The pricey 1984 Cadillac Eldorado convertible was the

luxury carmaker's first open-air model since 1976.

1983 and 1984 Cadillac

The 1983 and 1984 Cadillac full-size models were little-changed. Horsepower and torque of the mainstay 4.1-liter V-8 rose by 10 each for the big members of the 1983 Cadillac line. The 1983 Cadillac Eldorado and 1983 Cadillac Seville offered a new acoustically tailored sound system developed by GM's Delco Electronics Division in concert with the Bose speaker people.

All was again mostly quiet for the 1984 Cadillac lineup, except for the return of an open-air model, the 1984 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. This was the first Eldo ragtop and the first Cadillac convertible since the controversial 1976 model, which, as it turned out, Cadillac falsely promoted as the "last convertible."

Actually, Buick had issued a convertible Riviera for 1982, which made Cadillac seem rather slow to follow suit with the 1984 Cadillac Eldorado, which share the Riv's basic body structure.  The likely reason was not the no-more-convertibles promise but the Riviera's slow sales, which must have made Cadillac managers hesitate.

But when they did it, and they did it big. Offered only in uplevel Biarritz trim (a staple option for coupes since the late '70s), the 1984 Cadillac Eldorado had a base price of $31,286, the costliest U.S. production convertible offered to that time.

But like the open Riviera, the Cadillac Eldorado convertible would die after the 1985 model year. Price didn't kill it as much as the advent of a smaller new body design for the Cadillac Eldorado, as well as the luxury market's continuing swing to high-end import brands.

Important changes were on tap for model year 1985. Read about these on the next page.

For more information on Cadillac, see:

  • Cadillac: Learn the history of America's premier luxury car, from 1930s classics to today's newest Cadillac models.
  • Consumer Guide New Car Reviews and Prices: Road test results, photos, specifications, and prices for 2007 Cadillacs and hundreds of other new cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs.
  • 1970-1979 Cadillac: See how Cadillac maintained its hold on the premium market by adroitly addressing changing consumer demands.
  • 1990-1999 Cadillac: Import competition and a stale image rock once-proud Cadillac. Here's the low-down on Cadillac's come-down.