BF Auction: 209 Mile 1978 Cadillac Eldorado!

Asking: $64,500Make Offer

  • Seller: Donna J ohnson
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Mileage: 209 Shown
  • Chassis #: 6L47S80198189
  • Title Status: Clean

We’ve seen a few extraordinary discoveries over more than a decade at Barn Finds, but few hold a candle to this 1978 Cadillac Eldorado. It was part of a private collection, with its original owner clocking a mere 209 miles behind the wheel before placing it into storage. That odometer reading is not a typo error on my part, and the current owner will verify the figure. The Eldorado has been meticulously revived after decades in hibernation and is ready to find a new home. Therefore, the owner has listed this amazing classic exclusively at Barn Finds Auctions.

The original owner ordered this Eldorado in Carmine Red with a White Landau-style vinyl top. Combinations don’t come much better than this, with the vehicle looking bold but classy. It received what the current owner believes was its first-ever wash when it emerged from hiding. While it didn’t look horrible when it first saw the light of day, this YouTube video documents its amazing transformation. The paint shines beautifully after many hours of painstaking professional detailing, and while the car isn’t perfect, its overall condition and originality guarantee it will turn heads. Some people might choose to address the faults, but treating the imperfections to prevent deterioration would be a viable option for those intent on preserving the car’s survivor status. One welcome task undertaken by the current owner was to replace the bumper and fender fillers. The factory items are prone to deterioration with age, and this classic wasn’t exempt from that problem. The work was completed to a high standard, and it is impossible to note the change. The vinyl top presents beautifully, as does the tinted glass. There are a few imperfections in the chrome and trim, and like the paint imperfections, they are clearly visible in the gallery below. However, these don’t detract from the overall presentation of this unmolested survivor. The color-coded full-wheel covers are spotless, while the whitewall tires add the perfect finishing touch to the exterior.

Powering the Eldorado is its numbers-matching 425ci V8 which sends 180hp and 320 ft/lbs of torque to the front wheels via a three-speed Hydramatic transmission. In keeping with the car’s luxury credentials, there is power assistance for the steering and four-wheel disc brakes. Most buyers were less concerned about the Eldorado’s ability to cover the ¼-mile in 19.4 seconds than with a luxurious motoring experience in splendid isolation. This car delivered on that promise and should cruise effortlessly all day at 70mph. It was fair to expect this classic to require work after forty-five years in hibernation, and the owner didn’t cut corners in the revival process. She pulled the fuel tank, having it professionally cleaned, inspected, and relined. The sending unit had turned up its toes, so a new one went in before the tank was reinstalled. It received a fresh fuel filter, hoses, and clamps. She tested the fuel pressure to ensure it was within specifications and replaced the remaining fluids in the car. The radiator was beyond help, so a fresh one found its way under the hood. There is also a new alternator, but the factory unit is included. The engine was scoped to check its health, and the Caddy received new plugs. Once the carburetor was rebuilt, the electrical system was tested, a few minor glitches were addressed, and a new battery was installed, that V8 happily roared to life. This survivor comes with an impressive collection of documentation, including a photo of the Dealer Drive-Off Sticker, receipts for the work performed to return the vehicle to its current state, and a signed contract verifying that the odometer reading of 209 miles is genuine.

Considering its odometer reading and history, it is unsurprising that this Cadillac’s interior is in as-new condition. The original owner’s decision to keep a few cats around the storage facility paid dividends because this gem has avoided rodent infestation despite decades of inactivity. The winning bidder will have little to do but sit back and enjoy the enormous list of luxury appointments expected in a car of this caliber. Acres of flawless and supple leather and timber trim is an excellent starting point. Air conditioning makes life on the road pleasant, while power assistance for the windows, locks, and six-way driver’s seat will be appreciated. The passenger doesn’t miss out, with their seat reclining and also scoring six-way power adjustment. Throw in door edge guards, a power trunk release, cruise control, a tilt and reach wheel, an illuminated passenger vanity mirror, Twilight Sentinel, cornering lights, a controlled-cycle wiper system, remote exterior mirrors, a rear defogger, electronic level control, lamp monitoring, an illuminated thermometer, a digital clock, and a premium AM/FM stereo radio, and the new owner will want for nothing. The power trunk is currently disconnected, as it was draining the battery. The winning bidder will need to investigate this further, but at least it will provide them with something to occupy their time when they aren’t behind the wheel.

The world is a frantic place, and the pace of life seems to be increasing mercilessly. Taking time to step back and draw breath can be a pleasant experience, and there is no reason why an enthusiast can’t do so from behind the wheel of a classic car. This 1978 Cadillac Eldorado offers that chance, and doing so to a show or a Cars & Coffee guarantees this gem will draw a crowd of admirers. That could be a dream for you; making it a reality might be a single bid away. That makes it worth considering.

Bid On This Vehicle

High Bid: $22,000 (Reserve Not Met)
Make An Offer
Ended: Oct 6, 2023 10:04am MDT
High Bidder: RZA
  • RZA
    bid $22,000.00  2023-10-06 10:01:06
  • IDU@G200 bid $20,500.00  2023-10-06 10:00:27
  • RZA bid $18,000.00  2023-10-06 09:58:38
  • IDU@G200
    bid $17,000.00  2023-10-06 09:58:01
  • RZA bid $14,000.00  2023-10-06 09:24:43
  • Belladonna David bid $13,000.00  2023-10-04 00:49:15
    bid $11,000.00  2023-10-02 10:49:23
  • Kevin4147 bid $10,500.00  2023-09-29 23:14:29
  • GOODFELLA bid $9,500.00  2023-09-28 08:26:20
  • Jimmy Daniel
    bid $9,000.00  2023-09-28 02:10:14
  • Dopnn0212 bid $8,500.00  2023-09-27 13:28:59
  • GOODFELLA bid $8,000.00  2023-09-26 13:34:55
  • Sach40
    bid $5,500.00  2023-09-26 13:19:35
  • Rjm8949 bid $5,000.00  2023-09-26 11:13:12


  1. Robert Proulx

    Absolutely incredible. But i’m always worried about the definition of put in storage. As per in a climate controled environment, weight of the wheels, and all the proper way to store long term or just backed-up in the barn or the yard disconnect the battery and thats it. Beyond that major question its a beauty

    Like 12
    • Mike J

      For being in climate controlled storage the rust under the hood, & all the rust on the front bumpers give me pause. Glad to see the bumper fillers done. How do you prove the miles? Too many questions or I’d be all over this. Wish it was a Barritz. Love those pillow top seats much better.

      Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        Mike J,

        One must remember that until a vehicle is purchased, 99% of new cars & trucks sit outside, and in parts of the world where it rains a lot, that brand new car will develop the beginnings of corrosion. Many cars, especially from overseas, sit in storage lots at the factory, then at lots before being put on ships, rail cars, or delivery trucks. Then they sit at the dealer’s lot pending sale.

        During the trip over the ocean, with the hold area being ventilated to reduce the possibility of flammable vapors, these cars are exposed to salt water sprays. If the vehicle is shipped on a car carrier during the winter where salt is widely used on highways, that vehicle, especially if it’s on the lower part of the trailer, can receive multiple coats of salt spray. In 1975 when I shipped my 1956 Imperial from Germany to the US east coast, it’s very nice and original bumpers were covered with rust when I picked it up.

        AMC vehicles being shipped to the western parts of the country would often arrive at the dealership covered in a light [but caked on] salt spray. In the early 1970s I worked at a Ford dealer and one of my jobs was to undercoat the new vehicles when ever the salesmen had sold the buyer on undercoating. Did we ever pressure wash the undersides before applying the underside? Nope, and I have never heard of any dealership doing that. I understand when a car got the Zeibart anti-rust treatment, they DID pressure wash the underside of the cars.

        I’m not surprised that this car has minor surface rust issues, especially as it’s spent it’s life in the Chicago area. Even keeping it in a climate controlled garage, the air will always contain some moisture, and of course oxygen. The corrosion that began when the car was new, will slowly continue to advance, unless you take away either the moisture or oxygen.

        Like 1
  2. Johnnymopar

    Wow. I love brand new old cars.

    Like 13
  3. Cooter Cooter Member

    When I stare into that grille picture, this thing is trying to communicate with me. I am hearing Strawberry Letter 23 and smelling Brut 33.

    If your father drove one of these, you got siblings you don’t know about.

    Like 22
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Wow! Last time I saw one of these in this good of shape was when I was checking it off the carrier brand new. This is a gem! And a genuine R-12 A-C system to boot. The sad part about this car is I have no real use for it or a place to put it but I sure wouldn’t kick it off my driveway. A dream car to last for many years. Maybe this weekend if my numbers come up…

    Like 8
    • Frank Drackman

      Can you still get R-12?? I remember buying a bunch of cans in the early 90’s before they were banned.

      Like 5
      • jack curry

        i have 15 cans of R12

        Like 4
      • George Mattar

        I have 30 lbs of R12. Not hard to find. Big gas hog. Gas is $4.

        Like 0
  5. MoKanya

    I would like to buy this and make it a pimp mobile.

    Like 7
    • ¿?¿?

      What happened to car colours? Why is everything white, grey or black now?

      Like 7
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        The reason for blase colors today is basically 3 situations:

        1. Imported cars take 3 to 6 months from the day they are finished to the day they arrive at the dealership for sale or delivery. Most car buyers today don’t want to wait that long.

        2. Dealers are reticent to order cars with the more unusual colors, as they can sit on the lot unsold for months.

        3. As most cars have a single color interior [often grey or black], unusual colors sometimes don’t compare well to the single color interiors.

        Like 1
  6. Fox Owner

    I just don’t get it. How does someone buy something like this and not drive it?

    Like 13
    • Will Fox

      If the owner died.

      Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Over the last 50+ years I’ve found multiple cases of people who bought 2 or more cars at the same time, putting one in long-term storage, and never using it.

      I bought several of these “unused” cars, some examples include:

      1964 Studebaker Commander sedan, 6 cyl, 3 speed stickshift, heater. The man’s name was Mr. Kelly, he heard Studebaker was closing the South Bend assembly line and assumed they were stopping all production. Since he bought a new Studebaker every few years, and he had room in his barn, he bought 2 cars, figuring he would start using the second car later, but he passed away before that could happen. The car sat in the barn for 22 years before I found it.

      1956 Packard Patrician, loaded with options. Mr. Lawson bought a new Packard every other year, and when he heard rumors they were going to close, he ordered 2 new Packards, a 400 hardtop and a Patrician. I bought the Patrician from him in 1970, This car was very low mileage, but it wasn’t an unused car.

      1970 Ford Maverick. A man bought 2 new Fords, a Torino for himself and a Maverick for his wife. She hated the car and refused to drive it [don’t know the reasons why she hated it]. Car sat in the garage with 7 miles on it, still adorned with the temporary paper license plates until I bought it from the estate in the early 1980s.

      I know where a circa 1985 Dodge minivan sits, in the garage, with under 10 miles showing. It’s light blue, still has the paper temp tags on it. Don’t know the reason it’s there, unused, as the tenants in the house keep telling me the owner won’t sell it. About 20 years ago I paid the Tenant $10 cash to tape my calling card to the driver’s door window. The last time I looked thru the garage door window the card was still there. I wrote on the card that I was interested in buying the Dodge, but have never heard anything.

      The last example was a well-known Packard owned by a friend of mine and a Packard Club member. Seems the original owner retired, and during his retirement luncheon he was given a cash payment. He took a sizeable portion of the money and bought a new 1948 Packard Custom-8 sedan. On hearing about the purchase, his wife became upset because he spent so much money on a car, and an argument developed. The man ended up putting the car into the garage, and prepped it for storage. When my friend bought the car in the late 1960s, it was still sitting in the garage, in near mint condition, with only 600 miles on the odometer.

      Like 6
  7. Zen

    Gorgeous!!! It will definitely go far above the current bid of $8000. Congratulations to the new owner, whoever it turns out to be.

    Like 3
  8. Frank Drackman

    Great Uncle (what’s so Great bout Uncles anyway?) bought one of these in 1978, once he made his $$$ he only drove Caddy’s, would get a new one every 3-4 years. He let me practice parallel parking with it before I took my drivers test (with some folding lawn chairs to represent the parking space, he wasn’t an idiot)
    When I finally took the test in my Moms 76′ Malibu Classic it was a piece of cake…
    Unfortunately he passed in 1982 and his wife didn’t drive anymore, somebody got a good deal.


    Like 1
  9. Stan

    Amazing Eldorado 👏

    Like 3
  10. Heartbreaker AL

    WOW and FANTASTIC! This thing belongs in a museum or better yet in my driveway. I have been a Cadillac Eldorado fanatic since the 60’s and have owned and driven them ever since, and have seen few that come close to the elegance of this land yacht. I would like to respectfully comment to the seller, “You will regret ever letting this immaculate example of Cadillac history ever leave your stable.”

    Like 1
  11. GIRTH

    Watch the YouTube detail video.
    Look what cat pee does to the under hood components. You get to see rust at the vinyl top tim where it meets the paint.
    Look at the headlights too, all crooked . This car needs more than it got.
    It’s gorgeous but I’ve seen ones nearly as nice with 20/40,000 miles that needed nothing.

    Like 3
  12. Chris Holtzclaw

    You could shelter 4 families when using that hood as a lean-to.

    Like 1
  13. Terry Shanahan

    The $12k back in 1978 would be @3.4% inflation around $57k today. And putting it back on the road cost too. A losing deal for the original owner.

    Like 0
  14. Jim Towarnicky

    Does it say anywhere where this car is located?

    Like 0
  15. brian nearey

    I owned a 78 Triple White and I’m somewhat surprised this is a 78 as the opera window was not this large in 78s unless the smaller window was specific to the Biarritz package. This is the first 1978 I’ve seen with an opera window that large.
    Nevertheless,it’s extremely gourgeous,but beware of the FWD extremely expensive to fix,that and rust is why there aren’t many driveable examples out there. Would love this

    Like 0

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