1968 Cadillac Eldorado
8-cyl. 472cid/375hp 4bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The second year front-wheel drive 1968 Cadillac Eldorado changed little on the outside, but got some serious mechanical updates. Chief among these was a new 375-bhp 472 cid V-8 engine which was necessary, the company said, because so many cars were ordered with numerous accessories. Sales took a 36 percent jump to 24,528 units, which was particularly gratifying when Oldsmobile’s Toronado stayed flat at 22,497. Lincoln’s new Continental Mk III was launched in April as an early 1969 model, hoping for a longer sales period.
Externally, the Eldorado’s already long hood was extended another 4.5 inches to make room for concealed wipers, and turn signals were moved to the forward edge of the front fenders, instead of in the front bumper. Side marker lights were added, and the rear ones cunningly hid within Cadillac wreaths.
The Eldorado offered variable ratio power steering and automatic rear leveling as standard equipment. Suspension was by torsion bars in front and leaf springs at the rear, which were softened for a smoother ride. The wheelbase remained 120 inches, and weight was a hefty 4580 lbs.
As before, the 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was effectively split. The torque converter and 3-speed automatic transmission were beside the engine and connected by a chain drive.
Internally, the new engine received thicker castings, improved crankshaft stiffness, redesigned piston rings, larger bearing areas and longer piston skirts, all aimed at longer engine life. The distributor was moved to the front of the block and oil filter and pump were now mounted on the engine as a separate unit. Magazine road tests showed the Eldorado was slightly faster than in 1967, with 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds and a quarter-mile in 16.8 seconds at 84 mph.
The Eldorado was again available with leather bucket seats as an option or a bench seat with folding center armrest. Options included air conditioning, tilt steering column, remote trunk release, AM/FM radio, vinyl roof, power seat, power door locks, front disc brakes, cruise control, tinted glass, heated front seats, and automatic headlight dimmer.
Cadillac sales increased for the fourth straight year in 1968, selling five times as many cars as Lincoln.