For $17,500, The Devil Wears Eldorado

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Pierre Cardin Evolution 1 is massively rare and ‘80s fabulously fashionable. But while it’s haute couture, is it priced to make someone want to slip into its designer genes?

Yesterday’s weapons grade Turbocel had the sound and the fury, and - according to 55% of you - the right price as well. Of course, what that tiny Toyota lacked was panache, and that’s something today’s candidate has up its gilded wahzoo.


The ad for this Pierre Cardin original opens with a quote attributed to its designer - Only a master can create. . . a masterpiece. Well, apart from the obvious hubris evident in that statement, and the scatological associations that may be attached, one has to wonder just how masterful a piece this massive custom Caddy convertible is.

Called the Cadillac Eldorado Pierre Cardin Evolution 1, this 1983 custom is fully as long as is its name. There’s limited information about these cars available online, but it appears that this was Cardin’s second American auto endeavor, following his AMC Javelin interiors in the early ‘70s.

What the French designer did here was far more ambitious, creating a custom coachbuilt look that still maintains the equity of the Eldorado design beneath. The changes include a wildly extended nose capping Olds Toronado fenders and featuring both hidden lamps and a horizontal grille reminiscent of that from an AMC Matador sedan.


Continuing back, the side view mirrors gain smooth aero farings, and those sit above an OCD set of horizontal stripes which serve to make the big car look even more imposing. Back at the poop deck, the Caddy’s iconic fin lights have been supplanted by a horizontal band of red that gives the rear end kind of an Imperial appearance.

But what really makes this particular Evolution 1 unique is that it is a convertible. The ad notes that American Custom Coachworks chopped the Eldo’s roof, making this car a real team effort.


The ad also states that the car was originally commissioned by GM to use as a display piece, and that likely explains the use of the execrable HT4100 that lives under the vast expanse of its hood. Those were terrible, but at least better than the 8-6-4 engines that came in some of the earlier Cardin Caddys.


Speaking of earlier cars, total production numbers for these beasts are hard to nail down. Some say that a total of 300 cars was the original target for the ’81-’82 model years, but that fewer than 100 actually saw the streets. This one being tagged as an ’83 only adds to the mystery, but that’s at least attributable to it being a GM-commissioned car.


That may also be the reason that this unique 4-seat convertible also goes unsigned by the Master, and without a series production number. One number that it does have is $17,500, which is the price designed to get it into the garage, or perhaps catwalk, of a new owner.

What do you think about this Pierre Cardin car, and its $17,500 price tag? Is that an amount that you think makes total fashion sense? Or, do you find that Pierre’s price stinks like Pepe Le Pew?


You decide!


Los Angeles Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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