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Beautiful Biarritz: 1978 Cadillac Eldorado

If I’m not at home, I try to spend as much time as I can in Florida. The temperature, the greenery, and of course, the year-round car scene are among my favorite things about the Sunshine State, and I can’t help but imagine cruising over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in this 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz listed here on craigslist in St. Augustine, Florida for $19,900.

Despite my preferences for the Gulf Coast, St. Augustine is also near and dear. It doesn’t surprise me to see a stylish coupe like this living in one of the more historic communities Florida has to offer. I’ll bet it fits in perfectly with the art deco bungalows and cottages that abound in this part of the world, and with under 35,000 original miles, the Cadillac has plenty of years in the sun ahead of it. Fortunately, that endless sunshine hasn’t diminished the rare Ruidoso Saddle Metallic paint.

The Cadillac is fitted with a stunning “Antique Medium Saddle” leather interior that is in impeccable condition, even for the low mileage on display. The thickly cushioned seats look like they could provide days of comfort on a long highway drive, all the while the thick doors and carpeting keep the outside intrusions out. The Eldorado is also equipped with two novel factory options: a CB radio and external thermometer. Check out the door panels – near perfect with gorgeous wood trim inlays.

The seller doesn’t detail any recent maintenance beyond new Coker tires but claims the Caddy drives like a dream. I’m sure there’s little to dispel there as these were generally over-built cars when new and this one hasn’t seen much use since it rolled off the assembly line. While these Cadillacs are money pits when found in trashed condition, they can still bring real money when looked after like this car apparently has been. It’s hard to find this much style and presence for $20,000, and I doubt any car will come close to matching a 70s Cadillac in that department.


  1. Abe Bush

    Stunning example, although even when new these cars were looking quite dated. Except for the rectangular headlights, this body style was first introduced in the very early 1970s. It’s pretty common for cars to retain a nearly identical body style for years (if not decades) now, but back then it was unusual for the “standard of the world” to do so for more than a couple years at a time.

    Like 3
    • Poppy

      My elderly neighbor went from a pale yellow Eldorado to a pale yellow Cimarron. Which one of those looks more dated today?

      Like 3
  2. george mattar

    What’s with the ugly aftermarket spark plug wires? This car would have had gray Packard HEI wires new. They can still be found today. Otherwise, when Cadillac actually meant something instead of the cookie cutter junk they make today.

    Like 5
  3. Pasquale Bellomo

    Abe Bush… Who cares if it looked dated back then… It’s a beautiful looking car inside and out! If you bought this car nowadays there would be almost nothing like it on the roads today! As far your opinion goes dated it may have been but Cadillac sold plenty of Eldorados! I love the paint color and interior… They can keep their modern cars this just by looking at tops them all and if well maintained will last a long time.

    Like 11
    • abe bush

      Pasquale Bellomo, I agree with your opinion. The ’79 Eldos were all new inside and out, and the ’78s exited in grand style, and were still huge even though they came a year after GM’s massive downsizing. The 79 Eldos while all new, were much smaller.

      Like 3
  4. Robert Levins

    Beautiful. I’ve owned (2) Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz’s both 1978’s. By far my most favorite cars I have owned. Cadillac did a marvelous job with the 425ci . That engine put out almost the same horsepower and torque as the last iteration of the Cadillac 500ci engine but got 50% better fuel economy. Mine got a consistent 17-19 mpg on the highway. Cruising range was close to 450 miles by the time the low fuel light came on. The luxury you get is almost unbelievable, truly the last great Cadillac touring car. Great article. Good luck to the new owner- I’d love a ride if you’re out west.

    Like 17
  5. Robert Levins

    These are one of “THE CADILLACS “ where when you get in, feel the comfort, you don’t want to get out….. They are that good. $19,900.00 for this car is spot on. I wish I could buy it, I just don’t have the room. Good luck to the new very lucky buyer. Fantastic article.

    Like 14
    • Greg B Greg B Member

      When I look at the picture of the drivers side bench seat I can just imagine sinking into that deep comfortable leather and adjusting the power seat and tilt wheel just right while I softly cruise down the road in style. The only thing that I would change is the yellow spark plug wires. Curious if the AC blows ice cold? No mention of that in the add. If only I had the room! These are very long cars.

      Like 7
      • Jon

        Greg, that’s the first thing I saw in the engine compartment pic, those yellow plug wires. Eww! Takes away from the otherwise very clean under the hood.There’s blue high performance ones out there to match the engine.
        Probably also has a telescopic wheel in addition to the tilt feature.
        Other than that, beautiful brown color with the carmel leather. Price is pretty much spot on.

        Like 5
      • Mark Ruggiero Member

        Being a Florida car, and being from Florida myself, you’d have to believe the AC works, otherwise the number of day you’d have this out of the barn would be somewhat limited.

        Like 4
  6. Paul

    I owned an all white one with red accents back in 1984. The car was a 16th birthday gift from my Aunt. Had the 425V8 motor. The car rode as if it was on a cloud. These were extremely popular back in the day. Had that car for 5 years. What an amazing car!! You do see these pop up on the internet. As mentioned by a prior comment, stay away from the ones that need a lot of work.
    If you want something so close to new as possible, you’ll pay some serious money. However, if you want to ride in late 70’s style, this is definitely the car to use. You’ll get plenty of compliments as well.

    Like 8
  7. Robert Post

    I worked the line dropping motors into the frames of these in GM Linden Nj right after high school ( mob connect thank you) without the stainless steel roof its not the car but a honey.

    Like 1
  8. Jim Z Member

    OMG, this one is a beauty! Having owned several early 70s Eldo’s, none were this luxurious. I’m weakening…….

    Like 3
  9. Jeffrey Fleming

    I own the exact same model year, interior and exterior color as well. Although I have a sunroof which I love. I can’t drive this car anywhere without getting a least one thumbs up or getting stopped for conversation at a gas station. I’ve never have owned a car that garners that much attention. Love the engine ,build quality i.e bumper fillers and rust, especially around the base of the landau top can be an issue so make sure to check that carefully

    Like 2
    • Jim Z

      Thanks, Jeffrey-
      I had to replace bumper fillers in my ’74 Eldo. (Not rubber anymore but ABS plastic). The fit was ‘just ok’, but not like the original. I know what you mean about rust around the landau top. Recently purchased a ’75 Olds Toronado that was featured on BF, and got snookered by the glowing prose that failed to mention the many rust pops. The description was “too much sizzle, and not enough steak”. Sigh!
      BTW, this ’78 Eldo is just up the road from me in St. Augustine….

      Like 2
  10. 62Linc

    I had a very nice low mileage 77 eldo white with red interior. I only had it about six months because all of my car club buddies constantly called it a pimp mobile. I was foolish enough to listen to them and sell it. The front wheel drive was wonderful and the hydraulic brake booster was instant reaction. I did have to replace the booster with a rebuilt because it developed a leak. The car drove beautifully and got 15 mpg easily on the highway. There was adequate torque but nothing like I assume the 1970 500 engine must had had.

    Like 1
  11. Brett Lee Lundy

    My mom had the Pale yellow with matching interior Barritz that was a HUGE car with massive torque as it moved that barge with effortless ease. I remember how it would just float on the highway.

    Like 1

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