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500 Cubic Inches! 1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Cadillac reinvented the Eldorado as a front-wheel-drive personal luxury car in 1967. It would be 1971 before the car got its first redesign in that format, adding a convertible to the mix for the first time since 1966. This ’71 Eldo drop-top looks good at first glance – until you open the doors and see the sad state of the interior which needs restoring. The good news is that rust is practically non-existent on this barge of a car located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s available here on eBay where the current bid is $4,227.

Despite being reworked for 1971, sales only saw a slight uptick over 1970, but a UAW strike can be blamed for a slow start. More than 27,000 copies rolled off the assembly line, with nearly 7,000 of them being the new convertible model. Cadillac would be the only manufacturer to offer a drop-top personal luxury car that year, as Ford had built its last Thunderbird version in 1966. In the rest of the luxury segment, Lincoln dropped the 4-door convertible in 1967 and Chrysler’s Imperial didn’t offer one after 1968.

The ’71 Eldorado was powered by the largest V8 in the industry, 500 cubic inches. But its horsepower rating was down as the compression ratio had been lowered to help with emissions controls. The seller’s car was seen just 41,000 miles and was running before a partial restoration was started (when?). It’s said to have been garage-kept all its life (except in the photos provided), which has no doubt helped keep the body and paint rather fresh in appearance. Two patches in the floors were done earlier and that could be it.

The fuel tank is out of the Caddy to be cleaned, so it doesn’t run for now. The worst of things appear to be in the passenger compartment, where one seat cushion was sent out for reupholstering, and it never came back. Also, both front windows are devoid of their glass (why?). The black top looks good, but a new white one sits in a box waiting to be installed. While the Eldorado has a title, it doesn’t have an ignition key and that had to be punched out. Does this qualify as a project you’d like to finish?


  1. ClassicP

    Who didn’t put whitewalls on this car? I’m cheap but not that cheap when it comes to something so important.

    Like 11
  2. Zen

    The A/C compressor is missing.

    Like 6
  3. FloridaYankee

    It might be me, but something doesn’t add up. The missing parts/condition doesn’t match the mileage. Just saying

    Like 9
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

      @ ClassicP

      That was my first thought also. Who doesn’t put whitewalls on a Cadillac?
      I know they are hard to find and expensive when you do find them, but really, there are companies our there that do make them.

      Like 3
      • Chris Cornetto

        You can get them through Walmart. I just put a set on and old 78 Lincoln convertible I’m going to beat around in this summer. Runs about 400.00 for a set of 4.

        Like 2
  4. Clayton foster

    It probably has white walls the tires could be on with the white walls in

    Like 4
  5. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    My father used to do that. Could never figure out why someone would do that.
    I know he hated to clean them, wouldn’t clean them.

    Like 1
  6. BobMc

    Nothing adds up with this story and the condition. It is rust free, but has two poorly done patches in the floor? Seats redone at 40K? Lost the key and popped the ignition? Runs, but there is no gas tank?

    Like 5
  7. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Similar car used in the original “The Getaway” movie.

    Like 0
  8. V12MECH

    Looks like a case of top leaking for a couple decades, add that fresh salt coastal air, petri dish interior, scary.

    Like 0
  9. Joel Fitzer

    I’m sorry but it looks like this thing went through the hands of some Hillbillies. Really a damn shame.

    Like 0
  10. Jim in FL Member

    Having owned/restored several Eldo’s from this era I have a go/no-go sense when looking at prospects. On this one, the pluses are a really nice exterior, plus no bumper-fillers to deteriorate. The extra convertible top sounds good, too, but I’d need to know the manufacturer to determine the quality. As for the minuses, they are what’s been already mentioned here, ie, missing seat, missing glass, gas tank out, incomplete engine compartment, etc etc..
    My spidy-sense tells me this one is a ‘No’.

    Like 1
  11. Tommy 0471

    There are a lot of red flags with this one for one thing who pop’s the ignition instead of spending $100 on a locksmith, Why give an upholster the side glass from both sides of the car and now says the place went out of business so you can’t get them back, Then all the leather is gone off of the front seat but the seat is still attached to the car and lastly why are there no pictures of the top down I mean it is a convertible is there a problem that won’t allow the top to go down.

    Like 2
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member


    I had a ’75 Eldo convertible. The old convertibles had a hydraulic pressure system. These Eldorados had a mechanical system and a scissor top.
    When I got mine, I had to replace the driver side motor before I could put the top down.
    And those scissor tops are just a pain in the A.
    I would guess one or both top motors are burned out, that’s why there are no pictures with the top down. Add one more thing to the list of things needing to be fixed.

    Like 0
    • ClassicP

      I remember those big Eldo’s. I had a friend who was a repo man. I went with him to take a 71’ Eldo Coupe. It died on the freeway Las Vegas freeway. Tow truck driver had a time with it he said the only other car he towed that heavy belonged to Liberace.

      Like 1
  13. Bo

    Never trust pictures where the seller decided it was a good idea to wet the car down for the pics.

    Like 1
  14. Richard

    Looks like a half open can of worms. And the worms crawled out and ate up the floor and the seat. The rats got to the wiring that’s why the top don’t go down it’s running on 4.5 cylinders. The the rest ate worth talking about

    Like 0

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