The Lincoln Of RVs! 1987 Eldorado Starfire

Full of Glam Metal and Big Hair, the 1980s idolized excess. Right out of an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous comes this 1987 Eldorado Starfire RV in Anchorage, Alaska. From the Lincoln-esque grille to the disco-light interior, this Starfire offers style, unlike anything you’ll find today. If you’re still in love with your mirror and gold-accented bathroom, this may be the rig for you! After covering a mere 32,000 miles, this rolling Studio 54 experience has plenty of parties yet to host. For $9,500 here on craigslist, you can be the envy of every RV park you visit. Thanks to reader Bones in AK for spotting this ten eight-wheeled wonder.

Compared to the crappy vinyl wood grain and rose or sage upholstery of the average ’80s motorhome, the Starfire’s interior holds up well in the 21st Century, exuding a chic and slightly spacey vibe that invites you to turn up the music and get your boogie on with a French Martini.

Curtains presumably hide the cockpit of this private space shuttle. Silk pillows and a vase look right at home with the modern flat-screen TV. With sleeping accommodations for four, the Starfire is less commodious than some in the 30-foot class, but that’s all the more encouraging to party ’til dawn when your guests shuffle off to wherever they came from.

An Onan 6500 generator promises to keep the music hot and the ice cold even when your rolling party goes off the grid. The finish could use a nice shine, but shows few scars from its 30+ years of use. Homage to Lincoln continues in the faux continental kit on the RV’s rear facade!

No dashboard image graces the listing, so I snagged this one from Google. The 460 cid Ford V8 probably used a four-barrel carburetor in ’87 and should have no problem moving this front-engine, rear-drive RV. I’ve spent some time in a 1994 motorhome powered by an EFI 460 that was super-smooth and reliable. Seeing the long nose, the mechanic in me hoped the engine would be accessible from up front, but this traditional “dog house” engine cover in the cab suggests otherwise. Normally when I muse about buying a used motorhome, I have to go back in time before the mid-’70s to find one that’s old enough to be “cool,” but I could do fine with this one front to back. Does this high-rolling ’80s RV have you envisioning champagne kisses and caviar dreams?

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    As a Class A motorhome owner… I have to say that this is the most awkward-looking front end I have ever seen. Grafting the nose from a Lincoln onto a truck chassis? Ummm.. gee. No views of the cockpit, and I really wonder what it is like to drive, with that long, sloping hood.

    I see some really neat features inside, and my coach has the same generator (on propane), but there are so many questions… The price seams reasonable, particularly if all systems are functioning properly, and the unit is ready to roll down the road.

    A friend bought a pusher-style motorhome from this era, also with the 460, and he has done some work on the engine to bring on better power and economy. I guess if you can stand the gawks…
    The seller has curiously misspelled the edition not once, but throughout the ad. Very strange.

    Like 7
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Oh, and Todd, there are 8 wheels. The rearmost axle has only one per side.

      Like 2
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        DayDreamBeliever. Nuts! Thanks for that. Corrected!

        Like 1
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        You are welcome, Todd.
        Another observation, based on the CL photo #7, and your suggestion for the appearance of the driver’s area…. Hmmm, not nearly the same. Yours is for a more standard front-engine class A, with the engine between the seats, under the doghouse.
        For this unusual unit, the engine has to be out front, somewhere under that long sloping hood. So no huge and hot hut in the center of the cockpit on the “Starefire”. (heh)
        The more I look at this, the more I think it is a heck of a deal! (but still with the Durante front end….)

        Like 1
      • BJ

        How long is that rear overhang? Good luck on roads with any slight dips or speed humps.

        Like 1
    • GaryC gary charlton

      I worked at Eldorado on the Starfire line. My job was to fix everything that was f-d up at the end of the line (which was usually a lot of stuff) then drive it to Eldorados main plant for water tests. That was a 20 mile drive one way. They would run 120 mph on flat ground and handled well. The single axle units would run faster but were too heavy in the front and would body roll in hard corners.

      Like 15
      • Michael Babinetz

        If you need a windshield you would be sol. The Europa you cant get a windshield for either. I talked to ppg and they said they do not keep the molds after 10 years.

        Like 1
    • GaryC gary charlton

      As far as the engine location it was still under a doghouse between the front seats. Under the hood sat the generator and batteries in front of the engine.

      Like 7
      • Donald McMahan

        I wondered what was going on with that long nose and enormous front overhang…. thought it was just a bad styling choice….its only slightly better knowing that it has a purpose.

  2. Mitchell Gildea Member

    More like the Moslier GTP of RVs. Having said that I still want it

    Like 2
  3. ace10

    How could the engine *not* be out front?

    Like 3
    • Fred W

      Found a photo of one with the hood open. The radiator has to be 3 feet behind the grill. The extension is simply grafted on to a van type front end.

      Like 2
      • GaryC gary charlton

        Actually the entire body was a one piece construction built from a huge 2 piece mold.

        Like 6
    • nlpnt

      From the interior pic it looks like they used a Ford E-Series chassis. They should’ve used an F-Series one with out-front engine and a more modern dash layout and steering wheel starting in ’87 that would’ve fit the Mark VII LSC aesthetic better than the mid-70s parts the Econoline used up to 1991.

      Like 1
  4. Kenneth Carney

    This is the most unique RV I’ve ever seen! I guess the “ant eater” snout was
    their idea of trying to make the body
    more aerodynamic than other motorhomes of the time. With that
    interior lighting, it looks like a bordello
    in there! Any way you slice it, you’ll be
    one of the few and the proud to have one.

    Like 7
  5. Jcs

    The generator and a bank of batteries reside under the snout, in front of the engine.

    Surprisingly cool…..

    Watch “EMC ELDORADO STARFIRE – RARE – CLASSIC RV – UNIQUE – VINTAGE RV – MOTORHOME” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/LhzmMs_0UlQ

    Like 5
    • Skid

      Thanks for posting that link. That RV was WAY ahead of its time. The inside is very nice and no way looks like something out of the 80’s. I’ve seen new ones that are similar. The side view doesn’t bother me as it’s quite aerodynamic. It’s just the Lincoln front end that would make me feel like I was driving a giant version of those VW’s with Rolls Royce front ends…

      Like 4
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I find the front end appearance way more attractive than most Claa A RVs of the 80s.

        Like 2
  6. Arby

    Who names these things.

    They pilfered both Cadillac and Oldsmobile…

    Then tacked on a Lincoln grille??

    Like 7
  7. ras_austin

    And now we know where the lead designer of the Pontiac Trans Sport did his internship.

    Like 21
    • ChevyTruckGuy

      I just blew beer through my nose!! Good one, dude!

      Like 7
  8. Mike

    The interior layout looks pretty good, but that front end proboscis… Yikes

    Like 1
  9. KEVIN

    looks like something that the Griswold family would own

    Like 16
    • Major Thom

      More like Cousin Eddie.

      Like 3
  10. jpvogl

    Hideous, and I suspect it’s teeming with viruses and crabs. Hazmat suit included?

  11. Karl

    With a 460 carbureted of this vintage under the dog house I would expect between 4 and 6 mpg. I hope it got a big fuel tank!

    Like 5
  12. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking RV. I’ve never seen one in person. I’ve seen pics of one. But to see one in person would be a treat. If only I had someone to share the experience with, that’d be fun.

    Like 1
  13. RichardinMaine

    Paint it pink.
    Name it “Road Pig.”

    Like 5
  14. Paul Duca

    The phrase is actually “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”

    Like 2
  15. Robert Woodward

    This RV reminds me of a stretched out version of the 1995 Europa RV that we own. I never cared for the nose of ours, but I feel much better about the nose of mine after seeing this one.

    Like 2
  16. martinsane

    Kookie.

    That rear end cantilever seems almost too far and must be an easy 8′.
    Funny how all the interior pix are with all the drapes closed making it unintentionally (i assume) more creepy than need be.

    Like 4
  17. CharlesS

    I worked in the RV business during the late 80’s. These units were pretty weird, even by 80’s standards. The styling was the least of one’s problems owning one of these units, as build quality was poor, and owning one will require a full time crew chief to keep it on the road. Ford was in the process of switching from carburetors to throttle body fuel injection around the time this was built. EFI equipped 460’s were reliable and smooth, however the first version had less HP compared to the four barrel equipped versions. The extended front end was supported by an extension to the chassis in the front end. It made for a nice clean area for the Onan generator to ride! I remember one customer who did a voluntary turn in for repossession to the creditor because he said that the unit was impossible to keep everything operational. Who knows, he may have taken on too much deb. t and ran down the coach to save face. Either way we found the motorhome parked in front of the gate with the keys under the mat. I do remember having a difficult time selling it and having to fix dozens of problems to make it sellable. Other similiar units that came in for repairs always had a laundry list of problems.

    Like 2
    • Russell Ashley

      Don’t ever buy a class A motorhome if you can’t fix at least some of the problems that you will have. I bought a Winnebago several years ago and I went all over it fixing everything that needed fixing. Later I told the previous owner that I had everything on it fixed and working properly. He just chuckled and said “for now”. He was right.

      Like 3
  18. John

    There’s one of these in Asheville, NC, parked at some garage or storage place or something. The first time I saw it I had to go back to get a picture. It’s one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen with that anteater snout.

    Like 2
  19. midnightdriver2

    One word: monstrosity!

    Like 1
  20. Boo Boo

    I would need to add a large gold Angel Hood Ornament… with the Wings that light up…. White Wall Tires … and really big wheels …. like 100 inches … with the spinner “sliders” ….. so I can just glide right in and hang out at the car wash with my boys ….

  21. Marshall H.

    The windshields would be impossible to replace nowadays.
    But, the good news is that the snout of the front end is so long and sloped, that the bodies of deer, moose, pedestrians, and bicyclists would likely miss the windshield entirely, at high speeds.

    Like 1
  22. MARK TILTON

    After the end of production in 1990 a RV Shop in Fox River Grove Il. bought the bodies and made a few more, mostly as portable X RAY units ! And into the future —–

    Like 1
  23. john

    My wife says NO…. and ‘making’ me go to bed now !! … But Honey…. (-;

  24. Myriah Del Rossi

    We own one!!!! WE love it!! Yes it is ugly as homemade soap on the outside no matter how much clear coat you put on it – We have totally redone our inside and it looks like a 1950’s soda shop, it is my husbands love child to say the least. Honestly we haven’t had many issues with ours nothing more than normal stuff you get with any motor home.

    Like 2
    • GaryC gary charlton

      I worked on the production line at EMC . My job was to test all the systems and fix anything that was messed up. My email is resinductelec@gmail.com if you ever wish to discuss the Starfire.

      Like 1
  25. P Wentzell

    I have never seen one of these. Tonight I may have nightmares. To me, it looks like that one interior shot looks like it has a UV feature, to like, find blood and other, “fluids”.

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