• Limited production, top-of-the-line model from inaugural year
• One of just 400 produced for 1957 and 904 built in all 1957-1960
• The height of 1950s Cadillac elegance, engineering, and opulence
• GM Motorama-inspired “Dream Car” design tour de force
• Powerful 325 HP Cadillac V-8 and wonderful luxury features
Series 70. 365 cid V-8 engine, twin four-barrel carburetors, 325 HP, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs, four-link rear suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 126"
Cadillac absolutely ruled the American luxury-car market by the late 1940s and went from strength to strength during the 1950s. In keeping with that momentum, the Eldorado Brougham hardtop was introduced for sale for 1957 and it was quite likely the most luxurious and advanced automobile in the world, a true “dream car” rooted in a series of awe-inspiring Motorama show cars. Beginning with the Orleans of 1953, Cadillac explored the pillarless four-door hardtop body style with the Park Avenue, El Camino, and La Espada concept cars of 1954 and the close-coupled Park Avenue.
Cadillac introduced the first concept car named “Eldorado Brougham” at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria in 1955, a four-door pillarless hardtop featuring specially formulated paint over custom bodywork with a brushed stainless steel roof and panoramic windshield. It also previewed quad headlights, the Autronic Eye automatic headlamp dimmer, and new aluminum wheels, plus swiveling seats and air-conditioning. When the production Eldorado Brougham arrived for sale for 1957, it was the first Cadillac, and one of the first of all American production cars to boast quad headlamps, which were not yet legal in all 50 states.
The 1956 Motorama marked the introduction of the production-intended Eldorado Brougham. While initially styled with single headlights, a duplicate front end was also built with quad headlights for a Cadillac management decision. The quad-lamp front was chosen and then grafted onto the full-size Brougham in time for its premiere at the Paris Auto Show. With only minor detail updates including full stainless steel rocker-panel trim and a modified door locks, the Eldorado Brougham moved to production. A final concept car, built to reinforce the model name and maintain excitement, the Eldorado Brougham Town Car also joined the 1956 Motoramas.
Built for model years 1957 through 1960, the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was one of the last truly hand-built Cadillac models. Ample power – 325 horsepower – was delivered by the twin-carbureted 365 cubic-inch Eldorado V-8 teamed with the renowned four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Incredibly well-equipped, the Eldorado Brougham also featured air-conditioning and abundant power amenities including side windows and frames that completely disappeared when lowered, pushbutton-operated rear doors and trunk lid, and door locks that automatically activated when the transmission was placed into gear. A memory front-seat mechanism was a production-car first, as were the forged “Saber-Spoke” aluminum wheels. Rounding out the Brougham, personal items inside the glove box included a ladies’ vanity case with compact, powder puff, comb, and holder, lipstick, plus coin holders, six matched beverage tumblers, a tissue dispenser, and a cigarette case. The rear seat armrest contained a notepad and pencil, a mirror, and even an atomizer containing one ounce of Arpège perfume by Lanvin.
Just 400 Eldorado Broughams were assembled for the model’s initial 1957 production year, plus 304 more for 1958. Another 99 and 101 followed on a longer-wheelbase chassis for 1959 and 1960 respectively. While priced from $13,074 new, twice the cost of the Eldorado Biarritz convertible and more than the contemporary Rolls-Royce and Ford Motor Company’s Continental II, GM reportedly lost about $10,000 for every Eldorado Brougham produced. Offered from the Monical Collection, this 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was privately purchased in 2000. It is an older restoration; however, the front and rear bumpers have just recently been restored and installed. Very rare and highly striking throughout, this first-year 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a truly historic, hand built American luxury model that is ready to be preserved “as is,” or used as the basis for complete, concours-level restoration.
1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
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