Measure Carefully: 1970 Cadillac Eldorado

The thoughtful seller of this lovely but looooong 1970 Cadillac Eldorado included all of its major external dimensions in their ad. If your new year’s resolution is to trim inches this year, this may not be the car for you; conversely, if you buy your cars by the inch, it may be a heck of a deal at just $5,750! You can find it here on craigslist in Brentwood, California (that’s the Bay Area-adjacent Brentwood, not the UCLA-adjacent one), or check out the archived ad here if the original goes away.

First the most important number: 221. That’s the number of inches this Caddy coupe spans from stem to glamorously razor-edged stern. I’m being completely sincere in my appreciation for the seller’s inclusion of this fact, by the way; here in the Bay Area, those of us who are fortunate enough to have garages often have car-holes sized to just fit a modestly-priced car of the 1920s or ’30s (think Model A, not secondhand Pierce-Arrow). My own garage, originally one of these with an extension added to make it a tandem two-car, is just right for my mid-size Corvair and Bavaria, but if this beast was taking up one spot, I’d only be left with enough room in the second for a Subaru 360 or something.

I can’t deny, though, that if I had the space I might be awfully tempted by this Eldorado. There’s 500 cubic inches of V8, for one thing, pumping massive torque through the front wheels just for entertainment value. This one claims just about 74,000 original miles, with some minor recent service and running condition described as “wonderful.” Can’t say the same for the gas mileage, though, I’m sure.

Then there’s the acres of red leather and gleefully fake wood trim. I’m not usually a fan of a white car, but pair it with an eye-popping interior color like this and I’m smitten. There’s a little minor wear on the leather here and there, but no major problems and it all looks so lovely. Only a large-ish crack in the dash mars the atmosphere. On the upside, all of the electrical accessories (and, it’s implied, the air conditioning) are said to be fully functional. Another concern for my garage: if a car’s front doors are long enough to serve as a practical location for ashtrays for the rear seat, I’m never gonna be able to open them far enough to squeeze out of the driver’s seat—not even on my driveway, which has retaining walls on each side. Sigh.

Judging by the photos of the Eldo under a car cover, even the seller lacks garage space for this beast. Even in mild California, though, I don’t know if I could bring myself to keep this beauty outside. If not for the conflict between its size and my available space, I’d rate this a terrific bargain; any of you care to measure and see if you have a big enough garage?


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  1. ccrvtt

    A BARGAIN at this price! I think if the seller took an hour to vacuum the carpets and do a cursory cleanup of the engine bay he could easily ask another $1,000. It’s a mystery why someone would do so little for presentation while trying to sell such an elegant car.

  2. Mark S.

    Call Captain Ahab – we have found the white whale!

    • Redwagon

      Quite fitting. As we all know that white whale eventually did him in.
      You’re likely spend money as a labor of love if you bring this home.

  3. Jack M.

    Around 5 years ago I got a deal on a mint 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood that was just too good to pass up. When I got it home and tried to close the garage door the door hit the rear bumper. I removed a piece of plywood that I had against the wall and got the door to go down with about a sheet of paper clearance! Measure carefully indeed.

    • Mike W H

      Back in the 80’s we picked up one of these in Aqua. No matter where we went we got compliments. To accommodate this beast, we knocked a square hole in the back of the garage, and put in a shed with a sloped roof the same color as the house trim. Gave us an extra six feet at the back of the garage with bonus storage. The whole g.d. thing burned down in a brush fire in 1993. Including the car. If it was any consolation, the guy up the street lost his home as well, along with a beautiful 390 Gullwing.

  4. Nrg8

    That is a deal. If it has an 8 track with the best of Sinatra included, it will be gone.

  5. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Fantastic! So much so that the seller has raised the price to $6,500 since this story came out.

    • Nathan Avots-Smith Member

      Ha! The price has been bouncing up and down over the last several days…I guess I caught it at its lowest.

  6. RicK

    Had a ’70 Eldo like this one in the early 80s, in dark green metallic with a tan vinyl top. That 500 inch motor was a total gas hog – 10 mpg tops, but how many luxury sedans do you know that will lay down twin stripes of rubber (and copious tire smoke) with the front wheels? Looks so much better without the vinyl top (that most 70 Eldos seem to have), and the white exterior/red interior combo is stunning.

  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I love these cars with the vinyl top delete. Such clean lines

    Would never fit in my garage though. I can barely squeeze a 900 and an Outback in there, side by side

  8. 86 Vette Convertible

    Now that’s a car! If I didn’t already have the garage full and it was closer I’d be oh so tempted. I think that would be cruising in style, and it would fit in my garage with a couple feet to spare.

  9. SR

    What’s the big deal about the length of this car? My 2017 Nissan Titan long bed is 228” and a Chevy Silverado long bed is 230” long and neither one has a place for living room furniture like this caddy does.

  10. Lance Newberry

    I’ve got a 1970 Coupe DeVille, with 46000 actual miles on it. I paid $7500.00 for it four years ago. Had it shipped from Florida, to me in Michigan.
    By the time I fixed the things, like brakes, Exhaust, Air Conditioning, I have $20,000 invested in it.
    Yes it gets 10 Miles pr. Gallon, but man, what a nice ride !

    • SR

      Lance another $20,000 I’m sure it looks as good as it rides brother.

  11. David Miraglia

    Great car would love own one of these

  12. Barry Klotz

    Remember when the Caddy was one of the most expensive American made cars!!

  13. Cary A Gay

    Nice ride! My uncle drove nothing but Cadillacs “God bless his soul “, and this was right up his alley. I’m a sucker for the brand name myself and I love this car.

  14. charlie Member

    If you want an old car that has class, that you can actually drive long distances at Interstate speeds (almost everyone was going 80 MPH on I-80 yesterday), that you can put radial tires on, that is comfortable, and, face it, is a toy, so the gas mileage really is not a problem, you won’t be driving it that much, this is a great deal.

  15. SR

    Does size really matter? 1970 Olds Tornado 214 7/8″ 1970 Buick Rivera 215 1/4″ 1970 Ford LTD 224 3/8″.apparently in 1970 it did.

  16. Christopher Wenz

    The tail end sold me. Awesome taillights.

  17. Bob C.

    The mighty 500 was at its peak at 400 horsepower in 1970. Lowered compression brought it down to 365 in 71. 1972 brought it down again to 235, but this was SAE net ratings. Most cars lost power only on paper between 71 and 72.

  18. glenn


  19. Ron Schweitzer Member

    I love these Eldorados. We had four of them back in the day and am looking to get another. Just an FYI, that’s real wood veneer in there.

  20. oilngas

    How do you contact this guy. I want this car. probably a scam

  21. Del

    Even though its a Caddy , even if I love Caddies I still must say this is a ridiculous one. 500 cube engine and Front wheel drive ???

    Get real.

    Off to the scrap heap.

    Like 1
  22. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking Eldorado. Given its condition, I’d say the asking price sounds reasonable.

  23. russell s

    I think this is one of the most beautiful Cadillacs ever made. In person, the hood looks like the deck of an aircraft carrier.

  24. Evanbarr

    Had a69 with a 472 great car on the highway loafs at a100 mph handles well on the highway not to mention great passing power just would drop right into 2nd and would suck you into the seat

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