Great Expectations: Cadillac Eldorado with 14K Miles

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As was often in the case in the 1980s, collectors squirreled away cars thought to be the next great “find” given the history of the models that came before it. So, in theory, if a genuine Boss 351 Mustang is worth big bucks, then a low-mileage 1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car would also be worth its wieght in gold, if properly preserved. History didn’t work out that way, and I wonder if the owners of this 14,233 original miles ’85 Cadillac Eldorado here on eBay had a big pay day in mind when they bought it, convinced the malaise-era Eldo would become a prized possession.

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Now, don’t get me wrong: this looks very inviting inside, far more comfortable than any car I own. I find it a bit hilarious to see a CB radio hanging from the dash of a premium luxury car, given such a thing would look very out of place in a Cadillac today. Of course, haven’t we essentially just replaced the CB with an infotainment system for driver distractions? At least a hand-held mike and a push-button to talk would help keep your eyes on the road. The leather seats look better than any home furniture I’ve ever sat on.

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The seller claims that this being a 1985 model means the Eldorado has the preferred variant of the 4100L engine, as it was the end of the model run and various enhancements had been made with some of the glitches ironed out. A new fuel tank has been added, fuel lines cleaned, and new shocks front and rear were installed. With fuel injection and fully-independent suspension as standard equipment, the Eldorado did offer several leaps forward feature-wise, but it wasn’t necessarily enough to ward off the luxury achievements of brands like Mercedes-Benz.

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The seller has listed an opening bid of $9,000 and a Buy-It-Now of $14,995. While I can appreciate buying this car from an obvious Cadillac fanatic whom I’m sure has an eye for only the best cars, it’s hard to get excited at the prospect of spending money on this Eldorado solely for its low mileage. I would want a car that has some other redeeming qualities, not something that would otherwise be disposed of if it was your typical ratty, used car. Have you ever driven one of these? Is it the lap of luxury or just the best the era could offer ?

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  1. ron e bee

    it’s a Biarritz

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  2. Bill

    Great cruiser! Back when Cadillac still made Cadillacs.

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  3. Howard A. Howard AMember

    This is what a low mileage car looks like. I had a boss with one of these. Pretty nice car.

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  4. Rob

    My Mum & Dad owned a Biarritz like that, they’d bought it new in Las Vegas after Mum scored ‘large’ in a Blackjack game, almost exact in color/interior as that.. Great riding cars. They later traded it in on a new ’87 ‘Bill Blass’ Lincoln Continental :)

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  5. Paul R

    Very nice.

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  6. DrinkinGasoline

    My cousin has a copper 85 with the stainless/landau roof and Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. The GM E-body cars where very comfortable. Now and then we get together and go to cruise-in’s with my 90 Brougham and his Eldo. Good times.

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    • DAN

      is it a merlo BroHam?,lol

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      • DrinkinGasoline

        Yep ! When I worked at GM dealers, some would come to the parts department saying: “I gots a Bro Ham and I need dis part”.

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  7. Jim

    I had one of these back in ’84 that was low mileage that I took in trade for a 450SL I had at the time. It drove like a complete dream and the lack of a center hump allowed my girlfriend to get real close. Awww, the great memories of driving out to Palm Springs with ice cold A/C while my buddies suffered in their hot rods. It was like driving a cloud. I have a good mind to buy this one just to recall those great memories. Love it !!!

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  8. Dean

    Its a lot more car for $15,000 than a lot of three year old junk on the car lots for a similar price…

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    • Doug Weaver

      Well said!!

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  9. mat

    Not as desirable as the 79 year model with the olds injected 350.
    Best one though is the 80 with the cadillac 368. 368 was the last
    cast iron v8 cadillac ever made…

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  10. Jay

    The peanut gallery always mocks these – I do not know why…….

    It is a classic look and really nice to ride in

    “Couch on wheels” so relax…..

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  11. Poppy

    Beautiful car. Is that a factory CB radio? Good luck keeping those creamy white lower door panels clean.

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  12. Ol' BuggerMember

    That 4100 though …..what a dog. Crankshaft walk. Maybe by ’85 they were better.

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  13. Jeff

    4.1s are not the best motor, I’d buy its olds brother.

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  14. CoventryCat

    Good looking car. Malaise era or not, I remember riding around in these things with the Caddy dealers daughter, and thinking “man, I’m riding in a brand new Caddy”. People still aspire to own them and think of these and Lincolns as the epitome of American luxury, and they are – and were then, too. Hard to imagine when so many are out there flogged to death, held together with baling wire and duct tape.

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  15. geomechs geomechsMember

    I always liked this style. I used to regularly work on an ’80 Eldorado with a 350 diesel motor. I told the guy from the get-go that if he ever wanted to sell it, let me know. He never did. I loved that car. It was black with a dark red interior. I lost track of it some time ago and wonder what happened to it.

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    • Howard A. Howard AMember

      Hi geomechs, um, how regularly? I believe that was the problem with those. :)

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      • geomechs geomechsMember

        Well, Howard, it was like this: When the guy found out that we could actually FIX diesels, he came to our shop for EVERYTHING. CVU seals, Wipers that wouldn’t park; leaky window seals; leaky trunk seal; not to mention tire rotation and regular maintenance. Had to put an encapsulated weight retainer in the injection pump governor and change a couple of glow plugs. The car soldiered on year after year. I saw it once after the dealership closed and we set up a new shop. The guy’s wife was driving it but she said it was being driven less and less. Still not for sale at that time. Lost track of it but I’d still like to buy it. Me and a Caddy Eldorado with a noisy, smelly diesel, I’d feel right at home. Well, with the diesel I would; the Caddy is way out of my league….

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  16. Roselandpete

    I have an 84 Seville with a 4.1 and no problems.

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  17. nessy

    Did anyone else notice there are no body side moldings on this car? I believe a molding was standard and it was not a stick on molding. This makes me think there could have been paintwork done. This is the first time I have seen an Eldorado of this era without moldings….

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  18. AMCFAN

    Has anyone else noticed the steel plate under the drivers seat that will save your life in the event a bomb explodes? (Casino!)

    With the Goodfella’s and Casino movies respectively late 70’s early 80’s ‘Llac’s have had a resurgence in popularity. Prices are on the rise. Nice examples like this 4100 or not will command the most. Not much of a fan of anything GM but in agreement this was very nice in it’s time and still is now.

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  19. Oldcarsarecool

    If you got a “Good” HT4100, it was usually really good. The problem is that the HT4100 wasn’t known for being “Good.” My ’84 Coupe de Ville was a wonderful car as a whole. It made some threatening noises, but never let me down . . .

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  20. jaymes

    mine blew up at 27,000 miles. i was mortafied

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  21. W9BAG

    I loved this body style, albeit it’s “telephone booth” aerodynamics. Being easily amused, I liked the metal bells that went ” dong, dong” when you didn’t have your seat belt on.

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  22. Kirk Christiansen

    Have has three of these, two 1983 and one 1985, beautiful and super rides, horribly slow and almost dangerous merging onto highways. I did have a CB in one and my friends loved to mess with truckers, I know, immature, but we had great laughs. I was the only one who bought one of these boats right out of college, Toyota and Honda were my peers preference, but at 6’5” these were wonderful boats.

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  23. Joe

    That is a factory Delco-Remy stereo/c.b. another factory accessory that could be purchasedat the dealer wasa garage door opener that slid into a recess inthe overhead console behind a hinged door. Very nice Cadillac

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