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Hagerty Employee

1986 Cadillac Eldorado: There was shrinkage! | Hagerty Media

I have always been a big Cadillac fan. It goes way back to early childhood, when my parents would buy me Pocket Cars diecast toys. Three of my favorites were a '75 Fleetwood Brougham, '75 Cadillac ambulance, and '80 Cadillac Seville. I also had two of the Hot Wheels '80 Sevilles, a two-tone, silver-over-maroon version, [...]
Intermediate Driver

Yep - have to agree, they were a pretty sorry excuse for a Cadillac. About the only thing worse I can think of are the current ones! A couple of years ago I decided it was time to finally treat myself to a Cadillac...what a disappointment. The current "lineup" has all the panache of a Toyota, and the driving experience was no different than the dozens of other transportation appliances available everywhere. I bought something else. Alas,I remember the days when "Cadillac" really meant something special.

These cars were so bad that GM went into redesign  mode before the paint was dry on these. 

This was the low spot for Cadillac. 

Cadillac had been failing for years and while they improved they have lacked consistent leadership and vision as GM has prevented that with a revolving door of leadership. 

The cars we have today are actually good cars but no better than others in class. To be fair it is hard to stand out at their price point. 

The real problem is what made Cadillac a Cadillac is just not possible today at $80,000. The days where they were great their cars were some of the most expensive cars with custom coach works. This formula today is not one Cadillac can follow. 

My hood is they are getting into the EV segment early and I hope they can set the standard. This is a restart and they need to make the best of it. No more rebodied cars with Chevy engines. 

the CUV line is a disappointment now as an XT6 is not worth the price difference over my Acadia Denali that it is based on. 


I love the bench seat 1985s, the 1986 lost the soul of front wheel drive.

My Grandfather had Cadillacs, Lincoln’s,and an imperial. What beautiful great cars they were. Always thought I would love to have one someday. Since the 80’s none of them are worth having, so disappointed. I always have kept my family car American. Now at 72 I just bought a 2021 Toyota Camry hybrid. Guessing I held out longer than most. Of course it was made in Kentucky and my Dodge was made in Mexico, so what is American now days. I will however keep my 64 corvette and my 67 fastback Mustang. Still American
Advanced Driver

Part of the death of Cadillac, of which this Eldo was a part, was platform-sharing. For years they shared with the best Olds and Buick lines. Then came the original Seville (Nova platform) and then the Cimarron (Cavalier platform). The cost sharing may have seemed a good idea at the time from a bean-counter standpoint, but from a status standpoint it was a killer. Today everything is shared with Chevy, and while those Chevies may be class-leaders (fodder for a different thread), they are not Cadillacs.
Intermediate Driver

Like you, I was a "little car enthusiast". I loved my blue Deville, my silver and maroon Seville, beige Seville (one of my favorite! My 8 year old self BEGGED my Granny for one...we literally went to 3 different stores before finding it)(we drove my Grandparents aqua 1972 Sedan Deville to do this). One little Cadillac car eluded me...the rose/mauve mid-70's Sedan Deville. My cousin had the it and REFUSED to let me touch it. Grrrr.... As for the '86 Eldo...underpowered. Not too dissimilar to the Calais/Skylark/Somerset/Grand Am Coupes of the day, not mention being priced like a Cadillac! The 1988 was only moderately better looking and the 4.5L upgrade helped, too. I think the Eldo (and Seville) came back into its own in 1992. Pre-Northstar Eldorado Touring Coupe (ETC) in White Diamond for me, please. I had hoped Cadillac would reintroduce Eldo, Seville, and some of the storied nameplates instead of the alpha, then alpha numeric designations that were soooo tiresome. These days, though, you couldn't give me a Cadillac - of any kind. The brand that stood for true American luxury for decades is little more than BMW/MB/Audi wanna-be brand. I do applaud them (one clap) for not abandoning cars in favor of a 100% CUV/SUV line-up (I'm looking squarely at you Lincoln). The CT4 and 5 are butt-ugly, but at least they are sedans! If I were in the market for a new, luxury-ish vehicle today, I would have to buy an Avalon. Or 300C before they are discontinued. Just my 2 cents!