1972 Cadillac Eldorado 8.2 badge
In 1972, the sole engine available in any Eldorado was the 8.2 liter. Yes. Eight. Point. Two. Liters. That equates to 500 cubic inches, more than four times the displacement of some of today’s small car engines and a full two liters larger than the largest engine available on a new Cadillac, the versatile 6.2-liter.

Cadillac 500cid Heritage Center display

When I was at GM’s Heritage Center in Detroit, earlier this year, I took pictures of an 8.2-liter they had on display, amongst a dozen or more other noteworthy engines. One of those shots is shown to the left. As a side note, the black engine directly behind the 500, and mostly blocked by it, is a replica of the engine used for the 2003 Sixteen concept car. It dwarfs the 500, displacing 830 cubic inches–that’s 13.6 liters. (Notice, in that picture, in the background to the far left, is the Sixteen… and the windows were down… mhmm…)

The first Eldorado to gain the engine was the 1970 model, thereafter it was installed on every Eldorado until 1976. (Amazingly the 8.2 liter was Cadillac’s only engine across their entire lineup for 1975 and 1976, with the exception of the Seville which had a 5.7 liter both years.) The 8.2-liter’s power legacy was somewhat tragic. In its first year it generated a whopping 400 horsepower; by 1971, 365 hp; 1972 and 1973, 235 hp; 1974, 210 hp; 1975 and 1976, 190 hp with an optional 215 hp version for 1976.

1972 Cadillac Eldorado hood overviewBut back to the 1972’s engine. It generated 235 hp and 410 pound-feet of torque, at the wheels (gross power figures were 365 and 535, respectively). Mileage claims, historic and modern, that I could dig up, range from roughly 7 to 12 miles per gallon. Based on those numbers, the Eldorado could travel 189 to 324 miles between fuel-ups, with its 27 gallon tank.

There’s an interesting historical tidbit I came across about the 1972 Eldorado. The Soviet Communist Party Secretary, Leonid Brezhnev, apparently fancied Cadillacs. In preparation for a rare visit in May of that year, then-President Nixon ordered a Sable Black Fleetwood Eldorado. The catch was: he ordered it three days before it was to be loaded onto a transport. After a mad scramble, one was located coming fresh out of Fisher Body. Reportedly, the car was personally walked down the assembly line by every available supervisor for maximum quality assurance. Oi, could you imagine working on the line that day?

Anyway, the car was loaded. And loaded down with spare parts and specialty maintenance tools too. They even included some pop music, provided on 8-tracks. According to the New York Times, the final tally for the gift was $9,600. It made it to Russia on time for the visit and the gesture apparently went over well.

One more thing. This white car I took pictures of was for sale. It was about a week ago so I am not sure if it is still there but they were asking $5,500. Some lucky soul out there is going to get what appears to be a very nice starter for a project.

Below are thumbnails of more pictures of the car. I didn’t want to snap any of the interior but it was in good shape and appeared to be a dark red color. The sun was setting so the lighting was less than ideal.

1972 Cadillac Eldorado front left 1972 Cadillac Eldorado rear left fender 1972 Cadillac Eldorado left rear 1972 Cadillac Eldorado front 1972 Cadillac Eldorado rear left 1972 Cadillac Eldorado front left fender 1972 Cadillac Eldorado rear right fender 1972 Cadillac Eldorado rear left 1 1972 Cadillac Eldorado left rear 2 1972 Cadillac Eldorado rear 1972 Cadillac Eldorado 8.2 badge 1972 Cadillac Eldorado left rear 1 1972 Cadillac Eldorado hood overview 1972 Cadillac Eldorado profile left

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