1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, 2-dr. Fleetwood, Sub-series 693; body/style no. 69367-E, 6 passenger
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $7,751.00 (Average annual household income, 1971, $10,600; average cost of a house, $25,250; gas cost 40 cents/gal.)
Previous owner: Owned by person from Bertrand in 1991; Bernie Taulborg, 1992 – 2010
Number made: 6,800
Engine, etc.: 500 cu. in.; 400 hp; Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel model 4MV carburetor; 4,690 lbs.; 126 in. wheelbase, 221.6 in overall length
This was the second generation of the front-wheel drive Eldorado. The heavily sculptured body styling this year had the addition of fender skirts for the Eldorado. The large rear bumper had vertical wrap-around tail lights. Though it was just ½ inch longer overall than the previous year’s model, it looked far bulkier. Six inches had been added between the wheel centers but the overall length increased just ½ in. Most of the additional length was added to the front section of the car.
Fender skirts harkened back to the 1950s and projected a classical image, as did revival of the convertible. Rear coil springs were a new feature. Fleetwood wreaths were featured on the hood and deck and Eldorado script was on the lower front fenders. The hood had a stand-up hood ornament.
A less-than-enthusiastic writer in Automobile Quarterly said “there is absolutely no logical reason for owning this Eldorado. In terms of efficiency it ranks somewhere near zero…in terms of handling, it is a barge compared with the very nice car it was six years ago. It also has the thirstiest engine in production.”
Options included rear window defogger ($37), automatic climate control ($537), Soft Ray tinted glass ($59), shoulder belts in the convertible front or rear seat ($32), and tilt and telescope steering wheel ($95).
The American public, however, was impressed. It was just what the luxury market wanted in the self-indulgent 1970’s. GM recorded a sizable production gain through 1973 when the energy crisis started.
Sources: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946 – 1974. John Gunnell. Rev. 4th ed. Krause Publications, 2002.
http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Cadillac/1971_Cadillac/1971_Cadillac_Brochure_1/dirindex.html (Original 1971 brochure no. 1)
http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Cadillac/1971_Cadillac/1971_Cadillac_Brochure_2/dirindex.html (Original 1971 brochure no. 2)
http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Cadillac/1971_Cadillac/1971_Cadillac_Brochure_3/dirindex.html (Original 1971 brochure no. 3)