1971 Cadillac Eldorado
Cadillac redesigned their front-wheel-drive flagship in 1971, chopped off the roof, and gave us the last of the great American convertibles. This handsome white 1971 Eldorado is one of only 6800 built, making it the rarest of the full-sized Cadillac ragtops, and with a potent 500 cubic inch V8, it might also be the fastest of the drop-top Eldos. Longer, lower, and wider than the chiseled first-generation FWD model, this convertible shows extremely well. The color is correct code 11 Cotillion White, which is a traditional Eldorado color dating back to the very first one in 1953. The long fenders are in excellent shape, the doors fit well despite their massive size, and the hood occupies more real estate than a New York City apartment. The simulated air vents at the leading edge of the rear quarter panel are a tribute to that original 1953 Eldorado and help to break up all that sheetmetal with interesting details. The redesigned car also incorporated fender skirts, which only emphasize the car's length, and there's no sign of rust or rot in this trouble-prone area. The paint has been touched up and shows some age, but on an Eldorado like this, a few character marks aren't really a demerit. Nice chrome bumpers, the traditional egg crate grille, and neatly integrated taillights result in an attractive design that has aged rather well. The front-wheel-drive architecture allowed the Eldorado to be a true 6-passenger machine with expansive room inside. You'll note there's no transmission tunnel, and with wide bench seats, everyone has first-class accommodations. The white leather upholstery is original and in good shape, although a good deep cleaning would really pay dividends here. Matching door panels, along with red carpet and dash pad tie it together with handsome good looks. The console-like instrument panel clusters all the controls around the driver, as if it's shielding them from the passenger, and someone has added a trio of auxiliary gauges under the dash. You'll find the automatic climate control on your left and the AM/FM/8-track stereo radio on your right, along with a tilt/telescopic wheel, power locks and power windows. A power convertible top folds easily and includes a glass rear window, which is a genuine rarity among convertibles, as well as a matching vinyl boot. Cadillac's 500 cubic inch V8 was the biggest V8 you could buy in 1971, and since these were pre-emissions days, delivered sparkling performance despite the Eldorado's considerable curb weight. Linked to a freshly rebuilt TH425 3-speed automatic transmission and 2.73 gears in the front transaxle, freshly tuned 500 delivers seamless performance and is considerably quicker than you'd expect. After a rebuild in 2011, the engine bay is tidy, with Cadillac Blue paint on the engine itself and there are plenty of signs of regular maintenance. The A/C system has been converted to R134a refrigerant, and you'll be pleased to learn that power brakes and steering are part of the deal, so you can navigate this land yacht with just your fingertips. Underneath, it's extremely clean, with no rusty floors and a single exhaust system that's suitably hushed for convertible duty. Air shocks have been installed out back to help level the ride when you've got the homecoming queen in the back seat, and the unique Eldorado wheels wear 235/75/15 whitewall radials and stock hubcaps. Arguably the most collectable of all the '70s Eldorados, the '71 remains a relative bargain to the later models, despite its superior performance. With lots of documentation and receipts, you can buy this one with confidence. Call today!