1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

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This is the coolest, most American car. Probably the swankiest, made in the USA, car of its time. The 1976 model belongs to the 9th generation Eldorado. It is equipped under the hood of the biggest engine ever installed on GM cars. The last engine was no longer offered the next, in ’77. It was the time of oil crisis, and such huge engine seemed to be excessive even in a premium segment. Just imagine – the engine of this Eldorado is even bigger, than a monster Cadillac V16 of the beginning of the 30s. But the main feature of the car of the ’76 is the presence of a body – a cabriolet. The fact is, Cadillac has not produced cars of this type since ’66.

By ’76, many automakers from the U.S. had already stopped producing convertibles. It may seem strange today, but this decision was due to the less rigidity of the convertibles of that time relative to cars with hard roofs. Manufacturers anticipated that the U.S. government would soon impose significantly stricter safety requirements. For this reason, at the time of its release, the Eldorado convertible became almost exotic.

During 1976 Cadillac produced 49,190 Eldorado, 14,000 of which were convertible bodies. The Americans were very eager to buy these cars. Especially when it comes to the last 200 convertibles. These cars were called the Bicentennial Edition and commemorated the 200th anniversary of the independence of the United States. Some customers didn’t drive their cars away, but took them in the back of a truck. Then they put their convertibles in heated garages with air conditioning. All for the sake of not accumulating mileage and preserving the condition of a new car. The calculation was to sell it at the highest price, when they stop making convertibles in the USA. There is information on the internet that Cadillac even called their car the last convertible of America. And the company said that after the 1976 Eldorado, convertible production will be stopped. By the way – the last 200 cars received the body numbers from 013801 to 013999. At the same time, the Cadillac Eldorado 1976 Cabriolet was sold at significantly inflated prices. We will come back to the cost very soon. What was the surprise and discontent of those who bought a Cadillac convertible in ’76, when in ’84 the company again released the Eldorado with open body. Of course, in doing so, the investment value of the previously purchased car dropped dramatically, because it was no longer the last convertible of the brand. Some of the ’76ers who bought the car even sued Cadillac, but to no avail. There is an opinion that GM had planned to make more convertibles, but the manufacturing companies and suppliers of the folding roofs simply curtailed production.

Sale and Price 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.

The new 1967 Cadillac Eldorado convertible cost $11,000. But because of shortages, dealers were raising the price of the convertible very substantially. The car was expected to be unique in the future, but that didn’t fully happen. It didn’t become the last convertible, and that’s what the bet was on.
Considering the very careful storage of convertibles, and the not insignificant number of cars produced. You can buy a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible today for between $20,000 and $30,000. The most expensive examples can cost as much as $100,000. The price is largely determined by the mileage, there are examples with only a few thousand miles.

Exterior and photos.

The last 200 Cadillac Eldorado 1976 Convertible of the Bicentennial Editione were painted in Cotillion White. The final series cars were decorated with blue and red stripes.

This is a huge car. With a body length of 5692mm (224.1d), the wheelbase is 3208mm (126.3d). The convertible has high-cut tires (205/75 R15), but not big by modern standards. Width of the wheel is 6 inches. The ’76 model was equipped with black wheel covers. But it is not necessary to refer to the years of manufacture only, because the hubcaps could have been installed from a car of another year.
You can notice the Cadillac lettering on the side mirror housings, and the Eldorado lettering on the rear fenders. The trunk keyhole is hidden behind the brand emblem, and the gas tank hatch is behind the rear, license plate.

Interior and equipment.

Equipment of this car is impressive. Many may be surprised, but there is an electric soft top. The car is equipped with cruise and climate control, not to mention the electric adjustment of front seats in six directions. The steering wheel is adjustable both in angle and pitch, but mechanically. All these options are not on every modern car, but on Cadillac it was already there.

Pay attention to the interior trim, the way the inner door handle is designed. It looks more like the handle of expensive, home doors. Lids of ashtrays, under which the cigarette lighters are placed, are decorated with brand’s coat of arms. Another unusual thing is that there is a special niche in the glove compartment lid, where the manual for Eldorado ’76 is located.

In the photo you can see how wide the brake pedal is. In terms of area, one of these pedals could be larger than all three pedals on any modern car. The speedometer is programmed to 100 miles, and the transmission lever is of course – paddle.

The spare tire is stowed right on the trunk floor. Today, such a solution would seem extremely impractical, but in those years, it was the norm. Another unusual thing is that there are two cylinders with compressed air inside the disc of the spare wheel.

Obviously, this is done for the owner of the car to spend minimum effort to pump up the wheels. Many people may be surprised, but Eldorado even has a trunk puller. But it is not electric or pneumatic – as it is on modern, premium cars. The American car has a mechanical boot pull, but it perfectly attracts not fully closed trunk.

Engine and Specifications 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.

Besides the convertible type body, a very significant advantage of the Eldorado was the 500 cubic inch engine. The cast iron V8 had a cylinder diameter of 109.22 mm and a stroke of 109.32 mm. The compression ratio is quite high for an American car; 8.5:1. There are two valves per cylinder. The engine is fed by a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor.

People who are not very interested in American cars can be surprised that it has front wheel drive. The transmission, of course, is automatic, three speed. By the way – this is the gearbox Turbo Hydra-Matic later used in the American supercar Vector W8, which was also an extremely unusual solution. The gear ratio of the main pair is 2.75:1.

The huge 8.2 liter engine had a maximum power of 193 hp at 3,600 rpm. Maximum torque of 488Nm is available from 2,000 rpm. The Convertible can reach 100 miles in 15.1 seconds and 100 miles in 37.8 seconds. The Convertible goes a quarter mile in 18.4c with an exit speed of 78 miles. The giant motor’s crankshaft is supported by five pylons.
This, awesome motor was discontinued at the same time as the Convertible was taken off the assembly line. Today, even in the U.S., it can be difficult to find parts for this engine.
Look at the size of the air conditioner radiator – many cars have a smaller main cooling radiator. On the back side, the hood moulding is shaped to fit the air filter housing. The hood hinges here are very powerful by the standards of modern cars.
The fuel tank has a capacity of 104 liters. The brakes are disc brakes in front and drum brakes in rear. The rear suspension has springs instead of springs for better comfort. The radiator is cooled by a huge viscocoupler.

This is a stunning car that impresses with its luxury, engine and lack of a roof. It has front-wheel drive, which although it’s been used on American cars since the ’30s, they weren’t top-of-the-line cars. All these advantages lead to the fact that many people still want to buy a Convertible today.

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