1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
I wonder how the guys who paid massive premiums to own the "last" 1976 Eldorado convertibles felt when GM rolled out this pretty 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz ragtop. I mean, the choice was natural as the aftermarket had been putting fake convertible tops on these cars for years and the result was actually a really good car, not just a really good convertible. Looking rather handsome in its original paint, which GM called "Autumn Maple Firemist" (no, I'm not kidding), this is the archetypal Eldorado convertible. It shows signs of conscientious maintenance over its life and it's likely that very few of these were ever purchased as daily drivers, which would explain both the condition for a car approaching 35 years old. The Eldorado's crisp lines lend themselves to convertible styling, and the experts at ASC, who actually built the cars for GM, did a wonderful job of making it look nearly identical to its faux-convertible hardtop siblings with the top up (spotter's tip: the convertibles have smaller rear windows). The Biarritz is easily identified by the spear of stainless trim that extends along the fenders and window sills, giving the already very flashy Eldo a lot of eyeball appeal. It's certainly not perfect, but for a car that's been driven and enjoyed, it's quite good and shows you that these cars have always been something special to someone. The interior is pure Cadillac overkill, with pillow-tufted burgundy leather seats and lots of faux wood trim, but that's why these cars are so cool. They represent an era when technology was colliding with traditional luxury, and Cadillac worked hard to stay at the forefront. Dig the digital climate control and information center over on the driver's side of the dash, and every power accessory known to man was standard equipment on the Eldorado convertible. Someone has also added a set of tiny auxiliary gauges under the dash, which is probably helpful when your only real gauges are a speedometer and fuel gauge. Twin buckets show modest wear but no damage, and the back seat looks almost completely untouched. Matching burgundy carpets add some dignity to the interior, along with the matching dash and steering wheel, which should look familiar to anyone who drove a Cadillac of the period. There's also an aftermarket AM/FM/CD stereo that sounds great, even with the top down. The white power top slides into its well with a minimum of fuss, where it hides under a matching burgundy vinyl boot. It also includes a massive trunk that's fully upholstered, including the fuzzy spare tire cover. Cadillac's 4.1 liter V8 with digital fuel injection has turned out to be a reliable dance partner in these cars. Smooth and torquey, with surprisingly good fuel economy, it moves this Eldo easily with a muted V8 hum from the tailpipe. The engine bay is orderly, if not detailed for show, with the only non-stock part appearing to be the open-element air cleaner. You could spend a weekend giving it a good cleaning and it would really pay off. The front-wheel-drive 4-speed automatic overdrive transaxle shifts so smoothly you may not even notice it and it's an effortless highway cruiser. The all-independent suspension was tuned fur luxury, and you'll be thrilled by just how clean this car is underneath. Since 1976, Eldorados have offered 4-wheel-discs, which live behind those sparkly wire wheelcovers and 205/75/15 Firestone whitewalls. These cars have long since passed from used car to collector status, and while you can find low-mile examples with big price tags, if you're into driving, THIS is the one to own. Call now!