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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

1987 Cadillac Eldorado: Would You Drive It?

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.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/klockau-classics/1987-cadillac-eldorado-would-you-drive-it/
21 REPLIES 21
Idaneck
Pit Crew

I’d drive a Mark VII any day, all day. I would not drive what looks like a tarted up Grand Am or Cutlass Calais.
JimmyinTEXAS
Pit Crew

Would I drive it? Yeah, I probably would. I drool over several caddy models but this isn't one of those so I probably would balk at paying for the privilege of driving it...
Wilscaal
Pit Crew

My wife would love it... Where was this car listed?
Guns4u2cme11
New Driver

It was on Craigslist I bought it on March 20-2022 the car is amazing for 35 years old not one problem with it so smooth 

Cm
New Driver

Great car, fantastic colors
Guns4u2cme
New Driver

Thx love this car
Itchyman
New Driver

Thank you for loving the hard-to-love.
That said, it’s hard to love.
However, the C -pillar design is the cars saving grace. The lower half features that curved-cradle line that classic era designers thought so elegant.

I saw a yellow Eldorado like this one recently.The owner had installed bigger tires. That made a massive difference.More powerful looking. Less clown -car.
So, yes, I would have driven that one!
Maestro1
Technician

Thomas, thank you. I had a good friend who had a Seville of this vintage, drove it practically to death, and the only trouble he had with it was the electronic dashboard, a nightmare of an idea.
Smileamile
Intermediate Driver

I literally just gave this (my 96 year old mother-in-laws) car to a local refugee from Sudan. He (Abraham) is a great mechanic. He gave it a good cleaning up, a tune up, and sold it. Our family is happy that he could make a profit (rather significant) and move up a rung on “our” ladder. May he find more cool cars to fix up and sell. May you guys donate your old cars to those trying to climb the ladder. God knows you don’t “need" the money!
SJ
Technician

Great looking but FWD, deal breaker for me. An early Toronado, yes though.
TG
Technician

It's not a car that I would lust after, but for the right price, sure. That tight little package with a V8 has to make for a snappy little car. The stock HP numbers aren't exactly impressive, but I doubt if it would take a lot of tweaking to make that a nice sleeper car

relton
Advanced Driver

I was working at GM when these cars came out. Aside from teh fact that they looked like a Grand Am, which sold for half the price, they were pretty poor cars to drive. The bodies were loose and rattly, the acceleration weak despite having a V8. I remember driving a BMW 3 series back to back with one of these at a GM ride and drive. The BMW was $2000 cheaper, and the driving experience was 300% better. The fit and finish was far superior as well. None of this registered with the Cadillac execs at the time.

So I would pass on this. an 85 Eldo, or a Mark VII would be just fine.
compaqdeskpro
Detailer

Nothing wrong with this car, and seen through the lens of a BMW 6 series, this car makes a lot of sense. Just a marketing failure. This should have been their Cimarron, and the "elbows" Eldorado should have soldiered on until the early 90's at least. But it may have still been too late for luxury coupes. Cadillac Blazer?
ManfredHangtoot
Pit Crew

Back in the day I jeered at these like everyone else. Now after 35 (!) years of perspective, I can see that they're not bad at all. One of these would be an excellent weekend/fun car.
corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

I had a 90 Fleetwood Brougham.....more bigger....more better. Unfortunately, that car looks like it got caught in between my Fleetwood and a Towncar.
Rtsundeen
Pit Crew

1985 was a TURNKEY ( a phrase I invented) for Ford and GM! Ford was going to replace the PANTERA platform cars ( Crown vic, Grand Marquis and GULP Town Car ) with vehicles on the then new Taurus/ Sable plat form however the SPECTACULAR failure of the 85 Gm Down size gave Don Peterson pause and the rest is history!
Snailish
Instructor

Pantera for Panther is a great typo.

Just imagine a whole lineup of Detomaso designed big Fords.
KYColonel
Detailer

You better believe I would drive it...
In an emergency.
2manycars
Pit Crew

Like the author, I would look for a 91 4.9, especially a touring coupe. That said, this is (like the author said) the absolute best looking 4.1 you will find. Good color looks extra crisp with the rare alloys and metal roof.
Cm
New Driver

I purchased a red 1991 touring coupe summer of 2021. It had a few small issues (2 bad injectors, damaged circuit for keyless entry and radio) but once I serviced it and addressed its issues….I’ve surprisingly fell in love with it. It had been taken care of and only had 60,000 miles so it’s a good example to start with…but it drives and rides great, the 4.9 is really strong, and it it is loaded with great features. I drive it every chance I get and have quickly decided I will not part with it. They get grief for being so similarly styled as the grand am & Calais, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t care if some people hate them (my guess is that some of those haters have never seen one in person much less driven one) because I LOVE it.
Snailish
Instructor

I don't think the styled as the corporate siblings alone is the issue, it's the pricing suggesting this was somehow exponentially better than those same siblings.

It was to the detriment of the Cadillac brand for it to obviously be a chromed & badged up anything else ---with the notable (and sort of bizarre when you think about the reality of it) exception of Escalade.