Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

General Motors scored a hat trick with the 1953 Motorama traveling shows. All three of the upscale divisions, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac, had prestige convertible “idea cars,” dramatic in design but close enough to production models that they were ready to manufacture. Named Fiesta, Skylark and Eldorado, respectively, they entered limited production during the year. Based on the Series 62 convertible, the Eldorado differed in having a wrap-around windshield, a portent of GM’s future, and a distinctive dipped cockpit contour, and it came with a hard “parade boot” to cover the top when lowered. Standing just 58.8 inches high, it sold for $7,750, which was 90 percent above the sticker on a standard Series 62 convertible and nearly $2,000 more than the next most expensive model, the Series 75 Fleetwood Imperial Sedan.

The chassis and powertrain were basic Series 62: 210 bhp, 331 cubic inch overhead-valve V-8 and GM’s excellent Hydra-Matic four-speed self-shifting transmission. The compression ratio had been increased for 1953, and all Cadillacs had a 12-volt electrical system, a sign of things to sweep the industry during the next three years. New for ’53 was the optional Autronic Eye, an automatic headlight dimming device that responded to oncoming lights.

Eldorados came with a host of features as standard equipment: whitewall tires, wire wheels, power seat, windows and steering, signal-seeking radio, fog lights, automatic heating system, windshield washers and license plate frames. The model gained additional exposure when Dwight Eisenhower rode in one during his January 1953 inaugural parade. Just 532 were built for the model year.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

210 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission; coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay, Aaron Summerfield and Darin Schnabel

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