CADILLAC ELDORADO 1953-1978
The Cadillac Eldorado is a luxury Cadillac marketed and built from 1953 to 2002.
It has been a production for over ten generations.
The original 1953 Eldorado convertible and the Eldorado Brougham 1975-60 models were the most expensive Cadillac created and was never less than second in price after the Cadillac Series 75 until 1966.
The Cadillac Eldorado’s carried the Fleetwood designation from 1965-72.
The name Eldorado was a contraction of two Spanish words that translate as “the gilded i.e. golden one” and the name El Dorado the legendary South American “Lost City Of Gold”.
It was chosen by Mary-Ann Marini a secretary in Cadillac’s Merchandising department for a limited edition 1953 Convertible.
Cadillac used the nameplates “Eldorado Seville” and “Eldorado Biarritz” to differentiate between the hardtop and the convertible models when both were offered through 1956 and 1960.
The Seville name was dropped when the hardtop was discontinued in 1961 but the Biarritz name continues through 1964.
In 1965 the Eldorado became the “Fleetwood Eldorado”, Biarritz returned a a higher level trim package for the Eldorado in 1977.
Cadillac Eldorado 1953 First Generation
The Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado was a uniquely bodied low production convertible with 532 being originally produced. It was in fact the production version of the 1952 El Dorado Golden Anniversary concept car.
It borrowed bumper bullets from the 1951 GM Le Sabrs show car with a full assortment of deluxe accessories and introduced the wraparound windshield.
Harley Earl the General Motor’s styling chief loved the expansive glass and distinctive dip in the sheetmetal at the bottom of the side windows.
The car was available in 4 different colors:
The convertible tops were available in either black or white Orion. AC was also offered as were wire wheels. The car had a gold-colored Eldorado in the center of the dash. A hard tonneau cover flush with the rear deck hid the convertible top in the open car version.
Technically the car was a subseries of the Cadillac Series 62 based on the series 62 convertible sharing its engine.
In the US it retailed as $7,750. The vehicle came with windshield washers, a signa seeking radio, power windows and a heater.
Despite it’s release it was only 5% of Cadillac’s sales in 1953.
Cadillac Eldorado Second Generation 1954-1956
In 1954 the Cadillac Eldorado lost its unique sheet metal and shared its basic body shell with standard Cadillacs.
The Eldorado’s had:
Golden crests behind the air slot fenderbreaks
Wide fluted beauty panels to decorate the lower rear body sides.
The panels were made of extruded aluminium with monogram plates on the doors, wire wheels and custom trimmings with the Cadillac crest embossed on the seat bolsters.
2150 Eldorado’s were sold this year 4 times as many as in 1953.
The Eldorado’s body had it’s own rear end styling with high. Slender pointed tailfins.
The sport convertible featured extras such as wide chrome body belt mouldings and twin round taillights halfway up the fenders. Sales doubled again to nearly 4000.
The 2 door Hard Coupe appeared called the Eldorado Seville and at which point the convertible was named the Eldorado Biarritz. The fender crest on the car was further distinguished by twin hood ornaments with a ribbed chrome saddle molding extending from the windshield to the rear window pillar along the beltline.
With the addition of the Seville the sales rose again to 6050 of which 2,150 were Sevilles. Eldorado’s were now 4% of all Cadillac’s sold.
Cadillac Eldorado Third Generation (1957-1960)
The Eldorado, in convertible and Seville hardtop bodystyles with a revised rear end design featuring a low downswept fenderline capped by a pointed, in-board fin.
The rear fenders were known as “chipmunk cheeks”
The model name was now set above a V shaped rear deck ornament and on the front fenders.
The rear fenders and deck contour was trimmed with broad, sculptured stainless steel beauty panels.
It also had shark style fins pointing towards the back of the cars.
A three section built in front bumper was another exclusive trait of the Series 62 Eldorados and in 1957 four specially built hardtop Eldorado Sedan Sevilles were also built.
1957 Series 70 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
Released in March 1957 the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was a hand built limited edition car derived from the Park Avenue and Orleans show cars of 1953 and 1954.
It was designed by Ed Glowacke and featured:
Quad headlights and totally unique trim
Wide ribbed lower rear quarter beauty panels extending along the rocker sills
Rectangularly sculptured side body “cove”
Highlighted with five horizontal windsplits on the rear doors.
It was an ultra luxury car selling for an incredible $13,074 and more than the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.
Stainless Steel Roof
Self levelling air suspension
First automatic 2 position memory powere seats
Dual 4 barrel V-8 Engine
Low profile tires with thin white walls
Automatic Trunk Opener
High pressure cooling system
Polarized sun visors
Automatic release parking brake
Electric door locks
Dual heating system
Silver magnetized glovebox
Cigarette & Tissue dispensers
Lipstick and Cologne
Ladies compact with poder puff
Mirror and matching leather notebook
Comb and mirror
Arpege atomizer with Lanvin perfume
Automatic starter with restart function
Drum type electric clock
Aluminium Wheels and Air Conditioning
There was also the choice of full leather interior and trim combinations and could select such items as Mouton, Karakul or lambskin carpeting.
The air suspension in practice was a problem.
The 1957 Eldorado Brougham used Fleetwood bodies and was the first time that a Fleetwood bodied car was paired with a Brougham name.
The 1957-8 Eldorado Brougham also marked the return of the Cadillac Series 70.
The 1957 Eldorado Brougham also had an alt-transistor signal seeking car radio added.
Due to their 50th production year Anniversary models were adde such as Cadillac Eldorado Seville, Buick Roadmaster Riviera, Oldsmobile Holiday 88, Pontiac Bonneville Catalina, and the Chevroler Bel Air Impala.
2 Door Eldorados were produced in this year and they had:
V Shaped Ornament
Model identification script mounted to the deck lid
They also had:
Ten vertical chevron slashes ahead of the open rear wheel housings
Crest medallions on the flank of the tailfins
The model also had sculptured panels on the lower rear quarters on all Series 62 Eldorados and extended around the wheel opening to stretch along the body sills.
Major Changes To The Cadillac Eldorado 1958
The changes to the Cadillac Eldorado 1958 were inside the car:
The interior upper door panels were finished in leather
New wheel covers were added
44 trim combinations were available plus 15 special monotone paint colors.
304 Eldorado Broughams were sold in 1958.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz were known for it’s:
Huge sharp tailfins
Dual Bullet Tail Lights
Two distinctive rooflines & roof pillar configurations
New jewel like grille patterns
Matching deck lid beauty panels
In 1959 the series 62 became the series 6200 De Villes and 2 door Eldorados were moved from the series 62 to their own series, the series 6300 and series 6400 respectively though they all shared the same 130in wheelbase.
New mechanical items were added including:
Scientifically engineered drainage system
New shock absorbers
All Cadillac Eldorado’s were characterized by:
3 Deck Jewelled Rear Grille insert
Both the Seville and Biarritz had name spelled out behind the front wheel opening and featured broad, full length body, sill highlights that curved over the rear fender profile and back along the beltline region.
Engine output was 345 hp from the 390 cu (6.4l) engine.
Standard equipment included:
Back up lamps
Outside rearview mirror
Six way power seats
Remote control deck lid
Radio and antenna with rear speaker
Power vent windows
Electric door locks
The Eldorado Brougham also came with:
Automatic Headlight Dimmer
A Cruise control standard over the Seville and Biarritz trim lines
All the Cadillac’s in the 1960’s had smoother more restrained styling.
General changes included:
Full Width Grille
Elimination of front bumper guards
Restraint in the application of chrome trim
Lower tailfins with oval shaped nacelle and front fender mounted directional indicator lamps
External variations included :
Bright body sill highlights extending across the lower edge of fender skirts
Eldorado Lettering on the sides of the front fenders
The standard additions included:
Dual back up lamps
Two speed wipers
Outside rearview mirror
Six way power seats
Remote control trunk lock
Radio with antenna and rear speaker
Power vent windows
Electric door locks
Five whitewall tires
Technically it had:
Finned rear drums
X Frame construction
Interiors were completed in Chadwick cloth and optional Cambray cloth and leather combinations.
The final Cadillac Eldorado Seville was actually built in 1960.
In 1959 and 1960 a new Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was born when the company contracted out the assembly to Pininfarina in Italy, so they were essentially hand built with final touches being completed by Fleetwood.
Narrow taillights integrated into modest tailfins with a squared off roof line and rear ventiplanes contrasting with the flamboyant fins and tails of the standard 1959 Cadillac.
A Brougham script plate appeared on the front fenders and a single thin molding ran from the front to rear along the body of the car. It did not have Eldorado front fender letters or body sill headlights and had a fin like crest running from behind the front wheel opening to the rear of the car on the lower bodysided and there were special crest medallions on the training edge of the rear fenders.
In addition to the standard equipment of the other Eldorado’s these cars had:
E-Z Eye Glass
The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was moved to its own unique series 6900 for it’s last 2 years.
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 6467E was featured heavily as Maurice Minnifield’s vehicle in the 1990’s television series Northern Exposure.
1961 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
Fourth Generation 1961-1964
In 1961 The Cadillac was re-styled and re-enginerred.
The Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible was re-classified as a subseries of the De Ville (series 6300) which it kept until 1964.
The restyling included:
New grille slanted towards the bumper and hood lip
New forward slanting front pillars with non-wraparound windshield glass
Front series designation scripts
Lower body skeg trimmed with thin 3 quarter length spear molding running from behind the front wheel opening to the rear of the car.
Dual back up lights
Dual speed wipers
Plain fender skirts
Outside rearview mirror
6 way power bench seat or bucket seats
Power vent windows
Remote control trunk lock
It also had rubberized front and rear coil springs and a four barrel induction systems and dual exhaust systems were no longer available.
However the sales now fell to 1,450.
A flatter grille with a thicker horizontal centre bar & delicate cross-hatched insert appeared.
It had :
Front fender model and series identification badges were eliminated
Massive front bumper end pieces appeared & housed rectangular parking lamps
Rear tail lamps were now housed in vertical nacelles designed with an angled peak at the center
A Ribbed rear beauty panel was added to the deck lid latch panel
Cadillac script also appeared on the lower left side of the radiator grille
Standard equipment additions included:
Remote controlled outside rearview mirror
Heater and defroster and front cornering lamps
The Cadillac Biarritz was another Cadillac model with a Fleetwood body including Fleetwood crests
In overall terms the 1963 Cadillac was the same as the 1962 model.
It did have a bolder look and the hoods and deck lids were re-designed and the body side sculpturing was eliminated.
The V shaped radiator grille was taller and had outer extensions that swept below the flush fender dual headlamps.
Smaller circular front parking lamps were mounted in these extensions. It also had a rectangular grid pattern rear decorative grille.
There were 143 extra options including:
Bucket seats with wool
Leather or nylon upholstery fabrics and wood veneer facings on dash, doors and seatbacks
1964 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
In 1964 there were some cosmetic changes. The fender skirts were removed and there was now a bi-angular grille that formed a V shape along vertical and horizontal planes.
Outer grille extension panels and the Cadillac tailfins with a new fine blade design were added and equipment features were same as in 1963 for the most part.
Comfort control, a completely automatic heating and air conditioning system was added.
The engine was bumped to 429 cu with 340 hp and a new technical feature was the turbo-hydramatic transmission which was also used in the De Ville and the Sixty Special.
1966 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
The Eldorado became a Fleetwood sub series in 1965.
It was marketed as the Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado as the Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 and the Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special.
The Eldorado was re-designed but rode on the same 129.5 inch wheelbase.
The tailfins were removed, with fins planed and sharp and a straight rear bumper and vertical lamp clusters were added.
The headlight pairs switched from horizontal to vertical permitting a wider grille.
It also had curved frameless side windows and it also had:
Lamps for luggage and glove compartments
Front and rear safety belts .the updated perimeter frame construction allowed repositioning the engine six inches forward in the frame, lowering the transmission hump and increasing interior room.
The changes to the 1966 model included:
Coarser mesh for the radiator grille
Horizontal centre bar with rectangular parking lamps at the outer ends
Rectangular side marker lamps replaced the integral grille extension designs
Variable ratio steering & optional front seats with carbon cloth heating pads built into the cushions and setbacks
AM/FM Stereo System
Automatic Level Control
Newly designed piston and oil rings and new engine mounting system
Patented quiet exhaust
1967-1970 Cadillac Eldorado Sixth Generation
In 1967 the Cadillac Eldorado was re-designed, sharing the E-body with the second generation Buick Riviera and the Oldsmobile Tornado.
It had the front wheel drive unified powerplant package, the torque converter next to the planetary gearbox which it drove through a metal motorcycle style roller chain. Disc brakes were optional and an energy absorbing steering column and padded instrument panel.
It was styled by GM’s styling chief Bill Mitchell which was a more distinctive and unique styling. Performance was up too in the fact that the car could go 0 to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds with a top speed of 120mph.
It sold 17,930 units in total.
In 1968 the Eldorado had a new 375 HP 472 CU in V8 and disc brakes became standard.
Sales hit 24,528 with Eldorado’s accounting for nearly 11% of all Cadillac’s sold.
Hidden headlamps were eliminated and a halo vinyl roof was an option joined later in the model year by a power sunroof
The Eldorado introduced the new 500 CU V8 Engine, rated SAE gross 400 hp and 550lb ft which would remain exclusive until it was standard on all full size Cadillac’s in the 1975 model year.
Cadillac Eldorado Seventh Generation 1971 – 1978
The Eldorado went through a re-design growing 2 inches in length and six in wheelbase.
Fender skirts were re-introduced too
The hardtop rear quarter windows were deleted replaced by a fixed Opera window in a widened C Pillar.
A Convertible model re-joined the line up with the 126.3 inch wheelbase version which run through 1978, with facelifts in 1973 and 1975 and sales in 1971 set a new record at 27,368.
In 1972 sales rose to 40,074.
By 1973 the Eldorado was removed from the Fleetwood series and had it’s own series.
These models now had:
New front and rear bumpers
Egg Crate grille
Rear Fenders and Taillamps
The 1974 models featured a:
Re-designed rear bumper
Fine mesh grille
New re-designed instrument panel known as “space age”
The Eldorado was given:
Full rear wheel openings sans fender skirts and crisper lines
Much sleeker appearance reminiscent of the 1967-70 models.
The Eldorado was promoted as the “last American convertible” with 14,000 sold. The final 200 were Bicentennial Editions commemorating America’s 200th birthday.
These cars were white with a dual color red/blue pinstripe along the upper bodyside.
The Eldorado was now fitted with:
New grille and a finer crosshatch pattern
The 8.2 l V8 gave way to a new 7L V8 with 180 bhp
Front wheel drive In 1978 a new grille was the only major change and then totally redesigned for 1979.
Released in 1976 The Biarritz package included a brushed stainless steel roof covering the front passenger compartment. The rear half of the roof was covered with a heavily padded landau vinyl top with large Opera Lights.
The interior featured pillowed style tufted velour or leather seating with contrasting piping.
The 1978 Biarritz option packages were :
Eldorado Custom Biarritz ($1,865.00) with Astroroof ($2,946.00) w/sunroof ($2,746.00) and Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic ($2,466.00) w/Astroroof ($3,547.00) w/Sunroof ($3,347.00)
By 1978 2,000 Eldorado Custom Biarritz classics were produced in 2 tone Arizona Beige/Demitasse Brown consisting of 1,499 with no astroroofs or sunroofs, 475 with Astroroofs, 25 with sunroofs and 1 with a Power Sliding T Top.
Cadillac Eldorado Colours
Academy Gray Metallic
Academy Gray Metallic 1976 Eldorado
Aleutian Gray 1962 Eldorado
Amberlite Firemist 1976 Eldorado
Brentwood Brown Metallic
Chesterfield Brown Metallic
Commodore Blue Metallic
Emberglow Firemist, Firethorn Metallic
Florentine Gold Firemist
Light Metallic Blue
Robins Egg Blue
Selling your Cadillac Eldorado or want a valuation?
Then please call us today at WCC, we are the no hassle way to sell any classic car including your Cadillac Eldorado.
As a long time licensed and bonded California auto dealership, we will take care of all the paperwork for the sale of your car ….. properly take care of all the paperwork that is, with no car left still registered in your name; we will give you a fair and no BS immediate cash offer for the car; imagine no advertising costs, no dealing with “tire kickers”, no bad checks, no non-existent wire transfers, no waiting for your money and probably most importantly, no strangers at your home or in your business .. period.
We will also arrange the immediate professional pick up and transportation of your car by a licensed auto shipper from anywhere in the continental United States. Ultimately, we are one of the quickest, safest and easiest way to sell your classic car today.
We have the knowledge and power to execute the deal immediately, so if you want some friendly advice or just a chat about how to sell us your Cadillac Eldorado then don’t hesitate to call us on 424-376-5151 now!