Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 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 the 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 preview of GM’s future, and a distinctive dipped cockpit contour, and it came with a hard “parade boot” to cover the top when lowered. Just 532 were built at a price 90 percent above that of the Series 62 droptop.

The concept was further refined and restyled for 1954 and 1955, and by 1956 the success of the Eldorado inspired the creation of a companion style, a hardtop coupe. To distinguish the two, the coupe was designated “Seville” and the convertible was dubbed “Biarritz.” For 1957, the Eldorado was given a distinctive tail treatment, with rounded flanks, each bearing a single shark-like fin. Biarritz convertible production was 1,800 that year, a tiny fraction of Cadillac’s total production.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

325 bhp, 365 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: 129.5"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Teddy Pieper and Darin Schnabel

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