Eldorado Cadillac History 1986

Eldorado Cadillac Models & History 1986

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

  • a floor shift lever for the four-speed overdrive automatic transaxle,
  • leather-trimmed tilt/telescope steering wheel
  • four-wheel disc brakes
  • front bucket seats with lumbar support
  • cruise control
  • power windows and door locks
  • power trunk lid release
  • Twilight Sentinel
  • body-colored electric outside mirrors
  • seek/scan stereo radio with power antenna
  • aluminum alloy wheels
  • electronic level control

Eldorado’s Biarritz package included

  • a formal cabriolet vinyl roof
  • opera lamps
  • wide bodyside accent moldings
  • two-tone paint
  • wire wheel covers

Inside luxuries included

  • leather upholstery
  • Tampico carpeting
  • deluxe floor mats
  • walnut wood appliques
  • dual power front reclining bucket seats with power lumbar support
  • a six-way power passenger seat
  • front seatback pockets

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.
Compression ratio 8.5:1
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
Fuel Delivery TBI
VIN Code 8


Wheelbase 108.0 in.
Overall length 188.2 in.
Height 53.7 in.
Width 71.3 in.
Front Tread 59.9 in.
Rear Tread 59.9 in.
Standard Tires P205/70R14


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
Brakes four-wheel disc
Fuel tank 18.0 gal.


California emission equipment $99
Engine block heater $45
Heavy-duty battery $40
FE2 touring suspension pkg. $200
FE2 touring suspension (15 in. alum. alloy wheels, P215/60R15 Goodyear Eagle GT hi-perf BSW tires, rear stabilizer bar, stiffer front stab. bar $155


Eldorado Biarritz cloth $3095
Eldorado Biarritz leather $3495
Security option package $460


Astroroof $1255
Rear defogger with heated outside mirrors $170
Automatic door locks $170
Remote fuel filler door release $60
Garage door opener $140-$165
Illuminated entry system $80
phone provision $395
Six-way power passenger seat $235
Power passenger seat recliner with six-way power seat $330
Trunk release and pull-down $80-$120
Theft deterrent system $200
Dimming Sentinel headlamp control $130
Twin lighted vanity mirrors $140
Automatic day/night mirror $80
ET AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and graphic equalizer $319
ET AM/FM stereo radio with cassette and Delco-GM/Bose music system $895
Firemist or Pearlmist paint $240
Accent moldings $75
Color-keyed door edge guards $19-$29
License frames, each $15
Front license bracket NC
Leather seating area $400-$550
Carpeted front floor mats $45
Carpeted rear floor mats $25
Trunk mat $26
Wire wheel covers $190
Puncture-sealing tires $145-$190
P215/60R15 SBR WSW $66