Archive for Cadillac Eldorado

The Elite 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Posted in Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

The formidable Eldorado legend continues…

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Once upon a time in America there was a thing called the luxury automobile. These fabulous cars are a city block long and half a city block wide. They float along the road like a big ‘ole rollin’ Barco lounger. The elegance and prestige lineages evolved through impeccable craftsmanship, America was renowned for such. The Cadillac motorcar became the most enviable of all automotive legacies. The Cadillac name was a byword for superlative in any field of endeavor…

The Fleetwood division meticulously handcrafted the finest automobiles to motor out of Detroit, Michigan. The most eminent and revered models were Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. They are the last of the hand-built motorcars. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood model hierarchy as the epitome of elegance. They were the most luxurious owner-driven sedans from the brand. The 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham is the last of this distinguished coachbuilt series. NotoriousLuxury presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac motorcars. They were coachbuilt by Fleetwood for the 1957 through the 1958 model years in Detroit. These luxury sedans required countless hours of manpower while in theatre, because of the extensive handcrafting that was involved in order to build them. They slowed the Fleetwood assembly line tremendously. These magnificent Broughams sold for an ostentatious $13,074. Due to the nature of their build, Cadillac didn’t make a profit.

A decision was made to farm out their production to Pininfarina of Italy who are prominent coachbuilders specializing in the world of bespoke craftsmanship. This decision by GM freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the top-selling Fleetwood models such as the Series Sixty-Special. It was more cost efficient for Cadillac. Pininfarina handbuilt the Brougham for the 1959 and 1960 model years.

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Very little has ever been written about the 1960 Eldorado Brougham. Many automotive enthusiasts have never even seen one. They are elegantly exotic in appearance. It takes the eagle eye to discern them from the standard Cadillac models for 1960. These were the most opulent custom crafted models in the Cadillac model range. The Eldorado Brougham was so swank, it was only briefly mentioned in the sales brochure. Interested clients were advised to contact a Cadillac dealer for details because the car was so highly bespoke –

It’s the Cadillac of Cadillacs and the finest expression of the new era in automotive design. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams were totally exclusive from other Cadillac models sharing no sheet metal or trim. The 1959-1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams shared mechanical components, floor platforms, dash panels, wheels, bumpers, fender skirts, and headlamp bezels with other Fleetwood models.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Pininfarina hand-built the custom bodyshells. This added a romantic aura to this ultra-exclusive model…what could be more alluring than an Italian hand-built Cadillac? None of the standard Cadillac sheet metal was integrated into the Brougham. The roofline and glass are totally unique to the glamorous Italian-built Broughams.

The 1960 Brougham is the styling-lead to the 1961 Cadillac model design. This is apparent in the windshield, roof design, and lower overall silhouette. The Brougham’s sleek pillarless design is highlighted by smaller power rear quarter windows that automatically open when the coordinating rear door opens for ease of entry and exit. The Broughams are crafted a tad bit lower than standard Cadillac models. 

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1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

There’s very little to distinguish the Brougham from a head-on view. Many dispute the fact the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t totally unique from the rest of the standard Cadillac and Eldorado models. Due to the fact that the Broughams were not top-selling models, it wasn’t feasible to make them as exclusive as the 1957-1958 Detroit-built models. They had their own separate set of production tooling and dies than the standard 1957-1958 Cadillac models. The proof is in the photos, YOU be the judge.

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The custom crafted 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham has an intriguing rear end design. It has tail lamps that are modified slightly and built into the bumper nacelles elegantly. The upper slim recessed taillamps from the standard models are eliminated. The Brougham’s tail fins are trimmed lower. It introduced lower body fins called “Skegs” which would be featured on all Cadillac models for 1961 and 1962. The Eldorado has always featured styling that would eventually be found on other Cadillac motorcars.

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Cadillac featured a gracious styling continuity when it reigned as the “Standard of the World.” The 1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille shown displays the 1960 Eldorado Brougham inspired roofline and glass.

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The lower fins aka “kegs” balanced the styling theme gracefully

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The Brougham’s expanse of glass influenced the 1961 Cadillacs

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The tail fin design of the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t as radical as the standard Cadillac models. The iconic tail fins were starting to disappear. The Eldorado Brougham has an overall lower profile.

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The Eldorado Brougham is almost verbatim up front

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The Eldorado Brougham has a customized appearance

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1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction. Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame permits a lower body design for improved appearance, and enhanced stability with a lower center of gravity. The majestic Eldorado Brougham has the same dimensions as the Eldorado Biarritz and Eldorado Seville except for its height. It has the luxury length of 225” with a low 55” height and is 79.9” wide. It rides upon a long 130” wheelbase. Model #60-69 body style #6929P 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,075 and only 101 were built.

The 1960 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive American automobile for the day. There was no better symbol of one’s success than to view the world from behind the wheel of an Eldorado Brougham. This was a supreme achievement in motoring. Bigger is better was the premise behind these luxury land yachts. It was all about those “Car wars” – every American automobile manufacturer stretched the limits in design. Luxury was the theme. No one really cared about fuel economy because the cost of a gallon of petrol was insignificant.

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Cadillac was the undisputed luxury leader. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, chief designers for GM, created automotive masterpieces for the 1950s – 1960s. The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand with an eloquence no other motorcar could replicate. These handcrafted beauties command top dollar, many of which fetch at least six figures today. They will never be forgotten. Cadillac at the time, was considered as prolific opulence…the envy of the driveway…the “Standard of the World” was the most desired luxury automobile in the entire world.

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These magnificent motorcars were decadently luxurious. The custom tailored interiors were completely in character with Cadillac. This is eloquence in the grand Cadillac tradition. There were two sumptuous broadcloth styles and all leather trim available. Deep plush nylon or mouton carpets were available to lavishly complete the experience tastefully. As far as appointments and amenities – it was a luxury car complete.

Virtually every comfort and luxury feature was provided in the grand Cadillac manner. Standard equipment includes: a heating and air conditioning system, electric door locks, power trunk release, signal-seeking radio with power antenna, two electric clocks (one for front seat passengers and another for the rear compartment), remote control outside rearview mirror, power windows, power vent windows, cruise control, power 6-way front seat, automatic parking brake release, Guidematic headlamp dimmer, power steering & brakes, and air suspension.

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The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand…

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The Brougham was the most luxurious owner-driven model 

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is powered by the Cadillac 6.4 litre 16-valve 390 CID V8 engine. This naturally aspirated powerplant is equipped with three Rochester 2-bbl carburetors in the formidable Eldorado tradition with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack type air cleaner, overhead valves, hydraulic lifters, intake silencer and automatic choke. The engine is mounted at three points in rubber.

This superb Cadillac V8 cranked 345 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.7 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph ungoverned range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 82 mph in just 17.9 seconds. Remember, this is a 5,420 pound all-iron land yacht with NO aerodynamics. Eldorado models were always tuned to be the most spirited performers of all Cadillacs. 

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The engine is mated to GM’s Jetaway/Flashaway Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter. Hydra-Matic Drive is the step-gear type with controlled fluid coupling on the forward gear-set which delivers nearly imperceptible shifting. These transmissions provided two drive ranges – the left hand position reduces engine speed to increase economy.

For more efficient hill climbing and descending, the right hand position is used to improve acceleration with the first, second, and third gears available. This selection is used to increase the engine braking effort when descending grades. Lo-range is available for driving in deep sand, mud, or snow. This range is also useful for very steep inclines where only first and second gears are required. The famous Hydra-Matic Drive is a highly efficient and reliable transmission…in fact, this was so reliable and efficient that Rolls Royce adapted it into their automobiles back in the day –

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The famous Cadillac Red-Carpet ride was also the envy of the industry. The front suspension uses the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and helical coil springs. The rear suspension is the Cadillac 4-link drive with helical coil springs. The Eldorado Brougham came standard with air suspension. It is set up with individual air springs in rubber bags at each wheel that would automatically maintain the correct ride height for optimum performance and perfect poise regardless of load or road conditions.

The rubber bags were pressurized by an electric motor regulated by leveling valves. It also had manual height control to adjust for steep sloping driveways and inclines. Sadly, this idealistic system was unreliable and prone to fail at embarrassing times forcing the driver to “limp” into the dealership for repairs that did not last. The 1960 model year was the last time Cadillac used air suspensions.

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The Eldorado Broughams were more of an “image car” for General Motors. They are among the few Cadillac models that did not make a profit for the division. They are also the rarest of the rare Cadillac models with 400 built for the 1957 model year, 304 for 1958, 99 built for 1959, and 101 built for 1960. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Eldorado Broughams are certified milestone vehicles by the Milestone Car Society which is dedicated to distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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Special thanks to Jim Hailey & Daniel Schmitt & Bob Adams

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The 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy which made them exotic as well as cost efficient to Cadillac. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the Series Sixty-Special, Eldorado Biarritz, and Eldorado Seville models which outsold the Broughams. The 1959-1960 Italian-built models did not have the superior build quality of the Detroit-built models. They required a lot of extra hand finishing and electrical work by the Fleetwood division once the cars were returned to the USA.

They were more of a liability than an asset at the time. These cars have a charisma among collectors despite the issues they had. Ultra-luxury cars such as these are examples of American extravagance for the day. They epitomized the Cadillac brand with their coachbuilt enigma. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham leaves its indelible impression…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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It’s Yesterday Once More: The Incomparable 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Notorious Retrospect with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”

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Cadillac Style – “The only way to travel…is Cadillac Style.” What is Cadillac Style? A Cadillac Fleetwood is Cadillac Style. This is Cadillac in its most eminent form. Fleetwood used to do all upholstery work for every Cadillac model…but a Cadillac Fleetwood is a very very special version of the epochal “Standard of the World.” Fleetwood crafted the entire car. It was so special during its heyday, it had its own dedicated assembly line.  A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac was crafted by talented artisans to be not only the finest automobile in the world…but it was also the paradigm of all luxury sedans.

The only two-door Fleetwood model ever, is the magnificent Fleetwood Eldorado. (Excluding the mid-1980s Fleetwood Brougham two-door coupé as it is merely a Coupe deVille with a custom padded roof and Brougham-style interior…it was not an exclusive Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac) The most notable are the 1967 – 1970 Fleetwood Eldorado model years. They are the pioneers for Cadillac’s front-wheel drive models. The 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado makes a cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The majestic Fleetwood series catapulted Cadillac to “Standard of the World” status. These ultra-luxurious motorcars were crafted mostly by hand and augmented the Cadillac model hierarchy annually. For the 1968 model year, the fabulous Fleetwood Eldorado was in its second production year as the world’s foremost personal luxury car.

It was the only automobile in its class to offer the impressive traction of front wheel drive…Automatic Level Control to maintain its poise regardless of load or road conditions…and the maneuverability of Variable Ratio Power Steering – all as standard amenities. Model #68-693 Body Style #69347H 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado two-door coupé had a base price of $6,605. It debuted September 21, 1967 and a total of 24,528 were built for the model year. The Fleetwood Eldorado is a unique expression of Cadillac excellence.

Timeless in styling, superb Cadillac engineering, and impeccable craftsmanship…to put it simply – the Fleetwood Eldorado was designed to be one of the finest production automobiles in the world. It introduced a completely new concept which placed it in a class no other motorcar could match. GM is the purveyor of the personal luxury automobile.

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GM was the first American automobile manufacturer to offer front-wheel drive since the 1936-1937 Cord 810/812 series. It was the Oldsmobile Toronado that started the dance. It used the GM “E” platform from the 1963 Buick Riviera. The Oldsmobile Toronado was introduced in 1965 as a 1966 model. One year later the 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado was introduced. The Eldorado, Toronado, and Riviera all shared the same platform; however, the Buick Riviera didn’t adopt front-wheel drive until the 1979 model year. Cadillac fine-tuned the Eldorado to suit the most demanding connoisseur.

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Big news for Cadillac’s 1968 model year is the introduction of an all-new powerplant. Cadillac V8 engines were legendary and this one is no exception. It is the largest engine to power a passenger production automobile for the 1968 model year – 

The spirited 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 cranks an impressive 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Cadillac’s unsurpassed craftsmanship was never more evident. It is equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and a new automatic choke. An Air Injection Reactor system was introduced to reduce hydrocarbons in the exhaust. The engine is built with a cast iron block and cylinder heads, overhead valves, and hydraulic lifters.

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Cadillac engineers spent many years developing this powerful new V8 engine. It underwent over half a million miles of lab testing to study performance and fatigue life of engine components. This rigorous fatigue testing was far more punishment than would be experienced during the life of the car. Radioactive isotopes determined oil consumption. It was not only lab tested, it was taken out into the real world for over two million miles of road testing on every type of road in all-weather conditions. To date, this was only the fourth time Cadillac designed completely new engine architecture.

The first Cadillac V8 engine was designed in 1914, the second in 1936, and the third is the monumental 1949 version with an overhead valve design that utilized wedge-shaped combustion chambers for higher compression ratios. Cadillac is the first automobile manufacturer in the USA to build a production V-type water-cooled 8 cylinder engine by the way. Cadillac received accolades for the 1914 V8 instantly for its quiet, efficient operation, and notorious dependability. The 472 CID V8 shows the same dedication to quality. For example, every crankshaft in a Cadillac engine was dynamically balanced which means it is balanced while rotating. This is done to cancel vibration for enhanced overall operation.

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The 472 CID V8 aggrandized the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado’s performance. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.4 seconds with an ungoverned top speed in the 128 mph range. The engine is mated to the GM Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 425 3-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission. Cadillac adopted the Olds Toronado’s “Unified Powerplant Package”(UPP). This technical engineering was a unique manner of transferring the engine’s power directly to the front wheels. The longitudinal mounted engine/transmission configuration is driven by a silent chain that changed the direction of power by 180 degrees.

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Body by Fleetwood

A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac is unequalled in all of motordom. Uncompromised luxury and elegance with impeccable fit and finish highlighted the majestic Fleetwood series. It’s preeminence in the luxury car segment is without conjecture the finest expression of automotive excellence. The Fleetwood Eldorado’s long, low architecture was like nothing else on the road at the time. Cadillac had once again created an automotive masterpiece.

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Its stunning front end ensemble is augmented by hidden headlamps. The outer ends of the wide egg crate grille work opens downward to expose the twin headlamp clusters. The parking lamps are relocated from the bumper to the fenders. Those prominent knife-blade fenders run the entire length of the car’s architecture separate from the body ending at the rear with sharp, angular end caps housing the taillamps. Both hood and rear deck lid are sculpted to compliment the Fleetwood Eldorado’s dramatic design. The rear end styling is equally intriguing. The shark fin design with a deeply contoured bumper gives the car a futuristic flair.

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The Fleetwood Eldorado’s avant-garde silhouette retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac of the genre. The hood is one of the longest in the industry, it had been lengthened to provide a cove to hide the windshield wipers cleverly. Cars from this period are styled with a long nose and short rear deck. The Fleetwood Eldorado sports this design well.

The long low roofline with wide rear sail panels uses small rear quarter windows for privacy. A contoured back glass completed the look of luxury tastefully. The Cadillac Eldorado has always been the styling predictor which showcased designs that would eventually find their way to other Cadillac models. It is the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado that highly influenced the styling for the 1969-1970 Cadillac Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood models.

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1970 Coupe deVille and the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado

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1967 Fleetwood Eldorado

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The comfort zone…

Welcome to the inner world of Fleetwood Eldorado. It’s luxury on the grand Cadillac scale in the gracious Fleetwood manner. This is elegance modern cars cannot replicate. The comfort of the wide notchback front seat rivals that of your living room sofa. Have a seat…pull down the padded standard front seat center armrest. Adjust the optional 6-way power seat. Relax in traditional Cadillac luxury.

One of the benefits of front-wheel drive is the absence of the transmission tunnel hump which equates to more legroom for passengers to stretch out. Activate the optional Automatic Climate Control – set the temperature – no further intervention is necessary. Automatically lock both doors with one touch from the optional power door lock button for added security and peace of mind. The instrument panel has been revised with more padding for safety.

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There are two cloth styles for 1968 available for Fleetwood Eldorado. Deauville and Diamond cloth with vinyl bolsters adds character. The optional full leather trim provides not only a regal touch of distinction but also adds longevity to the interior. The optional Strato bucket seats lends a unique sporting appeal to Fleetwood Eldorado’s demeanor. The bucket seat style interior comes with head restraints and a locking center console. The passenger seat has an optional recliner. All interior knobs and switches have been redesigned to be safer to lessen injury.

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Structural logistics

The 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado is a large, comfortable automobile unlike the dinky under-embellished puddle jumpers with front-wheel drive made today. It’s built as body on frame construction. The fully boxed perimeter frame has hidden bulkheads for safety and is specially designed for front-wheel drive. These cars float along; boulevard travel is negligible.

Its torsion bar front suspension has upper and lower control arms with rubber bushings to absorb road shock and cancels vibration before it reaches the cabin. The rear suspension is equipped with single-leaf springs, two horizontal and two vertical shock absorbers. Cadillac’s exclusive Automatic level Control was standard on all Fleetwood models to maintain vehicle poise under any load or road conditions. The Fleetwood Eldorado has the luxury length of 221”, is 80” wide, 53” in height, and rides upon a long 120” wheelbase.   

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The luxury leader – Cadillac Style

Cadillac’s engineering prowess was never more evident. Apart from the all-new V8 engine, the Fleetwood Eldorado for 1968 is bristling with bravado. Cadillac’s triple braking system highlights its safety features. The power braking system is equipped with unique self-adjusting shoes and heat dissipating drums. The brakes automatically calibrate themselves each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied.

The sophisticated hydraulic master cylinder uses two separate reservoirs to provide independent operation of the front and rear brakes. In the event one system fails, the other will bring the car safely to a halt. The parking brake is a true auxiliary brake. Its automatic power vacuum release will not lock in position with the engine running and the vehicle in gear. Front disc brakes were optional. Cadillac led the industry with innovation and technology that took the competition years to catch up.

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For the 1968 model year Cadillac further enhanced its reputation as the “Standard of the World.” The 1967-1970 Fleetwood Eldorado is a milestone vehicle. It was created by Bill Mitchell chief designer for General Motors. The Eldorados from this genre were unlike any Cadillac that preceded them. The personal luxury car had been under research and tested as early as 1961. It was designed to be a large and luxurious Cadillac with traditional virtues yet contemporary acclaim…Cadillac Style – 

The Fleetwood Eldorado is tomorrow’s classic today.  With its Cadillac Style and gracious appointments, the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado in my opinion is one of the foremost motorcars to bear the charismatic “Standard of the World” title. It retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. This is what made the brand the most desired luxury car in the entire world – it’s a shame the brand sank into obscurity. It’s going to take a miracle for the brand to return to its exponential integrity to save it from the mediocrity it currently resides. So, after DTS…CTS…ATS…XTS…and CT6, what’s next – the OMG?

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This editorial is dedicated to “That Hartford Guy!”                                                This one’s for you…kid –  

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Here’s your baby immortalized for prosperity!

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The formidable 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

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The 1967 Eldorado-inspired 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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There’s no more deep-seated luxury like this

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1968 Fleetwood Eldorado custom convertible

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Here’s a dream with a little bit of fantasy from the creative master Casey Art & Colour http://artandcolourcars.blogspot.com/

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This is his Eldorado to counter Lincoln’s Continental

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars http://www.schmitt.com/

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“As the Standard of the World Turns” is Greg’s World

Cadillac Eldorado: The Legend Lives

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…the iconic and unforgettable legend lives on in

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…the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Cadillac Eldorado is the glamour car of the 1950s through the 1970s. It was once the Flagship in Cadillac’s model hierarchy and one of the world’s most desired dream cars. The Eldorado began as an elite trim level option for the Cadillac Series 62 convertible and was an instant success. It became its own exclusive model the next model year. Eldorado…or “The Gilded One” has been the envy of the driveway in America throughout its tenure.

The Eldorado was the styling predictor…the innovator…as well as the epitome of Cadillac luxury and elegance. It was also the most powerful of all Cadillac models. The Eldorado Custom Biarritz was created as a tribute to the last of the full-size models…and the end of an illustrious era in motoring luxury. It is dripping with luxury and elegance with a unique style all its own. NotoriousLuxury salutes the full-size Cadillac Eldorado…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Cadillac Eldorado began as an exclusive trim level option for the Series 62 convertible for the 1953 model year. Chief stylist Harley Earl created this masterpiece as GM’s image car. This was the most expensive Cadillac in the model hierarchy at $7,750 which could have purchased a home back then.

Distinctive signature features which set it apart from the stock convertible are a wrap-around panoramic windscreen, a sculpted beltline that incorporates a cupid’s bow in its design, a sleek metal parade boot, and Kelsey-Hayes genuine wire-laced wheels. Only 532 were built making it highly sought by collectors world-wide.

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This top of the line limited edition convertible was available in four exclusive to Eldorado colors: Aztec Red, Alpine White, Azure Blue, and Artisan Ochre. Leather upholstery of the finest grain, power windows, Signal-Seeking radio, heater/defroster, and windscreen washers were all standard.

It was among the first convertibles to offer air conditioning as an option. This car created such interest among automobile enthusiasts; it became a stand-alone model for the 1954 model year. Today, the 1953 Series 62 Eldorado convertible commands six figures on the auction block.

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The 1954 Series 62 Eldorado is the first full production version

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The glamour continued for the Eldorado. In 1956 it was now available as the Biarritz convertible coupé and the Seville hardtop coupé. The Eldorado remained true to form with exclusive styling shared by no other Cadillac model…this became an Eldorado signature. Its distinctive rear end ensemble is designed with pointed shark-fins, uniquely styled taillamps & back-up lamps, and a tailored bumper with exhaust ports.

An Eldorado always predicted styling features that would eventually find their way on future Cadillac models. The Eldorado Seville has a luxurious Vicodec roof covering as its signature styling feature to highlight its pillarless hardtop design. This was the beginning of the vinyl roof treatments that became so popular in the 1970s.

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The 1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupé

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The 1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

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A notable signature feature for Cadillac Eldorados from the 1950s is their stealth power reserves. They are tuned to produce high performance that was not usually associated with luxury cars from this genre. Cadillac was the master builder of the V8 engine. There are two versions that were available for this generation. A 5.4 litre 331 CID V8 producing 200–270 hp between 4,400 & 4,600 rpm powers the 1953-1955 models.

A 6.0 litre 365 CID V8 producing 305-345 hp between 4,700 & 4,800 rpm powers the 1956-1959 models. These luxury behemoths are equipped with two 4-bbl carburetors from 1955 through 1957 Eldorados; and three 2-bbl carburetors for 1958 & 1959 Eldorados. Power, performance, and prestige are all-inclusive attributes of the magnificent Cadillac Eldorado.

Engine 1954

The 5.4 litre 331 CID V8

Engine 1956

The 6.0 litre 365 CID V8

Engine 1957 Eldorado Brougham

 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6.0 litre V8 with 2 4-bbl carburetors

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 1

And…lest we forget, the ultra-luxurious hand-built Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham. They are crafted by Fleetwood but do not wear the nomenclature. Its romantic architecture is augmented by elegant forward opening rear coach doors and a stainless-steel roof. The decadently luxurious Eldorado Brougham has pillarless hardtop styling. The silhouette is lower than that of the standard bodied Cadillacs giving the appearance of a custom car. When either rear door is opened the front seat automatically moves forward making entry and exits easier.

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1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 4

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 5

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 16

The sweeping design includes chrome from bumper to bumper. The elegant front end ensemble has quad headlamps (which were illegal in some US states at the time), custom bumpers with rubber tipped Dagmars and unique grille work. This distinctive design influenced the look for Cadillac’s 1958 model year. The rear end design was shared with no other Cadillac.

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6B

The unique tail fins have a slim contoured look with thin taillamps integrated. Asymmetric highly polished bumperettes feature another set of taillamps and back-up lamps, bullet-style guards and exhaust ports. Its price made it one of the world’s most expensive automobiles at a whopping $13,074…twice the price of the standard Eldorado models – even higher than a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud!

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 3

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1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 8

The luxury continued into the interior. There were 44 leather and trim combinations available with the choice of Mouton, Karakul, or Lambskin carpet. Every exclusive Cadillac feature and accessory came standard: two position memory seats, power windows and door locks, Delco Signal-Seeking transistor radio with power antenna, dual heating system, air conditioning, cruise control, power trunk release, Autronic Eye, and thin line white wall tires. Technical features include a two 4-bbl carburetor system and air suspension.

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 10

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 18

The magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was built at a highly restricted pace to retain its exclusivity. Only 400 were built for the 1957 model year; and 304 built for the 1958 model year. Production for the 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy because of the extensive hand-crafting involved.

The reason they were shipped to Italy was due to the fact that the added hand-crafting slowed the Fleetwood assembly line, affecting factory burden raising costs which cut into the profit margin. Fleetwood could build the standard models which sold in higher numbers faster than the Eldorado Brougham. The Italian built Broughams were not as nice as the Detroit versions. Extensive re-working had to be done when they arrived here in the USA. A major defect is through the use of lead used to fill low spots in the metal…it cracked horrendously.

1959 Series 6400 Eldorado 1

The “Notorious” 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Series 6400 Biarritz 

1959 Series 6400 Eldorado 2

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 6

During the early to mid-1960s, Eldorado grandeur was diluted and the identity that had become so formidable in the 1950s was lost. The Flagship position it held was assumed by the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special. The Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé was dropped from the model lineup for 1961. It was only available as the Biarritz convertible which was merely an over embellished Series 62/DeVille convertible.

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 2

The 1960 Eldorado Series 6400 Seville hardtop coupé

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 3

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 4

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 5

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 1

The 1964 Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 2

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 3

The 1964 Eldorados have genuine walnut trim

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 6

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 4

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 5

1966 Eldorado 1

The 1966 Eldorado convertible

1966 Eldorado 2

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 1

The expanding personal luxury niche of the 1960s spawn the birth of the front-wheel drive Eldorado. For the 1967 model year, the fabulous Fleetwood Eldorado made its debut. It was an Eldorado unlike its finny, gas-guzzling namesakes. This all-new Eldorado is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessors. Sharp knife blade fenders extended beyond the architecture in the front and rear. The long hood, low-slung roofline, and short rear deck is distinctive and unique…it was copied by the entire industry.

Once again, the Eldorado introduced a new style. This design heavily influenced the 1969-1970 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood models. The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado was no longer a dressed-up version of something pre-existing. Its design by Bill Mitchell, chief designer for GM, is magnificent and is still quite popular with connoisseurs world-wide. From the striking front end ensemble augmented by hidden headlamps to the sharp angular rear end design, the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is the world’s finest personal luxury automobile. It is a dramatic departure from the past –

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 2

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 3

As the Cadillac sales brochure reads: “The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado…is the one car that must be seen to be believed, driven to be fully appreciated…and owned to be fully enjoyed.” This is so true…the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is the first car in the entire world to successfully combine the precision of front-wheel drive with the agility of Variable Ratio Power Steering and the perfect balance from Automatic Level Control. It maintains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac –

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 4

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 5

The front-wheel drive Fleetwood Eldorado rocked the entire world

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1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 8

1967

The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is powered in the formidable Eldorado tradition. It is equipped with Cadillac’s 429 CID V8 engine. The engine is tuned to produce 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a modified Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.9 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. From personal experience, this car is quite a performer. Its swift operation is completely imperceptible.

1968

Changes were minimal for the 1968 model year

1970

For the 1970 model year, the Fleetwood Eldorado…being the innovator that it was – introduced a powerful V8 engine with the largest displacement in the industry to power a passenger production car. The formidable 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine produced 400 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 746 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It hits 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds with a top speed in the 129 mph range.

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The Eldorado is the world’s finest personal luxury automobile

1971

The last full-size major redesign was for the 1971 model year and was updated mildly until the last of the production run for the 1978 model year. Beginning in 1971, the Cadillac Eldorado was offered as a hardtop coupé and convertible coupé. The last production Eldorado convertible rolled off the assembly line for the 1976 model year.

The 1971-1978 Eldorados are built as body on full frame construction. Eldorado was the only Cadillac that had no exclusive limited edition. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special had the Brougham and Talisman editions. Even DeVille had the d’Elegance package. Cadillac introduced the Custom Biarritz package for the Eldorado during mid-year production in 1976.

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 1

The 1975 Eldorado Custom Cabriolet coupé

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1975 Eldorado Hdtp 3

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 4

1976 Eldorado 3

The 1976 Eldorado convertible was the last production ragtop

1976 Eldorado 4

1976 Eldorado 5

1976 Eldorado 1

1976 is the last of the 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine

1976 Eldorado 6

1976 Eldorado 2

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 1

The only way to describe the Custom Biarritz is posh…it’s the Ritz-Carlton on wheels. This was a tribute to the full-size Eldorado which was just two years from extinction. 1977 was Cadillac’s 75th Anniversary; there were no special editions for the celebration. Cadillac built 47,344 Eldorados for this model year. Customers scurried to Cadillac showrooms taking full advantage of the last of the king-size Eldog.

Model #6E style code #L47 1977 Eldorado hardtop coupé had a base price of $11,187 with a base shipping weight of 4,955 pounds. The Custom Biarritz option, style code #YP2B was $1,760. The Custom Biarritz package with sunroof was $2,581, with the Astroroof $2,777. The Eldorado Custom Biarritz is the ultimate expression in personal luxury car distinction. Cotillion White with White roof and interior was the most popular of the five color schemes available.

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 2

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 3

The Eldorado Custom Biarritz is one of the most elegant Cadillacs in the history of the brand…virtually dripping with opulence. Signature interior features include sumptuous button-tufted contoured pillow-style seating with glove-soft leather and 50/50 dual comfort front seats. The exterior is equally as distinctive. The exclusive Cabriolet Roof is tailored in a richly textured Elk grain vinyl with French seams.

The heavy padding is designed to change the lines of the car; it changes the shape and size of the rear quarter windows. It has an elegant closed-in limousine-style rear window treatment. Special accent striping, stainless-steel moldings, color-keyed wheel discs and “Biarritz” scripts affixed to the rear sail panels deftly identify it as a Cadillac special edition. The Custom Biarritz is distinctive even among other Cadillacs –

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 4

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 6

The 1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 8

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 9

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 1

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 3

The 1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz was a tad bit more expensive. Model #6E style code #L47 1978 Eldorado coupé had a base price of $11,921 with a base shipping weight of 4,906 pounds. There were 46,816 built for the 1978 model year. Two special editions were available for 1978. The first, style code YP2B Custom Biarritz package was $1,865…with Astroroof $2,946 and with sunroof $2,746.

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 4

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 5

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 8

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 9

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 1

There was also an extra special version called the Custom Biarritz Classic. Style code YP6B was $2,466; with Astroroof $3,547…and with sunroof $3,347. Its production was limited to only 2,000 units. The Custom Biarritz Classic was modified by the American Sunroof Corporation of Southgate, Michigan. The coupés are color code #62 Arizona Beige with light Beige vinyl roof, they were two-toned by American Sunroof with color code #64 Demitasse Brown. Gold-plated “Biarritz” nomenclature along with special accent striping was added. The posh interior is two-toned light beige with dark saddle leather.

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 2

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 3

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 5

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 4

The 1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic coupé

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 2

The 1977-1978 Eldorados are comprehensively equipped luxury coupés. Standard equipment includes: Automatic Climate Control with economy setting, power windows and door locks, six-way power seat, Soft-Ray tinted safety glass, AM/FM Signal-Seeking Stereo Radio with power antenna, quartz digital clock, lamp monitors, and steel-belted radial ply wide white wall tires.

7.0 litre 425 CID V8

The last of the full-size Eldorados (1977-1978) are powered by Cadillac’s 7.0 litre 16-valve, 425 CID V8 engine equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. This engine produced 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. It uses GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive.

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 13.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 47.1 seconds with a top speed in the 112 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 74 mph in 19.6 seconds. Remember…an Eldorado is not built for speed. These figures are excellent for an automobile as large and solidly built as the 1977-1978 Eldorados.

There is a fuel injected version of the 7.0 litre V8 that produces 195 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 13.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 43.8 seconds with a top speed in the 116 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 75 mph in 19.4 seconds. The fuel injected version provides smoother engine operation and can achieve excellent mpgs on the highway.

Eldorado

The full-size Cadillac Eldorado was built from 1953 until the 1978 model year. This is one of Cadillac’s glamour cars and elite Flagships. “The Gilded One” was built as a convertible, hardtop coupé, and an elegant four-door hardtop sedan. Eldorados are specially tuned to be more powerful that standard Cadillac models. These elegant automobiles demonstrated the American way life…they are still the envy of the driveway.

The formidable Eldorado epitomized Cadillac luxury and opulence. They are the finest examples of exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar; there will never be another automobile of this magnitude. Whatever Eldorado you choose, you will enjoy the rare blend of excitement, power, and prestige that made it a legend in its own time. The iconic and unforgettable Cadillac Eldorado presents another magnificent performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 7

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 11

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 12

The Eldorado Brougham Town Car Concept

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 15

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 13

The end 1

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Sarasota Classic Car Museum, Jim Hailey Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, and Matt Garrett at GM-Classics for the use of these rare photos. 

the end 2

1966 and 1973

Eldorado

The Cadillac Eldorado is NotoriousLuxury

Fresh Metal: 1975 Cadillac Eldorado

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Fresh Metal with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The Eldorado legend continues…

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”

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The “Spirited Seventies” produced luxury automobiles for nearly every taste. Cadillac had a luxury model to satisfy the most discerning owner. The formidable Eldorado Series was the epitome of luxury and Cadillac’s Flagship Supreme. It was the world’s finest personal luxury coupe.

The 1975 Cadillac Eldorado was the only car in the world to combine the control and maneuverability of front-wheel drive…the precision feel of Variable Ratio Power steering…the perfect poise with Automatic Level Control…and the comfort & convenience of Automatic Climate Control. The 1975 Eldorado makes a guest appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1975 Cadillac Eldorado was one of the world’s most dramatically styled automobiles. It was available as the Eldorado coupe. The long. Low silhouette was unmistakably Cadillac. The long hood and short rear deck made the Eldorado coupe true to its classic tradition.

It was the closed grand tourer that offered a sporting attitude enveloped in kid-glove luxury. The rooflines were augmented by elegant new coach windows in the sail panels.

Style code #6L L47/H Fleetwood Eldorado coupe was base priced at $9,935 with two price increases during the model year at $9,948 and $10,364 respectively. There were 35,802 Eldorado coupes built for the 1975 model year.

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The Eldorado Custom Cabriolet was the ultimate Eldorado. It featured a tailored padded Elk grain vinyl roof over the rear most portion of the roof. Bright chrome roof moldings, a French seam around the backlight, and the distinguished Cadillac laurel wreath & crest were applied to each rear sail panel.

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The additional roominess of the Eldorado coupe was due in no small part to its front-wheel drive. A wide array of color combinations were available in a Mosaic Check cloth with leather bolsters, or Monticello a classic velour in six colors, or Metamora plaid in three colors.

The new softer Sierra grain leather was available in 12 different trim combinations. Multiple seating combinations were available. A popular choice was the 50/50 dual comfort front seats with standard driver’s 6-way adjustment. A power recliner with 6-way adjustment were available for the passenger seat. The 1975 Eldorado coupe was as luxurious on the inside as it was on the outside.

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The 1975 Eldorado was also available as the only luxury convertible built in America. It was a dramatic synthesis of two motoring worlds: the panache of a convertible, and the superlative luxury of being a Cadillac. Its ingenious inward folding roof provided full-width rear seating and a neater profile with the roof folded. The optional color coordinated parade boot was trim and unobtrusive to the convertible’s appeal.

With the top down, the architecture of this car looked as though it spanned for miles. Style code #6L L67/E Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was base priced at $10,354 with two price increases during the model year at $10,367, and $10,783. Only 8,950 1975 Eldorado convertibles were built making it more collectible than the “Last Cadillac production convertible” for the 1976 model year with 14,000 being built.

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The Eldorado convertible came standard with a new softer Sierra grain leather in 12 color combinations. The youthful, glamorous Eldorado convertible combined tasteful individuality and world-class luxury. The interior was spacious, elegant, in the Eldorado tradition. Open air grand touring was never more eloquent than in the 1975 Eldorado convertible. And, the added charisma of being a Cadillac convertible.

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Standard equipment for the 1975 Cadillac Eldorados included: AM/FM Signal Seeking Stereo radio with automatic power antenna, power windows and door locks, Automatic Climate Control w/economy setting, tinted glass, 6-way power seat, and white-wall steel-belted radials.

Also standard were Automatic Level Control, a power, a fully automatic inward folding fabric roof for the convertible, Variable Ratio Power steering, power brakes with front discs, and Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. A Cadillac Eldorado was always an extremely luxurious automobile with more standard features and accessories than other luxury cars in its class.

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1976

1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible

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New options for the 1975 model year included: Electronic Fuel Injection, Illuminated Entry System, Glass Astro-roof, passenger recliner seat, and Air Cushion Restrain System. Cadillac always offered more variety than the competition.

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The 1975 Eldorados received extensive styling changes yet retained the same bodyshell introduced for the 1971 model year. Styling revisions included square headlamps highlighting a bold new front end ensemble.

The front bumper had end caps that retracted into thermo plastic filler panels to protect the sheet metal during minor impacts. The Eldorado lost the classic fender skirts for a more contemporary look. The rear end styling was unchanged from the 1974 refresh. The 1975 Eldorados were “Efficient as they were elegant…rugged as they were rewarding.”

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Cadillac engineers significantly improved fuel economy for the 1975 model year. The highly efficient 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 was standard for all Cadillac models. It featured a new High Energy Ignition System designed by the Delco-Remy Division of GM. It incorporated the coil into the distributor. Eliminated were the traditional breaker points, rubbing block, and coil wire.

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The HEI produces a more powerful spark allowing a wider spark plug gap, thus, faster ignition of fuel resulting in faster more reliable starting and a more powerful burn. This system had the provisions for computer controls which would begin late 1970s.

Oddly, the 8.2 litre V8 was more efficient than the 7.7 litre 472 CID V8 and was better adapting to emissions controls. The 8.2 litre V8 was a much more leaner/cleaner burning engine.

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The combination of the new exhaust catalytic converter with the solid-state HEI system allowed the use of unleaded fuel and travelling up to 22,500 miles between tune-ups. Each GM Division used its own design for the HEI system.

The 8.2 litre V8 engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic transmission. Refinements were done to make it ‘tighter’ resulting in a more immediate response and improved fuel economy.

The efficient Eldorado 8.2 litre 500 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine produced 190 hp @ 3,600 rpm with 488 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Convertible performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 13.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 48.9 seconds with a top speed of 111 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 75 mph in 19.5 seconds. The coupe’s performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 12.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 42.9 seconds with a top speed of 115 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 75 mph in 19.3 seconds.

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The 1975 Eldorado was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged fully boxed heavy-gauge perimeter frame modified for front-wheel drive. The 1975 Eldorado rode a long 126.3” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 224.1”, and was 79.8” wide. They were extremely large front engine front-wheel drive vehicles.

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The front suspension used upper and lower control arms. It had an integral steering knuckle for added dependability and longevity. Helical coil springs, torsion bars, all exclusive to Eldorado were assembled with rubber bushings to absorb road impact and isolate road noise. Teflon-ring shock absorbers aided the magic carpet ride.

The rear suspension was Cadillac’s four-link drive, helical coil springs, large rubber bushings to improve ride quality, rear stabilizer bar, and Automatic Level Control ride height network. The Automatic Level Control was activated by compressor to maintain optimum vehicle poise under all driving situations.

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1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible

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Cadillac’s Triple Braking System was standard. A dual chamber hydraulic master cylinder provided independent operation of front and rear braking systems. Discs were fitted to the front axle while finned composite duo-servo drums were fitted to the rear axle.

The parking brake had an automatic vacuum release. It could be used as a true auxiliary brake since it would not lock with the engine running and car in gear. The brake discs and brake shoes were self-adjusting each time the car was driven in reverse and the brakes applied.

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The 1975 Cadillac Eldorado was the world’s most glamorous personal luxury car. It was the only automobile in the world to combine front-wheel drive, Automatic Level Control, Variable Ratio Power steering, and Automatic Climate Control as standard equipment.

Unique in stature, Eldorado for 1975 was offered as an elegant coupe or the only luxury convertible built in the land. Powered by the efficient 8.2 litre Eldorado V8 engine, these personal luxury cars moved with aplomb. The world’s most elegant personal luxury car was even more so for the 1975 model year. The Eldorado legend lives on…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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“As the Standard of the World Turns”

 

1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The formidable Eldorado legend continues…

1

…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”

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“The Standard of the World” for Nineteen Hundred and Sixty was one of the world’s most luxurious automobiles. The epitome of Cadillac luxury was the formidable Eldorado series. These elegant automobiles were crafted entirely by Fleetwood on a separate assembly line dedicated to this exclusive limited edition model series. The 1960 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe was the ultimate Flagship.

Style code # 60-64 6437 H Series 6400 Eldorado Seville had a base price of $7,401 and only 1,075 were built for the 1960 model year. This was also the last production year for the Eldorado Seville. This is another dramatic finale for a distinguished cast member…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World turns.”

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Exclusivity and Supremacy are nouns that aptly describe the fabulous Eldorados. In 1960 Cadillac held the status “Standard of the World” for fifty-eight consecutive years…the ultimate Flagships for Cadillac’s 1960 model year were the Eldorado Biarritz convertible and the Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe.

The Seville had an exclusive roof covered in luxurious Vicodec. Both Biarritz and Seville were built at a restricted pace to retain exclusivity. The Eldorado series earned the unqualified admiration of the world’s most discerning motorists.

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Dignity, distinction, and grace of beauty played a major role in the stature attained by these magnificent motorcars. The 1960 Cadillacs were stream lined, with finer, trimmer lines.

The Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe maintained that poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The Eldorado models were available in fifteen standard and five exclusive colors. The Eldorado series was the most aristocratic of Cadillacs.

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The styling was refined to a more contemporary look for 1960. The iconic Cadillac tail fins were neatly manicured to blend into the architecture seamlessly. The Eldorado Seville had a signature stainless steel molding which was a dual-bead design that arched gracefully along the length of the car.

“Eldorado” was identified on each front fender. From its aggressive front end ensemble swept back to the flatter horizontal plains of the gracefully trimmed tail fins, the 1960 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe was the pinnacle of elegance and refinement. In glamour, lasting beauty and comfort, the Eldorado Seville was without conjecture one of the most lavishly bestowed motorcars in the world.

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The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville was as luxurious on the inside as it was on the outside. The instrument panel had a jewel-like appearance with all gauges and controls within convenient placement.

The 1960 Seville received a new steering wheel and contoured horn bar. With the use of Cadillac’s X-frame, seat height and legroom were increased because the construction permitted lower body mounts.

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The Eldorado Seville was one class act. It was comprehensively equipped to provide the utmost in motoring majesty. Seat backs and seat cushions were hand trimmed in fine Florentine and Cardiff leathers harmonizing with elegant Cardinal cloth.

The Eldorado Seville featured as standard equipment: wide center folding arm rests front and rear, power windows, power six-way seat, power vent windows, power vacuum operated door locks, electric clock, courtesy lighting, heater/defroster, remote-controlled left outside rearview mirror, power vent windows, windshield wiper/washers, remote control trunk release, and white wall tires.

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The 1960 Eldorado Seville was powered by Cadillac’s 6.0 litre “Q” engine. The “Q” engine differed from the standard V8 by offering 345 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,400 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10.8 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.2 seconds with a top speed of 126 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in 17.9 seconds.

The engine was equipped with a “Triple Deuce” which was a Rochester 3-2bbl set-up. Its sophisticated design used the central dual barrel for normal operation. When the accelerator pedal was depressed beyond 75% travel, both secondary barrels open simultaneously producing a vast increase in power. The engine used the 4-bbl downdraft with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack air cleaner, intake silencer, and an automatic choke.

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 The 1960 Eldorado Seville was built as body on frame construction. It was built on Cadillac’s rugged tubular X-Frame which provided torsional rigidity. It permitted lower body mounting for improved appearance and stability.

The front suspension used upper and lower control arms. It was equipped with independent helical coil springs, and spherical ball joints. It also used inner threaded forked arm bearings, tapered roller bearings, and a torsion rod stabilizer bar, and hydraulic direct-acting shock absorbers.

Cadillac’s four-link drive rear suspension was refined with new lower control arms that incorporated a two-leaf spring that contributed to a quieter ride and helped to cushion starting/stopping thrusts between axle and frame.

The upper yoke was connected to the highest points of the frame and to the top of the rear axle housing by a ball joint, which keeps more weight below the pivot point thus minimizing body roll on curves and sharp turns.

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It used a hypoid type rear axle with offset differential housing to facilitate straight-line drive. The 1960 Eldorado Seville rode upon a long 130” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 225” and was 79.1″ in width. The rear suspension used hydraulic direct-Acting inverted “V” mounted shock absorbers. Rubber bushings were used to absorb road impact and isolate road noise.

Cadillac air suspension was standard for the Eldorado Seville. This primitive system was quirky and proned to failure. Most owners bought the GM helical coil spring conversion kits to keep those gorgeous Cadillacs at proper ride height. Those air suspension systems were proned to fail at most embarrassing moments.

I remember seeing an Eldorado Brougham backing off a steep incline and one of its bladders busted and it instantly became un-driveable… lop-sided…the owner was horrified! Those systems would have been awesome had they been ‘real features.’

They were supposed to keep the vehicle at optimum ride height at all times. This system was also working when the car was off. Manual adjustment permitted raising ground clearance by several inches for deep mud, snow, or steep inclines….excuse me? It was the steep incline that I saw take the Brougham out of service…but the problematic air suspension’s days were numbered…

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Standard for the 1960 Eldorado Seville was the Cadillac Power Brake system. New self-adjusting brake shoes adjusted themselves automatically compensating for brake lining wear. This assured consistent braking action without service adjustment for the lining life. The adjustment happened each time the car was driven in reverse with the brakes applied.

Cadillac’s new finned rear brake drums dissipated heat faster, redistributing the brake action more evenly between the front and rear wheels. Drums were fitted to all four wheels. The brake system included a new vacuum release parking brake that released when the engine was running and car in gear. It could be used as a true auxiliary brake since it wouldn’t lock with the car in-gear.

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The 345 hp V8 was a brilliant example of Cadillac’s unequaled length of experience with V8 powerplants. The fabled “Triple Deuce” added adrenalin to an already potent engine. The brilliantly responsive 1960 Eldorado Seville showcased new dignity, refinement, and the legendary Cadillac hand-craftsmanship.

Superb Fleetwood fit & finish went into the Eldorado Seville…as witnessed by the luxurious new fabrics and beautiful new leathers impeccably crafted by artisans who did things only one way: the right way. A Cadillac Eldorado was the EPITOME of the brand’s luxury. The Eldorado was the very essence of Cadillac.

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The 1960 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe was the last Eldorado Seville to roll off the assembly line. They were quite rare as well, only 1,075 copies were built. For $7,401 plus tax etc…look at what you could be driving back in 1960! This price doesn’t even cover the sales tax and destination fees per today’s miniatures when engine repairs alone would exceed $7000.

And that is NO fun when those expensive procedures must be repeated…ask some of the CTS & CTS-V owners who are now on their 2nd or 3rd engine/transmission and or other ‘strange’ idiosyncratic behavior…those things are wreaking havoc in the repair bays…

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These automobiles were built at the summit of the automaker’s craft. I wonder will we ever see prestige, decadent luxury, and Cadillac-style ever again? Let’s face it, once you’ve driven “the real McCoys” the fake generation we are pretending to enjoy currently seems utterly absurd, and to add insult to the massive coronary…we have to pay this kind of money for ‘kitsch’…

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This is another “Forget-me-not”…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1979 Cadillac Eldorado

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on March 2, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

Eldorado was completely re-designed for 1979

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The new breed of Eldorado was introduced for the 1979 model year. It had been re-designed from the ground-up. Eldorado was world-class luxury…first class, Cadillac-style. The trim new size increased its agility and overall performance. The Cadillac Eldorado was always the epitome of Cadillac luxury. The 1979 Eldorado was an impressively new performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Front-wheel drive, Electronic Level Control, four-wheel disc brakes, Electronic Fuel Injection, and Automatic Climate Control were among the many standard features that made this a world-class automobile. The 1979 Eldorado was engineered to make efficient use of space. It had a new chassis, a new body, and a new engine.

This was the next generation of the Cadillac Eldorado. Its advanced engineering was due in no small part to its computer design. It took full advantage of the most advanced automotive technology to bring the 1979 Eldorado to a new precision size. The engineering objective was to reduce service complexity should it be required.

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Every detail of the all-new 1979 Cadillac Eldorado made it one of the world’s best engineered automobiles. Its front-wheel drive provided optimum traction and stability, with the engine just above the drive wheels. Four-wheeled independent suspension allowed each wheel to react independently to road conditions providing a smoother ride.

The Electronic Fuel Injected engine used an on-board computer for spark selection. The 1979 Eldorado’s four-wheel disc braking system self-adjusted with each application, provided rapid heat dissipation, and guaranteed smooth, fade-free braking.

The Automatic Climate Control system automatically heated, cooled, and de-humidified the air at one touch of the temperature control. The compressor worked only when required. The 1979 Eldorado’s space efficient design provided more head and legroom than its 1978 predecessor.

Twilight Sentinel automatically turned lights on and off according to light conditions and included a timer to light one’s way to their door safely. Steel-belted wide whitewall tires were match-mounted to the wheels to reduce deflection and increase rolling smoothness.

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The all-new 1979 Cadillac Eldorado was powered by the OLDSMOBILE 5.7 litre 350 CID 16-valve V8 engine. This Electronic Fuel Injected engine produced 170 hp @ 4,200 rpm with 365 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-325 3-speed automatic transmission. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds, 0-100 mph in 35.4 seconds with a top speed of 112 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 77 mph in 18.6 seconds.

The 5.7 litre Oldsmobile and the 6.0 litre Cadillac V8 for the 1980 model year were the last truly reliable engines for this genre. We were about to enter the decade of “extremely bad taste.” Cadillac had the audacity to offer a diesel engine which I absolutely refuse to address…yes, the era of extremely bad taste aka the kitschy-faux luxury cars of the ill-fated Eighties…

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The 1979 Eldorado’s space efficient architecture was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s ladder-type frame with welded crossmembers. The all-new Eldorado used an independent torsion bar type front suspension with a link-type stabilizer bar. It was also modified to facilitate Eldorado’s front-wheel drive system.

Hydraulic direct action shock absorbers were fitted to the front and rear. The rear suspension used independent trailing arms with coil springs and self-leveling system dampers. This new breed Eldorado rode on a 114” wheelbase and was 204” in length, with a wide 71.4” stance.

The 1979 Eldorado not only had an all-new four-wheel independent suspension, it used four-wheel disc brakes as well. The system was set-up with single piston sliding calipers with ventilated discs fitted to all four wheels. Cadillac’s triple braking system was standard. The system used a dual hydraulic master cylinder with separate fluid chambers to provide independent front and rear operation. It used a tandem vacuum power booster.

The discs self-adjusted themselves each time the car was driven in reverse and the brakes applied. The parking brake had silent action and an automatic vacuum release. It was a true auxiliary brake since it wouldn’t lock with the engine running and car in gear.

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The 1979 Eldorado was the first complete re-design since the 1971 model year. It was a trim 224 pounds lighter and 20 inches shorter than the car it replaced. The turning circle was five feet tighter. The Cadillac Eldorado was one of the cars that pioneered front-wheel drive.

The styling was unmistakably Cadillac with its long hood and short rear deck. It had a low-slung chiseled look with a hint of the iconic Cadillac tail fin at the rear. Its trim new size was perfect for today’s world. This new silhouette was most definitely Cadillac.

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A Cadillac Eldorado has always been a car complete. The 1979 was no exception. Its many standard features included: Automatic Climate Control, power windows and door locks, Dual Comfort 50/45 power assisted front seating, Illuminated Entry system, Twilight Sentinel, Electronically tuned AM/FM Stereo Signal-Seeking radio with scanner and digital display, remote-controlled left & right rearview mirrors, Electronic Level Control, Electronic Fuel Injection, remote trunk release with power pull-down, cornering lamps, and wide whitewall steel-belted radials.

The Trip-master on-board computer system was an available option which provided digital read-outs regarding average miles per gallon, average speed, miles to destination, estimated arrival time, engine rpm, engine temperature, and electrical voltage. Other popular options for the 1979 model year included: Electronic Cruise Control, power recliners, Theft-Deterrent system, Tilt & Telescopic steering wheel, Firemist paint finishes, fuel monitor system, automatic door locks, and trumpet horn.

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The ultimate expression of Eldorado for the 1979 model year was the Biarritz trim option package. Its signature exterior features included a stainless-steel front roof cap, Cabriolet vinyl roof treatment with chrome moldings, opera lamps, Biarritz scripts affixed to rear sail panels, accent striping, and cast aluminum wheels.

The interior featured hand stitched button-tufted pillow-style seating in either luxurious Dante cloth or five colors of supple leather. Plush Tangier carpeting was under foot. A leather trimmed steering wheel completed the look of elegance. The Biarritz was the epitome of Eldorado luxury.

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The 1979 Cadillac Eldorado was the new breed of this distinctive personal coupe. Eldorado was always the pinnacle of luxury on the grand Cadillac scale. The 1979 Eldorado was world-class in design and engineering. Standard front-wheel drive, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, Electronic Fuel Injection, Electric Level Control, and Automatic Climate Control made this world-class coupe even more distinctive.

Its lower wind-cheating silhouette combined with its aerodynamic design not only optimized its maneuverability but fuel economy as well. It was designed for easier serviceability and fewer maintenance services. This was the new breed of drama…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The Fleetwood Eldorado epitomized open tourers

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The 1965 Cadillac was the most dramatically new creation in sixteen years. The “Standard of the World” was elegantly new and majestically Cadillac. The impressive Fleetwood Series were all masterpieces. A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac was special even among Cadillacs. The name Fleetwood was a hallmark of motoring elegance. The magnificent 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible epitomized open tourers from that genre.

Powered by a 340 hp V8 engine combined with its youthful appearance, the Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the most luxurious convertible in the world fashioned in the traditional Fleetwood manner. The 1965 Cadillacs continued the tradition of quality and integrity which had won for Cadillac the well-earned reputation as the “Standard of the World.” The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was another exemplary performance in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1965 Cadillacs were completely re-designed. They had an all-new longer and lower silhouette. New front end styling included the handsome vertical stacking headlamps and a wide mesh-like grille. The hood and front fender design were unique and individual, the fenders had their own design which traveled past the architecture to make a dramatic statement. The sculpted hood accented the new overall lower design of the body work elegantly. Chrome spanned the entire grille and bumper areas luxuriously. This all-new design was bold and contemporary yet unmistakably Cadillac.

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The rear design was without the signature tail fins for the first time since 1947. The trunk and rear fenders had their own individuality also. Separate long planed-flat fenders swept past the architecture in the Cadillac fashion with just a ‘hint’ of the tail fin left in the bumper design which was all shining chrome end to end. The fenders made the 1965 Cadillacs appear even longer than they were.

The all-new tail lamp assembly formed an integral part of the clean smooth rear design. Tail lamps, stop/directional lamps, and back-up lamps were consolidated into a single chrome housing that blended into the rear grille work. From the striking beauty of its front end design to the rear lamp housings, this magnificent creation embodied the finest in Cadillac styling advancements combined with the formidable Fleetwood distinction.

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The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible wore this new bodyshell very well. With its standard power fully automatic folding fabric roof in the open position, this sleek convertible was one dramatic, low-slung sweep from nose to tail. It was crafted to be the finest expression of open touring. Its individual styling and its dramatic and exclusive appointments made the Fleetwood Eldorado a motorcar of distinction.

And, let any Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac appear on the motoring scene where fine automobiles gather….they were immediately recognized as an achievement unparalleled in motoring excellence. Model # 68-467E Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was base priced at $6,738. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the finest expression of the new era of automotive elegance. It was the “Standard of the World” in styling and craftsmanship.

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The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible came standard with an interior of supple natural grain leather hand stitched by the artisans at Fleetwood. A sandwich type sound barrier was applied between engine and passenger compartment along with sound deadening materials that absorbed noise. Each side of the cowl area inside received a rubber compound sound barrier. The floor boards received two layers of jute topped by deep carpeting, over a rubber compound sound barrier. This was an extra quiet ragtop.

The convertibles for 1965 included a stretchable pleated top boot with a self-adhering edge that eliminated the sliding channel mounting assuring a sleek fit. Standard equipment included power windows, power six-way seat, electric clock, courtesy lighting, anti-glare rearview mirror, red reflectors at the bottoms of each door for safety, front seat belts, heater/defroster, and whitewall tires. Popular options for 1965 were: Comfort Control air conditioning, controlled differential, power door locks, door edge guards, Guide-Matic headlamp control, AM/FM radio, Soft-Ray glass, Tilt & Telescopic steering wheel, Twilight Sentinel, and remote trunk lock release.

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The 1965 Cadillacs rode upon an all new frame. They were built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged tubular center X-frame with increased torsional rigidity and impact resistance. It used hidden bulkheads for additional resistance to torsional stress. A newly designed pheasant-tail rear engine support crossmember didn’t infringe upon front floor space as a straight crossmember would.

The new frame and its increased width allowed the front suspension strut rods to be moved further outward for better control of the fore/aft movement of the front wheels. This unique frame design with boxed side rails permitted a lower transmission tunnel height inside the car. This new design allowed the frame-to-body structure to be lowered which aided stability and solid-riding luxury. New larger suspension bushings were used to absorb impact and isolate road noise. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible rode on a long 129.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 224”, and was 79.9” in width. This was when a Cadillac was real….

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The front suspension used upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and independent coil springs. There were new motor mounts precisely tuned to frame characteristics for maximum idling smoothness, quietness, and stability. The steering linkage was refined to improve handling response, dependability, and longer life.

The rear suspension minimized deflection of the rear of the car during fast acceleration for a level ride. It used Cadillac’s four-link drive with helical coil springs located on the rear axle housing instead of lower control arms. This allowed the bushings to better isolate road noise and absorb wheel impact. It had new pre-stressed rear axle bearings and races for greater dependability. The rear axle housing had more unified construction for increased torsional rigidity.

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Standard for the Fleetwood Series was Automatic Level Control which kept the vehicle at optimum height under any road condition and automatically adjusted for change in load. The rear suspension used the network for the system. The new Automatic Level Control provided pressure from a compressor and air reservoir to a valve located at the rear crossmember of the frame.

If the rear end load deflected the suspension ½” or greater the valve would open allowing pressurized air to enter air chambers in the rear shock absorbers. When the load decreased the valve would exhaust the air from the shock absorbers to lower the car to level height. The valves were calibrated with a 6-12 second delay so that normal deflection of the rear suspension while encountering uneven pavement would not activate the system.

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The Cadillac V8 engine had a higher horsepower-to-weight ratio of any luxury make. For the 1965 model year there were advances in piston head design, an exclusive new exhaust system that used a new coaxial resonator sonically balanced for maximum quiet, and new engine mounts which isolated engine vibration from the interior of the car. The 1965 Cadillacs were powered by the 7.0 litre 429 CID 16-valve OHV V8. It was equipped with a Rochester or Carter AFB 3903S 4-bbl downdraft carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and automatic choke.

The engine produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.9 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.4 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. New engine features included a computer designed 7-blade fan, a new cross-flow radiator for increased cooling efficiency and quiet operation, and an improved electrical system for faster starting.

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Cadillac’s PCV or Positive Crankcase Ventilation system directed un-burned air/fuel mixture from the crankcase back to the intake manifold for re-burning. A vent valve regulated the volume of un-burned air/fuel mixture to assure exact ratios for smooth engine performance at various engine speeds.

For 1965, Cadillac used a one-piece propeller shaft which transmitted power from the transmission to rear wheels with the utmost quiet and resistance to vibration. Constant Velocity Joints at each end of the propeller shaft cancelled energy that would create noise or vibration assuring a smoother, quieter drive line. Precise alignment with propeller shaft and rear axle pinion was achieved through match-mounting the attachments.

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Standard was Cadillac’s triple braking system. The system used a master cylinder with a dual reservoir with separate pistons and hydraulic lines for front and rear systems to allow independent operation. The parking brake had an automatic release and wouldn’t lock with the engine running and in gear. It could also be used as a true auxiliary brake in an emergency.

This sophisticated braking system used long-life pistons in wheel cylinders made of iron alloy and were self-lubricating. The front and rear brake shoes were self-adjusting each time the car was shifted to reverse and the brakes applied. Finned brake drums fitted to both front and rear increased cooling air dissipating heat faster. Brake fade was minimized. The front brakes used a special flange on the backing plates that shielded water from the drums.

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The 1965 Cadillacs had the most dramatic styling since the 1949 Coupe deVille. It was elegantly new and majestically Cadillac. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible epitomized open tourers of that era. It was an all-new design with an all-new spirit. It was powered by Cadillac’s 340 hp V8 engine teamed with GM’s refined Turbo Hydra-Matic Drive.

The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado continued the tradition of quality and integrity which earned Cadillac the distinguished reputation of “Standard of the World.” The name Fleetwood was a hallmark of motoring elegance. The spirited Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the pinnacle of luxury and another command performance….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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This is a custom design from Casey Art and Colour

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This was another fine example from Bob Adams Classic Cars