When I was in college I worked at a Cadillac dealership as a lot attendant. This was the early 90s, interesting to me American cars were few and far between. The Eldorado Touring Coupe of 1991 caught my attention with its body color trim and rectangular exhaust tips. These cars featured 180 horsepower 4.9 liter V8s that were a significant step up from the 150-ish horsepower engines put in prior year Eldorados.
The Eldorado Touring Coupe featured ETC badges, model specific aerodynamically styled aluminum wheels, body colored door handles and trim, and those striking exhaust tips. The ETC really stood out when parked in a row of normal Eldorados.
Cadillac was exerting great effort in the attempt to court buyers of BMW and Mercedes luxury cars. They gave the ETC a shorter final drive for quicker acceleration and a stiffer damped suspension. The ETC featured a stylish wood trimmed interior, however, it still had the plush, family room recliner style seats expected of a Cadillac. This didn’t help court European sport coupe buyers. That didn’t matter to me, I was thoroughly smitten.
This is a surprisingly small car to wear an Eldorado badge. It’s a wide car, but not as long as one would expect. These are roomy and comfortable coupes that offer a spacious cabin for a driver and his best girl, with usable back seats for grandchildren or sporting friends.
I could see myself having a car like this as a street appliance. There is ample room to cart my family around, a golf club and toolbox friendly trunk, and nap capable seats for times when the car is performing driver support at races and autocrosses.
For driving enthusiasts, the Eldorado Touring Coupe was not a competitive luxury coupe with the offerings from Germany. A German car offered more power and in some cases a manual transmission along with rear wheel drive. However, the ETC gave an option geared more towards comfort than performance.
Even though this car doesn’t have a manual transmission or rear drive, I can’t keep from admitting that I’d love to have one. I think it has the perfect balance of American luxury with early 90s chromeless body color style. It just looks like a fun car.
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