Last Registered in ’81: 1975 Cadillac Eldorado

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How many old Cadillacs do you suppose are hiding out in barns all over the country right now? Or, perhaps, residing in forgotten garages; casino parking lots; old storage facilities; fill in the blank. While we sometimes lament that all the good barn finds are gone, I have to believe there are still numerous 70s-era Cadillacs hiding out there, far enough out of mind to not be restored but not quite enough forgotten that the owner wants to sell. After all, for some generations, owning a Cadillac was a crowning achievement – how could you let such a milestone car go? This 1975 Cadillac Eldorado supposedly went off the road in 1981, not long after it was sold new. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace in Jordan, New York for $2,500.

I keep coming back to how soon after it left the showroom that this Eldorado supposedly got parked. Brand new in 1975 and off the road in 1981 – that sounds like someone passed away and the car was forgotten about ever since to me. The pale green paint is quite pretty, even if it’s flaking away in spots. I’m a bit surprised to see the Eldorado outside in the snow considering it had shelter in the barn; however, this could be a situation where the seller rescued it from captivity but didn’t have much of a plan after getting it home to bring it back to life. Based on the top photo, it appears to have all four hubcaps.

The color scheme inside the Cadillac matches the outside, with leather seats, steering wheel, dashboard, and door panels all wearing the same shade of pea green. The interior doesn’t look bad for a car that was by and large abandoned for many years, aside from what looks like the remains of rodents bringing in their ingredients for nest-building on the carpets (it could also just be dirt and grit from people getting in and out – but given the part of the world this Cadillac is in, rodents almost certainly live in that barn.) Photos show the door panels to be in good shape but the door itself has some rot holes by the handle. The backseat is also in very nice shape.

Someone tell me about the plate on the grill: I don’t know what sort of special edition plate this is, but it looks official – I don’t believe it to be a gas station souvenir. The Cadillac has clearly been in New York State for some time given the number of registration stickers on the windshield, so perhaps this safety-minded plate has something to do with a campaign the state was running to raise seat belt awareness. Or, maybe if you were a public official of some stature, you got one of these plates to get waved through construction zones and to skate through speeding tickets. If you know, post a comment below, and then tell us if you’d rescue this frosty Eldorado.

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    Shame….Damn shame.

    Like 18
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Some of the window stickers would indicate that the car drove until at least 1984. But either way, this car is a huge money pit.

    Like 15
  3. CCFisher

    That’s a NY Thruway plate. Sort of like a primitive EZ Pass.

    Like 18
    • Frank Sumatra

      Exactly. The big status item back in that time was a chrome New York State Shield attached to the grill or bumper. My dad’s business partner had one. It felt like it weighed 50 lbs.

      Like 7
  4. John

    organ donor

    Like 6
  5. Chris Cornetto

    Sadly, a parts car at this point. ALL of the body fillers will blow away immediately when it goes down the road. Then one can only imagine the mouse evacuation which will resemble something like the Titanic sinking as they scurry here and there and jump for it. The underpinnings will no doubt resemble a sunken battle ship. None of wheels will turn. Nice color and even though 5 and 6 are almost identical 75 I believe is the lowest production level of the entire 71 to76 run. At 2,500.00 and the monumental amount of work to bring it back, a very nice one can be had for far less. The local pull-a-part had a 75 6 months back that was mint compared to this unit.

    Like 12
  6. JR

    Somebody call Derek from Vice Grip Garage!

    Like 17
  7. Big C

    Was this Jimmy Hoffa’s last ride?

    Like 4
    • Chris Cornetto

      No his I believe was a Pontiac Grandville of which him and the car are still missing. Shredders tell no tails and leave little to nothing recognizable when done.

      Like 7
      • Chris Cornetto

        Tales…I hate these spell for you things…lol

        Like 9
      • Rick

        I’d read that it was a Mercury Marquis that picked him up at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant and drove him off into oblivion.

        Like 6
  8. J Martell

    Nothing like the sound of the deep squirling tires make on the heavy front wheel drive Caddy’s.Fun burn outs.Had to put them cars to the test back in my lot attendant days.If nothing broke they were good enough to sell.Would have liked to drive a drop top tho.

    Like 5
  9. Jim in FL

    It’s unfortunate. Cool color combo but your ROI as a donor car is higher than repair. The convertible top pieces are expensive to replace when worn, and these are probably still in decent shape. I could see a scissors top owner that needs a lot of top hardware buying this for 2k, pulling what they need, then sending it to a yard. A smart eldo owner would also pull the dash, switches, hubcaps, power seat hardware and glass.

    Last time I checked, a gearbox for a scissors top motor was $400 and the motor was 150. You could get to $2000 of parts yield pretty quickly.

    Like 5
  10. Rick Butler

    It takes a real genius to let a car sink into the ground to return into its base elements.

    Like 2
  11. TheOldRanger

    It’s a real shame to see a car like this allowed to deteriorate …

    Like 4
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    My ’75 Eldo convertible did not have the ELDORADO name spelled across the front of the hood. Just the stand up emblem. The front seat on this one has the fold down center arm rest. Mine had a round tubular pillow, no fold down.
    There are two electric motors for the scissor top, one on each side. I had to change out the drivers side motor. Fortunately I found a junk yard close by that had an Eldo convertible, but he wouldn’t sell me the motor. I had to buy the entire convertible top. I don’t think I paid more the $100 for it and this was 2002.
    I had a helluva time convincing the idiots at the inspection station that the vertical reflectors on the end caps of the bumper were just that, reflectors, not lights. The lights are horizontal. The reflector on the passenger side was broken and this idiot was going to fail the car for a broken taillight. Somehow I finally convinced him it wasn’t a light, just a reflector.
    I’ve recently said I don’t understand how people let cars of this magnitude go to seed. I still don’t get it.

    Like 8
  13. Chuck Dickinson

    An Eldo convert, but NO tilt or cruise. About as strange as a 73 Eldo coupe with a factory sunroof and no tilt or cruise which I saw for sale many years ago. One seldom sees a Cad w/o the tilt-tele wheel, but esp. on an Eldo. Must’ve been a customer order, not a dealer stock car. And, BTW, this is a really hideous color combo IMHO. Too much split pea soup for me–even tho’ I like many greens. This color was used by all GM lines in 75, and it was ugly then as well, regardless of which badge it wore.

    Like 4
  14. Glenn SchwassMember

    If the engine wasn’t stuck, I’d buy it for a tri 5 Chevy truck along with the front seat.

    Like 2
    • Scratchin my headMember

      Glenn, would you utilize the front-wheel-drive transmission, too?
      What other trans bolts up to those Eldo’s 500ci?

      Like 1
      • Chris Cornetto

        Any 350 or 400 turbo from a Buick, Olds, or Pontiac will bolt right to the back of that 500.

        Like 3
  15. Matthew McCann

    I’m working on a 1961 Corvair Lakewood Wagon that hasn’t been registered since 1979, currently trying to get it up and running.

    Like 0

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