right down to the piss poor maintenance flaws. I was actually shopping for a GXP Bonneville powered by a N* until I noticed the following :

    Oil leaks: the Northstar setup uses a half case design for the engine block. There’s the oil pan-to-gasket seal, then a lower block/ mid block seal with its own gasket, then valve covers as well as a main seal between the engine and transmission. Fixing all these leaks save the valve covers means pulling the body off the subframe to get to the lower engine block, as the exhaust crossover blocks the bolts. Four digit labor bills await.

    Most owners deal by keeping a 5qt bottle of oil in the trunk.

    Head gaskets- the ultimate death knell. One does not just change the head gasket on a Northstar. The block has to be drilled -very carefully- and new studs installed, also carefully. The labor and process involved is so massive dealers allegedly just quote engine swaps for customers with a failed head gasket.

    Of course, first you must pull the body off the subframe to even get to the head gasket. It’s enough of a nightmare many independent shops will turn away a busted Northstar .

    Aside from those woes, the Northstar is a respectable motor. Sounds like a song at full throttle, and the GM G platform is pretty solid .

    Combined the two systems work for decent performance .Its just a shame the engine is such a time bomb.

    So long as one sticks to 3800 powered models , they’ll even last a long time too.

    Note-many say GM solved the head gasket problem after 2005 or so. The dearth of CXS Northstar powered four porthole Lucernes (at least in my neck of the woods) would seem to invalidate that statement.
    Maybe the problem isn’t as bad now as it was in the 90’s, but when a bad HG totals the car it doesn’t have to be.

    I’ll observe for the record that “big engine flaw whose repair totals the car ” is a common occurance among foreign brands. GM got a lot of well deserved flack for handicapping the Northstar this way- yet BMW didn’t when the crankshafts/ rod bearings were jacked up in the M5 motor. The E46 M3 is hailed as a perfect enthusiast car in some quarters , despite having subframes which snap like tortilla chips.

    Cadillac did a decent job with the Seville/ Eldorado pair, and in the aggregate was only as unreliable as the competition.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Are there any Northstar equipped cars worthy of a look? There’s a 2006 Lucerne that I’ve been looking at on-line – 76000 miles. Should I stay away???

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The LD8 Northstar should be OK in MY06 but I’d still pass unless you can get it for a reasonable price (4-5K or less). Block is paying 4-5 tip top.

      MY06 Buick Lucerne CXL Northstar V8

      06/16/16 Manheim Palm Beach Regular $3,900 74,422 Avg GRAY 8G A Yes
      05/30/16 Manheim North Carolina Regular $5,300 81,958 Above SILVER 8G A Yes
      05/25/16 Manheim New Mexico Lease $3,900 92,345 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
      06/01/16 Manheim Lakeland Regular $3,800 97,650 Avg RED 8G A Yes
      05/25/16 Manheim Pittsburgh Regular $5,000 102,542 Above TAN 8G A Yes
      05/23/16 Manheim North Carolina Regular $3,500 110,968 Avg GOLD 8G A Yes
      05/25/16 Manheim Harrisonburg Lease $1,700 125,485 Below TAN 8G A Yes
      05/19/16 Manheim St Pete Regular $2,100 150,195 Below BLUE 8G A Yes
      06/07/16 Manheim Atlanta Regular $2,600 152,970 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      Yes.

      Even if the head gasket doesn’t fail -and in full disclosure many folks with even 90s Northstars don’t have that problem- general maintenance is a pain in the rear.

      The Northstar motor is best described as “10lbs of stuff in a 5lb bag”. Changing the starter , fixing a thermostat, and other Regular Maintenance items are harder then regular domestic fare.

      Relative fuel economy sucks, and the output of a Northstar can be matched by a supercharged 3800 with some choice modifications. Best part about one of those- you have room to Fix Stuff.

      I WOULD NOT buy any used Northstar which hasn’t had documented history of lower oil gaskets and main seal repairs in its history. I’d accept a spotless lower engine area as a substitute.

      • 0 avatar
        CaptainObvious

        Thanks for the info – I’ll pass then.
        Here’s a link to the car in case anyone is interested:

        http://www.mcguireautogroup.net/VehicleDetails/used-2006-Buick-Lucerne-4dr_Sdn_CXL_V8-Little_Falls-NJ/2724303433

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The RWD STS is one. The Northstar STSs also got uprated brakes and Magnetic Ride. I loved mine (an ’06). In some respects, it was the last real Cadillac sedan. I’ve driven 3.6 STSs and they are not the same car.

      The Lucerne is way too floaty, the Northstar STS is an athlete in a suit, with a very nice ride/handling balance. It was amazing how the car went from comfy cruiser to solid handler the moment I applied some quick steering input.

  • avatar
    maserchist

    The only vehicles an N* motor should have been installed in was a pickup truck. THEN, techs or owners could actually have some room to work on these nightmares.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ve read the Northstar was designed to compete with the Europeans at the time, but ironically I think it was Japanese luxury which ended up eating Cadillac’s lunch in the early 90s. This is around the time zee Germans decontented their product and went lease only while Cadillac still had a slew of traditional buy and hold customers. Now they’ve appeared to go into the lease-only-junk direction but the 90s and Northstar were a significant crossroads. Perhaps if things had gone differently, Cadillac would be a serious brand today.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @28, very insightful comment. The Old Man and his ‘associates’ could through the 80’s and 90’s afford any vehicle they wanted. Yet they still gravitated to Cadillacs. Although a couple continued with Town Cars.

      The Old Man leased a new Cadillac every year. Once they arrived on the scene, it had to be an STS. Had one NStar equipped Caddy fail on him. While up north and with less than 5K on it. GM flatbedded it down to Toronto. Paid for his rental to get home. Then replaced that car with a new one, no charge. Also gave him a ‘free’ leather Cadillac logo’ed coat. I still have it in my closet, worn maybe a half dozen times.

      Now most of his generation is gone. Those that are still around drive either Lexus or in some instances Accura SUV’s.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    My grandmother has had two Devilles, both with the Northstar (a ’99 and an ’04). Neither gave her much trouble, but the ’04 mysteriously started having low coolant when there were no obvious leaks or puddles on the floor beneath it – at around 70,000 miles. This was in 2014. Thankfully, she traded it in on her current vehicle (a 2012 SRX) shortly after that. I didn’t want to wait around and see what the low coolant actually meant.

    Not that she drives enough for it to matter. She’s had the SRX since summer 2014. Bought it with 32,000 miles and now it has 39,000.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “but the ’04 mysteriously started having low coolant when there were no obvious leaks or puddles on the floor beneath it – at around 70,000 miles.”

      That’s what a headgasket failure looks like. Coolant was mixing with oil in the block.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        No, it was burning it.

        • 0 avatar
          zoomzoomfan

          Either way, I am glad it became the dealership’s problem shortly after that. It still ran and drove fine and looked great, as any old-lady owned car is likely to do. So, they gave us full blue book (actually, about $1,600.00 more) for it and we took the SRX which she loves.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    I find it mildly intriguing that 90% of folks who talk about the “atrocity” that was the Northstar motor never actually had one or owned an example of such.

    For the time, they were quick, capable. Not to mention made very pleasant noises under heavy throttle.

    I’d make a comfortable wager that many of you are forgetting how the STS’ of that time used to give Z28’s (again, of that time) no shortage of sh*t in terms of performance. The retired guy at the light sitting comfortably in his well-equipped STS (or even the SLS, which was only marginally slower than its more athletic brother) could scare the sh*t out of, or even piss off, the goofy visor-sporting kid in his Z28 next to him. The Northstar motors were surprisingly quick off the line and held their own just fine on the highway.

    It was a glorious time!

    But let’s all just knock the N*. “It was bloody horrible!! Why, WHO in their right mind would ever-”

    They weren’t THAT bad, kids. Come onnnn. Smdh.

    If you wanted Honda reliability, go buy a Honda. This is 90’s GM we’re talking here, not the epitome of Toyota build quality. Lol

    The first time I ever got to experience a car with any semi-decent horsepower (so to speak) was my old man’s ’94 ‘SLS.

    We bought it home with 50k on the clock and sent it on its way at roughly 125k. Along the way, she needed a transmission (perhaps too many FWD burnouts from yours truly ;) ). That’s what sent my dad over to Lincoln for his ’96 Continental, equipped with the 4.6L InTech. I found the 4.6L InTech to be lackluster to this N* you all keep b*tching about (performance-wise), but it DID hold up much, much better (sans the electrical gremlins and numerous sensors all taking a sh*t simultaneously).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I don’t think anyone criticizes the Northstar when it’s working.

      The pre-2005 ones just stop working far too soon because of the head bolt issue.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Did the Conti also need a transmission at some point? That was a weak point of the D186, esp when the V8 was added.

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        No, it did not, actually. The old man bought that one used, as well. But with the Continental he ended up racking up over 150k on it.

        He had to rebuild the front end… something with the steering. I remember after the steering system was serviced, the mechanic(s) couldn’t quite get the steering wheel to line up straight. So after it was repaired, and you were driving straight, the steering wheel was rotated off-center, to the right. Lol

        He also looked into servicing the electrical system and all of it’s gremlins, and they hit him with some sort of ungodly price just to try and trace the problems. Every time you would come to a stop, and you were in drive, the interior door lights would all illuminate. It kept thinking someone’s door was open.

        I was always surprised that the air suspension never gave way. 150k miles and the suspension never did get saggy. I found that marginally impressive. lol

        But it did do a nice, smokey (FWD) burnout much, much better than the SLS. Push the button to turn off the traction control and just light ’em up.

        Yeah, I treated my dad’s cars real nice. :/ sigh

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I just find your experience so ironic. The 4T80 was generally a robust unit and the D186’s transaxle was not (I can’t recall which model it used in MY96).

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            I thought about it, long and hard (that’s what she said, hehehe…) thinking maybe I had them both flip-flopped in my memory.

            But no, that’s correct. Caddy needed a tranny. Lincoln did not.

            There was also something about the transmission in the Caddy. I forget what it was, but it was extremely expensive to replace. I remember hearing my dad’s girlfriend (who was well to do, my dad… not so much) griping about the replacement cost.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      “I find it mildly intriguing that 90% of folks who talk about the “atrocity” that was the Northstar motor never actually had one or owned an example of such.”

      That’s not surprising. People don’t tend to own things they thing are garbage.

      I worked on a used lot in the late 90s and saw plenty of sad, broken N* Caddys with their heads off and a puddle of oil underneath. So I never bought one.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    “El Dorado” was the perfect name for this car: A legendary, utopian illusion, attainable only after many years of hard work and sacrifice, only to end in disappointment.

  • avatar
    montecarl

    The My98-04 STS/SLS were a particular favorite in my circle of Car buddy’s.. Great ride.. Powerful acceleration.. Just expensive as heck to fix whatever the North Star blew up…

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    My parents bought one these new in 94. My parents cross shopped the 3 series BMW coup and the Lexus SC coupe. The Northstar sold it. My parents weren’t going to appreciate the superior handling of the BMW, but the Eldorado was all ate up with motor for the time. It pulled a lot harder than the BMW. It was huge. Longer than my sisters Ford Winstar minivan. Also had a very nice interior until you notice that the steering column and some of the switches/stalks were straight out of an 80’s Buick. My dad liked the Lexus more but he couldn’t see paying 8k more for it and my mom didn’t think the Japanese could make a luxury car. Plus she still remembered Pearl Harbor. The traded it in 8 years and 40k miles later. They got $8k for it. An 8 year old SC400 with 40k miles on it would have gotten them $20k. I explained to my dad about car depreciation and pay me now or pay me later. He nodded his head and went an bought a Passat W8.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    I bought a 2000 Eldorado ETC with 84,000 miles at a local dealer-only auction in September 2014. It was a “diamond”, yet cashmere in color. It was a one owner vehicle and it had the fantastic check engine light with the coolant vanishing in less than a mile! Perfect buy!
    I sent it to Carroll Custom Cadillac in Pilot Point, Texas (where they do the Northstar repair RIGHT!) and got it back two months later, delivered to Scottsdale, Arizona so we could go to the Oldsmobile Show and drive home in a 1967-design-inspired ETC.
    Still runs great and uses some oil but it’s not foreign junk and that’s the important factor.

  • avatar
    skor

    Murilee, if you ever find an Eldorado or Seville of this vintage with a grey interior in the bone yard , I’ll pay you to strip the leather and foam from the front seats and ship them to me in Jersey.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    These 1992-2002 Eldorados carried a lot of the same styling cues as the 1967-70, 1975-78, and 1979-85 Eldorados, but they somehow managed to look less attractive than the 1992-97 Sevilles that shared the same platform and engine.

    I recall seeing a customized 2-door sedan version of a 1992-97 series Seville at a car show and it was a lot better looking than the Eldorado.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    SO much dislike for these cars. I like the Eldorados. I don’t know why. I’ve witnessed a N* do just fine over 100k miles with no major hick ups and regular maintenance. Two, actually. Do I prefer the 4.5? Yes. But the N*, despite it’s head bolt issue, wasn’t all that bad. Not NEARLY as bad as the 4.1. My only complaint is the engine compartment is horrid if you want to replace…say…an alternator. A head gasket may be the kiss of death for these, but I can’t help but think that proper maintenance can prevent the conditions that could cause such a thing, then you wouldn’t have to deal with the awful head bolts. That and oil leaks. Just check your oil. I know, you say it shouldn’t leak. But just check it.

    People will excuse absolute garbage from some high end manufacturer as “just a quirk of such precise engineering”. Such as a friend of mine with a BMW 5 Series that just shut down cruising at 65 MPH on the highway, and needed $3,000 at the BMW dealer just to START again. It had all of 30,000 miles on it. But people will rag on the N*. Makes me chuckle. It’s not that it doesn’t have issues, but it’s not that the other expensive cars don’t, either. Complexity has a cost.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Actually the 4.5 was OK, no more. The 4.9 was rock solid. If GM had fitted the 4.9 with a turbo or blower, with mild levels of boost, it would have made as much HP as the 4.6, and more torque, while remaining reliable. Instead GM offed the 4.9 and hoisted this half-baked service writer wet-dream on a gullible public that really believed it would be ‘different this time’.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Could you LS4 convert this – or would that be a nightmare?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Man, that thing is in much better shape than mine,it does not seem to belong in there

  • avatar

    etc is what you say when the rest of the story is meaningless, boring, or clearly known to the audience.

    It isn’t what I’d write on the back of a supposed status symbol luxury ride. What were they thinking…

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