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July, 2010 (Archived)

Image: 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Cabriolet CoupeSTEP RIGHT UP, FOLKS!
1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

Hurry, hurry...this is your last chance to buy a full sized styling will be the last of its kind. They're going fast, don't delay!

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Saturday, July 31, 2010 9:50:40 AM

Our news feed has returned to the Recent Site Updates and News page. We are using the same feed aggregator we used once before, and experienced issues with them. However, they have made improvements to their feeds, so we'll give them another try and see how it works out this time. The news feed is updated constantly, and has been filtered to focus on U.S. related top news stories. We may make adjustments to it later, or add additional feeds of interest if this one behaves as it should. Our apologies that it was down for so long, and we hope you find it helpful and informative.

The feed is located on the left side of the page even with the site update news, and scrolls up from the bottom. The feed pauses when moused over. Clicking on a news story link should open a new window or tab and take you to the site listed as the reference in the story. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Post 2: Friday, July 30, 2010 6:25:12 PM

Image: Cadillac Seville Milan Roadster1976-1979 Cadillac Seville Conversions
The first small Cadillac, the Seville, was very popular from the second it was announced. This meant after market conversion shops couldn't wait to get their hands on one to see what they could come up with. And there was quite an assortment to choose from before the first generation Seville went out of production! There were stretches, two door coupes, convertibles, and lots of custom styling touches as well.

Naturally, some of them were done better than others, and some of them are of questionable taste, but you know what they say about that! (Which means we aren't going to say anything more about it!) At any rate, there's quite an assortment to look at. Enjoy, and there are a few others that we'll be adding when we get finished researching them. Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010 7:35:03 AM

Phase Two is complete!

This morning, we officially announced the 1978 Cadillac Eldorado section had been published. That completes Phase Two of our site construction. And now we begin Phase Three. Phase One began back in 2001, and consisted of 51 years of cars. The first cars published included the 1958-1976 Thunderbirds, the 1969-1979 Continental Mark III/Mark IV/Mark V, the 1967-1970 Cadillac Eldorados, and the 1960-1968 Imperials. We felt we covered a pretty wide section of luxury cars, and all major makes were represented.

Phase One was completed on August 11, 2009, less than a year ago. It took us roughly eight years to finish, and that was certainly not within our original time frame, nor was it on schedule. During that time, we had to back track and rebuild pages that had already been published, due to changes in HTML standards, and in an attempt to make the site faster and more efficient. And we continually added new information, even to cars that had been online since the very beginning. Perhaps we would add a page about a special model or option, or maybe we just updated or expanded existing information. We strive to keep revisiting the cars online, and improving our information on them.

Phase Two included 30 years of cars, and the first car was published on August 17, 2009, so it took us less than a year this time to complete a section. We did add dozens of pages to Phase One during this period as well. Of course, research for Phase Two began long before the August 2009 publication of the first classic car, just as we've already been doing research for Phase Three for months.

And now the work begins on Phase Three. We have shuffled models and years around a bit, to make the process more efficient. We've also taken a "more cars online is more important than chronological order" attitude. That means we're going to work to get the maximum number of years, makes, and models online as fast as possible. So, you may see us bounce around a bit as we do it. We noticed our Phase One content was a bit heavier on the Ford/Lincoln side of things, so we did focus more on GM/Chrysler content for Phase Two, and that will balance out as we complete Phase Three.

We've been adding a lot of Cadillac information lately, with the 1976-1979 Seville and the 1971-1978 Eldorado being added over the past few months. Moving forward into Phase Three, we will continue with Cadillac and publish the 1971-1976 model years first, then we'll regroup and decide where to go next.

Thanks to all of you for your support and patience over the years.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:50:08 PM

Image: 1978 Cadillac Fleewood Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
An era was truly coming to an end. The exciting seventies were about to become the eighties, disco would be declared dead before long, and the last traditionally-sized Cadillac built, the Fleetwood Eldorado, was in its final year in 1978. Naturally, there were few changes made to the eight year old body style, however the Eldorado did receive Cadillac's new Electronic Level Control, as well as a new AM/FM stereo radio with tape player and CB combination.

To note the occasion, Cadillac asked American Sunroof Corporation to design and build 2,000 special Custom Biarritz Classic cars, with two tone exterior paint and matching pillowed leather interior. They were available with or without a sunroof or Astroroof. Some weren't thrilled with the colors chosen, but we can't think of a better combination than Arizona Beige and Demitasse Brown to represent what the Earth tone seventies were all about.

We've included a special page on the Custom Biarritz Classic, which was put online some time back at the request of a reader who was considering purchasing one but didn't know the specifics. Enjoy this last trip down Memory Lane in a full-sized Eldorado. We'll be proofreading and likely making adjustments over the next day or so, and we'll announce it formally tomorrow. We hope you like what you see. Have a great evening, everyone!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:09:12 AM

Image: 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Cabriolet Coupe1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
This was the seventh year of the original 1971 body, and it was restyled again for the second time in three years, and for the last time in a full-sized configuration. Considerable front end changes were made, and the rear was restyled to move the taillights back into the vertical bumper ends. Sales remained strong, considering this body was now aged and there was no longer a convertible in the line up.

A popular new trim option that was introduced late in the 1976 model year became very popular with Eldorado customers. The Custom Biarritz option featured special interior and exterior touches that weren't available on the Coupe or Cabriolet Coupe models. Pillowed leather seating, a formal rear window with French seam, special accent striping and moldings, Opera Lamps, and more gave the car a customized look straight from the factory.

A new smaller 425 V-8 engine made its first appearance in the Eldorado this year, and while it provided adequate performance, it did not compare to the 500 cubic inch engine that had been an Eldorado staple since 1970. 1978 would be the final year for this body style, and the full-sized Eldorado. Enjoy 1977 for now, and we'll be along soon with 1978.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 2:35:36 PM

Image: 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Bicentennial Edition Convertible1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Bicentennial Edition Convertible
The last 200 Eldorado Convertibles built were all identical, and of the 200 total built, 199 were sold to the public with the "real" last one being kept by Cadillac for its own historical archive. The option, Last Convertible Replica Decor Package, cost just $85 more than a base convertible, and production was limited to the last 200 convertibles produced at the end of the production run. Since word was out about the last American convertible, sales of 1976 Eldorado Convertibles in general were quite good, and 14,000 even were built for the year. Of those, the last 200 were Bicentennial Editions.

The story would be much more somber had these truly been the end of the American convertible, but they weren't. By 1982, Chrysler was building production convertibles again, and even Cadillac would create another Eldorado Biarritz Convertible in 1984-1985. When that project ended, another was just down the road, and its name was Allante. Yet another would follow the Allante, so from the perspective of knowing what happened in the years following 1976, the news wasn't really all that bad. The good news is that Cadillac took the time to develop a wonderful farewell present to luxury convertible lovers, a gift that is still highly regarded and coveted today.

Post 2: Friday, July 23, 2010 2:56:38 PM

Image: 1973 gas crisis out of gas signMILEPOSTS Garage: 1973 Oil Embargo and Gas Crisis
Over the last couple of months, we've been researching some early to mid-seventies cars, which are now classics, and one of the topics that kept coming up was the 1973 oil embargo and the gas crisis that followed that event.

Few realized it at the time, but this event would ultimately have a profound impact on the cars we drove later in the decade, as well as shed a little insight in what was ahead for the western world, fueled by oil from the Middle East.

This was a time of big cars that didn't consider fuel efficiency as much as comfort and image. And since that's what America wanted at the time, that's what it got. It's been almost a year since we added anything to MILEPOSTS Garage, and we thought this would make an interesting article for our readers. We hope you enjoy it, and for those who are too young to remember these days, they were pretty frightening for some people. A world without oil is...well, a world that needs to come up with other solutions. (Quickly.)

Friday, July 23, 2010 10:58:30 AM

Image: 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Cabriolet Coupe1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
This was a somber section for us to do, because it represented the end of an era for so many things. 1976 goes down in Cadillac history as the year of "lasts." The last Eldorado Convertible was built in 1976. Yes, it would return for a brief stint in 1984-85, but would be gone again after that, and this time it would seem to be for good.

1976 was also the last year for the Calais series, which had been Cadillac's most affordable line for 12 years. Its demise represented the move toward less choice and fewer options in the auto industry, and we don't think that's necessarily a good thing. The big 500 cubic inch V-8 engine also made a final appearance in 1976, and even today remains Cadillac's largest engine ever installed in a production vehicle.

Eldorado styling was held over from the previous year, and only a few detail changes enable one to determine the model year. Four-wheel disc brakes became standard, and that's an important consideration if one is considering purchasing a mid-seventies Eldorado. More substantial styling changes would happen for 1977, and even though the body style would still be the same, the 1977-78 cars did have a very different look, especially from the rear.

We'll have a page in this section covering the 200 identical "last" convertibles, but it likely won't be online for a few days. A mid-year Custom Biarritz option was introduced, and we'll have a special page for that as well, in the 1977 Eldorado section, which is next in line to be published. We hope you enjoy the 1976 Eldorado section, and we'll be back with more updates later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:01:48 PM

Image: 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
A major restyling for the 1975 Eldorado brought about comparisons to the original 1967-70 Eldorados, and that wasn't an oversight on the part of Cadillac. Concerned over criticism from auto magazines about the 1971-74 styling looking "heavy," the stylists were directed to give the cars a leaner appearance, and to see how they could be tied in with the earlier models. The stylists worked their magic, and the 1975 models look much sportier, and the resemblance to the earlier body styling is very evident.

A lack of rear fender skirts was perhaps the most obvious change. The rectangular Coach Window on the Coupe became larger, and the lower front edge dipped down to follow the contour of the rear fender. Rectangular headlights up front gave the front end a new look, and the parking and turn signal lights were moved to the bumper, below the headlights. A new front side marker and cornering light was relocated on the front fender in front of the wheel opening.

New paint finish colors like Mandarin Orange were introduced, and you could get an orange vinyl roof or convertible top, too. Cadillac made great strides in improving fuel efficiency, by making the High Energy Ignition System standard, as well as steel-belted radial tires, a lower final drive ratio, and carburetor and choke refinements.

We're publishing this section as a sneak preview for AM Blog readers, and will make the formal announcement tomorrow. Enjoy looking it over. Oh, and if you need us for something, we'll be out looking for a Cameo Rosewood Firemist 1975 Eldorado Convertible to take to the movies this weekend. What are we going to see? Why, Jaws and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, of course!

Monday, July 19, 2010 11:28:04 AM

Image: 1974 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Cabriolet Coupe1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
Our march through the decade of the seventies continues as we approach the middle of a decade that most will say they hated, while secretly remembering how cool it really was to be there. Yes, we're talking to YOU. (Smile.) Don't forget, 1974 brought about the end of The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family so it wasn't all bad. If you didn't like the clothes, TV shows, or music, you probably liked the cars, even though they represent so many things that seem wasteful now. But the fact is, most people wanted big, powerful cars and that's what the auto makers built.

The 1974 Cadillac Eldorado actually had several improvements made to improve the efficiency of its powerful engine, and this was before the gas crisis hit. Sales of the Eldorado alone were down more than 21 percent for the year, but once the gas crisis was over people did go back to the large cars they'd always loved so much. More oil concerns would come along before the end of the decade, and this time the public would permanently make a move toward more efficient automobiles, but until then the last of the dying breed known as the full-sized American luxury car was as good as it would get for fans of big luxury cars.

A new High-Energy Ignition System was introduced in 1974, as was the Air Cushion Restraint System, which was rarely ordered and thus seldom seen today. The big news for the 1974 Cadillac was the use of color—for paint finish and interior trim. The standard cloth was a three-tone design that was combined with another complimentary fabric. You could order exterior finish colors like Persian Lime, Cranberry, or Victorian Amber Firemist, like the Eldorado Custom Cabriolet Coupe shown in the image at left. And if you wanted the carpeting inside to match, you could have it!

1974 was a great time to buy a new Eldorado, as spending a few minutes checking out our newest section will prove. Enjoy, we'll make a formal announce about it tomorrow on the Recent Updates page.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 9:35:28 AM

Image: Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman Medici crushed velour interior1974-1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman
We've updated this page which has been online for awhile, and thought we'd post a reminder about these incredible cars here for those who either don't know about them, or might wish to revisit them again. Introduced in 1974, and built for just three years, the Talisman was a premium Fleetwood trim package that when ordered with leather trim cost over $300 more than a brand new 1974 Chevrolet Vega! That's just for the option itself, you still had the cost of a Cadillac Fleetwood on top of that!

The Talisman trim package included front and rear bucket seats with center functional consoles, and was upholstered in Medici crushed velour, or very rarely in optional leather if one desired. For 1975 and 1976, the rear bucket seats and console were omitted and a standard bench seat was fitted, so an additional passenger could travel in first class style and comfort. Yes, these cars are quite rare, and if you ever have the opportunity to sit in one, you must do so. The shirred trim is very comfortable, and the crushed velour is so soft you really have to touch it to fully appreciate it. Many of these cars have survived over the years, and if the full-sized traditional four door sedans are the object of your desire, it would be difficult to find a better candidate for preservation.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 5:25:12 PM

Image: 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
Another record breaking year for Cadillac Division, and a record breaking 50,000 Eldorados built for the first time ever in a single model year! How's that for success? Not good enough? Well, how about Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500? That should do it.

Substantial front and rear end styling updates contributed to a more conventional-looking Cadillac, which may have contributed greatly to the strong sales for the year. New options for 1973 included a Theft-Deterrent System, Automatic Power Antenna, and a Lighted Vanity Mirror.

And yes, a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible served as the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500. Finished in Cotillion White, it had a Scarlet Red Leather interior and a modified, high power 500 cubic inch V-8 engine that had no trouble keeping it out front of all those race cars. Fortunately, replicas were made for those who could afford them, and although the 1973 running of the Indy 500 race was memorable for all the wrong reasons (see the Production/Specifications page for the story), the 1973 model year for Cadillac was a good one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010 8:34:26 AM

Image: 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Coupe1972 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
In the second year of this body style, the Eldorado contributed to a record breaking year for Cadillac Division. By 1972, Cadillac was the oldest automobile manufacturer in the City of Detroit, Michigan, as it celebrated its 70th Anniversary. Sales and production records were shattered for the year, and Cadillac built more than a quarter million cars in a single model year for the first time ever.

New options and features for 1972 included a two piece hard boot option for the Convertible model, and a Custom Cabriolet Roof option for the Coupe. Steel-Belted Radial Ply White Sidewall Tires were a factory option for the first time, and the Lamp Monitor system which was introduced just one year earlier as an option was now a standard equipment item.

Styling updates for the Eldorado were limited to the grille, new wheel discs, a new Eldorado script appeared on the front fenders and deck lid, and front and rear bumper impact strips were added to offer increased protection. Of Cadillac's 21 exterior colors, 15 were new for the year. Six Firemist paints were an extra $128.

1972 was a memorable year in Cadillac history, and the Eldorado played an important role in making 1972 a landmark Cadillac year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 7:09:46 AM

Image: Stainless steel 1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible1966 Lincoln Continental Stainless Steel Convertibles
Initially, one car was planned to be built to celebrate production of 50,000 Lincolns in a single model year, a first for the rear center opening door cars, which were introduced in 1961. Allegheny-Ludlum Steel was to supply the metal, and decided to place an order for two additional cars to be built, to use in their own promotions. Three cars were built, the actual fifty thousandth car remaining with Lincoln-Mercury, and the other two were delivered to Allegheny-Ludlum.

The cars had different colored interiors, and one was fitted with the optional individually adjustable front seats with console. The two Allegheny-Ludlum cars were updated to 1967 cars cosmetically before delivery, which has caused some confusion over the years as to what model year the cars actually are. The third car remained with Lincoln-Mercury for years, but was also later updated to a 1967 appearance. Two of the cars have been damaged over the years, but both have been repaired, and all three still survive today, and all of them are now owned by Allegheny-Ludlum. They appear at car shows and parades from time to time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010 1:18:50 PM

Image: 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible1971 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
The Eldorado was all-new for 1971, with new styling that was much changed from the year before, but still readily identifiable as a Cadillac. A new Convertible model joined the line, the first car to bear that name since 1966. Many new styling touches were introduced on this model, including the Coach Windows on Coupe models. These fixed rear quarter windows were quite elegant and gave the car a more formal appearance.

The new Convertible featured GM's inward-folding "scissor" Hideaway Top, which stored itself in a well behind the rear seat, but allowed for a full-width seat and sacrificed no luggage space in the trunk.

Several new options made their first appearance for 1971, including Front and Rear Lamp Monitors that allowed the driver to monitor exterior lights for proper operation; an AM/FM stereo radio with integrated 8-track tape player that featured a radio dial that was hinged to swing open when a tape was inserted; an electric rear grid defroster on the Convertible model; and Track Master computerized rear wheel braking system.

A strike at GM halted production for three months about the time the 1971 models were introduced, making the '71 cars somewhat rare. Why not take a few minutes and spend some time in 1971? It was an interesting decade that brought us some of the biggest automobiles ever. We'll make the big announcement tomorrow or Monday, and will continue to add a few things and make updates over the weekend and into early next week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010 7:36:48 AM

Which classic luxury car of the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s has the best interior? Is it the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham with the magnetized tumblers? The Fleetwood Talisman with the front and rear consoles, complete with illuminated writing pad? How about the 1967 Thunderbird SL interior option with front bucket seats, center console, soft, silky, nylon upholstery with embroidered seat backs?

We're taking nominations now. Go to our Poll: Which Classic Luxury Car Has the Best Interior? page to see if your favorite is already listed. If not, click the link on the page and send us a message to let us know what your favorite is. We'll open the voting process once we've given everyone the chance to submit their favorites.

Monday, July 05, 2010 6:55:29 AM

Image: Gucci Seville GG hood ornament1978-1979 Cadillac Gucci Seville...If a standard Cadillac Seville didn't offer enough distinction for you in the late seventies, have no fear, your favorite world renowned designer Gucci came to your rescue! Aldo Gucci teamed up with a Miami, Florida company to bring you the Gucci Seville.

It all starts with a 24K gold plated hood ornament, badges and emblems to alert everyone that your Seville was not a standard production model. Available in just three exterior colors, the Gucci Seville featured a unique vinyl roof treatment over the rear quarter of the car's roof, special material on the headrests, armrests, and headliner, and special striping down the sides and along the deck lid, plus more.

In the trunk, a five piece set of Gucci luggage was provided so your belongings can travel in style as well. All this for just $19,900 F.O.B. Miami, Florida. ($22,900 in 1979.)

Really, how could you possibly pass one up if it comes along?

Sunday, July 04, 2010 8:18:15 AM

Image: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: FireworksImage: Fireworks

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! From everyone here at Automotive Mileposts, we'd like to wish you a safe and happy July 4th holiday. Please be sure to play it safe with fireworks, follow the manufacturer's instructions, and have water close by to deal with any emergencies.

If you're going to have your classic car out on the streets this holiday, take a few moments to check your brake lights before you head out. Make sure they're all working properly, and are bright enough for others to see. You shouldn't have to push your brake pedal most of the way down for the lights to come on. Remember, others don't always pay attention, and those lights are your only form of communication with the driver behind you. Enjoy the day!

Post 2: Friday, July 02, 2010 8:43:35 AM

Image: 1979 Cadillac SevilleThe 1979 Cadillac Seville represented the final year of the first generation body style. Cadillac's first smaller, international-sized luxury car had been a big success, and deserves credit for leading the way for the smaller Cadillac vehicles that would follow it in the late seventies. Compact in size, efficient in design, the Seville provided top quality materials and state of the art technology to provide passengers with all the luxury and comfort they'd come to expect in a Cadillac, while maintaining a smooth ride, quiet interior, and making sure the only thing sacrificed was exterior dimensions.

The Elegante trim package returned for 1979, and the Trip Computer option provided relevant information for driver and passengers during a trip. The Sevilles that followed would never achieve the level of popularity that the 1976-1979 cars experienced. Styling of the 1980-1985 models was controversial, and some disappointments with engine reliability were experienced, in an attempt to come up with more efficient designs.

We hope you enjoy spending some time back in 1979 with the Cadillac Seville. So sit back, close your eyes, and imagine what it would have been like driving a brand new Seville in 1979...would somebody please insert the Donna Summer Bad Girls8-track into the tape player? Or perhaps you prefer Village People? "It's fun to stay at the Y - M - C - A..."

Friday, July 02, 2010 6:25:10 AM

It's hard to believe July is already upon us. We hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. We have archived the June 2010 blog, and it is available using the link in the left column. We're progressing nicely on the 1979 Cadillac Seville section, and will likely have it ready to go today. After that, we dive into the 1970's Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado models, which are long overdue since the comparable Lincoln Mark cars have been online for years. We'll start with 1971 and work our way up to 1978.

We also have special pages coming soon on the after market Cadillac Seville models, which we were a bit surprised to see how many there were, as well as the Gucci Seville which was about as exclusive as you could get at the time when it came to designer motorcars. We'll also back up a bit and do a page on the stainless steel Lincoln Continental Convertibles, which we should have done when the 1966-1967 Lincoln sections were being designed, but we were still researching information at the time.

Stay cool, and we'll be back later with an update on the '79 Sevilles.

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