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1979 Eldorado Project Car

Started by Bryan J Moran, December 21, 2022, 11:10:29 AM

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Bryan J Moran

I previously posted this "inside" of a 1980 Eldorado post.

This 1979 is saved in my facebook marketplace ads.  I keep coming back to it.  She wants an offer.  Of course, the underhood rust and the rust on that rear fender draws the eye and she just can't get it sold.

But I have to wonder if this might really be a low mileage car.  According to her ad, it was up on jacks, and covered in the shed for 20 + years.  Therefore, perhaps paint is close to actual "shade."

It would need gas tank dropped, and all normal services.  If I were to offer, which is unlikely but possible - what would be a fair price?


Ad seems kind of unclear. Did they put it in the shed after they dragged it off the sea floor? Or was it the shed itself located next to the Titanic?

All seriousness none of these cars are worth body cancer repairs at any price. That car is toast. Body condition is similar to an 85 I had with 350k miles. Rust was so severe one of the seams body filler "popped" the C pillar. Not much was left of the rear frame rails.

If someone were to offer to haul it away for free the seller would be ahead of the game. The interior could possibly be parted if rodents (or sea life) haven't trashed it.
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1983 Sedan deVille


Looking at that rear quarter you can see more bubbling than around the side marker.

Around the wheel opening and the panel right behind the tail light.

You would have to look at the frame in person and the trunk floor. No way should you make any offer without looking.

The shame is the interior looks like a low mileage car. If you needed some red seats and there was no mold growing the interior parts would be useful. Just an example what poor storage can do to a car that was probably nice when stored.
1959 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Sports Sedan
1964 Oldsmobile 98 Town Sedan (OCA 1st)
1970 GMC C1500
1977 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Coupe
1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Sr Crown #959)*
1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Brgham Coupe (OCA 1st)
1992 Oldsmobile 98
1996 Oldsmobile 98

79 Eldorado

If someone had a perfect body 1982-1985, a lot of seat time on their interior, and was tempted to do a power train transplant this might be the perfect car.

You would need to see it to assess the value but I can say those wheels are basically impossible to find. I'm sure if someone was transplanting the engine everything would clean-up.

The sad issue is it's probably worth more as a parts car than a salvageable car assuming corrosion bothers you like it does me.

The first E-Body I has was a 1979 Toronado. The body was probably in similar condition when I bought it. I had it painted and drove it as a daily driver all year long. Eventually the frame corroded/broke near the rear shock towers on both sides and it needed repair just before the bumper. I had it repaired and not too long after the rust in the short-height vertical section of the roof, above the doors, started to break through and about the same time the frame started to look pretty bad under the doors in the same area. I was meticulous about making certain everything mechanical was correct on the car but the body/frame just gave-up. I think I got about 6 years out of that car but I also needed to have the transmission rebuilt around 100K miles. I put around 80K miles on it while I had it.

Rust prone areas on the outer body are:
-Area near the rear marker light (like this car has)
-A-pillar bottom (sponge inside that area)
-Around the door handles (but door handles are different on the Toronado)
-Roof area above the door (The Biarritz does have a stainless panel bonded over the roof but my rust was coming from the inside.
-Area covered by the stainless lower trim everywhere there's a clip (Also the same under the lower door trim).
-Around the lower part of the vinyl top
-Seemingly 1985 only the front fenders above the wheel molding.

Another area to watch for is the lower radiator support. I had a 1984 and hoses/lines were the only thing keeping the radiator and condenser in the car.


Scott Nellis

   Quite frankly Bryan, I believe this car is in that unfortunate category where it is too good to be a parts car, and not good enough for a true Cadillac lover like yourself who would like to make it presentable and safe. The rust and bubbles you see in the pictures are probably the tip of the iceberg and further inspection will reveal more trouble than you bargained for even if you purchased it for $2000. What may seem like a steal may haunt you in the future. There is usually a reason that cars remain unsold for long periods of time. This particular car may be meant for someone not as concerned with aesthetics. Buy it cheap, make it safe, and drive it as it looks now until it becomes unsafe, then part it out.
   You seem to be very gifted at scouring the internet and the countryside finding Cadillacs for sale in a vast array of years, models, and conditions. I would suggest you wait for the right one in better shape even if it is at a higher price. Repairs always seem to cost more than I estimate, and it always takes longer to actually get it roadworthy. Perhaps that is just me though. I can't speak for others.
1957 Eureka Hearse
1965 Miller-Meteor Hearse
1968 Miller-Meteor Hearse
1968 Fleetwood Brougham
1970 Superior Hearse

Bryan J Moran

Thanks for confirming everyone.  I hate to see this.  The ad stated it was stored elevated and covered.  I just see that odometer with mileage in the 26,000 range and that's not a 126,000 mileage interior.  Plus it's a 1st year Biarritz with a great core engine and those special one year only wheels.  If I purchased that Burgandy 46,000 mile 1980 those wheels would look great on there, but in communication with this seller of this 1979 Biarritz, which has been cordial, I just do not see her selling the wheelset only. 

Take the whole car type of deal, they just want it gone.  After another year, I would not be surprised if it goes to the local salvage yard. 

79 Eldorado

As soon as someone sells wheels they have no way of moving the car. That would be a death sentence to it and she would likely need to pay to get rid of it. Even steel wheels for these cars aren't generally available as I know other than junkyard; nothing new as I know.

It might be nice if it was saved as even a daily driver. You could save the rims and put something else on it. Even if you do something like that though it's been stored for a long time and we all know the list of things which should be done... all fluids, all soft parts, potentially dealing with fuel which sat, at least inspecting closely the brake/fuel lines. There's no way to easily inspect the injector seals. The coolant having sat that long how long will the heat exchangers last? You also need to consider the cost of getting it home.

If you are willing to make it a driver, if the frame is solid and it looks like the underside is better than we think it would likely last a long time as a driver.

For sure you would want to see it first. If you treat it as a mini vacation doing something you are interested in as opposed to a cost of the car go see it. You will have peace of mind and enjoy the trip.



If you are serious I would offer to pick it up at no cost. That car is dead and stinking and I would imagine the owner would be happy to get it off of their property. You could possibly part the interior if it hasn't been destroyed by the rodents that ate the hood liner and put the proceeds towards a 79-85 that does not need any work.

The front of this car took a shot big enough to break the headlight bezels and the grille, which are one year only.

Look closely at the interior. Deep wear folds on both forward corners of the drivers seat bottom. Dye rubbed off the top corner of the cushion. Heavy wear on the almost indestructible '79/'80-only floor mat. Armrest mount busted. No picture of the drivers door panel. These are only the things I can tell from a couple of photos from a Facebook ad. Things tend to look (and smell) better pictures than person.

The seat wear is common on this design, but you have to wonder who your buyer is going to be for already worn parts.

There is no way anyone could drive this thing. Unless you know someone who would be willing to pass it on a safety inspection.

There are still loads of them out there in high #2 condition for not much money. Better to put the resources towards keeping a good one going than trying to resurrect the dead.
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1983 Sedan deVille


Are these wheels worth something? I just gave away a set  :-\
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1983 Sedan deVille

79 Eldorado

Quote from: smokuspollutus on December 22, 2022, 04:08:11 PMAre these wheels worth something? I just gave away a set  :-\
I tried to find another set because the prior owner apparently liked curbs or had a run-in with a tire machine. I couldn't even find a single rim much less a set. So now I'm paying $200/rim plus $100/rim for the 3 which also have a slight "wow" to fix them. Believe me if I could find a nice set I would have bought them.

Years ago a friend had a 1979 Biarritz nearly identical to mine. A couple of his were damaged when someone didn't realize the rims require special attention, while mounting tires, due to the thickness of the rim behind the bead area. After the repair by a professional metal finishing shop his came out great. I hope I get as lucky. Another friend has a shop with a modern style machine where the arm compresses the tire without touching the rim. That machine cannot be used on these rims unless a special adapter was purchased (to hold the rim despite the thick area). Without the adapter the expanding jaws which normally hold the rim ID cannot hold the rim and it slips. That meant they needed to go on the old machine and I believe it was upside down on the old machine with some added protection. The main point is if you're not familiar with these then you could take a perfect set and end-up with damage you would likely need/want to repair.



Wish I would have known. These needed refinished but would have gladly sent them up to you. I had a pipe dream of chroming them and painting the recessed areas black-never came to fruition.
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1983 Sedan deVille

79 Eldorado

I wonder how many need refinishing just because of someone mounting a tire. Hopefully mine will be fine. It is always nice to have a spare in case something happens though so I continue to keep my eyes open. Even though they're gone now thanks for thinking of me.