Lot 180

London 2016

1954 Cadillac Eldorado Sport Convertible


£58,800 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Body No.
Italian Libretto
  • Cadillac’s most prestigious luxury model
  • One of 2,150 built; exceedingly rare in Europe

Series 62. 230 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent coil-spring front suspension, live axle rear suspension, and four-wheel power-assisted drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,277 mm

By the early 1950s, Cadillac had displaced Packard at the summit of the American fine car market, and in late 1953, the Motorama-inspired Eldorado crowned its model range. Fitted with a fashionable wraparound windshield, a luxurious custom interior, and a daring beltline dip, the 1953 Eldorado carried a staggering price of $7,750 when new. Powered by Cadillac’s state-of-the-art 331-cubic inch V-8, it was offered only one way: fully accessorized.

The extensive hand labour and limited production volumes, however, meant that Cadillac reportedly lost money on every Eldorado produced during 1953. Nonetheless, this “halo car” increased Cadillac’s prestige and attracted valuable publicity. A 1953 Cadillac sales brochure declared the Eldorado as having been “dramatically styled by Fleetwood to capture the heart of all America”, and this was no overstatement. In fact, the Eldorado proved so popular that it joined the regular Cadillac model line in 1954, priced at $5,738, with 2,150 examples produced. All Eldorados featured a host of standard features, including chrome wire wheels, special ribbed lower rear fender mouldings, and gold crests, adding further distinction to this already striking, limited-production automobile.

The car offered here was reportedly imported to Rome several years ago after an extended period in sunny Florida. Finished in its original colour of Alpine White with the original red and white leather interior, it is equipped with the factory-optional heater, as well as a power top, power seat, and wire wheels. The owner reports that it is an excellent drivable example, with some recent cosmetic work to improve its presentation; it runs and shifts strongly, and even the original radio still works well.

With only 2,150 examples built, the 1954 Eldorado was a rare automobile even when new, and survivors are even scarcer. Relatively few have been brought to Europe, where the model enjoys a certain chic appeal for its dramatic and elegant lines, as well as its sheer size and power. Offered here is a rarity on these shores, which will continue to amaze wherever it is driven, in cosseting luxury and comfort.