For 50 golden years, the Cadillac Eldorado was known for two things—luxury and vanity. As one of the most expensive cars ever offered by General Motors, it had the reputation for class, elegance, and performance. Its production ceased several years ago, but it remains as one of the best personal cars in the automobile industry until today.
1953: Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado
The 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado was the official marketed version of the 1952 concept car especially made for Cadillac’s golden anniversary. Only 532 convertible units were sold for a hefty price tag of 7,750 dollars. The featured deluxe interior accessories like custom-leather seats, radio, and heater were the reason why it was that pricey. It was also the first Cadillac that had a wraparound windshield. Powered by a 331-cubic-inch OHV V8 engine, the Eldorado was a powerful car considering its huge size.
1954-1956: Eldorado Biarritz and Seville
In order to boost sales, Cadillac reduced Eldorado’s production cost by letting go of the special sheet metal used in the earlier version. The 1954 model’s price lowered to $5,875. Sales went up to 2,150 units because it became more affordable. In 1956, Cadillac released two economical Eldorado versions: the hardtop coupe, Seville, and the convertible, Biarritz.
1957-1958: Eldorado Brougham
It was the first pillar-less, four-door car in USA. It was also the first to use quad headlamps. Only 400 units were sold at $13,074 each.
1959-1960: Series 6200
The initial Series 62 was changed to 6200. The huge sharp tailfins, bulky body frame, bullet tail lights, chromed grilles were just some of the iconic features of the 1959 model. The 1960’s model though, was a bit toned down without the spiky tail fins and bumper guards.
1961-1966: Biarritz’s come back
Only Eldorado convertibles were available during this period. Most of the features were retained except for the engine. With the 429 cubic-inches V8 engine, newer models had 340 horsepower.
1967-1970: Eldorado FWD
Cadillac introduced the first Eldorado four-wheel drive. This model also applied the Oldsmobile Toronado’s three-speed automatic transmission transaxle. Most of the physical attributes were retained until 1970. The only significant mechanical upgrade was the addition of the 500-cubic inches engine displacement that produced a kicking 400 horsepower.
1971-1978: Power Sliding T-Tops
The continuous refinements added several pounds and inches to the succeeding Eldorado models. Even though the car’s horsepower decreased due to the extra weight, Eldo’s sales still went higher. By the end of 1978, a total of 46,816 units were sold. Part of its success was credited to the Power Sliding T-Tops—an innovation used in 1978 Eldorados that allowed the roof to be folded neatly at center.
1979-1985: Engine modification from V-8-6-4 to HT-4100
Eldorado had a major mechanical setback when the V-8-6-4 engine displacement, derived from the 6.0-liter Cadillac V8 engine, didn’t work in 1981 models. It resulted to poor performance and decreased horsepower. In 1982, the HT-1400 fuel-injected system replaced the previous engine. It was very efficient in delivering huge power gains.
1986-1991: A better Eldorado Touring Coupe
The Touring Coupe made a comeback in the 1990 and this time, it had a better engine—the Cadillac aluminum V8. It had an improved engine output that provided a full 200 horsepower. A lot of high-tech accessories were also added, but it still suffered from poor sales.
1992-2002: ETC and ESC
After ten years of declining sales, Cadillac made the final Eldorado models: the ETC and the ESC. Compared to the original model, it was way smaller and simpler. After 50 golden years, Eldo’s production came to an end on April 22, 2002.