1980 Cadillac Eldorado

6.0 Liter Touring Coupe

Matt Garrett - Dallas Texas

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1980 Cadillac Eldorado - Big Block Touring Coupe!

1980 Cadillac Eldorado - 6.0 Liter Touring Coupe - Slick Top.  A rare odd duck car here for sure.  If you keep up with this body style Cadillac Eldorado, you may be aware that 1980 is the ONLY year the Powerful Big Block Cadillac 6.0 EFI Engine was offered in the car.  1981 also has the 6.0, but that engine has the 8-6-4 system on it, creating more maintenance issues, less power, more drivability issue, etc... The 8-6-4 is ok though, and is nothing as bad as the HT4100.  In 1982 the engine on all Cadillacs were reduced to the HT4100.  This is confusing as you may see another eldorado that looks "just like this" but I can tell you that the difference between this 80 6.0 Car and an 82+ is night and day.  It is so drastic, you could hardly call them the same car... The 80 is powerful, quick, fun to drive , the the 82+ could not blow a ball cap off your head in high wind (a quote from a friend of mine)...    Its way beyond the engine too as behind the HT4100 is another bad piece.. The 4 speed automatic light duty trans.... Behind the big block is the strong 3 speed... It goes on and on.... bottom line are the two models of Eldorado, one with the 6.0 and one with the HT4100 are nothing the same... You could not convert one without a WHOLE lot of work.   But if you go by looks only, you really are missing what I am telling you here.

1980 is also the lowest production year for this style Eldorado, 79-85.   Now finding a good 1980 is probably the single hardest Eldorado since the rare years of 53-66 to find in good shape.. Why???  the cars actually drove so well, had great characteristic and power, people drove the wheels off of them.   The knowledgeable owners also held on to their 80 models if they had been informed how bad the newer models got in 1982.  People that traded Cadillacs every few years really stopped in 1981 if they were informed.  At that point they probably switched to BMW or Mercedes of just drove their last year good engine Cadillac till the wheels fell off... leaving very few good ones to chose from today.

This 80 is also super rare as it is a Slick top and has the Touring suspension.  This touring package offered a more stable ride with larger sway bars.  Even though 1980 was a great year for the Eldorado, not all of them drove as good as this example as the touring suspension was rare.  The car is pretty well loaded too with items like Auto Dimming, Twilight Sentinel, Cruise, Digital 8 track, Digital Electronic Climate Control, Heated and Power Control Mirrors (rare in 80), Working ORIGINAL power antenna, outside thermometer on top of all the base options every Eldorado came with.  Being a slick top takes it out of being optioned as a Biarritz.  The slick top is about as rare as it gets on these cars... Possibly 1 out of 1000, then add the touring suspension, probably 1 out of 2000.

Now you guessed it... what is the most rare on this car, odd on this car, desirable or undesirable is the color.   Not sure what to call it.... Bluish, Greeninsh, Pastelish, whatever it is... its odd and certainly not a color that "color first buyers" would go for.  Cadillac has a "buzz" name for it... but my term for it is "LRC"....  (low resale color)     I attest the color of this car to be the ONLY reason it has survived as one of the finest examples of a 1980 Eldorado...... If it were black, red, blue or white, someone would have driven the wheel off of it.  Today it would have been recycled into a KIA, or worse yet some sort of "resale low quality restoration" like most every 80 I have seen is.   Now this color is not as bad as I like to bag on it.  Its actually a color that will get you attention everywhere it goes beyond other typical colors... Lots of positive comments all the time, and occasionally a bit of "WTF" color is that too???   It does carry itself well though and all in all, this car is the single nicest 1980 model Eldorado I have encountered to date.  Thus I own a car in this color.  I do know of another nice one that is super low miles too many of you may have seen..... Its a diesel!!   Unlike a Diesel, or an HT4100 year Eldorado, this car is a real car, with a real engine. 

Now what is most important on this car is not the options, color, rarity or whatever.... but the condition.  It is 100% original paint.  The car still retains its day 1 original fillers in it and its original functioning power antenna.... I have cars with under 1000 miles I have had to replace both.... This car is original, garaged, preserved and something way beyond the norm for a car that is not some 0 mile preserved example.  This car is the only Eldorado I drive some too... That is because of the engine and suspension.  Its fun.  Get out of this into an HT4100 car, you just want to kick the HT4100 car.  I ask myself why every day, they did not make the 85 convertible with this engine!  Always the way at GM...  Get the car right and ruin it with something like the HT4100.  The miles on this car are very low too, but they are not mega low like the sub 1000 mile cars you see on my site...  this is not a garage queen like those.  I drive it on nice days.  Its miles are increasing slightly every month, so I wont show them until I decide to sell it...  But they are WAY down there too.

Just a neat car that represents the best year of this style Eldorado, 1980, as best as any example ever could.

 

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Above, 79-80 Large Hubcaps.  Only in these years and HARD to find today.

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The 6.0 Liter Cadillac Big Block Engine - 1980 Only

 

Some information below on Eldorado Wheels and Tires.

Vogue tires and a word about what people "think" they remember on tires of the 80s. 

First thing I would like to point out that will be an eye opener to many is the fact 1985 cadillacs came with small white wall tires..... Here is the center picture of the 1985 Cadillac brochure;

1985 Cadillac Brochure Photo

Now the interesting thing is that 1984 was the last year for the 1.5" white wall, so yes, you have seen these cars with the bigger white wall on them, just not all of them.  People tend to gravitate to the final year Eldorado in 1985 but all seem to think that the original tires are the big white wall.  That is not correct.  In 1985 SOME Eldorado convertibles ONLY (such as this one) may have had the larger white wall on them due to the fact they were built early on in mid 84 and sent to ASC before the larger white walls ran out.  Also the 225/70 15 touring size was used on the Convertibles as they have the touring suspension in them, and quicker front gear ratio.... even though they do not wear a "touring suspension" badge.   No coupe or sedan had anything but the thin white wall in 1985.  Because many people did not like the thinner white wall, the Vogue tire was often substituted by the dealer for an additional cost.  Vogue is a VERY good tire, but because they actually are plentiful and still available today, people have become tired of looking at them for many reasons.  The top being gangster cars running them giving the tire a really poor image.  This is a classic case of everyone wanting what they cannot have in other tires.  You see many of my Eldorados on the larger white wall.  These are mega low mile examples on their ORIGINAL tires of the day.  Some 85s have original 84 tires on them, just because it is too hard to explain to those that "remember" only what they want to.  I have even paid 3000 to get an NOS set of those Polysteel tires too, so keep that in mind when you must have original.

One thing needs to be understood on tire sizes is that the correct size and the best overall size for the 79-85 Eldorado is the 225/70 15.  Early cars had 205/15 75s, but this was really a poor size too and later became substituted for the nicer 225/70 15.    Do not confuse a 225/70 15 with a 225/75 15.  That 225/75 is nearly a 2" taller tire!  That is a huge difference and will not work on these cars. If you try it, you are going to be asked by many to take the car off the road due to it being an eyesore to the rest of us.  I mention that 225/75 15 size as it is available through companies like American Classic Tire today as a solution for a 1.6 white wall and is often mistaken as a size for the Eldorado.  Bad news is as of this moment there are NO easy alternatives for a 225/70 15 in a larger white wall other than Vogue tires... Except one... You can custom make a tire through Diamond Back tire with a "glued" on white wall that does not look too bad.  But 1000 bucks is what its going to take and then you end up with a tire that has no labels and up close looks kind of funny.  A good tire though and a true alternative. 

The reason I am going into detail with all of this is because I have been petitioning American Classic to build a 225/70 15 for the Eldo/Seville.  After some time they have agreed to do so and the tires will be out in probably a year or sooner offering an actual "what you think" is correct tire for 85 cars and truly correct for 79-84. I look forward to this and hope to have a few of the first sets myself for cars like this one.

Now on to wheels;

What many people see that really attract them to a car are the wheel and tire combination.   People all love them, but when it comes time to actually paying for what some of these vintage wheel/tire combinations cost, most get weak in the knees.  Some people want to play the "infinite purist" part preaching only original, but they get shut down every time in side by side comparison of what is more appealing to anyone that views it, knowledgeable or not.  Many of the Eldos you have seen on my site that lots of people think are "original" are really era correct aftermarket wire wheels from days gone past.  Duplicating these are not easy, the ones on this car are that of hard work to find and more money than I can explain to the average person.  About 6K is the wheel/tire combination on this car.  30 years later, its hard to find this stuff new, and that is what I did.  Below is the line up of era correct factory and aftermarket wheel options available to these cars;

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Factory cap.

Personally I hate hub caps on any car, I think they are a cheap solution from the mfr, and any automotive designer will tell you the same thing.  Was the easy way to cut cost! But on these 79-85 Eldos, cheap wire hub caps slapped over thin steel wheels are generally what 99% of the cars came with.  The factory had 2 other wheel options.  The touring wheel, that are alloy wheels that actually had a couple of different styles over the years too, but as a whole looked like what is below;

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 Much of the aesthetics driven crowd do not like these wheels, but they really are the best wheel on the car that is actually factory as they are alloy and have a better offset than the steel wheel with the cheap cap.  They will drive better than all the rest of these wheels too.  These were not offered on the 84-85 convertible but are really the best addition to a car but not widely accepted for what I guess to be aesthetics reasons.  Really on a wide white wall, they look pretty darn good and are a great option to use over hub caps.

 The other was a rare alloy fake wire Below.  Kind of neat,  but still a fake wire front over a relatively cheap alloy wheel and had as poor of offset as the steel wheels with a very dull finish.  This is a FWD wheel only and very rare.  The problem with these is they corroded fast even on the best cars making it really impossible to find a good set without resurfacing them.

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Others you see are aftermarket.  Below is the Appliance wire on the red car.  Click for zoom.  Many people call this the factory wire wheel, but it is not.  Many cars came new with them on, but the dealer added them just as they did Vogue Tires.  However I consider this wheel the single best alternative for a Seville/Eldorado for the fact its wider, but not too wide, it has a better offset and its a real quality wire wheel, plus so many people already consider these factory.  Appliance is also the factory manufacture of the Cadillac RWD wire wheels, those were factory, these were not.  The Eldorado looks GOOD on these wheels and no original preaching Nazi can take that away from the car.  Finding a good set is going to be hard and a set that actually has a good set of center caps and trim rings can cost you as much as 4K for perfection in just the wheels.  If you are sitting there with check in hand, these wheel are not easy to come by and this set took me years to put together with the caps being the hardest part.

Another alternative that was available in 1980s and is still available today is the Dayton Wire.  The Dayton wheel offers the best of all the factory and aftermarket alternatives in terms of the quality of the wheel itself.  The bad thing about the Dayton is the Offest.  They have a good negative offset that I like to see to them have, but its actually a bit too much for some people's taste.  They are polar opposites to the factory sunk in steel wheels.  Still a good wheel, a very expensive wheel, one you can even get today too.  A nice turn key and available addition that is 1000 times better than the cheap factory fake wire cap;

Below,  factory "poverty caps" with Vouge Tires.  A common less expensive and very available approach;

Thank you for visiting;

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