1960-1969 Cadillac

1967 Cadillac and 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
The new 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, complete with front-wheel drive, was a technological tour de force.
The new 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, complete with front-wheel drive, was a technological tour de force.

The 1967 Cadillac lineup welcomed the arrival of the most-significant Cadillac of the decade: an all-new 1967 Cadillac Eldorado with front-wheel drive.

Based on the year-old 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado personal-luxury hardtop coupe, the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado seemed rather daring for the luxury field, but had six years of careful planning and research behind it. Front-wheel drive gave it outstanding roadability; GM design czar Bill Mitchell gave it magnificent styling.

Creased like a tailored Italian suit, broad shouldered, wonderfully proportioned, and devoid of extraneous brightwork, the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado was a high point even in this heady period when GM styling as a whole set the pace for the American auto industry. 

A technological tour de force, 1967 Cadillac Eldorado quickly established itself as the ultimate Cadillac. The 1967 Cadillac Eldorado originated in 1959, with experimental project XP-727, which underwent several rethinks through early 1962. Management then settled on front-wheel drive, and further prototypes evolved with that in mind.

Razor-edge lines highlight the exquisite styling of the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado.

For awhile, Cadillac considered calling the car LaSalle, but ultimately chose Eldorado as a name with higher recognition. A clay model called XP-825, with razor-edge lines and formal roof treatment, was essentially the final production design.

Unlike the Toronado, the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado was a very low-key announcement. This was typical of Cadillac, which used the one-year delay to improve on Oldsmobile's package.

The 1967 Cadillac Eldorado thus rode better than the Toro, yet handled at least as well despite the same basic suspension (torsion bars, A-arms, and telescopic shocks up front; a beam axle in back on semi-elliptic leaf springs and four shock absorbers -- two horizontal, two vertical).

Two unique additions for the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado were self-leveling control, to keep the car on an even keel with a heavy load in the trunk, and optional front-disc brakes with radially vented calipers, a plus for dynamic safety.

On its own relatively compact 120-inch wheelbase, the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado carried a base sticker price of $6,277. Marketing targeted it for 10 percent of Cadillac's total 1967 model-year production, about 20,000 units. The final figure was 17,930.

The Eldo's basic '67 design would carry through for the 1968 Cadillac Eldorado, which saw sales climb to 24,528, and for the 1969 Cadillac Eldorado, which moved at a 23,333-unit clip. And unlike the old 1957-60 Eldorado Brougham hardtop sedan, the 1967-1969 Cadillac Eldorado made money from day one.

The 1967 Cadillacs showed off an extensively redesigned front end, evident on this 1967 Cadillac de Ville convertible.

The bread-and-butter 1967 Cadillac models weren't overlooked in the hubbub over the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. In fact, the 1967 Cadillac lineup enjoyed an extensive restyle announced by a front-end ensemble thrust forward at the top.

New 1967 Cadillac features included printed mylar instrument-panel circuits, automatic-level-control suspension (standard on all Fleetwoods), cruise control, and tilt steering wheel. Bolstered by the new Eldorado, which was actually part of the Fleetwood series, Cadillac built precisely 200,000 cars for the model year.

New government emissions standards were instituted in 1968. On the next page, learn how Cadillac's engineers responded to these stricter standards.

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.
  • 1950-1959 Cadillac: Cadillac symbolizes the optimism of a swaggering America with soaring tailfins and Elvis-era glamour.
  • 1970-1979 Cadillac: See how Cadillac maintained its hold on the premium market by adroitly changing consumer demands.