13 Classic Cadillacs That Are Cheap To Buy Today

Cadillac is a well-known brand of luxury automobiles established on August 22, 1902, and named after the founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, a 17th-century French explorer. The automaker was created from the remains of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford and several partners departed, becoming the Cadillac Motor Company. Henry Ford went on to form the Ford Motor Company in 1903 (via Cars Directory). By the mid-1900s, Cadillac had gained a reputation as America's most luxurious high-quality automobile.

Some classic Cadillacs have increased in value, selling at prices many times their original MSRP. One such car is the 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Only 101 models were produced, selling in the range of $45,000 to $70,000, though according to Classic Car, a 1960 Eldorado Biarritz sold in June 2020 for $123,000. However, many other older Cadillacs are available on the market today for far less and offer the opportunity to own a classic luxury automobile at a reasonable price.

1957 Cadillac Series 62: $25,300

By the late 1950s, Cadillac was the dominant force in the luxury car market. The automaker offered the Series 62 in nine trim variations including hardtop coupes in Standard, Coupe de Ville, Eldorado Seville versions, sedans in hardtop and Deville forms, Eldorado Seville hardtop sedan, convertible coupe, and Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupe. All of the 1957 Series 62 cars were built on the new X-braced frames and featured pillarless hardtops. 

The luxury cars sat two inches lower than the 1956 models, measured a longer wheelbase of 129.5-inch wheelbase, and featured a new reverse slanted wraparound windshield. Cadillac increased the output on the 365-cubic-inch V8 to 300 horsepower in 1957, accelerating the 2-door coupe to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, reaching the quarter mile in 17.7 seconds, and achieving a top speed of 120 mph (via Automobile Catalog). Today, the 1957 Cadillac Series 62 appeals to the collector who favors big, flashy 1950s cars with exaggerated fins and lots of chrome. Resale prices vary according to body style, averaging $25,300, with convertibles demanding the highest prices.

1962 Cadillac Deville: $14,250

In 1962, the Deville was the standard by which other cars in its class were judged. Buyers purchased the car for its 222 inches of exceptional elegance and ride quality, not for its fuel efficiency or blistering acceleration. Cadillac fitted the Deville with a 6.4-liter engine and Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with an equalized manifold. Advanced features included an automatic choke, intake silencer, mechanical fuel pump, and polyurethane air filter. The engine produced 325 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds and reached the quarter mile in 17.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 125 mph (via Automobile Catalog).

The Deville accommodated six passengers in the spacious interior available in eight cloth with leather materials or four color leather upholstery options. Standard equipment luxury and comfort features included folding center front and rear armrests and power windows and seats. Most original buyers opted for a long list of luxury items such as air conditioning, power door locks, power trunk lid release, automatic headlamp control, rear window defogger, cruise control, and fog lamps.

The 1962 Cadillac Deville resale price varies greatly with the car's condition. While a model in perfect condition goes for $37,000 to $154,000, a car in good condition sells for $14,250 to $24,938 (via Concept Carz).

1965 Cadillac Calais: $15,000

Cadillac renamed its low-priced entry-level model, the Series 62, in 1965 to the "Calais." Although the automaker did not offer a convertible version, the Calais featured the same mechanics and styling as the more costly Cadillac de Ville. Cadillac powered the Calais with a 7.0-liter engine producing 340 horsepower and mated it to a GM Turbo Hydramatic THM-400 three-speed automatic. The two-door hardtop coupe Cadillac accelerated to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds and reached the quarter mile time in 16 seconds. The car achieved a maximum speed of 127 mph (via Automobile Catalog).

Standard equipment on the 1965 Calais included features only found on more expensive automobiles of the era: power steering, power brakes, windshield washers with dual speed wipers, front and rear seat belts, dual back-up lights, cornering lights, and a remote-controlled outside rear-view mirror. The standard equipment on the Calais differed from the more expensive De Ville. Manual seat adjusters and hand-cranked windows on the Calais were replaced with 2-way power seats and power windows as standard equipment on the De Ville.

While Cadillac offered the De Ville with leather seating areas and vinyl roof trim, the Calais only came with a high-grade cloth and vinyl, similar to the top-line Oldsmobile 98 and Buick Electra. Bring a Trailer sold a 1965 Calais for $11,000 in October 2020, while Hagerty values the Cadillac in good condition at $15,000.

1968 Cadillac Eldorado: $16,600

The 1968 Eldorado shared its basic bodyshell with the Oldsmobile Toronado, and both cars featured front-wheel-drive. Equipped with a new 7.7-liter V8 fitted with a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor that produced 35 more horsepower (375) than the previous year's 7.0-liter, the Eldorado generated 525 lb-ft torque. The two-door hardtop coupe accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, reached the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds, and achieved a top speed of 131 mph (via Automobile Catalog).

Cadillac emphasized ease of service and maintenance in the 1968 Eldorado design. A one-piece molded door trim panel simplified the car's assembly, and it made servicing door components easier for dealers. Other improvements to servicing included a self-contained, single-unit oil filter and pump that mounted directly to the engine block. The automaker moved the distributor to the front of the engine, making installation and servicing easier. And a computer-generated camshaft design helped to reduce valve train noise and achieve maximum operating efficiency.

The improvements helped Cadillac experience a high demand for the Eldorado and the premier division of GM reached its best sales year in 1968: total Cadillac sales exceeded 230,000 units, Automotive Mileposts notes. J.D. Power lists the 1968 Cadillac Eldorado low resale price at $9,250, high resale at $25,700, and the average at $16,600.

1975 Cadillac Eldorado: $8,925

The Eldorado model name translates from Spanish as the "golden one." Cadillac produced the luxury "golden" automobile over twelve generations from 1952 until 2002, and during its production run the car consistently made a statement about the success and, perhaps, the flashy tastes of its owner.

Made in two body styles, coupe and convertible, Cadillac's Flagship Eldorado was the only vehicle to combine the maneuverability and control of front-wheel-drive, the stability of Automatic Level Control, the accurate feel of Variable Ratio Power steering, and the comfort of Automatic Climate Control. The front-wheel-drive also provided a spacious interior.

Cadillac offered the Fleetwood Eldorado Coupe with a three-speed automatic transmission in 1975 and a 500 cubic inch V8 producing 190 horsepower. The luxury two-door hardtop coupe accelerated to 60 mph in 12.8 seconds, reached the quarter mile in 19.3 seconds, and achieved a maximum speed of 144 mph (via Automobile Catalog). A perfectly maintained model will fetch between $12,500 and $44,000, a car in excellent condition between $8,925 and $12,500, while an Eldorado in fair condition can be found for $800 to $5,775 (via Concept Carz).

1975 Cadillac Deville: $7,000

Cadillac produced over 173,500 Deville units in 1975, which comprised over 50% of Cadillac's total production. The automaker offered the Deville in a hardtop sedan and coupe body style that carried an MSRP of $8,800 and $8,600 respectively. The 1975 Deville continued the redesign GM had implemented for its full-size models in 1971. The Deville measured 225.8 inches in length with a 130-inch wheelbase. The record-breaking interior width remained until the automaker manufactured RWD full-sized cars in the early 1990s (via Concept Carz).

Cadillac fitted the Deville with a 472-cubic-inch V8 engine featuring hydraulic valve lifters, a Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, five main bearings, and a 10.0:1 compression ratio. The engine produced 375 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and accelerated the car to 60 mph in 12.5 seconds and reached the quarter mile in 19 seconds (via Automobile Catalog)

New features for 1975 included electronic fuel injection, an illuminated entry system, a tinted glass dome "astroroof" with an interior sunshade, and a passenger recliner seat. The automaker also offered an AM/FM stereo radio with an integral eight-track tape player, impressive for the day. Cadillac added luxury-level options in the d'Elegance and Cabriolet packages, including velour upholstery, deluxe padded doors, and deep pile carpeting. A 1975 Cadillac Deville in excellent condition resales for $7,000 to $13,500.

1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham: $7,849

Cadillac reduced the exterior size of the 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham from the previous year's model but carried over its luxury and elegance. The automaker employed computer technology to make efficient use of space and lighter-weight materials to improve fuel efficiency. The Brougham offered more luxury features and accessories than most cars in its class (via Notorious Luxury).

The automaker redesigned the interior, offered in three materials: a supple natural grain leather (eleven color combinations), Florentine velour (seven hues), and Dover cloth (four colors.) Standard features included power windows and door locks, four-wheel disc brakes, Automatic Climate Control, and Automatic Level Control.

GM equipped the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with a 7.0-liter V8 delivering 195 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque mated to a three-speed automatic transmission, which gave the car enough power to pass slower cars on the highway. The 4-door sedan accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 11.6 seconds and reached the quarter mile in 18.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 112 mph (via Automobile Catalog). According to Classic.com, in recent years the 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham sold for an average of $7,849 with a low of $6,820 and a high of $$8,877.

[Featured image by ChiemseeMan via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 3.0]

1977 Cadillac Deville: $7,455

Cadillac introduced a slightly downsized body style for the Deville in 1977 while maintaining the comfortable luxurious ride characteristic of the full-sized coupe in previous generations. The 1977 Deville used the same engine as the 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, a 7.0-liter V8 coupled to a three-speed automatic. The two-door notchback coupe generated 195 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. The Deville accelerated to 60 mph in 11 seconds and reached the quarter mile in 18.6 seconds (via Automobile Catalog).

The reduced-sized Deville and Fleetwood looked out of place in Cadillac showrooms next to the full-size Eldorado. The exterior size reduction also had an impact on interior space. Everything was scaled down, resulting in less head and leg room and the seats lost some of their lush feel. GM installed foam seat contours replacing the traditional springs, and plastic adorned areas formerly made with wood trim and elegant chrome plating. The new Cadillacs were even fitted with a lighter-weight carpet, and buyers notice excessive wear in the plush "deluxe Tangier carpet" within a year after purchase.

A 1977 Deville in perfect condition is valued between $8,600 and $15,500, in excellent condition between $7,455 and $8,600, in good condition between $$4,830 and $7,455, and in fair condition between $1,600 and $4,830 (Via Concept Carz).

1978 Cadillac Eldorado: $10,000

The only luxury convertible option built in America, the Cadillac Eldorado with front-wheel-drive offered buyers unparalleled opulence. It represented Cadillac's last traditionally sized luxury car while all the other models had already been downsized in 1977. Some experts criticized the Eldorado for its limited interior space and trunk room (much less than expected for such a huge vehicle), and poor fuel economy. However, others claim it represented American life, where "bigger is always better."

Cadillac equipped the two-door Eldorado Coupe with a three-speed automatic mated to a 7.0-liter V8 producing 180 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 320 lb.-ft. @ 2000 rpm. The Eldorado accelerated to 60 mph in 13.2 seconds, reached the quarter mile in 19.4 seconds, and achieved a top speed of 112 mph. (via Automobile Catalog).

While Cadillac offered the Eldorado in both coupe and convertible trims from 1971-1976, the automaker discontinued the convertible for 1978 (via Hemmings). During the period from 1971 and 1978, the company produced over 347,600 Eldorados with over 14,000 convertibles made in its last year of production, 1976. The 1978 Eldorado model year was the first for Electronic Level Control, optional AM/FM stereo with a tape player and CB radio, and the limited-edition Custom Biarritz Classic trim option. An Eldorado in pristine condition can fetch nearly $60,000 at auction, but a car in excellent condition will sell for $10,000 and lower.

1980 Cadillac Eldorado: $7,596

Cadillac introduced the 10th-generation Eldorado in 1979 and featured only minor changes for the 1980 models. An independent rear suspension was implemented to help retain ample space for rear-seat passengers and Cadillac's traditional massive trunk room in the smaller body. The most significant changes in style for 1980 were the extreme notchback roofline on standard models, frameless door glass and rear quarter windows, and the stainless-steel roof of the "Biarritz" model. Cadillac equipped the front-wheel-drive Eldorado with a three-speed gearbox coupled to a 5.7-liter V8 generating 160 horsepower and a maximum torque of 265 lb-ft. The two-door coupe accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds and reached the quarter mile in 18.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 112 mph despite weighing 3898 lbs and producing significantly less power than previous Eldorado models (via Automobile Catalog).

Perhaps the most intriguing 1980 Eldorados are the convertibles. Before Cadillac resumed manufacturing Eldorado convertibles in 1984 (the trim had been discontinued in 1978), buyers could purchase one from an independent coachbuilder such as ASC inc., Custom Coach, and Hess & Eisenhardt. Both companies also converted Oldsmobile Toronados and Buick Rivieras into convertibles. These converted models sell for less than $20,000 (via Cars for Sale), while a factory-made 1980 Eldorado sell for as low as $4,300, as high as $20,000, and an average price of $12,970 (via classic.com).

1987 Cadillac Allante: $6,952

The 1987 Allante is a stunning representation of automobile art, just what would be expected from a car that was codeveloped with Italian styling house Pininfarina. Cadillac fitted the two-door convertible Allante with a 4.0-liter V8 producing 170 horsepower and a maximum torque of 235 lb-ft and mated the engine to a four-speed automatic. The car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds, reached the quarter mile in 17.4 seconds, and achieved a top speed of 127 mph (via Automobile Catalog).

The Allante chassis is a combination of components from the Buick Reatta and Riviera, the Cadillac Eldorado, Seville, and the Oldsmobile Toronado. Cadillac shortened the chassis to suit a two-seat layout and installed an independent suspension with front MacPherson struts, and struts combined with transverse composite leaf springs in the rear like the Corvette.

The Allante assembly process required the use of airplanes. After the bodies were fabricated just outside Turin, Italy, at the Pininfarina factory, they were shipped in groups of 56 at a time via a custom Boeing 747 aircraft to GM's Hamtramck, Michigan plant and then assembled to the chassis. Hence, the Allante gained the nickname "Flying Italian Cadillac" for its unique production process. According to Car Gurus, resale prices for the Allante vary from $6,952 to $15,686.

1990 Cadillac Brougham: $8,142

Edmunds estimates that a 1990 Cadillac Brougham in outstanding condition would sell at a dealer for $8,142. However, a lower price could be obtained if purchased from a private party, closer to $5,770. For the budget-minded buyer, a 1990 Brougham could be found for about $4,671.

The 1990 4-door Cadillac Brougham sedan featured a base 5.0-liter V8 with a four-speed automatic transmission. The engine generated 140 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque accelerating the car to 60 mph in a sluggish 13.5 seconds, reaching the quarter mile in 19.5 seconds, and achieving a top speed of 108 mph (via Automobile Catalog). In the same year, Cadillac also offered a fuel-injected 5.7-liter V8 rated at 175 horsepower, as an alternative to the standard carbureted engine. Despite weighing nearly 4,300 pounds, the more powerful engine accelerated the Brougham to 60 mph in an acceptable 10.5 seconds but consumed more fuel than the already gas-guzzling 5.0-liter.

Perhaps compensating for the mediocre performance, the Brougham provided buyers with a generous interior, lots of trunk space, and a smooth, quiet, and soft ride. The four-door Brougham sedan, at an overall length of 221 inches. Cadillac made antilock brakes standard and added new features including a rear-window defogger, electronic instrument cluster, and attractive black walnut burl interior trim (via Consumer Guide).

Featured image by Greg Gjerdingen via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 2.0

1993 Cadillac Eldorado: $8,988

Cadillac implemented its new Northstar 32-valve V8 engine in the 1993 Eldorado, Seville STS, and Allante. The high-performance engine represents a shift in General Motors' luxury car division goals from producing big comfortable cars with average performance to vehicles that compete in the luxury sport coupe market. The 4.5-liter engine produced 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, accelerating the Eldorado from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 7.5 seconds, reaching the quarter mile in 15.3 seconds and achieving a top speed of 150 mph (via Automobile Catalog). The performance matches the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII and Lexus SC 400. To influence younger buyers and move them from luxury import cars, Cadillac also equipped the Eldorado with a snarling exhaust to emphasize a more powerful vehicle.

Cadillac designed the Northstar engine-equipped Eldorado with more than just high performance in mind. As an extreme test of the engine's reliability, Cadillac engineers conducted a test draining the coolant out of a Northstar-equipped car and drove it round trip from Detroit to Toledo, Ohio (about 90 miles). When they disassembled the engine looking for damage, they found that the high-tech engine management system had worked perfectly preventing overheating and any harm to the engine. According to Gurus, a 1993 Cadillac Eldorado can be purchased in the price range of $4,995 to $8,999.

Featured image by SsmIntrigue via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled CC BY-SA 4.0