1977 Cadillac Eldorado Biarittz 'Converted' Coupe (LHD)
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.