The main reason the reborn ragtop lasted no longer was that the all-new 1986 Eldorado proved too small to make into a practical convertible. Shrunk to a 108-inch wheelbase in a second-wave GM downsizing effort (along with the still-related Toronado and Riviera), it was the trimmest, handiest Eldo ever: 16 inches shorter and over 300 pounds lighter than the '85. Transverse engine mounting, unit construction, and a new four-wheel coil/strut suspension with transverse rear leaf spring saved weight and improved rigidity while preserving most of the previous generations interior space, and handling benefitted from a switch to rack-and-pinion steering. But buyers didn't take to the smaller size -- or to the styling, which for all its Cadillac hallmarks was uncomfortably like that of some lesser GM cars. Production plunged two-thirds, then sank to a dismal 17,775 in 20th-anniversary 1987, the lowest ever for a front-drive Eldo.
A downsized E-body Eldo was designed, according to Cadillac, for "sporty elegance, and sheer driving pleasure." Buick Riviera and Olds Toronado rode the same chassis, but neither of them offered what Eldo had: a transverse-mounted V-8 under the hood. Like the similar Seville, the new Eldo was more than 16 in. shorter than its predecessor. On the down side, both of them now looked a little too much alike, lacking the special styling qualities that had set both apart in previous incarnations.
Eldorado's side marker lamps were set into the bodyside moldings at front and rear, with "Eldorado" script just ahead of the front wheel. A wreath-and-crest was on the wide rear pillar. At the rear were vertical taillamps, with vertical rectangular backup lights alongside the license plate. Along with the altered body came the demise of the Eldo convertible (for the second time in a decade).
To improve rust resistance, all body panels (except the roof) were two-sided galvanized metal. Flush composite headlamps held both high- and low-beam bulbs. The fully independent suspension used a fiberglass transverse single leaf spring in the back. A new digital instrument cluster included a tachometer and engine gauges in a "driver information center." Standard equipment included
Eldorado's Biarritz package included
Inside luxuries included
American walnut wood found a place on the steering wheel, console, door trim and instrument panel. An optional touring suspension package (Goodyear Eagle GT high-performance P215/60R15 tires, rear stabilizer bar, stiffer front stabilizer bar and specially-tuned components) offered a firmer, better-controlled ride but included no special graphics or ornamentation.
|Model||Series Number||Body/Style Number||Body Type||Seating||Factory Price||Shipping Weight||Production Total|
|Eldorado (V-8)||6E||L57||2-door Coupe||5||$24,251||3291 lb||21,342|
|Type||90-degree, overhead valve V-8. Cast iron block and head.|
|Displacement||249 cu. in. (4.1 liters|
|Bore & stroke||3.47 x 3.31 in.|
|Brake horsepower||130 at 4200 R.P.M.|
|Torque||200 lbs.-ft. at 2200 R.P.M.|
|Main Bearings||Five main bearings|
|Valve Lifters||Hydraulic valve lifters|
|Overall length||188.2 in.|
|Front Tread||59.9 in.|
|Rear Tread||59.9 in.|
|Transmission||Four-speed (THM440-T4) automatic|
|Gear ratios||(1st) 2.92:1; (2nd) 1.57:1; (3rd) 1.00:1; (4th) 0.70:1: (Rev) 2.38:1|
|Standard final drive ratio||2.97:1|
|Steering||power rack and pinion|
|Front suspension||MacPherson struts with dual path mounts, coil springs and stabilizer bar|
|Rear suspension||independent with transverse leaf spring, struts, electronic level control|
|Fuel tank||18.0 gal.|