: 1978 Eldorado's Had Optional Power T Roofs?



ted tcb
10-15-12, 05:21 PM
Wow, I had no idea this factory option existed.

This one, a 1978 Eldorado, is for sale on Craig's List in California.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/7-1.jpg

I don't know how long the ad will be up, but here is the CL link, with many
pictures of the car.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/cto/3330056640.html

orconn
10-15-12, 05:38 PM
Guy means the car was purchased fro "Thomas Cadillac" not "Tompson Cadillac." I bought a Cadillac from Thomas Cadillac myself (the '76 Seville) back in the seventies. Thomas was the only Cadillac Dealer in downtown L.A. and did a very good business catering to the downtown professional community. Thomas provided first class sales and service long before it became the norm for luxury car dealerships. Unfortunately Thomas Cadillac is long gone from the downtown Cadillac seen their multi-story dealership building having been replaced by a much higher high rise office building several decades ago. Thomas Cadillac was also well known for their Collection of vintage Cadillacs that was house on th upper floors of the dealership. Like another superb Cadillac dealership "Lou Ehlers Cadillac" which was just east of the Miracle Mile District on Wilshire Boulevard and service the Hancock Park neighborhood from the early 1950's until five or six years ago when the dealership was taken over by a BMW outfit. Just another victim of the presence for foreign luxury cars that overtook Cadillac in the seventies and eighties. These agencies provided a standard of service seldom equaled even today!

cadillac kevin
10-15-12, 06:29 PM
Very cool. Those t tops were used in mid 70s cutlasses (and as I recall, was a very expensive option)

Koooop
10-15-12, 08:14 PM
I can't say I've ever seen that feature before.

orconn
10-15-12, 08:17 PM
I don't ever rememeber seeing power T-roofs on a Cadillac ..... much less a Pontiac ot other car!

MrHolland
10-15-12, 08:57 PM
Extremely rare option!! I've only seen two cars for sale that have them,,,,and they may have been the same car, both were for sale at different times.

ted tcb
10-15-12, 09:00 PM
I've seen hundreds of cars with T Tops, but power sliding T Tops ... in a Cutlass or any other car ....
that I've never seen until this super rare Eldorado.

cadillac kevin
10-15-12, 10:18 PM
I misspoke. It was in the toronado, not the cutlass. Apparently only a handful were made (by ASC)

talismandave
10-16-12, 01:22 AM
Like another superb Cadillac dealership "Lou Ehlers Cadillac" which was just east of the Miracle Mile District on Wilshire Boulevard and service the Hancock Park neighborhood from the early 1950's until five or six years ago when the dealership was taken over by a BMW outfit.
We had a Lou Ehlers Buick in Madison until 1967. Wonder if any relationship between them?
That car, or one like it has been on ebay often. If I remember the last time there were posting here that they were made in hopes of offering them for sale and could not get the operation/sealing right and scrapped it. I think the poster said they then offered and built some conventional lift out tops in Eldos but they were not popular.
(How goushe, manually lifting out your tops!):skeptical:

DouglasJRizzo
10-16-12, 06:19 AM
To my knowledge, this was not a factory option. The Hurst corporation had made this for the stillborn Toronado XSR project. GM balked at the high price and the option never appeared on a factory built car. There's one 77 Toronado XSR in firethorn that's a Hurst test mule, and this is probably a Cad made from the parts that Hurst had amassed. A very rare piece regardless and I'd snap it up in a minute if I had the money.

Sharp eyes will notice the incorrect '81 steering wheel.

orconn
10-16-12, 01:03 PM
We had a Lou Ehlers Buick in Madison until 1967. Wonder if any relationship between them?
That car, or one like it has been on ebay often. If I remember the last time there were posting here that they were made in hopes of offering them for sale and could not get the operation/sealing right and scrapped it. I think the poster said they then offered and built some conventional lift out tops in Eldos but they were not popular.
(How gauche, manually lifting out your tops!):skeptical:

You memory serves you well! In fact the Lou Ehlers Agencies (both Buick and Cadillac in Madison, if mine serves me correctly) were both under the same ownership. I used to have my '76 Seville service at the Wilshire Blvd agency, which was close to my home, and continued to use their body shop long after there wasn't a Cadillac in my garage. A first class operation, always a pleasure to deal with.

CadillacLuke24
10-16-12, 01:23 PM
I'd rock the heck out of that.....but not without HEAVY drivetrain modification :sneaky:

talismandave
10-16-12, 06:23 PM
You memory serves you well! In fact the Lou Ehlers Agencies (both Buick and Cadillac in Madison, if mine serves me correctly) were both under the same ownership. I used to have my '76 Seville service at the Wilshire Blvd agency, which was close to my home, and continued to use their body shop long after there wasn't a Cadillac in my garage. A first class operation, always a pleasure to deal with.
Thanks for the up date. It isn't the most common name. The owner who got the Buick franchise after him kept adding lines and is now the largest dealer in Dane county by a large margin. Funny after more than forty years I could still hear their jingle in my head the minute I saw the name. "Lou Ehler's Buick in Madison, corner of Regent and Park!"

rodnok01
10-18-12, 10:08 AM
Yes only seven or so known to be produced in 1978 with 7 being known today, and one custom Biarritz with power t tops being made.
I have seen one of these and it was awesome looking, did not get to see the tops in actions. A very expensive option I'm sure.

truckinman
10-18-12, 11:39 AM
How's that work exactly? Do they overlap one another, or are they painted instead of glass, allowing for one to be hallow in the middle, allowing them to retract into one another?

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Or are the small enough to just meet in the middle and be done?

ted tcb
10-18-12, 09:17 PM
Looking at this picture, I would hazard a guess that there is enough room in the middle for
each of the glass panels to stack under each other.
I would love to see a video of this in action.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n243/tedtcb/007.jpg

orconn
10-18-12, 09:29 PM
I think you are right, but it looks like the design only compounded the failings of the "t-top" configuration. Basically you got all the disadvatages of a small sun roof and none of the open air feeling of a true sixties or seventies convertible. For me it is only interesting because of its' rarity, not because it is a better "t-top!"

ted tcb
10-18-12, 09:49 PM
Definitely an inferior T Top.
I had a Nissan 280 and 300ZX ... those T Tops were much larger than this Eldo design, with a narrow
center bar.
When I took them off, they had to go into pouches for safety.
If I went over train tracks, I had to release the spring loaded clamp, then tighten it back up.
Otherwise, they would creak and rattle.

T Bars never made sense, but for some reason, I thought they were cool at the time.

talismandave
10-19-12, 12:03 AM
They were really cool but such a PITA! I think you are right about the stacking. I think the person who wrote about them a while back said that was another problem they couldn't solve was the poor headroom. Something 70's Cadillac buyer never encountered before!:lol:

truckinman
10-19-12, 03:27 AM
Definitely an inferior T Top.
I had a Nissan 280 and 300ZX ... those T Tops were much larger than this Eldo design, with a narrow
center bar.
When I took them off, they had to go into pouches for safety.
If I went over train tracks, I had to release the spring loaded clamp, then tighten it back up.
Otherwise, they would creak and rattle.

T Bars never made sense, but for some reason, I thought they were cool at the time.

A friend of mine had a 2002 Trans Am WS-6 with the t-tops and he had the special compartment in the back for his as well

Aron9000
10-21-12, 04:31 AM
A friend of mine had a 2002 Trans Am WS-6 with the t-tops and he had the special compartment in the back for his as well

The 4th gen fbody had t-top storage figured out. They just simply slipped into a molded plastic holder in the hatch and latched into place using the pins that held them to the roof. You could drive like a madman and the t-tops would stay perfectly secure and locked in. I don't know how Nissan did it on their old cars, but 2nd and 3rd gen fbodies used this black vinyl bag you stuck the tops in, then used a strap to secure them in the trunk. Very fiddly and a PITA.

Johnxlrv
10-21-12, 08:09 AM
The 4th gen fbody had t-top storage figured out. They just simply slipped into a molded plastic holder in the hatch and latched into place using the pins that held them to the roof. You could drive like a madman and the t-tops would stay perfectly secure and locked in. I don't know how Nissan did it on their old cars, but 2nd and 3rd gen fbodies used this black vinyl bag you stuck the tops in, then used a strap to secure them in the trunk. Very fiddly and a PITA.

Though a camero I had for a short while had the t-top...at least they were light. Only negative for my del sol is that the top is a bit heavy...though, the storing mechanism is better than anything I have seen to date.

BTW, did any1 else note the crappy paint and the misaligned driver quarter panel ( seen from the rear)?

That car is sweet, but should see a full resto

DouglasJRizzo
10-21-12, 10:13 AM
That car has had some hands on it.
Misaligned panels. Looks like some overspray from a cheap repair job at some point.
As I said before - incorrect steering wheel (it's an 81 "bent spoke" wheel) - it should be the large straight across two spoke wheel with wreath and crest in a color keyed padded center

That's an after market hurst top, still valuable as it's VERY rare, but NOT factory.