1976 Cadillac Eldorado
8-cyl. 500cid/190hp 4bbl
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The year 1976 signaled major changes for Cadillac. The Eldorado convertible was in its last year, along with the entry level Calais, and the division shifted its focus to the new Seville, which was aimed at luxury European imports from the likes of BMW and Mercedes Benz.
The drop-top 1976 Eldorado was touted as “the last convertible,” and 14,000 jumped at the chance. Buyers of the “Final 200,” which were all white-on-white with red piped interiors, paid a significant premium. Many 1976 Eldorado convertibles were put away as future collectibles, and even though the car certainly wasn’t “the last convertible” by any means, many ’76 Eldorados are still remarkably well-preserved today.
Despite the high-energy ignition and even with optional fuel injection instead of a 4-barrel carburetor, the 500 cid V-8 was still quoted at a dismal 190 net horsepower, and this would be its last year the Eldorado’s Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission featured a side-by-side setup and a unique internal chain drive. Front suspension was by torsion bar with rear coil springs and an available self-leveling system. External changes to the Eldorado were minor, with a taller grille and black centers to the hubcaps. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard, and new taillights were horizontal slots each side of the license plate.
The Custom Cabriolet package continued for the Eldorado Coupe, with a “halo” half vinyl roof that featured a chrome bar across the top. Behind it was padded vinyl and ahead of it was a sunroof, set in the painted roof.
A Custom Biarritz model was introduced later in the year. It featured thick padding on the rear roof, limousine back window, opera lights, chrome molding along the fenderline and Sierra Grain pillow leather seats.
The 1976 Eldorado was available with an optional leather interior (standard on the convertible) and a bench front seat with folding center armrest. Automatic climate control was standard, along with power door locks, a 6-way power adjustable seat, an AM/FM stereo radio and steel-belted radial tires.
Popular options included electronic fuel injection, automatic leveling ($84), padded vinyl roof, power sunroof, tilt/telescopic steering column, cruise control, intermittent wipers, remote trunk release, rear window defogger, self-seeking AM/FM stereo with rear control, AM/FM stereo with tape player, tinted glass, heated front seats, automatic headlight dimmer, and a hard boot cover for the convertible.
Cadillac beat its 1973 record sales figures this year, turning out 309,139 units and maintaining 9th place in the U.S. market. The “Last Convertible” was driven off the line in Detroit on April 21 1976 by General Manager Ed Kennard and manufacturing manager Bud Brawner.