Monticello Motif: 1975 Cadillac Eldorado UTE – $7,000

by | Aug 2022 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday, Truckin Tuesday

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Cadillac was once such a status symbol that when you drove one new, everyone who saw you knew that somehow, you “made it.” A select few of those who “made it” also happened to have both the means and the need for either station wagons or El Camino like “Utes.” Elvis famously had Cadillacs converted to station wagons for family use.  Other well-heeled ranchers or those in need of a light-duty truck but who wanted something more luxurious than an El Camino in the 1970s commissioned Cadillac-based UTEs, most of which were built by either Traditional Coach Works or Formal Coach Corporation, which later became the Caribou Motor Corporation.

Traditional Coach Works called their pickup conversion “Mirage.”  As far as our research can determine, this company only performed such conversions using rear-wheel-drive Cadillac Coupe DeVilles.  Interestingly, the seller of this 1975 Cadillac Eldorado UTE currently listed here on Craigslist in Baraboo, Wisconsin (Milwaukee) claims their front-wheel-drive land yacht is also a Mirage.  With no documentation provided in their ad, you’ll need to ask the seller whether they have any documentation to support that claim.  In their defense, the design of this conversion retained the rear opera windows much the same way the DeVille-based UTEs did, so if that’s the case, this is an even rarer example. The seller reports their car to be of 50 produced, so we wonder whether that also includes DeVilles.

We simply could not find any other examples or documentation that either company produced Eldorado-based Mirages.  The chrome rails mounted to the top of the car’s loading bed, combined with the style and quality of the rear window, have us thinking this Eldorado started life as a custom flower car for funerals.

Currently offered for $7,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask for this driver quality restoration candidate is well below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for ninth-generation 1975 Cadillac Eldorados of all body types.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $6,375 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $11,300 for a stock two-door Eldorado hardtop.

As part of General Motors’ full-size car redesign for 1971, Cadillac’s Eldorado grew two inches in length, six in wheelbase, and featured standard fender skirts, all of which gave the car a much heavier appearance than the previous generation. The 500 cubic inch (8.2 L) V8 remained an Eldorado exclusive.  For the first time since 1966, buyers could opt for a convertible Eldorado.

Inside, there was a new curved instrument panel and redesigned seats. A fiber-optic “lamp monitor” system, which displayed the functionality of the headlamps, taillamps, parking lamps, turn signals, and brake lights, were mounted on each front fender and the shelf below the rear window. While this 126.3-inch wheelbase, ninth-generation Eldorado continued in coupe form through 1978, 1975 was the second-last year of convertible production.

The TheDrive YouTube Channel features this video of a true Cadillac DeVille-based Mirage:

Regardless of which Coach Builder created this 1975 Cadillac Eldorado UTE, its uniquely two-tone brown exterior combined with the Monticello Velour interior is just begging to be restored. We would also love to hear the story of how and why this Eldorado has such a massive trailer hitch and why a prior owner had Lake Okoboji, Iowa 51355 pinstriped on the car’s custom tailgate.

If you are serious about buying this unique Cadillac, you can start the conversation by calling the seller at (608) 235-4633.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Eldorado UTE featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1975 Cadillac Eldorado Mirage Pickup
Offered by Cadillac as a special vehicle- very unique and rare
Very rare less than 50 produced on the Eldorado platform, front-wheel drive
Starts and runs good, new tires
Needs to be restored; drive and enjoy while you restore it
Super cool, cowboy Cadillac truck, boss hog, horns on hood would look good

Flower Car or rare Mirage: What do you think this 1975 Cadillac Eldorado started life as?  Please comment below and let us know!

3 Comments
  1. Douglas Threlfall

    If it was originally a flower car, then it should show signs of a color change (usually black) and inspection of the door jambs and cowl area should show what the original color was if the cowl mounted data plate shows “”XX” (custom color). I really like the tailgate design and the bed floor to back window transition, looks like Fisher Body did it.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    Stick a fork in it. It’s done.

    Reply
  3. jim followay

    Traditional Coachworks produced 204 or 206 Mirage Conversions in 1975 and 1976.made from Coupe de Villes as well as station wagons made from Fleetwood’s. I can verify that they were made in those 2 years as I have a stock 1976 and a customized 1975 that is made into a king cab with a little back seat. To my knowledge any “Mirage” will have a name plate somewhere
    I don’t know where the term Ute came from as it certainly doesn’t apply to a luxury vehicle. All of the Utes I have ever seen were small economy cars that were cut up and a bed made up and added to the back.
    I also don’t know how a Mirage can be compared to a Flower Car as most in that era were made from a sedan and had been fitted with a large stainless steel insert that looked a little like a truck bed.

    Reply

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