Hooniverse Couldawouldashoulda Weekend – For the Price of a Chrysler 200 Convertible you could have this Cadillac Eldorado Convertible!

In case you’ve missed the previous postings, this is the Hooniverse Couldawouldashoulda Weekend, in which I pose a simple premise to you, our faithful Hooniverse fans. One of the most dramatic turnarounds in Detroit history is Chrysler, and this turnaround is best illustrated with a car that was so unloved, came close to being totally canceled, only to be updated and christened with a new name to become one of Chrysler’s best sellers. Of course I’m referring to the renamed Chrysler Sebring, the Chrysler 200. It is also one of the least expensive 4 or 5 passenger convertibles offered in North America, with a list price of around $26,500 for the 4-cylinder Touring version. However, for a little less coin you could have a truly magnificent convertible that will seat six in comfort, and will never be confused with a lowly Sebring. It is a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, and it is being offered at Sebring – oops, I mean Chrysler 200 – pricing….

The Chrysler 200 underwent a major upgrade in interior materials, workmanship, and small styling tweaks with mixed results. Chrysler didn’t have the cash to do a complete redesign, but they managed to make the ugly duckling Sebring into – well if not quite a Swan – maybe a less ugly duckling. Chassis dynamics are exactly the same as the earlier Sebring, though there is a new Pentastar V-6 available, and a six-speed automatic. However, the Touring version makes do with the inadequate 2.4L four cylinder world engine, which isn’t a powerhouse, nor is it particularly fuel efficient. The 200 will be a sales success because of all the Florida, and Vegas rental car fleets who buy thousands of these each year. Just kill yourself now before you succumb to the thought of ever owning one of these.

On the other hand, here is a tribute to American Excess at its finest. This Cadillac Eldorado was produced during Americas Bi-Centennial year, and is finished in a color called “Firethorn”. Say it with me…. FIRE THORN! Who wouldn’t want a car with that kind of colorful name? The interior is also finished in a Blood Red hue, just so you know they were made with real cows…. According to the listing:

Finished in striking Firethorn Metallic with Antique Dark Firethorn leather interior and white convertible top, this rare and desirable 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible is well optioned with: 500 cubic inch V8, automatic transmission, power steering, power disc brakes, 50/50 split power seats, power convertible top, power windows, power door locks, power trunk release, climate control A/C, cruise control, AM/FM stereo radio with power antenna, intermittent wipers, twilight sentinel, rear defrost, tilt/tele steering wheel, dual remote mirrors, driver side mirror thermometer, soft convertible boot cover, illuminated passenger vanity mirror, door edge guards, front license plate bracket, floor mats, and much more! This vehicle represents the absolute height of luxurious and stylish road-going accommodations from American carmakers in 1976. An age that has all but passed us by, making these last of the great Cadillac convertibles, highly sought after and quite valuable on the collector market!

This was the final year for this legendary automobile, after which the convertible was no longer available, nor was the 500 cubic inch V8. And in the years that followed, Cadillacs continued to diminish in size to better suit the falling displacement of their engines. This is without question the last great incarnation of this legendary road car. This 56,169 actual mile example has had just 3 meticulous owners from new and has been wonderfully maintained! It comes with all service and ownership history dating back to 1983 when the car was located in McAllen, Texas.

If you are craving for a 4 place convertible that will cruise along comfortably on the interstate and is fairly reliable, the Chrysler 200 makes a good argument. Of course, once you buy one the car will suck the very life out of you because it is in fact a Sebring in disguise. Or you could be the king of the road with a Cadillac Eldorado Convertible that takes up three parking spaces, drinks fuel with a vengeance, but does so with style and swagger. So which would you choose? See the Eldorado Listing here.

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  1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Boss Hogg mobile all the way. I'd rather set up house in that Caddy on the side of the road where it dies than get to wherever I was going in the Se- erm, 200.

  2. tonyola Avatar

    As cool as the Eldorado is, and it is very cool, I need an eight-mile-per-gallon mega-canoe filled with 35-year-old power accessories like I need a hole in the head. There are suspiciously no pictures of the top – wonder what shape it's in? You know that won't be cheap to replace. Even fixing something as seemingly simple as a power antenna is a daunting task on these Eldos. I live in Miami so cruising South Beach in the Eldorado would be truly stylin'. A hell of a lot better than the Chrysler, which everyone would assume is a rental car. But the Eldo would be a pain as a daily driver. Actually, for the money, I think I'd pass both of these up and get a 2011 Mustang V6/six-speed-stick droptop.

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Yeah, the Eldo is a Sundays-only option, a luxury on top of whatever car you actually drive for transportation. But just as the Mustang would be an obvious choice over the Chrysler, so too are there a lot of other vintage or at least old convertibles that might be a more sensible option than a seventies Eldo, and keep the question interesting.

  3. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    That Eldo was the peak. Too bad you won't be able to afford to go any further than the gas station. But damn. The only low point there is that dash – the design sure hasn't aged well.

    1. vwminispeedster Avatar

      First thing I thought of too, a red car with no top.

  4. scoutdude Avatar

    This is another no brainer Eldo all the way.

  5. topdeadcentre Avatar

    The Eldo is a floaty, wobbling barge, but it has undeniable presence. I would totally own one (and nearly have) for weekend cruising. Parts are available, including for the top, and there's a community of enthusiasts who keep them going.
    The Sebring is dog-vomit ugly and apparently not great with the driving experience. For the same money, I'd buy a used Mustang convertible, or a mostly unmolested Miata if I needed a daily-driver convertible.

  6. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    My neighbour, about a decade ago, had an identical Eldorado. They're wonderfully flamboyant barges, but I couldn't see one at more than half the MSRP of a new 200 convertible.

  7. joshuman Avatar

    Pimpin' ain't easy but if the choice is between two the answer is simple.