2000 Cadillac EldoRODo

2000 Cadillac EldoRODo

Automotive archaeologist Richard Heseltine unearths automotive oddity…this one even has wreaths, crests and references to a mythical city of gold… How could they?!

From here to obscurity

Richard Heseltine’s weird and wonderful American cars from the past.

And the winner of the most inelegant car name ever goes to… See past the wince-inducing nomenclature and this one-of-a- kind creation was once quite the attention grabber. Echoing The Big Three’s symbiotic relationship with leading customisers during the Sixties, here GM’s Cadillac division teamed up with California Street Rods of Huntingdon Beach, California, to create a modern-day lead sled in time for the big reveal at the 2000 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Dubbed EldoRODo, it garnered plenty of ink in period, the basis being a front-wheel-drive Eldorado Touring Coupe.

2000 Cadillac EldoRODo

GM vice-president and Cadillac general manager John Smith said after the unveiling: “The EldoRODo is Cadillac’s way of celebrating the creativity of the hot rod culture in Southern California. For years the flair of these vehicles has expressed personalities of the builder and driver, similar to what the Eldorado has done for its owner base over the past 50 years.” Eldorado brand manager Steven Rosenblum, meanwhile, gushed: “Having spent some time in California, I realised very quickly that hot rod builders have an impact on the designs and applications of technology on production cars.”

He went on to add: “We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have a little fun with one of our production cars that has always embodied the spirit and style of California. Eldorado continues to be the best-selling prestige luxury coupe in the United States and has the highest owner loyalty of any coupe in its segment.” He neglected to mention that the average age of its customers was 69. The upshot was that this confection had to appeal as much to baby boomers – people who remembered customising when it had taken root way back when – as to the latter-day cool kids in Cadillac’s bid to attract a more youthful audience. And it was a radical makeover, that’s for sure, the regular ETC being chopped and channelled to the point that it sat 49.6 inches off the deck (as opposed to 53.6in for the standard car).

The windscreen and rear windows were also raked back by 10 degrees in order to further emphasise the ‘slammed’ look, while the side and rear-quarter windows were reduced in size to match. The flanks, meanwhile, were ‘barrelled’ to lend it a more bulbous appearance, and full-length rear spats partially covered the rear wheels. These were 19in spun discs (18in items up front) with Cadillac’s signature wreath and crest centre caps.

The headlights, meanwhile, were unique to the car, the slanted, vertical rear clusters being lightly garnished in chrome as a nod to various production models of the Seventies and Eighties. Inside, it wasn’t quite as radical, the makeover comprising carbon-fibre in place of the standard wood trim for the instrument panel, centre console and door cappings. Other than that, it was all rather vanilla. Much was made of the new ‘premium digital sound system’ that foretold what was to appear in the 2001 production model. The pièce de resistance, though, was the body colour, a searing shade of Ignite Orange, while power came courtesy of a 4.6-litre Northstar V8 allied to a four-speed auto ’box. As to what happened to the car following its big reveal, it washed up in the sprawling Tammy Allen car collection prior to being auctioned off in 2016. We rather lost track of it thereafter…

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