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Ultra Low Mileage: Two 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic

I’ve often wondered, wouldn’t it be nice to go out and buy two new identical cars? Drive one into the ground if necessary, but pamper the other one and preserve it, driving it gently and very little. Well, this is a story of a guy buying two identical 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic, except he decided not to drive either one of them. The cars appear to be identical and the mileage of the two cars is 278 and 206 miles.

The entire story is posted here on Chicago Car Club. The posting dealer was actually contacted by the seller of these two cars, who is the son-in-law of the original owner. The dealer bought the cars going only by flip phone photos. Money was wired and a little uneasy feeling set in, but all turned out well. Rather than have the cars shipped to them in Chicago, they went to take a look at them in Detroit and haul them back. The original owner bought these two cars on the belief that they would be worth a lot of money as a collectible one day because they were the last of the really big Eldorado.

The original owner was Greek and had a large family. At some point, two of his daughters were to be married and there was a large combined wedding. As a gift, both couples were presented with one of these cars, both with a little over 200 miles. Neither couple was interested in the cars, and the cars were left in storage. They sat in a container until late 2018 when a granddaughter was about to be married, and it was decided to sell the cars to finance the wedding.

The cars had spent most of the last 40 years in a sealed storage container. Sometimes that doesn’t work out too well because containers can leak. It turned out that the container was dry, leak-free, and the cars were preserved and still in excellent condition. I’m not sure how long that container is, but these cars stretch for 224 inches, riding on a 126.3-inch wheelbase. They may have been a little snug in there.

The plastic covering the seats and the steering wheel is still there on one of the cars. These seats are made of soft, supple Sierra Grain leather with two-tone Antique Medium Saddle and Antique Yellow interior. The seats have the luxury and the comfort of Cadillac Contoured Pillow-Style seating with dual comfort front seats, power seats, and the optional power passenger recliner.

The Cabriolet roof treatment and the style and size of the Biarritz window are distinctive touches. A brown vinyl insert molding sweeps from one side across the fully padded Elk Grain roof to the other side. there is black accented brushed stainless steel belt molding on the upper body from the bottom of the top forward to the hood. Opera lights, special striping, and color-coordinated wheel discs are other features of the Custom Biarritz Classic option.

These cars had a window sticker price of $16,220. I bought a new Thunderbird in 1978 that listed for $8,222, so this guy basically paid about four times for these two cars that I paid for my one, a lot of money back in those days. The Custom Biarritz Classic package alone was an extra $2,466. I’m surprised to not see the color of the cars on the window sticker. The color is Colonial Yellow and when the cars were sent out to get the sunroofs installed, the Rudiso Saddle Metallic was added to the hood for a two-tone finish. The cars were purchased from Mathews Cadillac in Dearborn, Michigan.

The engines in these cars are 425 cubic inch V-8 (7.0 liters) with 4 barrel QuadraJet carburetors. It looks brand new under this hood.

Even being stored in the containers didn’t keep the bumper fillers from cracking. So not only does sun work on those things but temperature as well. At this point, the cars have been left alone. They have been driven about a mile each.  They are sort of like a pair of dogs that have been in a household for years and are up for adoption, you can’t really break the pair up. Unfortunately, I can only find the listing of one of the cars, so apparently, one of them has possibly been sold. The car that is listed for sale is at $50,900.

So if you could have bought these two cars, what would you do? Oh well, there’s always that ‘run one in the ground and preserve the other’ idea of mine. Nah, someone has gone to the trouble of preserving these for 40 years, I think I might drive one of them gently and tuck the other one away.

Please note that while the seller refers to these cars as (Cadillac Eldorado) Biarritz Custom Classic, the sales brochure refers to it as (Cadillac) Eldorado Custom Biarritz, and the window sticker refers to it as (Cadillac Eldorado) Custom Biarritz Classic, which I have chosen to use. The sale listing for one of the cars, with lots of photos, is here on Chicago Car Club:



  1. Chebby Staff

    I am astonished to find a positive comment from myself under a shabby version of this car back in 2015, but that was probably related to the fun-per-dollar factor measured in hundreds not tens of thousands. I would still rock a ’78 Eldorado in a decent color scheme, but this is five tons of big, fat, flesh-and-brown ugly.

    Like 6
  2. Vance

    Chebby, you are looking at this the wrong way. These two cars scream 70’s excess to the hilt. You just have to be as obnoxious as the car is. Leisure suit, cowboy hat with matching boots, some Aqua Velva or Brute. Be the car Chebby, Prius and Fits be damned.

    Like 14
  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    I’m guessing that these two will be snapped up by ‘investors’ or museums…

    Like 4
  4. P T Cheshire

    Mine. 1 of 27 1977 eldo converts 15,000 miles bought new by me in 1977.

    Like 21
    • nessy

      Beautiful generation for the Eldorados. 75 to 78 my favorite. P T, who built your custom 77 convertible as 76 was the end of the line? I remember a few 77 and 78 convertibles floating around but all were custom jobs.

      Like 3
      • P.T. CHESHIRE

        Yes 1976 was the last the GM built ones.
        Mine and others were built by American Sunroof Corp. I also have a 77 Eldo T top coupe built by American Sunroof 1 of 7.

        Like 2
    • MotorWinder Member

      yes PT, drop top for me as well!!
      If these where convertibles 50 grand would be enticing!

      Nice car BTW

      Like 1
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I just looked at a really nice ’77 one-owner version here in Tampa, a Mitsubishi dealer took it on trade. Really nice car, and off-the-chain huge. And it was low miles to boot, for about 12K. So, if you are looking for this experience, buy the one here in Tampa for 10K, and save 40K.

    My cutoff is 1971, so, while I considered the car, it was too plastic-y for my tastes.

    Like 4
  6. NotSure

    The Spirit of ‘76 Michigan license plate was one year only IIRC so not original to the car

    Like 2
  7. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    At one point while I owned a ’70 Nova SS, I picked up a ’70 Nova 4 door with a straight 6 for a daily driver. Both were white and looked very similar from a distance. The SS had a 375hp 396 with some mods while the six banger was at the opposite end of the performance spectrum. I was hanging out with a bunch of gearheads while out with the wheezy six and one kid kept bragging up his ’69 GTO and running down my buddy’s small block Chevelle and Chevys in general. I told him my Nova could easily beat his car and that kid couldn’t stop laughing at my car. We agreed on where to meet and on the way there I swapped for my SS. When I arrived at the meet, I lit up the tires a bit and let him hear the 396 roar through the headers and performance exhausts. That braggart’s mouth just dropped open as he couldn’t believe that my crappy budget Nova was smoking the tires. It actually took him a few minutes to realize it was a different car! He started crying about me cheating but I pointed out to him that I wasn’t cheating, I did say that I would race him with “my Nova” and here it is.

    Well, big-mouth GTO boy wouldn’t run me and took off shortly after a lot of comments regarding his similarity to a little cat. My buddies and I still talk about that day.

    Like 9
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Needs the Superfly touch.

    Like 2
  9. Roseland Pete

    I’m not a big fan of yellow Cadillacs but that two-tone paint changes my mind.

    Like 3
  10. Harry

    If I could I would. For me the appeal is that this Goliath is front wheel drive!

    Remember the front drive burnout in the 1st Terminator movie? That scene and hence, this car forever etched in an impressionable young mind at the time…

    Like 2
  11. Mark

    I wonder if the VIN numbers are sequential!

  12. jtm225

    These are Arizona Beige, not Colonial Yellow. The yellow would have been hideous with the dark brown.

    Like 2
    • Ron Schweitzer Member

      Thank you, jtm225, for setting it straight. I was just going to do that.

  13. Jim Derby

    Please check the body tag under the hood. The correct paint color is code 62 Arizona Beige. I own two of these magnificent cars.

  14. W9BAG

    What a wonderful find !

  15. lucky haskins

    i have a 78 eldo biarritz tripple cotton tail white with the red dash/red interior, and the glass top. one of 50 made in 78..Amazing car

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