Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Weekend Car and Pampered Garage Beauty? Which one?

I saw two beautiful Eldorados this week in Florida. One was a 1976 Eldorado in red with white convertible top, all original except new paint. The other was a 1985 Eldorado Biarritz in yellow with the camel color half roof and stainless top. It is original as well and had an engine rebuild last year. Mileage on the 76 is 101K - the 85 has 82K - 3k on new engine. Which Eldorado would be the preferable choice? Why? Thanks as always for your input!

Either one just says “I’m an unsuccesful pimp”. But at the least in the 1976 someone might mistake you for Dolemite. The 1985 looks tacky and has the 4.1L boat anchor under the hood.

Dollar for dollar the '76 will probably be a better long term investment. How much are they asking for them?

The 76 is pretty clean overall but AC is not working. Price is $12k negotiable. The 85 is $7K and has high-end Vogues and really nice wheel treatment.

Mid 80s American iron is not something that I would ever treasure. Mid 70s was not their greatest hour either, but for a cruiser, I’d go that way. I have a colleague that changed a ca. '76 Eldo (white on white, IIRC) from R12 to R134 a few years ago. He has since sold the car. I can ask him how the conversion went if you like. It was done by a high-end AC shop that is very experienced.

I have always liked the 85 Eldorado but stayed away because of the 4100 engine. I have had several chances to buy a clean Eldo or Seville but walked. The model I am considering has a rebuilt engine, and since I won’t be using the car as a daily driver, I am not as concerned as I might have been. I had really never considered the 76 Eldorado before because it is huge like a tank, but I think there is something elegant in that styling now – yes, opinions do change! I also like the color of the model I saw, and I think it would be a fun car to take out for a weekend ride. I like to detail cars and keep them showroom nice, so part of my decision is selecting that car with the classic appeal.
Though some like to make fun of the old skool Caddies, I appreciate them. I have an 88 DeVille that is as solid a performer, as smooth a rider, and as tight a driver as anything else I have ever owned or driven. Thanks for your response.

The '76 is far more preferable as these are somewhat collectible. It’s also the last year of the 500 cubic inch/front drive models. The engines/transmissions are bulletproof and they’re real land yachts. There’s enough rolling mass there to crush anything in front of you.

(Wished I had a pic of a '76 that a now deceased friend and custom car guy built for someone about 15 years ago. He cut the car in half at the firewall and ADDED 18 inches between the windshield and front wheels. He then added a fake Continental spare tire kit on each side in the extension area, gave it a blue/green flake paint job with an overstuffed vinyl roof with portholes, wide whitewalls, etc.

I sat in that thing and looking over the hood reminded me of an aircraft carrier deck. Probably could have landed a plane on that thing. Talk about the ultimate pimpmobile!)

I think that the 1976 Eldo looks better oozing down the street.