This 1968 Eldorado ute is the cowboy Cadillac of our dreams
We drop by Barnfinds.com at least once a week to see what kind of interesting project car or vehicular oddity they’ve managed to sift from the mass of everyday cars and trucks for sale on the web. The latest find is something way out of the ordinary, as we can’t say we’ve ever seen a Cadillac ute quite like this, offered for sale on eBay.
In 1967, Cadillac moved its personal luxury coupe to a new platform and used a longitudinally-mounted 472-cubic-inch V-8 with a unique transaxle to power the front wheels. Like many Cadillac before it and since, it featured vertical taillamps, this time with a forward-canted, bladed element that is one of our favorite designs of the decade. Each one that rolled off Cadillacs assembly line was a 2+2, with the rear seats practically an afterthought. Why not just get rid of them?
This rare piece is supposedly just one of a handful commissioned by Cadillac and built in California by Caribou Motor Company. We’re not sure if those details are correct, as most Caribou models are from later model de Villes from the early ’70s that required quite a bit of sheet metal massaging. In contrast, the 1968 Eldorado version offered here seems to keep most of the Eldorado’s lines intact. There’s a bit of bedside added above the car’s rear haunches, and a nearly vertical tailgate replaces the forward-leaning tail panel of the Cadillac coupe, but it’s all nicely integrated. Perhaps there was a suitable wagon donor that lent those panels to speed fabrication, but we can’t place them just yet.
What’s most surprising is how well the conversion looks and how naturally the Eldorado’s stylish lines take to the new ute configuration. Aside from some needlessly large and clunky side mirrors and perhaps the questionable bed rails, the overall package is very pleasing. Despite keeping the same overall length, the bed seems to be a decent, usable size.
We did some looking and have seen this car up for sale on Craigslist and eBay a couple of times in the last 10 years or so. This time it appears to be offered without reserve. With two days left, the price is currently at $15,300. That’s above the current #3 (Good) value for a standard (normal?) 1968 Eldorado, but this one will surely cause much more of a stir at your local cruise night.