American Hustle, Part 1 – 1978 Cadillac Eldorado (plus bonus ’71 convertible!)

Today, we’re going to look at a couple of cars inspired by the film, American Hustle. One of the great things about older cars is they not only represent the period in which they were built, but also their country of origin. It’s nothing that hasn’t been said before, but with globalization of the automotive industry, cars have lost their national characters, such that you could hide the badges on Lexus, Mercedes, and Cadillacs and couldn’t definitively tell each sport-luxury sedan’s nationality, even if they have distinctive brand styling attributes. You can find an exemplary expression of 1970s America in this 1978 Cadillac Eldorado for sale in Everett, WA for $4000.

1978 Cadillac Eldorado for sale left front

What luck! This car is a dead ringer for the one appearing in the movie. The hubcaps matching the vinyl roof are an interesting touch, and unlike Mercedes’ or Rolls-Royce’s caps, they recall an earlier era when contrasting hubcaps were stylish. For some reason, the later cars’ square sealed beam headlights and busy grill are jarring in this baroque design, in spite of the car’s own angular proportions. This car is said to have 50,000 miles from new, and is unrestored, although oddly the seller is offering to beat any other Eldorado’s price.

1978 Cadillac Eldorado interior

Sitting here must feel like sitting on a marshmallow, or perhaps a loaf of Wonder Bread. The gray leather is actually fairly restrained for this era, and the Nardi wheel, although not entirely appropriate for this car, does add some wood to the interior while getting rid of the ugly factory wheel. Did you also notice the headrests kind of look like the head of the alien in Alien, in profile?

1978 Cadillac Eldorado right rear

By 1977, these giant front-drive cars were downsized to a 7.0 liter V8, putting out 170hp (same as the 292 in that ’64 Ford F250!). Remarkably, late Eldorados were offered with various roof options, including power sliding T-tops. It’s hard to tell if this car has any sort of opening roof, but on a price per pound basis, this has to be a stunning deal. You’ll definitely want to inspect thoroughly to make sure this car is as good as it seems.

1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible for sale right front

If you must have an opening roof, or can’t stand the later grill and headlights, *and* want to save $100, check out this 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, for sale in Fallbrook, CA for $3900. The seller claims 500hp and that the car runs great, although he seems to have confused horsepower with cubic inches. Count on fixing the convertible top. If you have a toupee, bad combover and Aquanet do like the leading character in the movie, though, you may want to stick with the coupe.


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One Response to “American Hustle, Part 1 – 1978 Cadillac Eldorado (plus bonus ’71 convertible!)”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    The hood on these are about the size of a king size bed and sitting at the wheel, it seems like they go on forever. I’d hold out for a Biarritz in a copper color myself; they’re plenty of these still around.

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