9,800 Mile 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

The 1976 model year marked the final year of production for the Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. At least, that was the plan at the time! The company had no intention of producing an Eldorado Convertible into the foreseeable future. This saw many buyers grabbing a Convertible as a potential future investment. However, the Eldorado Convertible briefly reappeared in 1984 and 1985, causing some angst among those investors. Today, purists widely recognized the 1976 model as the last “true” Eldorado Convertible, and spotless examples can achieve some impressive sale prices. This car would have to be considered one that fits within that description. With a mere 9,800 original miles on its odometer, it is probably one of the lowest-mileage examples in existence today that isn’t in a museum. It is in North Reading, Massachusetts, and the owner has decided that the time has come to part with his pride and joy. He has listed it for sale here on Craigslist with an asking price of $32,900. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder NHDave for referring the Cadillac to us.

The Eldorado presents beautifully in glowing Cotillion White. The photo quality isn’t the best, but it is good enough to see that the paint shines beautifully and that there are no signs of any visible scratches or marks. The panels are straight, with no dings or dents. The gaps are about as consistent as you might expect from a Cadillac of this vintage, and there are no signs of any rust problems. The seller claims to be a true enthusiast and is the Eldorado’s solitary owner since new. The vehicle has been kept in a temperature-controlled garage for its entire life, and this has allowed it to remain rust-free and wonderfully well preserved. The White power top fits as tight as a drum, and there are no signs of any stains or tears. The exterior chrome sparkles like new, and the tinted glass is perfect.

If I’m brutally honest here, I’m quite disappointed by the front seat upholstery in this Eldorado. This is chiefly because the rest of the interior is close to flawless. The fact that the cover on the driver’s side is so stretched and “saggy” seems entirely at odds with the rest of the trim. I’d like to know why this is so. If this were a high-mileage example, then I would say that it results from everyday wear-and-tear. If the mileage claim is true, then that excuse wouldn’t be valid. Any person who is seriously interested in this car will probably ask that question. I’d love to know the answer myself. Looking beyond that, You have an interior that is upholstered in a combination of white and red. Ignoring the stretching for a moment, the remaining leather on the seats is in excellent condition. I can’t spot any problems with the remaining trim or the carpet, and the dash is as impressive as the rest of the vehicle. Of course, this is a Cadillac. That means that luxury and comfort features are there in abundance. The buyer will get air conditioning, power windows, a power front seat, cruise, a tilt wheel, and what I believe to be an AM/FM radio/8-track player.

Lifting the Eldorado’s hood reveals a spotlessly clean engine bay. Its condition is consistent with a car that has clocked less than 10,000 miles. We find a 500ci V8 that sends its 190hp to the front wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. I hardly need to mention that power steering and power brakes are standard features. If anyone tries to convince you that a ’76 Eldorado Convertible is a lightweight, then you can tell them that they’re dreaming! This car would tip the scales at a hefty 5,236lbs. All of this combines into a classic that will cover the ¼ mile in 19.2 seconds and will consume fuel at a rate of 9.7 mpg. Those figures are acceptable for the occasional weekend cruise but would make this a wallet-draining daily driver. The owner describes the Cadillac as being perfect and that it needs nothing. I would take that as meaning that the vehicle runs and drives perfectly. He doesn’t indicate whether he has any evidence to back the mileage claim, but as a one-owner vehicle, the chances are relatively high that he does.

For Cadillac enthusiasts, April 22nd, 2002, was a dark day. This was the day that the last Eldorado rolled off the production line. It was the final link in the continuous chain of the Eldorado that reached back to 1952. That Cadillac attempted to reintroduce the Convertible to the Eldorado line in 1984 and 1985 was, in hindsight, a mistake. Just as April of 2002 marked the end of the Eldorado line, I agree with those who believe that 1976 marked the Eldorado Convertible’s end. This is one of those last “true” Convertibles, and if everything checks out as per the owner’s claims, then it is something pretty extraordinary. I have raised a single query about the seat upholstery, but the rest of the vehicle seems to reflect the claims made in the listing accurately. If you do like to live your life in the lap of luxury, maybe it would be worth talking to the owner about this classic.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Bulls horns on the hood,,,Boss Hogg,,,

    Like 10
    • Clutchartist

      Boss Hogg had a DeVille, not an Eldorado

      Like 7
      • Will Fox

        A white `70 DeVille cvt.; the last year for Caddy’s full-size RWD cvt.

        Like 4
      • Ralph

        He did have an Eldorado in the movie that was made later, so you’re both right sort of……

        Like 1
  2. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    Almost thought this was a Bisontennial version. But it’s just a Belugatennial.

    Like 10
    • Will Fox

      A friend here in my city inherited his Dad’s `76 Bicentennial cvt. with less than 20 miles on it. Mothballed from day #1, he has no planes to sell it. Of the last 200, his is #133 I think?

      • MaineMike

        That Bicentennial version is on my collector car bucket list. Wish it was available for sale. Hopefully he has taken it out on a regular basis for short jaunts to keep things functional and working properly.

  3. William

    Looks really comfortable. Be nice to take a drive in on a warm sunny afternoon.

    Like 2
  4. 1-MAC

    If the owner was a big person the upholstery could say. Seat can be repadded if necessary I have several and they are really special. Take a look at a real American luxury car. We will never have anything like them again.Just mini euro coycats with anemic over stressed 4 cylinder engines. Triple white is my favorite color.

    Like 13
    • shan_paramus

      that’s what I’m thinking, the car ain’t a lightweight and neither was the driver….

      Like 11
    • Martin

      owner was a larger person

  5. Mike Adams

    So a “car enthusiast” owned this car for 44 years and put less than 10,000 miles on it? And sagged out the front seat in that 10,000 miles? Not to mention the engine room looks cleaned, and shows usage wear.

    It’s a nice car. It’d be so easy just to tell the truth.

    Like 6
    • martin

      Hey mike,

      the engine compartment has actually never been cleaned at least in the last 10 years. and the owner of this car was a heavy person but the picture looks worse than it is in reality. Owner has 35 cars, so putting a lot of miles on a single car is tough

  6. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    LOVE these leviathans…though I prefer 1971-1973 model years. Much more horsepower…and they hadn’t yet invited a bean counter to the design meeting to suggest those unfortunate front & rear plastic body fillers that always warped and ruined the flow.
    33k is optimistic…but hey…no harm in asking.

    Like 2
  7. daniel wright

    What was the old saying..? If you have to ask about the fuel economy you have no business owning one.

    Like 9
    • Howard A Member

      While that’s true, I think the saying came from Rolls-Royce buyers, “if you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it”.

      Like 2
  8. Stan Marks

    The epitome of Cadillac. I love this car. The red, in the interior, is exquisite.
    And only 9800 miles? Are you kidding? She may be 44, but she looks like a new born. You think $33K is high? What do you think it would sell for, on Barrett~Jackson?

    Like 3
    • Ralph

      Depends, there really isn’t a shortage of low mileage 1976 Eldorados, they made 14,000 that year, way more than any other year from 1971-1976 and lots were put away as “last convertibles”

      Cadillac even ran ads saying, “buy one to drive and buy one to save”

      • nlpnt

        Yes, this was not only the “last” Caddy convertible, they were the “last” American convertibles. GM noticed they had about 15k top mechanisms in stock as the ’75 model year ended, with the B-bodies being redesigned for ’77 and worried about future legislation that never came to be they reserved the entire remaining stock of ragtops for one last year of the bucks-up Cadillacs.

        I was 8 in 1982 and can remember what a big deal it was when Chrysler launched the K-ragtops. “Lee Iacocca brought back the convertible!” A real publicity coup for him and Mopar even though GM and Ford weren’t far behind at all.

    • Charles Sawka

      For 33k you can get a new Kia ! Wow.

      • Stan Marks

        Charles, what Kia goes for 33K?

      • CVPanther Member

        But why would you want to??

        Like 2
  9. Vin_in_NJ

    I recall working at a pizzeria in 1984, and the owner brought an Eldorado very similar to this. Triple white with a red dash drop top. Only he had those hideous Cadillac front wheel drive wire wheels. He got it for practically nothing because nobody wanted these cars.

  10. Lynn Dockey Member

    this is what Pete Rose was talking about when he said singles hitters dont drive Caddy’s. Except for me!!!

    • Stan Marks

      Yeah, but they get into the Baseball H of F.

      • Troy

        Just because the upholstery is loose, doesn’t mean the mileage is higher. If I owned a beaut like that for 44 years & drove it less than 10k during that time, I’m sure I would’ve spent many ‘O hours just sitting in the drivers seat when the weather was crap outside.

        Like 1
  11. Jim in FL Member

    I’ve owned several of these and know them well. This one looks nice from a , distance, but IMHO they are selling the sizzle and not the steak. Poor pictures, poor lighting, no closeups of dash, door weatherstrips, “A” pillar rubber, underneath, etc, etc makes the mileage doubtful. What are the DOT codes on the tires? The tires on these heavy cars will get flat spots from not being driven. It would take a whole lot of provenance, and a bunch of better pics to make me a believer. No parade cover for the top? For $32k that front seat should have been taken care of. Just sayin…..

    Like 2
  12. Martin Distelbrink

    HI Everyone,
    My father in law is the owner of this car, and I took the pictures and listed it on craigslist for him. Thanks to whoever put this ad on this website as we have had a bunch of calls on it today. (NH Dave? thank you! ) I knew something strange was going on. I guess I should learn how to better advertise a car. I saw some questions on the seat being a tad worn, that is 100% due to the owner being a pretty heavy set guy (our Uncle Charlie) but he has since passed away. in 2001 My father in law bought it from him. the mileage is correct. We have about 35 cars (many of which are garaged right here at home) and with that many, its just hard to put miles on them all. We might use it 3 to 4 times a year at most just to go to a local car show. Regarding picture quality, i took them with a very high resolution camera but craigslike lowers the quality of them. If you need higher resolution pictures just let me know which ones and I can email them to you. Please feel free to call me with any questions. You can also talk to my father in law as well. We encourage anyone to come over and check out the car . You will not be disappointed. Reason for selling is because he is starting to down size unfortunately.
    Martin 978-979-8967

    Like 5
    • MaineMike

      Thanks Martin. It is a beauty for sure. I understand also the negative feedback from others
      as there are, very unfortunately, some folks selling collector cars that are misrepresenting the truth. Mileage is usually the item that gets the most skepticism. Beauty for sure. Someone will scoop this one up to add to their collection. I am very interested in finding out more about your collection if that would be possible. Thanks.

      Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Martin, your car needs no defending.It speaks for itself.
      It’s a beauty……

      Like 3
  13. KirkDob

    Not buying the mileage story. Rust on A/C clutch and replacement high pressure line using hose clamps doesn’t look like 10k miles to me.

  14. Charles Sawka

    There’s not much to say really. You either love em or ya don’t. This car made the final statement about the era of opulent American luxury cars.

    Like 1
  15. Martin

    This car looks like it has been sold

    • Martin

      correction it has not been sold

  16. John

    Beautiful car!

    Like 1
  17. oilngas

    As bad as the seat is, I bet that tilt column flops around too.

    Like 1

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