The Cadillac Eldorado Bicentennial Edition: A true American convertible

The 1976 Bicentennial Edition of the Cadillac Eldorado is an all-white convertible with red and blue trim. The limited edition car was produced to celebrate America's 200th birthday.
The Bicentennial Edition of the
Cadillac Eldorado was created to celebrate America’s 200th birthday.
Photograph by dave_7. Distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

The Cadillac Eldorado had class, luxury, and was the top-of-the-line Cadillac with a long tradition that lasted 12 car generations.

The name Eldorado is actually two separate words in Spanish combined together to translate into “the gilded one.” How appropriate, since the Cadillac Eldorado is legendary for its luxurious feel and special look.

The 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was a special year in its storied history.

It was supposed to be the last year for the Cadillac convertible, with 14,000 units sold, and marketed as the “last American convertible,” because of expected Department of Transportation regulations, and safety concerns all brought on by car-safety guru Ralph Nader.

The last 200 cars off the line of the 14,000 Eldorados produced were known as the “Bicentennial Edition.”

Why the Bicentennial Edition was produced

The Bicentennial Edition was created to recognize the United States’ 200th year as a nation in 1976.

Only 199 of the 200 were sold. The 200th and last car of the Bicentennial Edition that rolled off the line was kept by General Motors because the company knew it was something special.

Many people who bought the Eldorado that year put it away as an investment, and it’s why many of the 1976 Eldorados exist today. The base price for the Bicentennial Edition was $11,049, and it only came in white.

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Limited edition Eldorado features

The Bicentennial Edition Eldorados were the top of the line, the biggest, and the best.

It featured a white top, and white body finish with red and blue pinstripes. The convertibles had white wheel cover inserts that accentuated the white theme.

The interior included red carpet, white leather interior with red piping, and a special plate on the dash that read, “This 1976 Fleetwood Eldorado is one of the last 200 identical U.S. production convertibles,” to recognize this special addition.

Every detail on the Bicentennial Eldorado was ornate. Beautifully textured door trims were installed, and every interior option that existed at that time was included. 

The 1976 Eldorado was a 2-door, and over 20 feet long.

Its hood had a span of over 6 feet and covered the 8.2L V8 500 cubic-inch engine that produced 180 horsepower at 3600 revolutions per minute (RPM), 359 pound-foot torque at 2000 RPM. In other words, it was a beast.

Its engine sounded smooth, but was a gas guzzler, averaging 8-10 miles per gallon.

The 1976 Cadillac Eldorado is a true American Classic and deserves its place among the most sought-after classics in the car world.

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