Cadillac enjoyed a very successful 1973, building its 5-millionth car when a blue Sedan De Ville came off the line on June 27. With 304,839 new cars delivered, it was the first year the division’s sales had topped 300,000 units.
The 1973 Eldorado sold an impressive 51,451 units, with 42,136 Coupes and 9315 convertibles. However, it was a great year for everybody, and Cadillac slipped back to 10th spot in the U.S. market, behind AMC.
The 1973 Cadillacs received some significant changes, with a combined in-and-out front bumper and egg-crate grille. The unit was attached directly to the frame via hydraulic pistons, and could move backwards several inches without any damage. The rear bumper was also piston-mounted. Front parking lights wrapped around the corners, taillights were moved to the fender caps, and the trunk was flatter on its rear face. A full-length chrome strip extended the length of the smooth sides.
The Eldorado continued with the same powertrain, a 500 cid V-8 rated at 235 net horsepower. The Turbo-Hydra-Matic transmission featured a unique side-by-side setup with engine and a unique internal chain drive. Front suspension was still torsion bar with rear coil springs. Prices began at $7360 for the Coupe and $7681 for the Convertible but numerous accessories could push the purchase price well into five figures.
The Custom Cabriolet package continued for the Eldorado Coupe, with a “halo” half vinyl roof that featured a big chrome bar across the top. Behind it was padded vinyl and ahead of it was a sunroof, set in the painted roof.
The 1973 Eldorado was available with an optional leather interior and a bench front seat with folding center armrest. Other popular options included automatic climate control, automatic leveling, power sunroof, remote trunk release, rear window defogger, AM/FM radio, AM/FM stereo with 8-track, vinyl roof, power seat, power door locks, power sunroof, cruise control, tinted glass, heated front seats, and a boot cover for the convertible.
A 1973 Cadillac Eldorado paced the 57th running of the Indy 500 on May 28. The Cotillion White convertible was driven by Indy 500 driver Jim Rathman who had won the race in 1960. It was it was the fifth time a Cadillac product had paced the race. It was also only the second time a front-wheel drive car had led the field around the brickyard since Wade Morton had driven a new Cord L-29 roadster in 1930.