The 70’s machine

I acquired this 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible on April 30th of 2002, from it’s second owner in Fort Washinton, Maryland. The photo’s you see on this post are from the day it came to Pennsylvania, hence the Maryland tags.

The gentleman I bought it from had in turn bought it in January 1973, with 18,886 miles on the clock, and it had been meticulously looked after in the 29 years he owned it – with the car came a complete service history including the original bill of sale, and it had received an engine overhaul in November 2001 (over $5,000 according to the bill). In general, it was a bit tired, but all there, and it had recently had a new convertible top. It had been painted sometime in the 90’s in it’s original color, but a budget job.

I registered it on Historic plates, which in PA means you don’t have to register it every year, and you don’t need inspections – but you are limited as to how much you can drive it.

In 2002 to 2004 it only came out in the summer, and I replaced a few items – rear shocks, tires, some drive shaft boots, and general service items. I bought a fitted cover, and garaged it over the winter. In 2004 I had a very frustrating time trying to fix the drivers’ side rear quarter power window, and couldn’t get the new bushings and parts. Although you can get most service items for the car still, body and trim parts are virtually impossible.

If you’re not familiar with this car, 1971 was a lot of firsts for Cadillac. It was the first year they brough back a convertible, it was the first front wheel drive Eldorado, and it was the first year of the massive 500cu in (8.2 litre) V8 powerplant. This is the largest capacity passenger car engine ever produced.

So it got covered up in December 2004, theoretically for the winter. I didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t going to see the light of day again until March of 2009.

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