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Image: 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Custom Cabriolet Coupe

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1977 Cadillac
Fleetwood Eldorado

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Image: 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Cabriolet Coupe

Cadillac closed the chapter on the "last of the breed" Eldorado Convertible in 1976, and introduced attractive new styling for the 1977 Eldorado, now available in just three models: the Coupe, the Cabriolet, and the Custom Biarritz. This would be the final expression of full-sized personal luxury for the Eldorado, as plans were well underway to replace it with a much smaller Eldorado for 1979. That would allow just two years for lovers of full sized personal luxury to get their orders in before this legendary automobile in its original dimensions would be relegated forever to history.

And if you're going to go, you might as well do it in style, right? And what could be more stylish than driving a legendary Eldorado? The Eldorado's new styling began up front with an attractive new grille, which emphasized the thin vertical bars, which were separated by three horizontal bars, spaced widely apart. A brushed chrome grille header was mounted on the lower edge of the hood, which had a thin chrome molding that ran from end to end which made the car look wider than ever. Eldorado was spelled out in block lettering across the hood, above the brushed header. Dual rectangular headlights bordered the grille. The forward sections of the front fenders featured a raised wing Cadillac emblem as before, but it was now set against a black background that added new distinction to the front end.

The rear side marker lights were moved back to the rear fenders for 1977, and were rectangular in shape the Eldorado spelled out on the face of the lens, again in block lettering. But the biggest change was in the rear. The linear taillights of 1975-1976 were gone, replaced by a body colored bumper filler. The taillights were now vertical, and were relocated back into the rear fenders, where they were integrated into the bumper ends. The taillights were very slim and had a cathedral shape (point) at the top. Small Cadillac winged crests were molded into the lenses.

Inside, a new standard upholstery, Edinburgh Plaid Cloth, was available in seven colors. Optionally, Eldorado buyers could specify Sierra grain leather for the seating areas in 11 colors, or in four bold, two-tone leather color combinations, with contrasting seating areas.

Of the 22 paint selections for 1977, 20 of them were new, with only Cotillion White and Sable Black being carried over from earlier. Six were optional Firemist colors, and could be combined with a choice of 12 different accent stripes and 16 vinyl roof colors, including metallic vinyls.

The Custom Biarritz trim option was introduced late in the 1976 model year, and continued to be offered in 1977 and beyond as an ultra luxurious choice for Eldorado customers seeking the ultimate in distinctive motoring.. The Biarritz name was last used in the sixties to identify Cadillac's premium convertible model, the Eldorado Biarritz, which was built from 1956-1963, but its roots went back to the very first Eldorado Convertible in 1953. The Biarritz name was dropped in 1964, although the model continued to be built through 1966 as the Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible, and was discontinued to make way for the new personal luxury Fleetwood Eldorado two door hardtop in 1967. The Custom Biarritz option featured a thickly padded vinyl roof treatment over the rear section of the roof, separated by a color-keyed cross over roof molding. The vinyl roof had an elegant French seam, and smaller rear and quarter windows. Unique accent striping on the front fenders and rear quarters as well as a stainless steel accent molding and Opera Lamps really made the Custom Biarritz stand out. Interiors were Sierra grain leather, with special appointments unique to the option. Available in just five color combinations, the Custom Biarritz included color-coordinated wheel discs as well.

New options for 1977 included an AM/FM stereo radio with tape player and Citizens Band that was made available late in the year. A power recliner was now available for the driver's seat back, and new Electronic Cruise Control featured "Resume" and "Advance" functions that allowed the driver to make more adjustments without cancelling automatic control.

A new 425 cubic inch V-8 engine replaced the monster 500 cubic inch engine that had been standard since 1970. There was a definite difference in performance between the 1976 and 1977 models, but fuel efficiency was of major importance to new car buyers at this point, and would become even more important in the next year, so a smaller power plant was absolutely called for. Another effort to improve fuel economy included changes to the standard Automatic Climate Control system that heated, cooled, and dehumidified the interior to maintain the comfort setting selected by the passengers. The functional design was changed to ensure the compressor ran only when necessary, which meant it cycled on and off considerably more than it had in the past, but most passengers never noticed as passenger comfort still reigned supreme at Cadillac.


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