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1968 Fleetwood Eldorado in Topaz Gold Firemist
Fleetwood Eldorado in Topaz Gold Firemist with Dark Cordovan Padded Vinyl Roof
Image: Fleetwood Eldorado by Cadillac

1968 Cadillac
Fleetwood Eldorado


1968 Eldorado Auctions


Exterior Paint Colors

Interior Trim

Standard Equipment

Optional Equipment

1968 Eldorado Biarritz Towne Coupe Show Car



1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado—The Car That Made Cadillac Owners Look Twice

The big news for Cadillac in 1968 was the new 472-cid V-8 engine, which produced 35 extra horsepower over the 429-cid engine it replaced. Additionally, it contributed 45 more pounds foot of torque, bringing it to a whopping 525 lb-ft torque total. The new engine incorporated emission control into the overall design, as well as allowing accessories to bolt directly to the block itself, instead of being suspended by brackets. This was done to reduce noise and vibration. The new V-8 underwent over 2 million miles of testing before being put into production, which Cadillac boasted as proof of its durability and strength.

In addition to being the first year for emissions compliance, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act required new safety features for all 1968 motor vehicles. Among them were side markers, which were added to the Eldorado in the form of combination parking/turn/side marker light fixtures being incorporated into the leading edge of the front fenders. These vertical fixtures would be seen from the side as well as the front of the car, and illuminated whenever the parking or headlamps were on. Additionally, the front cornering light assemblies incorporated amber side marker bulbs for additional visibility at night. In back, round markers that illuminated in red were added to the rear quarter panels. Unlike the front markers, the plastic lens itself was red, lit by a clear bulb. The marker was round and incorporated a chrome Fleetwood wreath, which made them very attractive.

Safety regulations dictating rear view and side view mirror size and position became a requirement for 1968 vehicles as well, which meant the exterior remote control driver's door mirror received a larger glass area to comply with the new standard, and instead of the former round shape, it became rectangular and was hooded and recessed in an attractive new chrome housing. On the outside of the mirror housing, "Cadillac" appeared in script, which was etched into the chrome housing. This same basic mirror design would be used on Cadillacs for many years to come.

Inside the car, instrument panel padding was beefed up and interior controls and hardware were redesigned to lessen the chance of injury during an accident. A careful inspection will reveal the many changes made between the 1967 and 1968 instrument panels, even though at first glance they might appear to be identical.

In addition to the exterior appearance changes made to incorporate new safety mandates, the 1968 Eldorado received a new hood, which was 4.5 inches longer than the 1967 hood. At the rear edge of the new hood, an opening was provided to conceal the windshield wipers when they were parked, which cleaned up the cowl area and became a leaf and snow collector for the remainder of the life of the car.

With the Eldorado being such a radical change for Cadillac, customers who bought one in its first year provided feedback to Cadillac regarding their new cars. One typical suggestion was that the car didn't ride like a Cadillac, so for 1968 the spring rates were lowered and softened somewhat in order to provide a bit more cushion to the ride.

New standard features for 1968 included power rear quarter ventipanes, which eliminated the somewhat unusual situation in 1967 of having power windows up front, with manual windows in the rear. Power front disc brakes were a much needed improvement, and all Eldorados received them for 1968. A magazine road test of the new 1967 model was very critical of its braking ability - or rather, lack of it - when they complained that the brakes on "Cadillac's spiffy new Eldorado" were unsafe. They said the car smoked and slid its way to a stop...sideways in the road. Not a good thing for a manufacturer to have published about a brand new model in its debut year, so it's good that Cadillac laid that concern to rest quickly and permanently by adding disc brakes as standard equipment for 1968.

Two new standard upholstery fabrics were introduced for the year, one an attractive Diamond patterned cloth with vinyl in four colors, the other a Deuville cloth with vinyl bolsters, also available in four colors. Genuine leather was available as an option, as were front bucket seats with a center console. An attractive new Rosewood appliqué was used on the instrument panel as well as the door and quarter trim panels.

A few items from 1967 did not return for 1968, including the Fleetwood wreath and crest emblems that were mounted on the rear roof pillars. The body ventilation rear outlets, which appeared on the top inside surface of the rear quarter panel fins for 1967 (visible from the rear of the car), were incorporated into the front edge of the panel for 1968, in the area where the door striker is located. These vents were visible when the front doors were opened.

The base price increased $328, which was likely due to the additional cost of the emissions equipment and the new safety items. Production also increased to 24,528 cars, an improvement of 37.8 percent for the model year.

Cadillac set its fourth consecutive yearly sales record in 1968, despite a 21-day UAW strike in November 1967 at the Fisher Body Fleetwood Plant in Detroit.

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