Then vs. Now: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado Vs. 2014 Cadillac ELR

Julia LaPalme
Then as now, Cadillac makes bold statements with style and technology, and its unique cars always express the spirit of their times.

Joe Montana or Tom Brady? Madonna or Lady Gaga? The first love or the new flame? It’s in our nature to look in the rearview mirror, to measure the brightness of the present against the best of the past. It’s no different with car enthusiasts. For all the areas in which automobiles have improved—safety, performance, efficiency, reliability—they still live in the shadow of the past. The great thing about cars, though, is that we don’t have to rely solely on our memories. We’ll never know how twenty-eight-year-old Michael Jordan would have fared against twenty-eight-year-old LeBron James, but we can find well-kept classic cars—the icons that enthusiasts worship—and pit them against their modern equivalents. That’s just what we did with these matchups. It’s throttle cables versus direct injection. AM radios versus infotainment screens. Old-car patina versus new-car smell. So, was it really better then? Come back next Thursday for the next entry in this series.

Of the cars featured here, no two are so alike as the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado and the 2014 Cadillac ELR. Each is a personal luxury car, a highly expressive automobile that combines style, comfort, and a spirit of playful travel. You’ll just have to get past the fact that one is a front-wheel-drive coupe that measures 221 inches in overall length and carries a 7.0-liter V-8 while the other is a front-wheel-drive coupe that measures 186 inches long and carries an electric powertrain.

Both the Eldorado and the ELR incorporate the leading-edge technology of their times. The Eldorado adapted the all-new, front-wheel-drive configuration of the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado with its longitudinally mounted V-8 that drove the wheels through a silent-type chain from a three-speed automatic transmission. The Eldorado’s 7.0-liter engine developed 340 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque (SAE gross). Meanwhile, the ELR plug-in hybrid is the tip of General Motors’ modern engineering expertise, a version of the Chevy Volt that has a battery-powered electric motor plus a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to sustain the charging process. The powertrain makes 217 hp and 295 lb-ft.

For all our modern fascination with performance, these two cars emphasize convenience, which is what American luxury is all about. The 4950-pound Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado takes you down the road with effortless, seamless authority thanks to a low-revving engine with a wide powerband, while the 4050-pound ELR offers a similar style of power that also lets you conveniently sail past the gas station. The Eldo gets you to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds on the way to about 120 mph, and the ELR reaches 60 mph in 8.8 seconds on the way to 106 mph.

What really makes the Eldorado and the ELR so similar is the simple matter of GM’s dedication to innovative style. The Eldorado from Chuck Jordan’s design studio affirmed that form had replaced decoration as the guiding principle in car design during the 1960s and also anticipated the rectilinear shapes of the 1970s. Meanwhile, the ELR brings to life the 2009 Converj concept car from Simon Cox’s GM studio in England, and it expresses the stronger sense of elegance and luxury that will come from Cadillac in the next decade.

The 1967 Eldorado of real-estate agent Chris Menrad looks compelling against the backdrop of the midcentury-modern architecture that helps make Palm Springs unique and, surprisingly, so does the 2014 ELR. Each is a personal luxury car designed to bring you here to the desert for a weekend of golf and poolside cocktail parties. Quick, mohair sweaters for everyone!

1967 Cadillac Eldorado2014 Cadillac ELR
Engine7.0L V-8, 340 hp, 480 lb-ft1.4L I-4/ hybrid, 217 hp, 295 lb-ft
Transmission3-speed automaticContinuously Variable
Curb Weight4950 lbs4050 lbs
Price$6277 ($44,000 after inflation)$75,995
Value Today:$15,000-$25,000
Tushar Gaur
Both r luxries....
Sylvain Raymond
It is better than the Cetera… NO REALLY!!! Better than an Opel???? What does a prestige brand means to Americans??? NOT MUCH if they cannot tell difference between an Opel and a BMW or a Mercedes Benz...
Christian Schmidt
ones a dinosaur the other is just a POS that came out of the dinosaur.
Marc Hamady
The ELR isn't worth the asking price.
Sylvain Raymond
I dunno… I am asking… (???)
Paco Fye
i take the 67 any time
The 1967 Eldorado remains one of the most beautiful Cadillac EXTERIORS ever built....the only thing hampering its collectibility is its enormous size; Had this car been envisioned at 2/3rd scale - it would cost a fortune today. At 18' long, few classic enthusiast want to drive, park or store something of Nimitz Class, and the interior - with bench seat and very plain textures - just doen't live up to the exterior.
But take a good look at the egg crate grille, the profile roofline, the fender peaks and the stunning blade-like tail lamps.....Gorgeous all.
Shahab Rahmani
Farbod Bahrampour
Fonzo Ro Ma
Which would you rather be driving if they were in a head-on collision?
Tim Lucas
The ELR maybe overpriced but it's absolutely gorgeous!
Tim Lucas
How is the ELR a dinosaur?
Mark Pierzynski
I'll take the was pre ObamaMotors.
NE Guy
This is proof that sexy comes in lots of different shapes and sizes.
Prabha Karan FZ
Mane Mane
Richard Lindsley
Fabillac )
Christian Schmidt
Could not get me to spend money on that fugly gangsta rap/ cholo ride. I don't understand why they go with the fugly pontiac aztek styling or line drawing design of a 2nd grader. this is beside the fact that General Manure is junk.
C Devaun Rashard C
^huh!? Ghettollac!? you must not have test driven a Cadillac within the last year. ATS is awesome!
C Devaun Rashard C
misses my 88 Eldo
eric in oregon
I'd take the 67, any day. A friend had a 66 Toronado when we were in high school. Took that thing across the Oakland -SF Bay Bridge at 3:00am one night and buried the rotating 140 mph speedometer. Went through the Angel Island tunnel in seconds, what a blast!
What's amazing to me is the Eldo is gargantuan yet less that 20% heavier than the ELR. I love love love the big ole boats of the late 60"s thru mid 70's. Their sheer size alone will make them collectibles. Don't even get me started on the wagons of that era. They were as big or bigger than a modern day suburban.
Абхисхек Гаур
Vojt Barys
The ELR should have been longer, it is 35" shorter than the Eldorado, so if this is a true rebirth of the Eldorado, they missed the spot on dimensions, especially for that price.
Dennis Wendell
Now if Cadillac put that smug d-bag from the ELR commercial in that sweet '67 (and omitted the creepy wink) the statement they were attempting to make would have seemed far more plausible.
Christian Schmidt
Old school before the 70s is cool anything after that from General Manure including the new Fugly Ghettollacs are trash.
Michael Anderson
Cadillac volt? No thanks
Gary Ferguson
I have a '72 El Dorado coupe and it really gets a lot of attention. Dinosaurs are still fun for many of us. $6500 if interested.
Hrishikesh Hete
Cadillac love it
Diego Barrero Cote
Como me gustan los Cadillac americano y
Chris Prather
ELR is overpriced recall material.
Danny Howard
i love 'em !
Sylvain Raymond
2 dinosaures???

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