Curbside Classic: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado – On The Dark Side

I drive past this car almost every day. I’ve gotten into a habit of quickly glancing in the direction where she’s usually parked. She’s almost always there. A pristine time capsule, the kind you expect to see at some classic car show. Maybe tens of thousands of dollars poured into it with a single goal in mind: to win the top prize. The kind you expect to be not just a garage, but a trailer queen, massaged with the best of paint scratch removers and hauled around for show. Not sitting by the curb a few blocks from where you live.

Basking in the sun like it’s 1967.

As I stood in front of the car songs from the classic vinyl era surfaced in my mind. I have a song for every antique car I get to be in or near. And when I say “near” I mean close, reeel close.

At first I thought this would be “Terminus Eldorado”. You know, by Teddy Nugent (my favorite one of his songs, btw). But somehow that just didn’t… quite suit this car or what I was feeling at the moment. I shifted to my right, out into the street, to take the next picture ? from what has to be my favorite angle to photoshoot classic cars. You can almost never go wrong with this one. If there is any menace, any muscle there, this angle is going to show every last inch of it and put it all squarely in the spotlight.

And then I realized. You see, I am a Lincoln guy first and foremost, the Mark series in particular always spike my interest. Any GM, let alone an Eldo, is like a walk on the dark side. From what I do know about them I am fairly convinced that I wouldn’t much like it over there. Front-wheel drive anyone? On a big boat? Come on. Sounds like wrong-wheel drive to me. But now I stood in front of a creature of such style and grace, all of a sudden I didn’t really care which wheel drive it was. All I could do was stare at those curves. Or that…

tastefully sculpted rear end. Pure poetry. Pure lust.

Yes, I’m still talking about cars.

Cue John Cafferty. That’s the song for this car, and no other will do.

1967 was the first year of the radically redesigned 4th gen Cadillac Eldorado, now moved to a front-wheel drive platform. They only made these for four years, 1967-1970. And ladies and gentlemen, this girl is a 1967. One of the first ones. You can pin it down to the first two years of production because 1969-70 didn’t have the hidden headlamps. This one does.

Did you know that for three out of its four production years (with the exception of 1967, when this was an option) the 4th gen had the disc brakes standard? And that acceleration with the 429 cu in V8 was 0-60 in less than nine seconds? No, wait, let me put it this way, did you know that the “compact car” 7th gen Eldo (1986-91) armed with the best 80s technology that GM could muster? also had a 0-60 of 9 seconds, which is to say that under WOT the heavier and in every way bigger and by then some twenty years older 4th gen would probably beat it in a straight line?

Hell, the 7th gen would probably blow a gasket just trying to keep up, while our graceful prowler would barely break a sweat revving her (without a doubt clean) 7.03, or for the final year of production, in 1970, 8.2 liter V8? The sound you hear is that of my laughter, echoing down the corridors of time. Put John Cafferty aside for a minute, this car is to the 7th gen like Led Zeppelin is to Duran Duran.

I’ll leave it to Paul to educate us about how the mighty had fallen (that 7th gen Eldo is in my top 3 all-time not just GM but Detroit sins in general). Let’s just spend our final minute together discarding the images of the ugly from our minds and focusing on one of the last badass cowboys to roam this great land with style, grace, and substance.

The car’s owner, Kurt, with whose kind permission these pictures were taken, told me the car still runs with no known serious issues. The vehicle’s cosmetic condition leaves no doubt in my mind that it is true. It fills my heart with joy when I drive by and once in a while I look to the side street to check on this girl, and she won’t be sitting there.

Kurt, who is not the original owner, noted that these might be the original whitewalls. This vehicle is show ready folks. Even the interior is in excellent condition.

As I said goodbye to the gracious host and his beautiful car, I wasnt feeling sad inside. My faithful girl was waiting, fresh with a full tune-up and new brakes, eager for us to take the streets in what promises to be a very exciting summer. But something made me turn around and look at the chick in black satin one last time. Actually it wouldn’t be the last time, as I am destined to drive past this car every day, simply by virtue of how the streets are laid out here. And so as I looked her up once more before walking away I knew that each time when I drove by I would be reminded there are times in life…

…when the dark side is calling.

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