Big 1985 Cadillac V-8 with low 135-horsepower

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In 1985, the Coulter Cadillac dealership in Phoenix, Ariz., sold an exclusive Eldorado Biarritz model to a customer in nearby Glendale.

Beneath the long hood of the stylish 1985 Cadillac was a large 249-cubic-inch (4.1-liter) V-8 engine that developed only 135 horsepower. Records indicate that 74,101 such cars were manufactured that model year. Each one had a base price of $21,355.

This particular ‘85 Eldorado left the factory loaded with such optional equipment as the uplevel Biarritz package, Astro roof, leather seating, six-way power passenger seat, electronic tuning seek/scan AM/FM stereo radio with cassette player with symphonic sound, opera lights, plus an illuminated entry system.

Its carpeting is a rich maroon similar to the pin striping outlining the lines on the exterior. Much of the exterior brightwork — from the spring-loaded ornament on the engine hood on back — is not chrome but a gold color. Both bumpers are protected by rubber strips.

When the well-maintained Cadillac was 18 years old it was sold to a man in Falls Church, Va. The second owner enjoyed the Cadillac for eight years before he took his Cotillion White Biarritz with the distinctive brushed stainless steel roof to an antique car show with the intention of selling it. It was at that car show in 2011 when Roger Bentley, of Brinklow, Md., saw the Cadillac displaying a “for sale” sign. When he asked the owner what was wrong with the car, he was told nothing was wrong, the owner simply wanted a different car to enjoy.

After further discussion, Bentley learned that a relative of the Cadillac’s owner was looking for a reliable older car. That’s when Bentley revealed he had a 1990 Lincoln Continental that he was willing to trade for the 1985 Cadillac. The value of the cars were different, but some cash could even the score, so a trade was arranged.

A week later, the Cadillac owner drove into Bentley’s driveway, exchanged titles, and departed in Bentley’s Lincoln.

The odometer on the Cadillac had registered 94,588 miles. In the three years since then Bentley has added about a thousand miles annually. Learning that the origin of the car is from Arizona, Bentley says, “That explains why all the windows are tinted.”

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