1987 Cadillac Eldorado: Would You Drive It?
What’s a collector car worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay. Of course, various and sundry persons have different ideas about values and desirability. Take me. I have always loved Cadillacs and Lincolns, even (and sometimes especially) the little-loved ones. The ones that make some folks cringe, perhaps. But as Popeye once said, I yam what I yam.
Take today’s find. A Cadillac Eldorado. Now there are plenty of desirable Cadillac Eldorados. From the finned Fifties versions, to the sleek, front-wheel-drive late Sixties coupes. Even the 1975-78 Nimitz-class V-8 Eldorado wedding cakes are getting some love—and not just the convertibles.
Today’s find is a nice example of possibly (probably) the least-loved Eldorado. 1986–87 was arguably ebb tide for the luxury GM coupe. Worries in the early ’80s of skyrocketing gas prices (sound familiar?) led to, shall we say, EXTRA-downsized Eldorados, Toronados, and Rivieras.
While still plenty luxurious, with gadgets galore, they lacked a certain luxo-coupe gravitas. They were just less imposing. Softer, milder. And to some, cheaper. Not that that was reflected in the window sticker.
Sales tell the tale. In 1985, 74,101 Eldorado coupes and 2,300 convertibles, with the tidy yet still elegant Bill Mitchell tailoring, were healthy for a body style then in its seventh year of production. Then the Mini-Me Eldorado and sibling Seville came out for ’86. Sales tumbled to 21,342.
In 1987, the year of our featured Sunburst Yellow coupe, sales fell even further, to the tune of 17,775 units. A 1988 restyling squared up the car and lengthened it up a bit, and the 4.1 V8 was revised to 4.5 liters, with better performance and reliability as a result.
For that reason, you rarely see 1986 or 1987 Eldorados. As Cadillac’s top-of-the-line coupe, they were always expensive, but as more impressive and more powerful Eldorados debuted, they came up to that desirability cliff and fell off.
But I can’t help liking them, probably because I was just starting to notice cars when they first started appearing. Also, one was featured in the 1987 comedy Adventures in Babysitting, and I always loved that movie.
And now we come to the present time, with this very nice ’87 coupe on offer for $7950. A bit high, perhaps, but it looks very nice. No vinyl top also means no hidden rust beneath, and I vastly prefer the alloy wheels to the wire wheel covers that seemingly were ordered on 80 percent of these.
And I love this soft, pastel yellow with matching leather interior. This color has always said ‘Cadillac’ to me. I also appreciate the fact that this one is still in its original, from the factory appearance. As a kid in the ’80s and early ’90s, I remember seeing TONS of these with hideous aftermarket rickrack like fake convertible tops, fake Rolls-Royce style grilles, wire wheels, fat whitewall tires, and-ye gods-even fake continental kits.
For those new to the collector car bug, there’s a myriad of interesting older cars in nice shape for under ten grand. Like this one. So, would you drive it? I’d hold out for an 88-91 with the 4.5 or 4.9 V8, but this one looks tidy enough and if you just used it as a Sunday driver, the 4.1 would probably be fine.