1968 Cadillac Eldorado: It’s Good To Be King

Yes, that’s right, another Cadillac post. You know the drill! I am nothing if not predictable. So let’s check out this week’s Klockau Lust Object. The 1967 Eldorado, though made possible through the production of the remarkable 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, was a sharp car-literally and figuratively.

I first became aware of these via ads in old National Geographics back in middle school. Though the cars were only about twenty years old then, they blew my mind. Nothing like the Mini Me Eldorados then in production (circa 1987-89). Slightly later on I was given some old “Spectraflame” Hot Wheels my Uncle Dave had as a kid. One of those was a deep blue Custom Eldorado – which I still have.

And I love sheer, bold color. Reds, blues, greens, golds. None of that fleet white, silver silvermist for me, if I can help it.

So you can imagine my lust when I spied this red and white ’68 on the electronic bay. It is resplendent in San Mateo Red, one of my favorite late ’60s/early ’70s Cadillac colors.

1968 Eldorados were much the same as the all-new front wheel drive 1967 version. Newly mandated side marker lights moved the front signal/park lamps into the front fender blades, while the rear quarter markers were disguised as a Cadillac wreath and crest.

But the biggest change was under the hood, where an all new 375-horse 472 CID V8 lurked. Even better, it produced a most impressive 525 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy? If you had to ask, the Eldorado may not have been for you…

This ’68 has the appearance of a nice driver, at least in the pictures. At first blush it’s like a flossy show girl, especially in that amazing color combination. But look closer and she’s got a little wear and tear, bumps and bruises.

And yet, I don’t care. That most excellent color scheme forgives all! Currently it’s bid up to $15,200 and has about a day left to go.

And in case you’re wondering about the title, I’ve been listening to my Wildflowers CD the last couple of weeks in the Town Car. Ha!

Tom Petty – It’s Good To Be King – Bing video

25 Replies to “1968 Cadillac Eldorado: It’s Good To Be King”

    • Sigivald

      Well, 375 BHP, so maybe 300 SAE net?

      Nothing all that massive by modern standards – especially in a 4500 lb car – though an immense amount of torque.

      (My Volvo puts out 300 net to the front wheels, and it’s wonderful … and weighs about a hundred pounds less than that Cadillac.)

    • Aaron Hudacky

      It’s not noticeable unless you spin the wheels. There is no torque steer, but if the tires spin, it pulls in the direction of the tire that isn’t spinning or has the most traction. These cars have an open differential. I have a 1970 Eldorado, rated (probably optimistically for marketing purposes) at 400 hp and 550 ft/lbs of torque (gross), and it feels like an electric car with the instant torque and silence, but the engine does make a slight hum under full throttle. GM gave the Toronado and Eldorado equal length drive axles and they are effective at keeping torque steer away.

  1. Tomko

    Always drawn to those positive offset wheels on these Eldos and Toros. As a child of the ‘60s they were unique in a sea of negative offset wheels.

    As well, all Eldorados were iconic for me. Even the ‘86-87. But those were iconic for another reason.

    I had a boss with a 1985. And another boss with a 1993 later replaced by a 2002. Rode in all of them. Sweet rides in that Cadillac style.

  2. Carmine

    It looks like someone applied their best PSSSST PSSSST skills to the engine in the wrong blue, they also managed to apply it lightly to the rest of the engine compartment…..RESTORATION COMPLETE!.

    I like the 68, its my favorite of the first gen Eldorado’s, everything they did from the 1967 improved the car, the standard disc brakes, 472 replacing the 429, hidden wipers, park lamps replacing the plugs, etc etc, and its better than the 69-70, which loose the cool hidden headlamps and they get the crappier 69-70 dash.

        • Carmine

          1959-1960 is really nice, I like the 60 more personally. I break those out separately, because although the Eldorado is it’s own model, its really just a trimmed up convertible from 1953-1966, with a few custom body features here and there.

          My personal favorite of the pre-E body Eldorados is the 1964 with the open rear wheel wells.

          • CJinSD

            1959-1960 the Eldorado was available in three different body styles. The Biarritz was a convertible while the Seville was a coupe and the Brougham was a four-door bodied by Pininfarina in Italy. They were all more expensive than the Cadillac Toronado, even without adjusting for inflation before we went off the gold standard. Like I intimated, peak Eldorado.

        • Carmine

          We’ll have to agree to disagree, the Eldorado Brougham is its own animal on its own, through it carries the Eldorado name and even then, the 1957-1958 Eldorado Brougham with the reverse opening doors, stainless top and cocktail tumblers and et al is more impressive than the rather underwhelming Pinninfarina bodied 1959-1960 cars, regardless of what the sticker price is.

    • LynnG

      Well said, the 68 improvements make for a more user friendly car as parts for the front disc brakes on the 67 are a one year only item. The rattle can overspray could be delt with. My concern would be what did they do with the air storage tank for the rear leveling suspension? I believe there should be a torpedo shaped canister hanging off the left side support bar that runs from the firewall to the left front wheel well liner. These cars had very weak rear springs because they were designed to be supplemented by the air preasure from the self leveling. However the car gets bonus points for a really nice white leather interior…..

      • Carmine

        Yeah, I noticed that was missing too. There is nothing that can be undone but there is evidence of some sloppy work.

  3. John C.

    This was a great Columbo villain car. Robert Culp drove one in the episode “Death Lends a Hand” with a body of course in the trunk. He played a detective that had to bitch slap a slutty wife who then unexpectedly hit her head and died on the way down.

    The show was quite popular in Europe and I am sure they enjoyed seeing a car like the Eldorado that those who knew better wouldn’t let them have.

    • Patrick King

      “He played a detective that had to bitch slap a slutty wife who then unexpectedly hit her head and died on the way down.”

      Funniest line so far today! Of course, Coffee with Scott Adams is on in an hour and ten minutes but I have a feeling this quote will hold its own!

      Gotta look up that Columbo episode. Robert Culp was the best!

  4. Ronnie Schreiber

    Wayne Kady was the primary designer of the ’67-’68 Eldorado. Some of his original drawings have since been on display and published by the late Fred Sharf. Though they’re pretty extreme, even longer and lower than the production car, the finished vehicle was very true to the original concept.

    If you get a chance, go see the Detroit Institute of Arts “Detroit Style” exhibit. The cars are pretty cool but the original styling art is even cooler. Ford once gave enough consideration to a possible midengine Taurus sedan to assign a senior designer to draw it. There’s an early ’60s proposal by Pontiac designer Bill Porter for a monocoque sports car that looks to me like it may have inspired the DeLorean.

    • Carmine

      DeLorean took several ideas from GM that were in the advanced concept state and later sort of tried to claim them as his own and use them on the DeLorean. Remember the original concept for the DMC was a mid engined rotary sports car with gullwing doors, basically the 4 Rotor Aerovette concept from 1973. Which at one point had been approved as the C4 around 1976-77 but then scrapped due to costs and replaced with what became the 1984 C4.

  5. Sobro

    Somehow that carpet color doesn’t seem right. Probably too many bourbon and cokes spilled on the original.

    I’ve lost my lust for pure 1960’s concours engine management systems. They are as primitive as a Model A spark advance lever. I’d spend the $1100 and install Throttle Body Injection and Electronic Ignition and enjoy the smell of smoking rubber with confidence.

  6. David Russell

    Poise, presence, power, and fins, the Eldorado declared its Cadillac heritage in every possible way.


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