Prestige Pickup: 1981 Cadillac Eldorado “El Camino”

Undertaking a custom conversion that sees a family sedan or coupe transformed into a pickup is not unusual. However, seeing such a conversion performed on a Cadillac is less common. Barn Finder Roger spotted this incredible custom for us, so thank you for that Roger. The owner of this creation received it as a gift from his grandfather. After undertaking a cosmetic restoration of this unique vehicle, he has now decided to part with it. Located in Shreveport, Louisiana, you will find the pickup listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking a mere $12,000 for what is a distinctive piece of machinery.

The Cadillac commenced life as an Eldorado Coupe. At some point in its life, the rear was cut off, and it has had an El Camino bed professionally fitted. This was done a number of years back, but it was recently given a cosmetic refresh, and it seems to have come up fairly well. The conversion looks to have been nicely done, but the proportions between the front half of the vehicle and the bed do look a bit off. I’ve also noticed that the tailgate fit is not as good as it could be, so it will be up to the new owner to ascertain whether this can be addressed by simple adjustment, or whether the fix might be a bit more in-depth. It’s always hard to know what the original owner was aiming to achieve with any custom build, but the Cadillac does have a certain air of practicality about it as a commercial vehicle. Under the hood is the 4.1-liter LC4 V6 engine, which is hooked to a 3-speed automatic transmission to send the drive to the front wheels. Unfortunately, while the body and panels of the Cadillac now look pretty good, the news is not quite as good under the hood. The car runs and drives okay, but after about 15 minutes, the owner says that the engine begins to sound sick. That’s a bit vague, but it will need to be investigated. The other thing that isn’t clear is the state of the interior, so it appears that a personal inspection is potentially going to be on the cards for any prospective owner.

I like custom car builds, from the conservative right through to the outrageous. I like them because they provide us with an insight into the variety of tastes and ideas that car enthusiasts have. I might not like every custom that I see, but I respect a custom that has been well built. This Cadillac looks like it has been built with some care and attention to detail, although there are still some details to attend to. With the mechanical issues addressed, it also has the potential to be a car that will start conversations wherever it goes.

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    Include me out!
    Adam is correct about the front and rear proportions on this car. It doesn’t work. I’d seen a 1978 Eldorado conversion to “El Camino” in the local Caddy dealership in 1978 and I thought that it looked great! This was either an amateur try or someone with time and funds thinking that it was a good idea. And I do like the idea! But either execution or just plain it’ll-never-work with this body-style leaves me cold.

    Like 3
  2. Bakyrdhero

    I like it, but I’d rather have an Eldorado Coupe for less money.

    Like 3
  3. David Zornig

    Listing is expired…

  4. Fred W

    It works on the older, longer wheelbase Caddys, but not this one…much too stubby…looks well built, but looks more like a flower car than a pickup.

    Like 2
  5. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Looks like someone may have been inspired by the 1975-76 Cadillac Mirage, but that one was based on the deVille and was proportionally appropriate..
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/classic-cars/oh-my-god-its-a-mirage-the-rare-70s-cadillac-pickup-thats-very-very-real/ar-BBKzGDe

  6. Anthony in RI

    I think this makes it an El Domino…LOL

    Like 4
  7. Ike Onick

    Further proof there is a direct correlation between Heat, Humidity and Automotive Stupidity.

    Like 2
  8. ACZ

    Engine sounds “sick”. Might not be a big problem, but it’s an 8-6-4.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      ACZ, it could be that it does have a 4.1L and the stated year is wrong.

      Like 1
      • ACZ

        I just re-read it. This is a 4.1L, all right. A 4.1L Buick V6. Caddy did use some of them. In that case, it probably needs head gaskets. Only use the Fel-Pro teflon coated ones for that engine!

        Like 2
  9. grant

    Recreational drug use can be fun. (Don’t bite my head off, I’m just telling it like it is.) Metalwork can also be fun. Metalwork while on recreational drugs? Not even once…

    Like 5
  10. Maestro1

    You need to put your hands on the car. Drive it and listen for what kind of noises you are getting when the engine sounds “sick”. If I had any interest I would paint the car, I don’t like White, check out the interior and use it as a parts getter. Which I already have and is unusual in its own right.

  11. Will C

    I think the dimension problem is that it shouldn’t have been shortened. The reason that the one from the mid ’70’s worked, was because they moved the rear window and trunk, and cut out the cross member between them, instead of shortening the car. It leaves the proportions of the quarter panels correct. It even gives it some purpose with a larger bed. I’ll bet they thought the same thing after they got this one back together. I hope whoever bought this one likes it.

  12. Del

    What load of doggy doo 😉

  13. Miguel

    It is interesting if the car actually has the 4.1L engine since it wasn’t introduced until one year later.

    • ACZ

      v6

      • Miguel

        They cut up a V6 car and think it makes it more valuable?

        Some people are crazy.

  14. Tom

    El-Dor-Mino.

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