Cadillac was synonymous with the word luxury for every American and the company celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1977 with a new and improved model range. By the mid-1970s, the Eldorado had grown into a personal coupé of gargantuan dimensions, packed with every conceivable luxury feature of the day. In keeping with the industry trend towards smaller, more efficient cars, each of the full-size models in Cadillac's range were downsized in 1977 and a new 425-cid (7-litre) V8 replaced the previous 500-cid monster, either with a four-barrel carburettor or optional electronic fuel injection (raising horsepower from 180 to 195, although the torque figure remained unchanged at 320lb/ft at 2400 rpm). The only transmission available was the Turbo Hydra-matic and the four-wheel disc brakes were now finned for better cooling. The 1977 Eldorado was built on a 126-inch wheelbase platform and the styling was revamped, with a new grille pattern, headlamps and vertical tail lamps. The convertible was dropped (although Convertibles Inc. of Ohio did a few conversions) leaving the coupé as the only Eldorado model, with no fewer than 47,344 built that year. Firsts for 1977 included Automatic Climate Control with a compressor that only ran when needed, an AM/FM signal-seeking radio with scanner and power antenna, Electronic Cruise Control with “resume” and “advance” functions and Whitewall Radial tyres as standard. A special edition for 1977 was the Custom Biarritz, which boasted a padded Elk Grain Cabriolet Coupé roof with formal quarter and rear windows and opera lamps, plus Sierra Grain leather upholstery on “pillow seats”, all for $1,760 on top of the base price of $11,187. The penultimate year before Cadillac launched a vastly downsized model, the 1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz was the last word in luxury American motoring in an era when bigger definitely was better.
2014 Shannons Melbourne Late Summer Classic Auction