Seven Golden Facts that You Should Know about the Cadillac Eldorado
- The only one of its kind sold after the 1999 model year, the Cadillac Eldorado was considered as the longest running personal luxury vehicle line in the United States. Some of its competitors, including the Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado, and Lincoln Mark Series, only lasted through the 1998 model year.
- During the 1950s, the Eldorado was known as General Motor's leader when it comes to innovative design ideas. So, although this vehicle only represented .50 percent of Cadillac's total sales in 1953, other car manufacturers copied its designs because General Motors was the forerunner of the automobile industry that time.
- Want to know where the name Eldorado came from? In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Cadillac, the company held an in-house competition for the naming of a proposed special show car in 1952. The secretary of Cadillac's Merchandising Department, Mary-Ann Marini, won the event for the name she gave-Eldorado-loosely translated to "the golden one".
- The Eldorado is recognized by many car owners and enthusiasts as one of Cadillac's top of the line vehicles during its early years. In fact, with a price tag of almost 7,000 USD, the 1953 Eldorado was dubbed as the most expensive Cadillac vehicle during that time.
- In 1956, total sales of the Eldorado line went up to 6,050, therefore contributing a total of 4 percent to the total number of Cadillacs sold that year. This success was owed to the two-door hardtop coupe variant of the Eldorado called the Seville, which sold a total of 2,150 units in its debut year.
- The most expensive model under the Eldorado line was the Brougham. With a jaw-dropping price of 13,074 USD, this vehicle was more expensive than the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and any other Eldorados built in 1957. What made this vehicle special were the quad headlights, unique design, automatic two-position power seats, cruise control, and carpeting that came in Karakul, Mouton, and lambskin versions.
- Although its production started a long time ago, the Cadillac Eldorado is still considered by many as one of the best cars in the industry. So, it's no surprise that this vehicle has made several appearances in various films and TV series. Some of its notable appearances were in The Dukes of Hazzard, Seinfeld, Grown Ups, Cars 2, and Miami Vice.
Cadillac Eldorado: What to Look Out for and What to Do In Case Problems Arise
The Cadillac Eldorado is considered by many as one of the best-selling personal luxury cars in the history of the automobile industry. Spanning generations of innovations, this vehicle proved that luxury does not only equate to price-it means performance, too. However, even though the Eldorado was built to last, car owners may still encounter several problems with this vehicle. Read on to know the common hiccups that people may chance upon in case they want to purchase or they own an Eldorado.
One problem that plagues the Cadillac Eldorado, particularly the eleventh generation, is overheating. Although this generation has been hailed because of its excellent performance, its engine-the Northstar-tends to heat up easily due to its all-aluminum engine block. To solve this, a car owner must inspect the vehicle for coolant leaks regularly. Another solution is to check the thermostat for damages. If the thermostat is not opening, then it has to be replaced immediately so that coolant will flow through the radiator. However, if these parts are not the ones causing the engine to overheat, then consulting a mechanic is the best solution.
Another common problem that car owners may encounter with the Eldorado is stalling. According to a website, this problem is at the top of the list especially when it comes to 1995 models. Usually, the culprits behind this problem is the fuel pump and gas tank. Due to every day use and exposure to corrosion-causing elements, these parts eventually get damaged, therefore compromising the internal combustion process.
To prevent stalling, the gas tank, fuel pump, and other Cadillac Eldorado accessories should be inspected regularly. Also, if they are showing signs of deterioration, they must be changed ASAP.
Hard shifting can be very difficult to diagnose especially because Cadillac Eldorados, especially those manufactured in the mid-1990s, have onboard computers that maintain transmission performance through a backup program. Although most car owners say that the only way to solve this is to bring the vehicle to a Cadillac dealer, checking the transmission solenoid for damages is also a good idea. Sometimes, due to excessive shifting and daily use, these solenoids malfunction. Thus, they must be replaced immediately.
Six Cool Facts and Trivia about the Cadillac Eldorado
Many tag the origins of the Cadillac Eldorado to the Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, California-a favorite haunt of General Motors executives. However, that club wasn't opened until 1957-a full five years after the Cadillac Eldorado came out. The name, in fact, comes from a winning entry in an in-house competition. So the classic car owes its legendary name to one Mary-Ann Marini, a secretary in General Motors' merchandising department.
In 2007, a team calling itself We Ain't Stupid heavily modified a 1972 Cadillac Eldorado in an attempt to break the Art Car World Land Speed Record. They were successful in setting the new record at 125mph. In 2010, they did it again with exactly the same car and reset the record to 146mph. That record remains unbroken to this day.
The Cadillac Eldorado's 50th year in active service, 2002, was announced by GM to be the last. In order to send off the amazingly successful luxury car with a bang, only 1,596 were made and sold in batches of 532-to mark the first year of production. These cars were in both red and white to match the colors of the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado-the original that started it all. The very last Eldorado was delivered to the Cadillac museum in honor of Don Massey who owned the largest Cadillac dealership in the United States.
Being a car of great renown and unparalleled luxury, the Cadillac Eldorado has been featured in over hundreds of movies over the long years. Most of the time it was cast as the ride for stereotypical rich, Southern robber barons as it was in The Dukes of Hazzard. Other famous appearances include roles in the 1995 hit Casino and 1990's Havana. It wasn't limited to American-made movies, however; the Eldorado has also appeared in Italian and Spanish movies.
The year 1976 was a dark year for American convertibles, and so the Cadillac Eldorado convertible was touted by GM as being "the last American convertible". The last 200 of this production run were sold as "Bicentennial editions" to celebrate the 200th birthday of the United States of America. The funny thing about this whole affair was that GM eventually reintroduced convertibles in 1983!
Though the Cadillac Eldorado was sold as a luxury ride, it was not until 1976 that it got its own unique luxury package to provide it with an elite title change. That package was the Biarritz-named after a classy French seaside town-and came with sun/astroroofs.
Two Common Complaints about the Cadillac Eldorado
Few cars in the world can ever claim to have the same luxury, class, and character as the Cadillac Eldorado. The car and the brand formed around it has endured for five long decades already, and still remains as popular as ever. Even the older models in the lineup remain collectors' pieces and talking points-long after they stopped actually rolling off the production lines. Any automobile would never endure the test of time if it were not well-built and reliable-and the Eldorado is certainly those things and more. Still, no car is ever perfect, and we compiled the two most common complaints so you are well-armed and well-informed.
Brake antilock control module failure
This problem-relatively rare and seemingly isolated in nature-was observed to affect the 1997 iteration of the Cadillac Eldorado specifically. It actually isn't too dangerous a failure as it does not actually adversely affect the brakes' functionality. In fact, a majority of the time, the problem was only discovered after routine maintenance checks. At its "worst", the failure caused the ABS braking light to appear on the dashboard until the car was turned off-again with no actual adverse effect on braking.
As isolated as this incident is, it never was covered by a recall order. However, if you are so afflicted, the only real solution is to replace the control module for your ABS. There hasn't been a case where not replacing it has caused any accidents, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Leaking rear oil seal
Even rarer than the preceding problem is this breakdown of the rear oil seal in the (slightly) older 1994 version of the Cadillac Eldorado. In all cases, this manifests as a continuous and nasty leak of oil around the seal's area and the floor beneath it. Reports indicate that this has never caused any serious or life-threatening incidents, but is costly in terms of the amounts of oil that is lost due to the fault in the seal.
Again, no recall orders cover this problem as it only requires a "simple" replacement or reinforcement of the seal. It has to be noted, however, that lifting the engine to get to the seal is labor-intensive and rather costly.
Cadillac Eldorado: Top 5 Maintenance Tips to Avoid Bigger Repairs
Driving your own personal luxury car must feel really good. After all, if it's the Cadillac Eldorado you're driving, you have a vehicle of legendary beauty at your hands. And such beauty, combined with Cadillac performance, should be taken care of properly so that it lasts for a long time. That's easy to do if you know even just basic car maintenance. But, taking care of your car is not just about preserving its beauty. It also means avoiding spending hefty amount on major repairs. Here are some maintenance tips to help you prevent major car problems:
- Check the timing belt regularly.
Your Cadillac Eldorado's engine is composed of various components and among them is the timing belt. This is the toothed belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft as well as drives the water pump, balance shaft, intermediate shaft, injection pump, and an oil pump. This engine component is mileage-based, so you need to check your owner's manual for the recommended intervals of replacement. But, once it's time for replacement, you must do it at once or a single crack in the belt could lead to major engine repairs amounting to thousands of dollars. A damaged timing valve can bend the valves—you may end up stranded on the road.
- Keep an eye on the engine's water pump.
Your car has a water pump that is considered to be the heart of the cooling system. The pump's main function is to circulate coolant between the engine and the radiator, preventing the engine from overheating. There are two reasons why your car's water pump would fail: the shaft seal is leaking or the impeller inside breaks or wears down. A leaking water pump is a bad news—it means the cooling system will also lose coolant and may cause the engine to overheat. Always check your water pump according to the recommended interval written on your car's manual. It should be almost the same as the timing belts.
- Be mindful of your car's wheel alignment.
If you want your Eldorado to have optimal drivability, then make sure your wheels are always properly aligned. Also, bad alignment can lead to bad gas mileage and vehicle structural damage. Surely, you don't want that for your car. Poor alignment could also lead to premature tire wear and compromise crucial suspension and steering parts. Check your tires regularly. If you notice uneven tire wear that should not be there, have your wheels checked and realigned.
- Monitor the tire pressure.
Aside from alignment, another important check that concerns your vehicle's tires is the tire pressure. You'd want to be comfortable while driving a vehicle like Eldorado, but if your tire pressure is incorrect, then you're in for a bumpy ride. Hence, it is important to always make sure that your tires are inflated to the right PSI level—not underinflated and not overinflated. It is advisable to check the pressure at least once a month; use a tire gauge for this. Proper tire pressure is important for fuel efficiency as well as lessening tire wear.
Cadillac Eldorado: The Golden History
For 50 golden years, the Cadillac Eldorado was known for two things—luxury and vanity. As one of the most expensive cars ever offered by General Motors, it had the reputation for class, elegance, and performance. Its production ceased several years ago, but it remains as one of the best personal cars in the automobile industry until today.
1953: Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado
The 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado was the official marketed version of the 1952 concept car especially made for Cadillac’s golden anniversary. Only 532 convertible units were sold for a hefty price tag of 7,750 dollars. The featured deluxe interior accessories like custom-leather seats, radio, and heater were the reason why it was that pricey. It was also the first Cadillac that had a wraparound windshield. Powered by a 331-cubic-inch OHV V8 engine, the Eldorado was a powerful car considering its huge size.
1954-1956: Eldorado Biarritz and Seville
In order to boost sales, Cadillac reduced Eldorado’s production cost by letting go of the special sheet metal used in the earlier version. The 1954 model’s price lowered to $5,875. Sales went up to 2,150 units because it became more affordable. In 1956, Cadillac released two economical Eldorado versions: the hardtop coupe, Seville, and the convertible, Biarritz.
1957-1958: Eldorado Brougham
It was the first pillar-less, four-door car in USA. It was also the first to use quad headlamps. Only 400 units were sold at $13,074 each.
1959-1960: Series 6200
The initial Series 62 was changed to 6200. The huge sharp tailfins, bulky body frame, bullet tail lights, chromed grilles were just some of the iconic features of the 1959 model. The 1960’s model though, was a bit toned down without the spiky tail fins and bumper guards.
1961-1966: Biarritz’s come back
Only Eldorado convertibles were available during this period. Most of the features were retained except for the engine. With the 429 cubic-inches V8 engine, newer models had 340 horsepower.
1967-1970: Eldorado FWD
Cadillac introduced the first Eldorado four-wheel drive. This model also applied the Oldsmobile Toronado’s three-speed automatic transmission transaxle. Most of the physical attributes were retained until 1970. The only significant mechanical upgrade was the addition of the 500-cubic inches engine displacement that produced a kicking 400 horsepower.
1971-1978: Power Sliding T-Tops
The continuous refinements added several pounds and inches to the succeeding Eldorado models. Even though the car’s horsepower decreased due to the extra weight, Eldo’s sales still went higher. By the end of 1978, a total of 46,816 units were sold. Part of its success was credited to the Power Sliding T-Tops—an innovation used in 1978 Eldorados that allowed the roof to be folded neatly at center.
1979-1985: Engine modification from V-8-6-4 to HT-4100
Eldorado had a major mechanical setback when the V-8-6-4 engine displacement, derived from the 6.0-liter Cadillac V8 engine, didn’t work in 1981 models. It resulted to poor performance and decreased horsepower. In 1982, the HT-1400 fuel-injected system replaced the previous engine. It was very efficient in delivering huge power gains.
1986-1991: A better Eldorado Touring Coupe
The Touring Coupe made a comeback in the 1990 and this time, it had a better engine—the Cadillac aluminum V8. It had an improved engine output that provided a full 200 horsepower. A lot of high-tech accessories were also added, but it still suffered from poor sales.
1992-2002: ETC and ESC
After ten years of declining sales, Cadillac made the final Eldorado models: the ETC and the ESC. Compared to the original model, it was way smaller and simpler. After 50 golden years, Eldo’s production came to an end on April 22, 2002.