It is well documented here at CC that I am a Cadillac fan. I am especially enamored of the triple-yellow (paint, top and interior, for you rookies) Cadillacs that were available between the late ’70s and early ’90s. And while I mercilessly attacked the 1986-87 mini-Eldo (CC here), I do have a soft spot for the restyled and re-engineered 1988-91 models. So when I saw what may be the best ’91 Eldo in existence–and in yellow!–it guaranteed a CC post.
Yes, GM stumbled, scrambled and raced to redo their cars in the Eighties, thanks to changing tastes, CAFE and myriad other things. The second-gen downsized Eldorado (the first-gen ’79-’85 was a breath of fresh air after the gigantic 1971-78 models) got off to a rocky start, with wimpy styling, the troubled HT4100 aluminum V8 and renewed buyer interest in BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes.
But added length and a more robust 4.5-liter V8 debuted for ’88, and made the Eldo so much better. The 1986 chassis was quite sound, providing great handling and good interior room. As a result, production of the 1988-91 Eldos increased, and while not necessarily a sales smash, this generation still carved a nice little niche for itself. I have driven an ’89 Eldo and I loved it.
Model year 1991 was the swan-song for this Eldorado generation, but the new multi-port 4.9-liter V8 was a fresh talking point about ’91 Caddys, and it did result in spirited performance, although the Eldo’s older buyer base may never have noticed. King of the Eldos was the Biarritz, now in its last year.
Amenities included such ’70s luxury-car features as button-tufted interior seating, a padded landau top, electroluminescent opera lamps in the C-pillar, chrome side spears that wrapped over the roof and down the fenders, wire wheel covers and a standard Delco-Bose sound system. A power Astroroof was also standard on Biarritzes and on the Touring Coupe.
This one, currently on eBay, is a mint-condition time capsule with 65,000 miles. Were it not in Florida, I would be seriously interested in buying it–at least, until I remember that I have a one-car garage. The car’s condition is remarkable–just look at that armrest–minty fresh! The genuine wood trim is also in fine shape, as is everything else.
It appears the back seat has never been used, being just as nice as the rest of the car. Just 16,212 1991 Eldorados were made; 1991 was also the final year for the Biarritz, a Cadillac model name that went back to 1956, when it designated the Eldo convertible after the Seville hardtop joined the Eldorado lineup.
If you love butter-yellow Caddys (everything’s better with butter, I always say), act now! Lots more pics can be found here on eBay. Let’s hope it finds a new owner as caring as the one it’s had over the past 22 years. Maybe Carmine will save it!
All pics are from the eBay auction listing.
Love it. Of all the FWD Cadillacs thus far built I would love any Eldorado from 1967 to 1981 and the 1988 to 1993 when the 4.9V8 was discontinued in the Eldorado. 4100s are dead to me and I don’t trust the Northstar until after it was heavily revised in 2005.
This body style was truly great in my mind and although downsized wasn’t so small that it didn’t fit the Cadillac mold. The styling was also truly Cadillac-esque enough to catch my fancy. I do prefer the Aluminum wheels over the wire-wheel covers. My favorites are the navy and red models with white interiors.
+1 on all your points. Yes.
Other than the taupe steering wheel color, that’s actually a nice-looking interior.
Can’t say I’m as big a fan of yellow as you, but that is a nice nice car (“I’m gonna go get the papers get the papers”.
Unfortunately some damn hipster will probably get it soon enough and it will be ruined for life.
Hipster? Spend $6000 on a car? HELLO? What planet you from? No. Just, no.
I am not sure I have ever said a good word about one of these, but you may have found the only one that I could ever find remotely tempting. There is something about that triple butter color combo that I find weirdly fascinating. I don’t think anyone under 65 ever bought one in that color, which is why so many have been preserved.
Tom, I can really see you in this. Your Volvo doesn’t need to be garaged.
I’m not big fan of these, still too stubby I think. But that interior looks incredible. Love the color, condition, and the button-tufted leather
Wow, CC effect on ebay, I was just killing time looking at this same car about an hour ago. Its not my cup of tea for Eldorados, I am along the lines of a “traditional” Eldorado buyer, the bigger the better. What I find funny about these is that there is a battle royal(Royale?)between looking modern and techy and slightly sporty with traditional and broughamy going on in this car, its like “Brougham to Future”.
Buckets and operating console, next to button tufted pillow seats? Its like a white patent leather Nike running shoe with gold buckles. Same on the outside, where they tried to hold on to ALL of the traditional Eldorado styling cues, on a 1/4 scale car, even down to the little angled lamp monitors mounted much higher up on the fenders that ever before on a Cadillac, so they could still be seen even though the nose was lower and rounder. The Biarritz top is a study on its own, with its 2 foot long electroluminescent coach lamp, as if this car came from an alternate future where all that bric-a-brac that was still hip.
As it was mentioned in the article this was the swan song for the factory Biarritz package, though dealers were more than happy to slap Biarritz roof packages on the next generation Eldorado for their customers more than a decade after, cause “GM just doesn’t listen to us older folks”. The alternative to the Biarritz in the Eldorado line up the low volume sporty, but still stubby, Eldorado Touring Coupe, with blackwalls, alloys and monochrome trim, it did survive into the next generation of Eldorado.
” What I find funny about these is that there is a battle royal(Royale?)between looking modern and techy and slightly sporty with traditional and broughamy going on in this car, its like “Brougham to Future”. ”
Still, the best of this general era of Eldos. Would have been interesting if this had been the 1986 car and the ’80 through ’85 Cadillac engine debacle had never happened. Would buyers have taken to it like the ’79? Would “Brougham to the Future” have been the direction of luxury buyers? Or would the Mercedes, BMW and eventually Lexus onslaught have occurred anyway?
Cadillac probably could have pulled off a transition to the ’92 version in ’86, and have been better for it. The ’79 was a bit revolutionary compared to the ’78, another revolution was probably due in ’86. Cadillac was just too far away from where the non AARP buying public was heading. I’ve never been a fan of any of the “Wave II” of GM downsized cars.
It was a combination of several things on these cars, the shape and size were part of it, if they were a little bigger, maybe like the size of the 1988 W-body cars, and not so conservative, there were proposals for these that were much sportier, lower noses and hidden headlights, which carried the smaller size better, but management decided to err on the side of conservative cues.
The thing about the 2nd wave of GM downsizing is that it was planned for the grim late 1980’s world that lots of economic experts thought we would see, $3/4 a gallon gas, oil embargos IV, V and VI, CAFE, Walter Mondale, etc etc etc, which never happened for the most part.
Also, what if they’d gone for a “faster” roofline – heck, go all-out and make it a hatchback – and launched 4-doors before two on the N-body Grand Am/Calais/Skylark, so they wouldn’t be so easily confused with the senior coupes?
Oh man, I’m in love (a very weird and disturbing kind of love, but still.) This may truly be a one-of-a-kind find.
Two minor quibbles. The odo actually reads 65,000 miles, and I don’t think the wood is real; tt looks much too smooth and shiny at the corners and along the edges. I think only the STS and ETC came with the genuine article in 1991.
I’d have to double check, but this was from the era that Cadillac was actually starting to add real wood again to the high end car, Fleetwoods, the FWD C-body ones, brought back real wood in 1986-87 until the end of their run, the small 1986 and up Eldorado Biarritz and ALL Seville’s did have real wood initially as well, before the ETC and STS versions came out.
My grandmother’s FWD 1987 Fleetwood d’Elegance most definitely had real wood on the dash and doors. She used to polish it with Pledge so it wouldn’t dry out! I wish I had that car today – it was not quite as yellow as the featured Eldo but a creamy tan color with matching velour interior and no vinyl top. It came from California, had no rear defroster but was loaded to the max! It was in absolute mint condition when my Uncle sold it for next to nothing because it was “old”. It only had about 50k when he sold it in 2003, I think he got $2500 for it and sold it to a neighbor who trashed it within a year. Makes me sick.
I do love this Eldorado. Would also be a great car to own today.
Yeah, I meant among the K- and E-body lines. Fleetwood d’Elegance models did have real wood, which was easily distinguishable by its straighter grain and less lustrous finish. The appliques on this example have a more burled pattern, and look much like the plood on my grandfather’s ’88 and ’92 Sedan de Villes.
Oops, misread the mileage, will fix.
I do believe these had real wood trim–on the FWD Fleetwood, Eldo and Seville models at least.
Rob, I had the same thought as you about the wood trim. But if anyone can tell us, Carmine can…
The wood is real on any model. While I prefer my 90 Riviera with fake wood plastic and 3800 over any of the Cadillacs of the same vintage I wouldn’t kick one out of my garage. One of the things that does bug me on this vintage, and this also goes for the 91-93 DeVille, is that the real wood is rather cheap looking in that it isn’t finished like it was on my 85 Riviera W15 Collectors Edition. It’s a veneer that is just stained and not cleared over. You get the impression that when you rub you fingers along any of the pieces you might get a splinter. The finish is that bad. Now my neighbor a few blocks over has a 90 or 91 STS and the finish of the walnut in that model is almost Rolls-Royce quality.
My favorite 86-91 ElDorado would be the 91 Touring Coupe. Make mine ETC only PoloGreen. A close second would be a 91 ETC in bright fire engine red. Those cars look so butch with the 225/60-16 sized black wall tires.
WOW, while I’m not a fan of these Cadillacs I do have to say that the interior on this one is beautiful and exceptionally well preserved.
On another note I have to ask if anyone else is seeing only 5 articles on the front page and if you click on the older entries button it is missing this morning’s Ranch Wagon, The Corporation Part 3 and those posts in-between?
Fun find, although I agree that the Broughamy Biarritz elements look a little out of place on this bodystyle. Even on the earlier generations, I prefer the cleaner look of the non-Biarritz model. If this were an Eldorado Touring Coupe with no vinyl top and the sportier trim, it would be a lot more personally tempting. But I still like this because it’s an underdog — and if ever there were an underdog, it’s this 1986-early ’90s E-body.
Nice car, I have always liked these too, there are a lot of the triple yellow ones running around Florida, I guess the color fits the beach lifestyle.
Too bad some idiot will probably put dubs on it and a system and ruin it.
I always loved that Cadillac yellow and that version of the Eldo. However, I was not a fan of the Biarritz do-dads and preferred the clean rear windows of the base model.
These Eldos also had my all time favourite tail light. So beautiful I’d put one in my wife’s curio cabinet with her priceless objets d’art.
My all time favourite yellow was that used on the 1993 Allante. There was only something like 88 built in Pearl Flax Tricoat – and I somehow passed on one in 1995 with the contrasting black top.
I am a fan of classic Cadillacs, obviously and although this may not be a year that stands out in my mind for Eldorado, it’s pristine condition would make it a viable companion for my ’79 Seville.
I really love that lemon yellow (or you might say limoncello) interior! I actually have always had a soft spot for the 1986-1991 Eldos as well as Toronados. Despite their compact dimensions, they were nonetheless quite luxurious. I’ve never driven one, and I doubt they were stellar performers. Still, a nice soft leisurely ride is a nice alternative once in a while.
Oh, you’d be surprised. I test-drove this Garnet ’89 Eldo (yes, I actually took a picture of it!) back in 1999, and it was both comfortable and peppy, with very good handling too! Just make sure you get at least an ’88 with the 4.5L V8.
Cadillac’s Waxberry Yellow. One of the greatest car colors ever, along with Grabber Blue and Hugger Orange.
Mah… while it is the nicest looking Eldo of that period I have seen in the last 10 years and it does look slightly better then the 87-88 Eldo, it still looks like a 86-93 Buick Riviera and the Riv was a better riding car. The 3.8l is plenty powerful for the size of the car and it is reliable unlike the 4.1 Caddy motor(the jury is still out on the 4.5l v8 also)
In 1992 you could get the Toronado and the Riviera in this color too. I’ve seen a Riv in this color, but it didn’t look like a runner.
Here’s a ’92 Ciera I spotted last July in the same shade: Canyon Yellow.
I like that Sierra. Maybe because I am such a film of the film Fargo but I like that car in that color.
Always liked that shade of yellow on GM cars, though I’m partial to earlier models. I have a mental image of a ’79 Coupe De Ville that would look just perfect in that color. And in my own garage…
A bit more like this one?
I have a strong fondness for that vintage 1977-1979 Coupe deVille.
My father had a ’79 Fleetwood in that color, of all his Cadillacs that was always a favorite of mine
That HAS to be a very nice Monte Carlo just by the fact that it still has its bumper inserts! I can no longer distinguish a ’78 from a ’79 from the front. Is this a ’78?
These cars have but vanished which is sad because I likem.
Is it me or were the late 70’s Yellow/Yellow/YELLOW Cadillacs more yellow than the feature car? This later model seems to be a bit more beigey than the earlier YYY Caddies I remember seeing many years ago.
Agreed. But maybe it was the camera.
They did change it a bit in the 80’s, making it a little more pastel I think, I remember a relative had a slant back Seville this yellow, with a white interior and a while fake convertible top.
I’m sure they were, my parents had a ’77 Coupe de Ville, all yellow, I believe it was called Naples yellow. Yellow body, yellow cabriolet roof, yellow plaid flannel-like cloth and vinyl interior. It was acres of yellowy yellow. Later years looked much more pastel. My brother and I always called it “the banana boat.”
Dammit Don, now I’m going to have that miserable Banana Boat Song from Harry Belafonte running through my head all afternoon. “Daaaaay-O Daaaa-aaaa-aaaaa-O . . . . ” Grrrr. 🙂
Work all day for a drink of Brougham…
Spy the deadly black Corolla…
Daylight come and me wanna go Brougham!
6 foot , 7 foot , 8 foot wide…….
I also remember the earlier all-yellow cars as not having a beige steering wheel.
There’s something about that interior that makes me crave a cupcake covered in buttercream icing.
What ya got here is CLASSIC AMERICAN LUXURY. Doesnt matter that its tiny. Cant shake a stick at that with your Camry i mean “Lexus” now can ya?! This is pure american CLASS. back in the day when you were SOMEONE if you had a Cadillac. AMAZING. UNBELIEVABLE. any classic toyotas or lexuses in this STUNNING of condition? HUH? NOW TELL ME WHO’S GOT CLASS! GOR!GEOUS! waiting… WAIT NEVERMIND, WITH THE 4.9, IM OFF!!!!!!!!
OMG winning bid was $5,200???? That was a steal!
That was a deal, some of these are starting to increase in value slightly, though they still remain pretty cheap, there was a super clean 1983 Riviera on ebay a couple of weeks ago, loaded with a nice color combo, it only went for $3700.
THEY DONT SING SONGS ABOUT CAMRYs OR LEXUSes NOW DO THEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVEN TO THIS DAY! “driving cadillacs in our dreams….” not some japanese wannabe imitator!!!!!!!!!!!!!! poseur at its finest!
Agreed ! On the other hand, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue if a Japanese sings a song about a Lexus LS400 in his native language.
Actually I own the king of Eldorados in this generation; ’91 Touring Coupe in crimson. I updated it with ’01 DTS saw blade wheels and done a few mods to make it pleasurable and hope to order some rare lowering springs from japan for it.
Astro roof and Bose were not standard featured car doesn’t have it.
Pictured All ante is a ’93.
I was going to add the same thing, the Astroroof was not standard on this vintage Biarritz or ETC.
I knew I should have consulted my ’91 Cadillac brochure–serves me right for relying on Wikipedia.
The dashboard is certainly, er, rectilinear. Modern dashboards are so self-consciously swoopy (sometimes to a fault) that it’s odd to see something that looks like it was styled with a straight-edge.
I’m not a big fan of the styling. The nose is well done — I think Cadillac did a decent job of translating its traditional front-end themes to the smaller, more aerodynamic format — but in profile, the relationship between the rather upright roof and the rear wheel well does odd things to the proportions. One of the unfortunate things about this generation of GM cars is that while the big side windows and low beltline are good for visibility, they tend to make the greenhouse look like it’s out of scale with the rest of the car in a way that makes the whole thing look smaller than it actually is. Practical, certainly; aesthetically pleasing, well…
Back in the day and in my parent’s parking garage there was one of similar vintage and color, sorry I don’t know the year. It was also equipped with a hideous continental kit. Don’t ask!!
Interestingly enough, Cadillacs of this era are now turning up for sale at the Carlisle Collector Car events. At the spring show there were two early 1990s Sedan DeVilles for sale, both in mint condition. They sold quickly.
It’s nice to see this survivor, but when I see Cadillacs of this vintage, I’m reminded of how GM handed the luxury market over to Mercedes-Benz. For domestic loyalists, the Lincoln Continental Mark VII LSC was a more compelling choice.
Something about a pale yellow interior just looks weird to me, but it’s possibly because I’m used to the beige and tan that’s so overused these days. Also something about the back half of this car looks oddly out of proportion to me—the rear deck seems too long, I guess.
There is a triple-yellow Sedan De Ville roaming the streets in my area (I saw it at the gas station once with a door open, which is how I know it also has a yellow interior) and one of these days I’ll get a pic or two of it.
Please do! There is a yellow ’89-’91 SDV around here too, but it’s really ratty.
While it may have lived in Florida, that Eldo was originally sold by Delaware Cadillac in Wilmington, DE. I used to own a ’63 Sedan DeVille also sold new there and had a similar ornamental front plate with that diamond shaped logo. I don’t know if they survived the GM bankruptcy dealer consolidation but they had been in business in the same building for decades and hadn’t changed its appearance much. Unfortunately, when I asked them in the late 1990’s if they had any records pertaining to my ’63, they said that stuff was all long gone.