Cadillac Moels & History  1981

Up front, Eldorado’s new grille had a tiny crosshatch pattern below the wide, brushed-chrome finished, peaked upper bar. Quad rectangular headlamps sat above amber-lensed quad parking/signal lamps. Horizontal-style clear/amber cornering lamps sat a short distance back on the fenders. Like Seville, Eldorado also added a front air dam below the bumper. Wheel covers showed big red medallions. Inside, Eldorados sported a new center console, woodgrain applique on door panels, and simulated teakwood dash trim. Standard equipment this year included

  • low rolling-resistance tires
  • low-fuel warning
  • a new underhood light
  • new windshield washers.

Also standard:

  • dual-spot map lamps/courtesy lights
  • seat belt chimes
  • lamp monitors
  • electric trunk release and power pull-down,
  • compact spare tire
  • dual remote-control mirrors
  • six-way power driver’s seat
  • electronic-tuning signal-seeking stereo radio
  • MPG Sentinel
  • Twilight Sentinel
  • accent stripes on bodysides and deck lid
  • much more.

As before, Eldorados featured four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and electronic level control. On the option list was a Touring Suspension that included larger tires. New Dual Comfort 45/45 front seats held driver and passenger. Leather upholstery in tufted seating areas came in 10 hues including new doeskin, light waxberry, and dark jadestone. New standard Heather and Dundee fabric came in four colors. Door handles were new too.

Photo courtesy of Mark & Debbie Dearborn

Standard engine was the new 368 cu. in. V8-6-4 with on-board computer diagnostics. Two options were offered: Buick’s 4.1-liter V-6 with three-speed automatic transmission (four-speed overdrive with the V8-6-4), or the Oldsmobile diesel V-8. Major body components now carried labels conforming to vehicle identification numbers, in an attempt to prevent thefts. Eldorado Biarritz included tufted pillow-style seating and steering wheel in Sierra Grain leather, in any of five colors; Tampico carpeting; front console; individual rear reading lamps; opera lamps; accent stripes; and Biarritz script insignia. A brushed stainless steel roof section extended from the flush-mount windshield back to an Elk Grain vinyl cabriolet roof. A wide chrome molding crossed the roof, turning a square corner and extending forward to the front fenders. Biarritz came in 21 colors. New standard wire wheel covers had red center sections with the Cadillac wreath-and-crest medallion. The opera lamps were optional on the Eldorados.

Model Number Style Number Body Type Seating Factory Price Shipping Weight Production Total
6E L57 2-door Coupe 5 $17,385 / 17,550 3815 / 3822 lb 60,643

 

FACTORY PRICE AND WEIGHT NOTE

Figures before the slash are for V-6 engine, after slash for variable-displacement gas V8-6-4. A diesel V-8 was also available on Eldorado. By late spring 1981, prices rose on all except Eldorado.

ENGINES

 

Feature Standard 8-6-4 V8 Option V-6 Option V-8 diesel
Type 90-degree, overhead valve variable-displacement. Cast iron block and head 90-degree, overhead valve V-6. Cast iron block and head 90-degree, overhead valve V-8. Cast iron block and head
Displacement 368 cu. in. (6.0 liters) 252 cu. in. (4.1 liters) 350 cu. in. (5.7 liters)
Bore & stroke 3.80 x 4.06 in. 3.965 x 3.40 in. 4.057 x 3.385 in.
Compression ratio 8.2:1 8.0:1 22.5:1
Brake horsepower 140 @ 3800 rpm 125 @ 3800 rpm 105 @ 3200 rpm
Torque 265 lbs.-ft. @ 1400 rpm 210 lbs.-ft. @ 2000 rpm 200 lbs.-ft. @ 1600 rpm
Main bearings Five
Valve lifters Hydraulic
Fuel supply Digital fuel injection 4-bbl Carburetor Fuel injection
Made by Cadillac Buick Oldsmobile
VIN Code 9 4 N

 

CHASSIS DATA

 

  • Wheelbase: 114.0 in.
  • Overall length: 204.5 in.
  • Height: 54.3 in.
  • Width: 71.5 in.
  • Front Tread: 59.3 in.
  • Rear Tread: 60.6 in.
  • Standard Tires: P205/75R15 SBR wide WSW
TECHNICAL

 

  • Turbo Hydra-matic transmission, column shift.
  • Gear ratio three-speed automatic: (1st) 2.74:1; (2nd) 1.57:1; (3rd) 1.00:1; (Rev) 2.07:1.
  • Gear ratio four-speed automatic: (1st) 2.74:1; (2nd) 1.57:1; (3rd) 1.00:1: (4th) 0.667:1; (Rev) 2.07:1.
  • Standard final drive ratio: 2.41:1 except w/V-6, 2.93:1
  • Steering: recirculating ball (power assisted).
  • Front suspension: independent torsion bars, link-type stabilizer bar
  • Rear suspension: independent trailing arm, coil springs, electronic level control
  • Brakes: four-wheel disc.
  • Fuel tank: 22.8 gal. w/diesel, 20.3 gal. w/V8-6-4, 21.1 gal. w/V-6
DRIVETRAIN OPTIONS

 

  • 4.1-liter gas V-6 engine ($165 credit)
  • 5.7-liter diesel V-8 engine ($325-$351)
  • California emission equipment ($46-$182).
  • Engine block heater ($22).
  • 100-amp alternator ($41).
  • Heavy-duty cooling ($59).
  • Touring suspension: ($95).
  • Trailering pkg. ($59-$100).
OPTION PACKAGES

 

  • Brougham d’Elegance: cloth seating ($1066); leather ($1536).
  • Eldorado Biarritz ($2937).
  • Eldorado Cabriolet ($363).
CONVENIENCE/APPEARANCE OPTIONS

 

  • Astroroof ($1058)
  • Rear defogger, grid-type ($134-$175).
  • Automatic door locks ($129).
  • Garage door opener ($125).
  • Illuminated entry system ($67).
  • Digital instrument cluster: ($200).
  • Memory driver’s seat ($169).
  • Six-way power passenger seat: Eldorado ($172).
  • Power river’s seat recliner ($130).
  • Power passenger seat recliner w/six-way power seat: ($302).
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel ($79).
  • Tilt/telescope steering wheel ($147).
  • Theft deterrent system ($157).
  • Guidematic headlamp control ($78).
  • Opera lamps: ($72).
  • Trumpet horn ($28).
  • Thermometer on left mirror ($35).
  • Twin lighted vanity mirrors ($116).
  • Electronic-tuning seek/scan AM/FM stereo radio with 8-track tape player ($195); with 8-track and CB ($480); w/cassette ($281); w/cassette and CB ($547).
  • Two-tone paint: ($293); partial Firemist. ($394).
  • Firemist paint ($208).
  • Door edge guards ($16-$24).
  • License frames, each ($11).
  • Front console: ($151).
  • Leather seating area ($439-$595).
  • Carpeted rubber floor mats: front ($35-$38); rear ($20).
  • Trunk mat ($16).
  • Cast aluminum wheels: ($376)
  • Locking wire wheel covers ($266-$328).
  • Puncture-sealing tires ($106).