Need Advice on Classic Car Selection


#1

I enjoy older cars and am considering a purchase this fall of a 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz or a 1971 Chevrolet Caprice. I have fond memories of both models. The '71 was our first family car – I was a small child but remember that car fondly. The 85 Eldorado was a car owned by a neighbor. I was entering college and dreamed of owning that car - it was so elegant to me. I have found two clean examples of these cars and now will decide which one, if either, to purchase. Are there any points/areas you would suggest I consider about either model? Mileage for the Chevy is 122K with all service records, some aftermarket mods, all original body, 454 engine. The Caddy has a rebuilt engine, new paint and interior, 98K miles. Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.


#2

Regardless of your fond memories, I would consider both cars a bad choice. A 1971 Chevy with that engine gets 9 mpg around town and 14 mpg max on the highway. The emission controls were primitive, causing many driveability problerms. In addition, rust protection was still 5 years off. I had such a car for a short time as a company car and the huge engine actually used oil. Because of its enormous size, handling and parking were a real chore. You don’t want to own this car in Boston or San Francisco.

Having said all that, if you just want it for looks and nostalgia, go ahead. Parts should be easier to find than for the Caddy.

The Caddy was a technical dog; unreliable and parts will be much harder to get. Again, you don’t want to drive this one a lot. It willl be a real money pit if you do.


#3

Caprice for sure!


#4

Thanks for the information and advice. I live in a rural area and would use the car only occasionally. It would mainly be pampered, detailed, and admired – and driven on weekends. Thanks!


#5

The Caddy will be impossible to keep running right. '81-'88 those were the dark years for most U.S. made cars…The emissions control technology changed every 3 months. The carburetors and fuel injection used were all cobbed together junk…

The Chevy is a big ol’ tanker, a gas hog, but at least it’s an honest car with no Micky-Mouse electronics…At 122K, it’s at the end of its useful life…


#6

I have an '88 DeVille with the 4.5 liter engine. It has 126K and runs like a top. It has been a very dependable, economical car for a large luxury sedan. I average 22MPG overall and have gotten 29 before on interstate driving. I’d like to find another older car like this one! (-:


#7

My vote is for the Chevy simply because of the 454; especially if it has no rust issues underneath.