« Last post by J. Skelly on Yesterday at 09:37:01 PM »
Aside from the factual errors in the article, I agree that the Eldorado didn't have the same distinctiveness after the 1978 model. I was disappointed with the 1971 Eldorado when it came out. Compared to the 1967-1970 models with its crisp lines, it looked bloated with the fender skirts. Having opera windows in place of a true two-door hardtop roof was another disappointment. I was glad to see the convertible version, which looked sleek even with the skirts. The 1979-1985 'E' bodies (Eldorado, Riviera, Toronado) shared the same roofline, so all three lost some of their unique character. The 1979-1985 models certainly were a better size for driving, had nice styling, and sold better than their predecessors.
Unfortunately, the 1970s was the beginning of the end for the auto industry in some ways. Cars have now become appliances. GM downsized their full-sized cars for 1977, their intermediates for 1978, and the compacts for 1980. Cars became narrower, had less usable interior room in most instances, wheelhouse intrusion into the footwells became the norm and continues to this day. Engine compartments have gotten more compact so that it is almost impossible for the average person to do any routine maintenance. The goal of better gas mileage was met through lower weight and less powerful engines. Lower emissions with good driveability was eventually accomplished. Cars have gotten better performance and gas mileage in the past forty years, have better build quality, and more features. However, most sedans look about the same and there aren't many coupes and convertibles to choose from that adequately seat more than two people. The cars we took for granted with their great styling are slowly becoming just a memory.