The Cadillac Eldorado is a personal luxury car that was manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1953 to 2002 over ten generations. Competitors and similar vehicles included the Lincoln Mark series, Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado and Chrysler Imperial Coupe. The Eldorado was at or near the top of the Cadillac line during early model years. The original 1953 Eldorado convertible and the Eldorado Brougham models of 1957–1960 were the most expensive models that Cadillac offered those years, and the Eldorado was never less than second in price after the Cadillac Series 75 until 1966.Eldorados bore the Fleetwood designation from 1965 through 1972.
The nameplate Eldorado is a contraction of two Spanish words that translate as "the gilded (i.e., golden) one" — and also refers to El Dorado, the mythical South American "Lost City of Gold" that fascinated Spanish explorers. Chosen in an internal competition for a 1952 concept vehicle celebrating the company's golden anniversary, the name Eldorado was proposed by Mary-Ann Marini (née Zukosky), a secretary in Cadillac's merchandising department— and was subsequently adopted for a limited-edition convertible for model year 1953. Palm Springs Life magazine incorrectly attributes the name to the Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, California, a favorite resort of General Motors executives in the Coachella Valley — though the resort opened in 1957, five years after Cadillac's own naming competition.Cadillac began using the monikers 'Eldorado Seville' and 'Eldorado Biarritz' to distinguish between the hardtop and convertible models (respectively) while both were offered, from 1956 through 1960 inclusively. The 'Seville' name was dropped when the hardtop was initially discontinued (1961), but the Biarritz name continued through 1964. Beginning 1965, the Eldorado became the 'Fleetwood Eldorado'. 'Biarritz' returned as an up level trim package for the Eldorado for 1977.
The Seventh Generation Eldorado underwent a substantial redesign in 1971, growing two inches in length but six in wheelbase. A convertible model rejoined the line-up. This 126.3-inch wheelbase version Eldorado would run through 1978, receiving facelifts in 1973 and 1975. Sales in 1971 set a new record at 27,368. In 1972 sales rose to 40,074. In 1973 the Eldorado was removed from the Fleetwood series and reestablished as its own series. The '73 models received a facelift featuring new front and rear bumpers, egg-crate grille, decklid, rear fenders and taillamps. The Cadillac Eldorado was chosen as the pace car for the Indy 500 in 1973. Cadillac produced 566 of these special pace car convertibles. Thirty-three were used at the track during the race week, with the remainder distributed to U.S. Cadillac dealers one per dealership. Total sales soared to 51,451, over a sixth of all Cadillac sales.
1974 models featured a redesigned rear bumper, to meet the new 5 mile impact federal design regulation. Styling changes include horizontal taillamps, a fine mesh grille and a redesigned instrument panel, marketed in sales literature as "space age" and shared with the Calais, De Ville and Sixty Special.
For 1975, the Eldorado was given rectangular headlamps, full rear wheel openings and crisper lines which resulted in a much sleeker appearance reminiscent of the 1967-70 models. The 1975 model also removed fender skirts from the design.
In 1976 GM heavily promoted the Eldorado convertibles as "the last American convertible". Some 14,000 would be sold, many purchased as investments. The final 200 were designated as "Bicentennial Edition" commemorating America's 200th birthday. These cars were white with a dual-color red/blue pinstripe along the upper bodyside. When GM reintroduced Eldorado convertibles for the 1984 model year, owners of 1976 Eldorados felt they had been deceived and launched an unsuccessful class action lawsuit.
This very nicely preserved original car is finished in a very desirable color combination and has been well cared for over the years but needs a little help to be show worthy- most notably the rear bumper extensions, which have been replaced, need painted to match. The car runs well and everything works on the car particularly the complicated "scissor" top. This example is a great car to buy and improve over time...you can immediately use the car and work on it as time and funds allow.