Grandma’s Car: 1983 Cadillac Eldorado

I’m doing a bit of a double-take with this dusty 1983 Cadillac Eldorado, long stored in a North Carolina carport. Why, you may be asking? Well, it’s because the surroundings of this open-air garage are darn near identical to a truck we featured last year in a similar state, and also in North Carolina. You can decide for yourself if they hail from the same driveway by checking out the Eldorado here on eBay where the reserve remains unmet. 

I suppose the dead giveaway is the doors into the house: this car is parked next to a screen door, whereas last year’s Chevy C10 appears to be parked in a house with double doors with no screen. Still, the resemblance is uncanny, and I wonder if the homes where these cars were parked are in the same neighborhood. The size of the garage bay even seems similar, since neither car quite fits. This Eldorado belonged to the seller’s grandmother and it has less than 80,000 original miles.

The seller needs money to do home renovations more than he needs the car, which is why it’s for sale. It sounds as if the seller inherited the car and has been letting it sit ever since, mainly because he references it was running perfectly a couple of years ago. The interior looks to be in great condition for the age and the miles, and lipstick red trimmings in a Cadillac always goes well together. The rest of the car is decent, but the front end seems to be suffering from a chronic GM problem of this era – missing bumper trim.

The fake wood trim still looks pretty good for the age, and overall, I’m impressed with the cosmetics since 71,000 miles doesn’t exactly make it a museum piece. The fact that the seller has listed a reserve is surprising, however, as I don’t think market demand is strong enough to drive the price significantly higher. If only it were actually parked next to a vintage Chevy C10 pickup – then he could’ve done a package deal! Does anyone else think this Cadillac comes from the same driveway as the pickup truck?

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Comments

  1. Trent Poole

    Looks to be missing front and back bumper fillers. Replacement set for both ends will set you back about $400 in the box. Then add paint and installation. The O.E. fillers were made out something GM called “Thermoplastic”. The problem with Thermoplastic was that U.V. rays ate it for breakfast. New replacements are made out of ABS. My guess is there’s a 4100 hanging under the hood as well. Don’t have a lot of fond memories of that engine from my days in The Cadillac service department.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    This body style is one of my all time favorites for the Eldorado. I’d like to find one with a diesel motor….

  3. Dovi65

    I had a 78 Eldo for a short time. Cold starts were a PITA due to a elec fuel pump issue. The engine would whine & crank for a minute or so before finally catching. Swapped it off for an 87 Continental. Mom had an 81? 82? Coupe DeVille with the HT4100; not one of GM’s best efforts

  4. Jeff V

    Had a first year ’79 (body change) of a similar car. The car was indestructible, drove like a mad man in my youth, it finally died on a lot in Florida, was trading it in for a ’82 280ZX. Mine was a Biarritz.

  5. whippeteer

    These little brick ranches are everywhere in NC and they all look just the same.

    • Jeff Staff

      Figured that was the answer. Can’t get over how similar the photos are despite being different houses!

    • rando

      I was going to say that as well. Looked at a bunch of them last year when we were house shopping. In fact looked closely to see if it was one of the ones we were looking at. It’s not, but very similar.

  6. Todd Zuercher

    Pulled lots of disc brake calipers off the rears of these cars back in the day.

  7. Big Mike

    Different carport the door on the right side of the car and truck are different, let alone the one on the truck is a 2 double door. Just Saying LOL

  8. Bill

    Used to look after one for a lady when I had a shop years ago. A really lovely little car. I’d buy it.

  9. Edward Finnesey

    Almost exactly if you overlook the fact that there is a brick wall in front of Germany’s caddy and a non-brick wall in front of the pickup. And of course the bricks look the same. The company that made them likely made millions…….all exactly alike.

    And while the two houses could indeed be in the same neighborhood, it is also true they could be miles, or more apart. Housing developments are often as HUGE as the companies that developed them. In many, if not the majority, of them, the houses offered are few in type. Other than number of bedrooms many times they look as if they came from a cookie factory. Levittown ring a bell?

    On my block there are three houses built by a small private contractor in 1987. Other than the colors they are exactly the same in size, design, and features. I am sure of this as I live in one of them and know the owners of another.

    But hey, kudos for trying to imply a conspiracy where none actually exists. What the heck, I clicked on it. No need to call agents Scully and Mulduer in to investigate this case.

    • Edward Finnesey

      “Germany’s” caddy……..LOL. Darned auto word correct feature. Of course, it was supposed to read “Granny’s” caddy.

  10. Rustytech Member

    I don’t think anybody has fond memories of the 4100 engine!

    • Tom

      Must say I’m very fond of the HT4100 in my 85 Eldo, it runs as smooth as an electric motor. I am of course aware of the issues they had, and the coolant tablets gm recomended help battle the problems…fortunately, it’s generally understood that the later models were much less prone to those problems.

  11. John Hess Member

    Had a white/red interor 84 CV which was converted by I think American Conversion in Miami. It had to be a condo car here in Naples/Ft.Myers area.
    Good looking car, beautiful, milage wasn’t bad, low. 1st problem was te 4100 engine, came out of a restaurant and all the anti freeze was on the ground and still leaking. Towed it and my wrench sed it took no effort to remove the heads.
    2nd. My wife had her purse on the back seat floor, pulled it out and it was all wet. American forgot to drill drain holes in the rear 1/4’s, rained filled them and then the floor. 3d, noticed the doors were starting to hit the latch’s when closing them…body was sagging in the middle. Could have straightened it, fish plated the frame but was enough for us, shook it.
    Jamhess

  12. Allen Member

    I lived in SW Virginia for 30 years and these brick ranch houses with attached carports were pervasive. Going to just about any community, within an hour I could have easily photographed 20 that were a lot more similar than these two.

    Regarding the 4100 engine, I have a secret passion for the ’80-85 Sevilles but (!) faced with three engine options: the “4-6-8”, the 350 diesel, or the 4100 (and the 4100 is probably the “best” of these?) I have avoided these cars altogether.

  13. m power

    I want one of these bad, but all the horror stories about the 4100 have kept me away. Are they really that bad?

  14. M109R

    The 4100 is a throw away after 40K miles.. 3 main bearings in an aluminum block. When they wear, the crank moves front to back creating a knock. The knock sensor picks it up and retards the timing so the car runs like crap! Stay away from the 4100!!

    • Jeff V

      My ’79 had a gas 350 V8, it moved!

    • Duaney

      4100 has 5 main bearings just like any other V-8. I have several 4100 with 120,000 to 220,000 miles on them. Run fine. Maybe you had a lemon?

  15. Duaney

    4100 actually a pretty good engine. Better than many Cadillac engines with the oil pump in the front timing cover. 4100 has the oil pump in the oil pan. Only issue is Cadillac recommended special coolant, (available anywhere), and the addition of wafers to add to the coolant to insure no leaks. Occasionally a 4100 will blow head gaskets, but usually from poor maintainence. 4100 evolved into the 4500, and that evolved into the North Star. 4100 is not high performance, made for fuel economy and running smooth.

  16. Allen Member

    OK, 4100: 1 positive, 1 negative…

    Duaney, your comments are encouraging. I know they ran 350s in the first-generation Sevilles of the late ’70s. I understand they are still the more collectible Sevilles, but I really like the really distinctive styling of the ’80-85 models. It’s like GM really took a chance with that one, and in my mind, they succeeded brilliantly. I’ve tried to like the ’70s Sevilles but just can’t get hooked. They look like generic ’70s-80s GM sedans. I had an ’83 Delta 88. Similar style, good car, but utterly boring.

    FWIW…

  17. slickimp

    Had a 82 coupe DeVille with 4100 was 500 dollar winter beater looked like crap ran great . Also there is a eldog like this out by the airport in Indianapolis that sits under a car port like it has not move in 5yrs I go buy it twice a week its all dusty but looks in nice shape.

  18. Joseph Reynolds

    I have a 1984 ,78000 on the keep track on the great time I has with it wife drives it now but still drive Great

  19. cudaman

    Here’s a simular scenerio/carport in South Georgia. This is an all original 1973 Buick Regal that hasn’t moved from this spot in 20+ years. I talked to the 70 year old owner who said his deceased mother bought it new. They decided to keep it and try to get it running….

  20. Steve Adams

    I bought an ’81 Biarritz with the 8-6-4, and waited for the all the problems to happen. Never did – worked perfectly for about 50K miles. Traded it on an ’85 Elegante with the 4100 and waited for it to have problems. Never did – worked perfectly for about 50K miles then I traded it. A Cadillac mechanic told me significant manufacturing changes took place in the 4100 after the disastrous first two years. By ’85, most of the problems were largely solved. Apparently one of the problems was dissimilar metals between the block and heads. With temp changes, the seals eventually failed allowing coolant into the block and onto the ground – especially when hot and turned-off. It’s my understanding that the 6.0 of ’81 was the last engine made by the Cadilliac Divison of GM.

  21. Keith

    I’m just 50 years old but in my opinion the 79-85 Eldorado’s are absolutely the finest design of a personal luxury car that Cadillac has ever built bearing the Eldorado nameplate.

    • Steve Adams

      I agree, Keith. Nothing has appealed to me more than that era Eldorado. If I were buying one today, I would look for a 1981 triple black Biarritz with the 6.0 engine. I’d also like the rare memory seat option. Only seen a few of those.

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