Live Auctions

Rare Power T-Tops! 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

In the late seventies Oldsmobile planned a model that actually appeared in their brochure, but due to some manufacturing problems, only built a small number of them. Apparently, Cadillac made it a reality also on a very small number of models, even though it did not appear in their brochure. It was a power-operated T-top. Rather than manually removable twin T-top panels, it featured a power-operated switch that moved the panels inward to automatically store. The seller of this car says it was one of seven Eldorados with this feature. Here is a 1978 Cadillac Custom Biarritz 2 door coupe for sale here on eBay in Woodland Hills, California.

Not only is this a model with a unique feature, but this car has also been pampered in the last 41 years and its condition proves it. This Eldorado Custom Biarritz has only 38,540 miles and was sold new in Los Angeles, California by Thomas Cadillac. The car is finished in its original color of Mediterranean Blue but has received a quality repaint at some point. There is no rust to be found on the body anywhere. The bumper fillers are not even cracked, something found quite often on General Motors vehicles from the late seventies. This vehicle features a french seam rear roof/window treatment and color-keyed wheel covers.

The power T-tops operate fine. Inside we see the special Biarritz interior featuring soft, supple Sierra Grain leather finished in Antique Light Blue with no cracks or tears. Power seats are found on the driver and passenger sides of the individually operated front seats. The air conditioning is working properly as are the power windows.

Lights, gauges, and turn signals are working properly as well. The steering wheel is not split and it still retains the wood trim in the center. This car features Sentinel lighting as well as a power trunk release with the original trunk mat. The seller says it’s an excellent driving car with recent service performed. The tires and brakes are also good. There is no picture of the engine, which is a 425 cubic inch V-8 with 4 barrel QuadraJet carburetor. This 1978 Cadillac Custom Biarritz is being offered at a Buy it Now Price of $15,900. It apparently needs nothing. Have you an interest in adding a Cadillac Eldorado Custom Biarritz to your garage?

Comments

  1. poseur Member

    holy crap. we had a 79 Eldo & it was one of my fave family vehicles.
    but no idea this crazy cool roof option ever existed!

    Like 16
    • Ronnie Hunt

      Power T – Tops are you serious I never heard of this option in any car.

      Like 6
      • Matthaeus

        Development probably began in late 75 in collaboration with ASC when GM made the decision to “discontinue convertibles” throughout its Brands with the exception of the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado with the last 200 Eldorado’s being consecutively VIN’d and published as highly coveated Fleetwood Eldorado Bicentennial Edition!

        http://automotivemileposts.com/eldorado/eldo1976lastconvertible.html

        Like 1
      • Matthaeus

        1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic

        http://automotivemileposts.com/eldorado/eldorado1978biarritzclassic.html

        Availability: 1978 only

        Production: 2,000
        1,499 without Astroroof
        475 with Astroroof
        25 with Sunroof
        3 with Power T-Tops (2 verified; 1 unconfirmed)

        Dealer announcement: April 11, 1978
        Build dates: April-July, 1978
        Introduction: May, 1978

        Accessory code: YP6
        Sales code: B
        Option cost: $2,466
        $3,347 with Sunroof option
        $3,547 with Astroroof option

        Paint codes: 62 – Arizona Beige and 64 – Demitasse Brown Metallic
        Vinyl Roof code: T – Light Beige
        Interior Trim code: 644 – Light Beige and Dark Saddle Leather

        Like 3
  2. D. Hamrick

    Wrong steering wheel for the year. That steering wheel is from a ’81 – ’83 Cadillac.

    Like 18
    • JagManBill

      you can tell its just a slightly different hue of blue

      Like 11
    • Matthaeus

      Bar steering wheel on 1977 & 1978 Cadillac models.

      The steering wheel on this 78 Fleetwood Eldorado Biarritz Classic was introduced in 1979 and utilized through 1985 on the Eldorado and Seville as well as all other Cadillac models.

    • Harryfricker

      Could that steering wheel have an air bag in it?

  3. JD

    That steering wheel looks like it’s from a later model Cadillac. Nice car tho.

    Like 15
  4. grant

    What’s up with the carpet on the driver’s side? I thought it was sun fade but the sill looks to have something on it too, unless it’s a shadow, that somehow looks brown. But it looks like mud.

  5. Bill Shields

    My dad had a 78, identical to this.(except for the t-tops of course)
    This color both inside and out was very deceiving. It never looked what one would call clean and shiny.
    In later years he had it repainted a darker shade of blue and it made a remarkable difference in how it looked both in pictures and real life.

    Like 11
  6. Saylor

    This beauty is the BIG middle finger to all the hybrid junk out there.. lettem’ know you’ve arrived!!!

    Like 17
    • John

      The front end arrives about 2 minutes before the back end.

      Like 9
  7. RoughDiamond Member

    OMG this Caddy is so cool. Who needs air bags with that much sheet metal and plastic dash in front of you. It will take a special garage to house that beauty. No curb feelers either!

    Like 14
  8. Mark

    Love these cars, just wonder after all the luxury, they never added true spokes,or alloy rims. Always hubcaps.

    Like 14
    • Mike

      Just different back then I guess. Rolls Royce of the era had hubcaps as well.

      Like 13
    • P.T. CHESHIRE

      This is my Eldo with Factory T Tops and factory alloy wheels. Bought it new.

      Like 29
      • R.Hunt

        That is one pretty baby.

        Like 11
      • Ralph

        Those alloys aren’t factory though, they were offered by Appliance. They’re one of the few aftermarket wheels that fit the big FWD GM cars strange offset hubs.

        Nice car, I had a yellow 78 like 15 years ago.

        Like 12
      • P.T. Cheshire

        Dealer installed option by Mitchel Cadillac in Huntington n.y. on delivery.

        Like 10
      • Matthaeus

        Are the t-tops Power?

        Many after market Hurst removable t-tops were installed at dealerships, not through American Sunroof Corporation.

        Like 3
      • nessy

        Beautiful Eldo P.T. Those are lift off t tops correct? They were rare as well. Hurst Hatch along with another company, I don’t recall the name did these for a number of cars from this era.

        Like 10
      • P.T. CHESHIRE

        They are the Hurst lift off tops. they store in lined pouch over the spare in the trunk. They do not rattle like the Camaro tops but they do leak in the gutter areas and have since new.

        Like 10
      • Matthaeus

        Triple Colonial Yellow on a Fleetwood Eldorado Biarritz Classic is outstanding.

        Like 2
    • Matthaeus

      There are ten 78 power T-Top Eldorado’s and two 77 power T-Top Toronado XSR’s (both owned by same collector.)

      2 white Biarritz’s
      1 white El Deora
      1 black Franciscan
      1 blue Biarritz (subject of discussion)
      1 red El Deora
      1 yellow biarritz
      3 Custom Classics.

      12 power T-Tops in total.

      It’s my understanding that the ten 78 Eldorado’s were created from the abandoned 77 Tornado XSR program.

      I sold my triple white Power T-Top Biarritz in 2013. Shortly thereafter 2 additional Custom Classics and the triple blue Biarritz (subject of discussion) all appeared on eBay.

      Like 12
      • nessy

        You are correct. Both XSRs belong to the same museum and are displayed next to each other today. For years, it was believed that only one XSR was built. However, people over the years would claim that there was a second XSR which was thought to have been scrapped by GM. The other XSR was put away by ASC for decades and only popped up about 10 years ago where it was quickly bought by the owner of the first XSR. It was a deal done in secret so nobody else got the word of the second car. Although it’s not open to the general public, here is a rare photo of both prototype XSRs together. It’s one of only I believe 2 photos of both cars together that ever got out into the public.

        Like 13
    • bill stipi

      Have a 78 biaritz white with the mag wheels and manual t tops

  9. 8banger Dave Member

    Gramps had a shiny new ‘78 Eldo Barritz and it was cool.

    Like 11
  10. Brad Brad

    This is some of the craziest stuff ever. If someone were to google ‘craziest interior car feature ever’ I want this car to show up. Which button operates the t top?

    Like 2
    • Matthaeus

      There are two sunroof switches that operate each glass panel independent of each other.

      Like 10
    • nessy

      Two buttons, once for each top which were actually the same buttons to work a GM power sunroof, were mounted next to each other. You have to open the driver side top first, then the second top would overlap the first top in the center t bar. The tops are very small and do not open all the way so if you are tall, you will hit your head each time you get into the car. No water drainage channels were put in so forget leaving the car in the rain. The center t bar is so large plus you have no headroom whatsoever in the cars. A million and one reasons why this project was scrapped plus, the real planned price for an XSR was going to be higher than an Eldorado. Here is a photo of the two switches from one of the XSRs. Enjoy.

      Like 11
      • Matthaeus

        Either the passenger or driver’s side of my 78 Eldorado Biarritz Power T-Top could open first and they both folded in very neatly.

        And yes, they both leaked if left in the rain or going threw the car wash.
        Regards

        Like 3
      • nessy

        Matthaeus, on both XSRs, the driver side top must be opened first, otherwise, they can hangup on each other. It happens everytime you open the tops. You can open the passenger side first but why take a chance and maybe break one of the tops if they hit each other? I wish this guy Will Fox would reply here again as I am pretty sure this is the same Will Fox who had something to do with the original Power T Top project and could shed some more light on the subject. By the way, although it’s been suspected that the Eldorado T Top cars used tops from other XSRs that had their tops converted over to XS models, this is not true. The tops for the Eldorados were made new for those few Eldorados. After Olds dropped the idea, ASC was still very hopeful that Cadillac would accept the concept and maybe start producing the cars in higher volume, so they built more tops to be fitted on the Eldorados. That of course never happened as the million and one issues with the tops still existed in the Cadillacs. I am one of the Curators for the Museum where both XSRs are on display so I see the cars at least several times a week. There was a time when the owner of the XSRs was going to track down and buy all the Power T Top Eldorados, I recall he had pending deals in the works for the yellow, red, black, one of the customs and the blue example discussed here, however, other car interests took over along with lack of extra storage space for all those big Eldorados so the deals did not happen.

        Like 6
      • Matthaeus

        Never had an issue with opening the passenger power T-Top panel before opening the driver’s power T-Top panel on my 78 triple white Biarritz which I owned for 8 years. Further, neither power T-Top ever came off their tracks even with my youngsters (at the time) playing with the buttons.

        Like 1
  11. Will Fox

    Olds had only built ONE such Toronado with the power T-tops, period. That car now resides in MI. I believe. This car’s T-top pkg. is NOT factory. ASC, or American Sunroof Corp. installed this after production. There may be 4-5 with this, but it’s not factory. The `78 Olds Toronado mentioned WAS done at the plant. Feasibility and cost were factors in it’s cancellation.

    Like 4
    • Ralph

      Thanks, I was going to add that. These were aftermarket. Cool idea but kinda flawed.

    • Matthaeus

      There are actually two 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado XSR’s equipped with Power T-Tops.
      One is a red and the other is gray.
      They are owned by the same collector.
      The original 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado literature hosted that only 2,000 would be offered and ASC only made 2.

      Like 11
    • nessy

      Pardon me, are you the Will Fox who was the Automobile Research Editor for Collectible Automobile Magazine at one time? If so, I still have your business card from some time back when we were talking about the prototype Toronado XSR project. I would like to talk with you again if possible. I recall you said you had some involvement with the project?

      Like 10
      • Matthaeus

        Is this MV?

        If so, this is MS I sent you an email.

        Regards,
        MS

        Like 1
      • nessy

        No, this is not MV, He is a good friend of mine. I look after his collection. Do you know each other? I will let him know you are looking to contact him. Thanks.

        Like 1
  12. R.Hunt

    Power T – Tops are you serious I never heard of this option in any car.

    Like 1
  13. John Oliveri

    I’ve heard of them, but never seen them till now, hope ASC still has someone who can fix them, buddy of mine had a 78 triple white Biarritz with red dash and rugs, moonroof big enough for 3 to hang out of, ah those Disco nights

    Like 1
  14. r s

    I love these big FWD GM luxo cruisers, but so much better in 72 and earlier – when the huge engines made REAL power and you could see where the spark plugs were, instead of just a jumble of hoses and tubes. (And bumpers that didn’t try to dominate the whole body style.)

  15. Damon

    What museum are the 2 oldsmobile’s residing?
    Happy driving

    Like 1
  16. James Gaffney

    I just bought the black Franciscan. I was doing some research when I found this about the blue Biarritz.

    Like 2
  17. Matthaeus

    Wow, is it running?
    The Franciscan was saved from the crusher over 15 years ago when it had flames running down its sides. It’s been cross country a few times, WRU located and good luck.

    Like 1
  18. carl

    Has anyone seen the blue 78 t top advertised and whats the deal

  19. Vern

    can some one tell me how do you contact a seller on this website?????????

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