The First 500-Engined Eldorado Convertible?

Quiz time… What car has the following: 4700 lb, 8.2 Liters, and Front Wheel Drive? The seller claims this 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, offered on eBay with a starting bid of $3500, is the “#1 Eldorado Convertible to ever roll off the production line with a factory 500 big block.” Described as a “Running and driving project,” this Colorado classic was Cadillac’s technology flagship, offering the traction of Front-Wheel-Drive with 410 ft-lb of buttery torque.

As provenance supporting the claim that this is the first regular production 1971 Eldorado Convertible the seller offers this 1976 letter on Cadillac letterhead.

Boasting an attractive color scheme and decent leather interior, this drop-top beauty will definitely need bodywork, paint, and a new top.

Though not the first car with automatic climate control, the Eldorado was said to let the owner select a comfortable temperature, say 72 degrees, and travel cross-country without ever adjusting the controls. Who else here wants to bolt steer horns to the hood and drive around town wearing a ten-gallon hat?


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  1. Stefan

    This might be the first 1971,
    But 500 came in 1970 in Eldorado convertible.

    • nessy

      No, they are correct. 71 was the first Eldorado convertible with the 500. The 70 Eldorado was the first 500 V8 Cadillac but it was only offered as a coupe. The first 70 500 had 400 hp and 500 torque. Underrated some say.

    • Corey Wadley

      There was no 1970 Eldorado Convertible. The last Eldorado Convertible previous came off the line in 1966. It was RWD with a 429, and was the only Eldorado offered that year. The first reincarnation of the Eldorado Convertible was 1971, equipped with a FWD 500, and this is the first one.

  2. Doyler

    For some reason I read the title as “The First Fiat 500-Engined Eldorado Convertible?”

    • The Real Diesel Dick


    • Francisco

      I read Fiat too. The “cinquecento” engine might power this caddy’s ac.

  3. Marvin Granger

    You can buy one “all done” for less than what it will cost to make this a Cadillac again.

    • Corey Wadley

      Yes, I saw the same exact car, same colors, well-kept, sell at Mecum for $23,000… but it wasn’t #1. There is only one #1.

  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    In my teens I met a guy in Florida with a tattered Eldorado of this vintage in the opposite color combo, white with red leather. I didn’t know much about cars then but I remember the “8.2 Litre” badge and thinking “Holy crow!” And I was super-impressed with the Temperature Wheel that he claimed worked perfectly, keeping the cabin temperature the same regardless of latitude or elevation, or ambient temperature.

  5. 8banger Dave Member

    Drive it? The ’75 Olds up above – not so much. This drop-top-tank? Hell Yeah.

  6. LAB3

    Too bad there aren’t any pictures of the mast mounts and rigging points, they tended to rust from salt water use.

  7. Marty Wilke Member

    What some sellers offer as provenance these days is ridiculous. In this case however, we have a letter directly from Cadillac stating that the subject vehicle is the first one off of the regular production line. Having “the first” of whatever variation, makes some muscle car owners downright nutty. The first Eldorado convertible deserves to be in a better place, and is certainly worth restoring, even if it seems a little expensive to some folks.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I agree Marty. I believe this one needs to be taken back to it’s # 1 status.

  8. RoselandPete

    This car might be #1 but it sure looks like #2. :)

    • Corey Wadley

      You’re funny. Don’t buy it.

      • Poppy

        Are you the seller, Corey? You seem a little defensive about the lighthearted ribbing.

  9. 8banger Dave Member

    And I like the exposed retaining spring on the steering column – like Wile E Coyote!

  10. grant

    Um? Have that letter checked out. The entire thing is on a slant. To be expected perhaps with a typewriter, but look at the logo up top. It’s also slanted. Again, to be expected from a harried typist, but perfectly aligned with an identical error from a professional print shop? Someone tried a little too hard here.

    • Corey Wadley

      I took the photo at a slant. Sorry.

      • CFA

        In 1975 I had a 1970 304 cui 4 speed Javlin and one of my buddies had the exact same color Eldorado and we would see who could do the longest burn outs in front of our high school in Miami Springs Florida , those were the good old days!

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