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1972 CADILLAC ELDORADO Cadillac Index

The bigger V-8 of 1970 hinted that a bigger Eldo was on the way. But though the mostly new 1971 edition was 6.3 inches longer between wheel centers, it was just 0.6-inch longer overall and only some 75 pounds heavier. Even so, the more rounded styling made it look far bulkier than its crisply chiselled forebears, and most of the extra wheelbase went ahead of the firewall, not into the cockpit. All of which later moved Automobile Quarterly to lament that "there is absolutely no logical reason for owning [this] Eldorado.... In terms of efficiency it ranks somewhere near zero.... In terms of handling it is a barge compared with the very nice car it was six years ago. It also has the thirstiest engine in production."

Cadillac Eldorado But if this Eldorado seemed outsize then, let alone now, it was precisely what the luxury market wanted for most of the self-indulgent Seventies. Sales bear this out. Bolstered by a revived Eldorado convertible (replacing the DeVille ragtop), this series recorded sizeable production gains through 1973, dipped in Energy Crisis '74, recovered in 1975-76, then soared to a record 47,000 in swan-song 1977-78.

Year-to-year changes were too numerous to list here, but the 500 V-8 persisted through '76 (with fuel injection optional from early 1975), after which a more responsible new 425 took over. Styling was freshened for '75 with skinless rear wheels, a pronounced beltline dip, and rectangular quad headlights; four-wheel disc brakes were standardized for '76. There were always plenty of interesting options, such as the coupe's Custom Cabriolet roof (from 1972), fancy Custom Biarritz and two-tone Biarritz Classic packages (from late '76), "Track Master" rear anti-lock brakes (1972), even a driver's airbag (a few for '74). Horsepower withered with progressively tightening emissions limits -- drastically with the switch from SAE gross to more realistic net ratings -- but usable performance wasn't much affected. Prices went the other way, breaking the $10,000 barrier in '75.

Cadillac Eldorado By then, the ultimate owner-driver Cadillac was the new Seville, a compact four-door priced at $12,479, but the soft-top Eldorado made a big splash for '76 as Detroit's last factory-built convertible. Though Cadillac had held out longest against the steady, industry-wide drop in ragtop demand, there was no reason to persist by mid-decade. But the sales staff, seeing a golden profit opportunity, ordered a final run of 14,000 Convertibles -- up 60 percent on 1975 output. Announcing "the last of a magnificent breed," they then really hyped things with 2000 special all-white commemoratives. Cadillac kept the very last one of those, but rabid speculators quickly bid the others up to three times the suggested $11,049 sticker price -- all to no avail. As time would prove, of course, this "last convertible" really wasn't, and the open-air Eldorado would return. 1972
Cadillac Eldorado interior

Model NameModel NumberBody/Style NumberBody TypeSeatingFactory priceShipping weightProduction total
Fleetwood Eldorado693/LL67-E2-dr Conv. Coupe6 pass.$76814966 lb7975
Fleetwood Eldorado693/LL47-H2-dr HT Sport Coupe6 pass.$73604880 lb32,099

Engine typeV-8 Overhead valves. Cast iron block
Displacement500 cubic inches (8.2 L)
Bore & stroke4.300 x 4.304 inches
Compression ratio8.5:1
Brake horsepower (SAE net)365 @ 4400 rpm
Brake horsepower (SAE gross)400 @ 4400 rpm
Torque535 @ 3000 rpm
Oil pressure35
Main bearingsfive
Valve liftersHydraulic
CarburetorRochester four-barrel Quadrajet model 4MV (Eldorado type)

ModelWheelbaseOverall lengthTires
Eldorado126.3223 inL-78 x 15

Cruise control$92
Eighty-Amp generator$41
Heavy-duty cooling system$56
Exhaust emission system, required on all cars built for California sale$15
Trailer Towing package$62

Automatic Climate Control$523
Automatic Level Control$77
Rear window defogger$36
Grid type rear window defogger$62
Door edge guards$6
Power door locks with electric seat back release in coupes and convertibles$69
Dual Comfort seat$103
One piece front and rear floor mats$19
Soft Ray tinted glass$57
Convertible hard boot$40
Bumper impact strips$24
License frame(s)$6/1; $11/2
Remote control right mirror$26
Firemist paint$128
AM/FM pushbutton Radio$183
AM/FM signal-seeking stereo Radio$320
AM/FM radio with tape$406
Custom Cabriolet Eldorado Coupe roof$360
Full vinyl Eldorado padded top$157
Power seat options$89-115
Shoulder belts in convertible front seat or rear seat$31
Tilt and Telescope steering wheel$92
Sun roof with vinyl or padded roof mandatory$610
Sunroof with Eldorado Coupe Custom Cabriolet treatment$1005
Remote control trunk lock$56
Trunk mat$8
Twilight Sentinel$40
Expanded leather upholstery in Eldorado coupe$179
White sidewall L78-15 tires$41

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NEXT: History of the 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood
NEXT: History of the 1972 Cadillac Overview
NEXT: History of the 1973 Cadillac

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