Darth Vadar's Boudoir
I'm a big fan of the 1992-2002 Eldorado and in particular, Northstar V-8 powered Eldorado Touring Coupes, ETC. (Yes, etcetera) like today's subject. A big, sleek, powerful, stylish, etc, two door sedan. What's not to love?
My only issue is our subject's very cool but ultimately dreary, black, or what they called charcoal, interior; sure could use a little brightening up in here. In the frigid, sunless North, many of us suffer from seasonal affected depression, or S.A.D. We'd like something more cheery than Darth Vadar's boudoir to get around in. The silent rush of 300 horsepower from the Northstar V-8 can only do so much to dull the ache that lack of sunshine brings. Still, the interior is fabulous especially considering the Tupperware-esque junk GM was shilling at the time.
This car originally stickered at just under $45,000 and for that Brink's truck of money you dumped at the dealership, you got the highest quality Connolly Leather hides you could get. Despite more 250,000 miles on this car's odometer, they still look fantastic. I can only imagine what the interior looks like on my leather trimmed '97 Monte Carlo these days. Then again, my Monte cost less than half of what this Etcetera went for. 16 years later, sitting in a parking lot outside of a Lowe's in Elyria (Cleveland, Ohio suburb), the owner wants a mere $2,500 for the whole thing. And that's to help him cover the cost of replacing a leaky intake manifold gasket. Holy depreciation, Lord Vadar.
Despite the low rent asking price I passed. And that broke my heart since I love these cars. The Northstar engines are magnificent performers but get dinged for reliability. I've read dubious stories of cooling system problems and retina searing repair bills for a variety of ills as the engines get older. Take the intake manifold gasket as an example.
Complicating backyard repairs are the fact that these cars are front wheel drive and the engines are transverse mounted. You're not likely to find Tommy the grease monkey flat on his back with a pair of jack stands holding this thing up while he swaps in a small block Chevy.
The Northstar V-8 was an aluminum, DOHC, 32 valve engine used by Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac in both rear and front wheel drive applications. GM stopped production of the engine in 2010.