1987 Cadillac Eldorado: Would You Drive It?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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