Cadillac Eldorado Parts

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The Early Years

The Eldorado, meaning "the golden one," was originally a concept car created in celebration of Cadillac's 50 year Golden Anniversary. A year later, GM introduced it as a top trim for the Series 62, along with two other limited edition convertibles: the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and the Buick Roadmaster Skylark. Each was the most expensive offering in its line, and the public praised the three for their sleek lines and protruding tail fins. Embellished in chrome, the Eldorado was priced around $70,000 in today's money, and very few models sold.

Much of the public first learned of the Eldorado during President Dwight D. Eisenhower's inauguration in 1953. He rode down to the U.S. Capitol in the back of one with the American and Presidential flag attached to the chrome fascia, waving and cheering to the gathered crowd. This lead to a bright beginning for one of Cadillac's most successful models.

From 1954 to ‘56 the Eldorado became a new nameplate, and buyers could choose between the convertible Biarritz and the hardtop Seville beginning in 1956. These models resembled the 1953 model but with sharper tail fins and higher headlights and tail lights. And while this generation retained the chrome design, Cadillac ousted the sheet metal body to lower the price tag.

The 1957 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham hardtop, however, had a more expensive price tag than the 1953 special edition Eldorado, competing with high-end luxury makes like Rolls Royce and Bentley. The Biarritz and Seville were also options, and underwent a modest rear-end redesign. The final two years of this generation brought an excessive tail fin design, peaking in height, before later tapering down by the mid-‘60s. A grille resembling a jeweled or pearled necklace added to the model's flashiness, but all of this proved to be a bit much for buyers.

The Later Years

By the 1965 model year, the Eldorado maintained much of its tail-finned streaky-chrome shape. It also maintained rear-wheel drive,  before switching to front-wheel drive in 1967. Known as the Fleetwood Eldorado, the flat body set the style that would dominate the ‘70s. For the new generation ranging from 1967-70, the Eldorado switched over to the personal luxury market, and later sacrificed appearance for performance. The first year of this generation carried over the 340 horsepower 429ci engine, and it switched over from RWD to FWD by adopting GM's E-body chassis. Reviews praised the car for its performance, and by the end of this generation, the Eldorado sported the biggest V8 to ever be produced, outputting 400 horsepower.

 The ‘70s brought the typical extended hood look. Fender skirts found on the previous generations also returned, and the lack of performance for this generation was made up for with extra seating. The Biarritz returned, this time as a package that attracted many upscale buyers. By 1981 the car came equipped with a cylinder deactivation system, designed to turn off certain cylinders during low power-drawing situations to conserve gas. Still, the Eldorado had a hard time competing with European luxury cars, such as Mercedes', and Cadillac struggled to keep up its high-end reputation. Eventually the El Dorado shrunk in size and appeal to consumers, and few changes were made throughout the final generation. In 2002 the 50th anniversary and final model was released in honor of the '53 model, putting an end to one of the most innovative Cadillac automobile lines produced.

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