Guilty Pleasure: 1980-85 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz


Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz


Sorry about the lateness of this installment of Guilty Pleasures; I got dragged off to some madness in Michigan and am only now getting caught up on my worship of cars I shouldn't want but do want. Cadillac made many such vehicles beginning in the late 1960s, when pursuit of market share took precedence over exclusivity, but the Late Malaise Era Eldorado Biarritz tops my list. Not only is this the car that blows up with De Niro's Ace Rothstein inside during the opening sequence of Casino, and not only did it come with a stainless-steel roof panel (which had a tendency to peel up and blow off at highway speed), but the early models could be had with Cadillac's infamous V8-6-4 engine. Cylinder deactivation works great now. In 1981... well, it didn't work quite so well.

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Luxury Brown Leather Interior

Feast your eyes on that deep diamond-tucked leather upholstery! It's like the furniture in an elderly tax attorney's office, circa 1961, which is just about right for the car's target audience.

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Only the most successful tax attorneys, real-estate barons, and strip-club owners could ante up for the '80-85 Biarritz, because the 1985 Biarritz option package slapped a $3,395 surcharge atop the $21,355 base price (over 51 grand in 2011 bucks). That put the Eldorado Biarritz into BMW 5 Series (and Lincoln Continental Givenchy Designer Series) price territory.

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz V8-6-4 Engine

In addition to the warranty-return-king V8-6-4, this generation of Eldorado Biarritz could be had with an Olds 350, a good old non-cylinder-deactivation Cadillac 368 (from the same engine family as the very reliable 472/500), or the newfangled HT4100 engine. None of these engines made much power, and the cars were front-wheel-drive, but: stainless steel roof!

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Audio Options

8-track players and CB radio were both laughably obsolete by 1983, but you could still buy an Eldorado Biarritz with one or both. Wait, audio CD players were in full effect by '83— where's that option?

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Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Interior

You can recite chapter and verse about all the many failings of this generation of Eldorado Biarritz, but I don't care. Someday, I'll be rolling Ace Rothstein style!

Image source: Old Car Brochures.

 
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