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Lot 396: Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

"The last convertible", that was the way Cadillac billed the 1976 Eldorado drop-top. The decision to stop building convertibles was explained in lots of ways: more sporting styling of coupes, more turnpike driving that didn't favor having the top down, better sound systems, universal air conditioning, safety regulations. But however it was explained it was a management decision to control costs.

The Eldorado convertible was the signature bodystyle for Cadillac and it was going to go out with flair. The Eldorado, by 1976 some six years in the same basic design, was long, sleek, edgy and luxurious. It seated only four in its 224.1" length and 126.3" wheelbase and weighed two and one-half tons. The engine displaced 500 cubic inches and the front wheel drive chassis with fully independent suspension supported by torsion bar springs up front and self-leveling coils at the back was a masterpiece of the opulent ride that was Cadillac's hallmark in the Seventies.

Cadillac's announcement that convertible production would end in 1976 brought an immediate enthusiastic response from its customers who rushed into their Cadillac dealers to get their copy of this masterpiece, even at the base price of $11,049. Places in the order queue changed hands for nearly as much.

The example offered here was purchased new by Sam and has been retained in his collection since it left the dealership. Painted Blue Mist, with matching painted hubcaps with a white power convertible top and finished inside with blue leather, Sam certainly wasn't trying to slip by unnoticed when he ordered this car. In the 33 years of tenure in Sam's garage, the big Cadillac only covered 12,306 miles. Bill Mitchell even had a similar series of cars built for himself in bright colors, but his had color-matching leisure suitsa feature that this car, fortunately, does not include!

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCar
Lot Number396
Estimate$5000-$7000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$12500
Hammer Price (inc premium)$14625
Year1976
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number6L67S6Q144656
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors