Long Stored Touring Coupe: 1990 Cadillac Eldorado

There’s a reason you don’t see many of the eleventh-generation Cadillac Eldorados, and that’s because these were not big sellers when new. It’s fascinating to think how an archaologist could look back our society, centuries later, and likely be in disbelief that the Eldorado of the 1960s and the same model of the later 80s shared a common lineage. These were such a departure from the norm that it’s really no surprise sales were slow. But now? It’s actually a handsome coupe design with a Cadillac-only 4.5L V8 under the hood. This Eldorado is just out of long-term storage and can be found here on craigslist with an asking price of $3,250 and located near Baltimore.

The Eldorado went on a diet and was shrunk down to size due to lingering concerns about fuel costs and the perceived demand for a luxury vehicle that rivaled compact cars in overall dimensions. Of course, this demand never materialized, as gas prices stabilized and the target market for a Cadillac didn’t exactly change overnight (and it still hasn’t.) That said, the Eldorado did undergo some additional improvements that helped drum up the sales numbers, largely in the form of high-end features such as the optional Touring suspension, integrated car phone, digital gauge clusters, and even a CD player. The interior of this Eldorado Touring Coupe is slightly rough at the moment, with torn leather seats and dirty carpets.

As a 1990 model, this Eldorado benefits from the larger 4.5L V8, which supplanted the 4.1L that was used during the first few years of production. The earlier engine was a fairly trouble-prone mill, prone to intake manifold gasket failure and other issues. The 4.5L was a significant step forward, at least in the performance department, as GM once again turned its focus to building engines that performed respectably rather than obsessing over fuel economy. Still, these were far from the most reliable years of product from the General, and some evidence of maintenance despite the Cadillac’s nine-year sleep would be helpful for the next owner to have in hand.

One design element that always caught my eye about this generation Cadillac is the rear taillight lenses: orange and amber is a combination I always associate with Mercedes-Benz, which of course was an ongoing target of any luxury offering from the Big 3. I’m sure there’s a safety reason for it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if small cues like that were incorporated in hopes it would get into buyers’ psyche that were buying a true rival to what Mercedes was selling at the time. The seller is asking $3,250 for this Cadillac, which comes with a California car cover and factory service manual. Will these ever be collectible, or are they too far removed from the original design?

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Comments

  1. p

    Interesting…

    3
  2. Ralph

    This would have a 4.9 not a 4.5…..but hey….

    • Ralph

      Nevermind, I saw the airbag and I thought it was newer than 1990.

  3. Angel Cadillac Diva

    Fugly! Just fugly!

    3
  4. Superdessucke

    It looks so stubby! As people complained of at the time, it looks too much like an N-car of the same year (Sommerset, Grand Am, Calais).

    5
  5. Bob Mck Member

    Don’t love it, but for probably $2500 cash it is a lot of car.

    3
  6. Bob_in_TN Member

    Inexpensive, and something different. Hard to accept as an Eldorado, but in my eyes I don’t think it looks bad. Cool digital dash, hope it keeps working.

    2
  7. Miguel

    Jeff, you have seen a 1990 Cadillac with an amber rear turn signal before?

    These were not sold in the US with that.

    Where did you see it?

  8. 1Ronald

    At 118,325 it’s been around the block a few times.

    1
  9. Stevieg Member

    I have seen the amber turn signal cars. I could never figure out what the difference was, since most had red turn signals integrated with the tail/stop lights. Maybe it is because it is a touring coupe? Just a guess.

    1
    • Miguel

      The amber turn signal would have been for a European version where that is a requirement.

      It wouldn’t make sense for Cadillac to make two different tail light styles, which would include a completely different wiring harness, for the American market.

      Maybe some of the European versions got sold in the US, I don’t really know, but I can’t think of a Cadillac that had amber turn signals, other than the Cimarron and the later Seville.

      • Mr.TROFEO'

        NO MIGUEL: You are WRONG For 1990and 1991 the ELDORADO TOURING COUPE only had the RED and AMBER TAILLIGHT LENS!! That’s how it was identified as a TOURING COUPE!!All ELDORADO’S at the time were Built at the HAMTRAC PLANT!

        1
  10. Don Sicura

    It’s a damned Chevy Celebrity in drag, both GM & Ford have done this many times over & it always ends with the resulting mess not selling, people are not stupid, contrary to what corporate America thinks.

    5
  11. Johnny

    The ONLY thing it has going is the Cadillac emble. I saw one once and couldn,t believe Cadillac got that hard up. My image of a Cadillac is a big comfortable riding car. THIS IS NOT IT.

    1
  12. Lance

    I doubt this model year will be a big collectible in an era when all GM cars looked alike. Hot collectibles tend to be high performance like GTO, Mustang, Chevelle SS396 and Road Runner or everyday cars people remembered fondly from Ford or Chevrolet when they were in high school. As a car, this Eldorado is one of the best combining beautiful red paint, a smooth V8 engine with a practical size for easy parking and handling and every Cadillac luxury and touring option. The classic muscle cars mostly lacked air conditioning , some had bench seats and drum brakes and tires that are now obsolete. The touring coupe overcame all those shortcomings.

    2
  13. John Oliveri

    Scrap value, cause when that motor blows and it’s gonna blow, that’s gonna be your return

    1
    • Bill Hall

      Probably right on the engine. I don’t how easy or it it would be possible to rebuild it.

    • Miguel

      John, you can say that about any car, but the 4.5L is a very good engine.

      2
  14. Gregg Bell Member

    these models were striking in white or silver. Collectible, i think not. G.M. has two decades of putting out garbage vehicles. People turned to Japanese models and German as well. Quality is what was being demanded by the buying public which G.M. refused to implement, the cars got cheaper in terms of interior finishes and being unreliable and being more expensive than Japanese models which lasted long and were more reliable well G.M, this is what you get.

  15. Lee

    The orange turn signal were only on the touring coupes.

    2
    • Miguel

      If you do a Google search, most Touring Coupes did not have amber signals.

  16. Pete Phillips

    Not collectible, but a nice daily driver with all the expected comforts and accessories of a Cadillac, for low bucks. Everything except a smooth, long-wheelbase, ride.

  17. Daved

    Just to clear things up – the Touring Coupes of this body style ALL had amber turn signals. And the 1988-1991 4.5L, like the 4.9L that come in 1992, is a good engine

    1

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