1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
| Amelia Island, Florida
5 March 2022
- 12% of the hammer price up to and including $250,000
- 10% of the hammer price in excess of $250,000
- One of only 1,320 Eldorado Biarritz examples produced
- Excellent example of Cadillac’s late-1950s styling; the marque’s range-topping convertible model
- Older restoration to original factory color combination freshened in late 2021
- Well-appointed example currently fitted with desirable front bucket seats
- Ideal for local display or driving enjoyment; accompanied by Cadillac build record copy
Perhaps no model line better represents Detroit’s late-1950s obsession with flamboyant design than the 1959 Cadillacs, which featured huge tailfins, bullet-style taillamps, and intricate front grilles. The Eldorado Biarritz was one of only two convertible Cadillacs offered for 1959, and it was by far the most luxurious; it was standard-equipped with luxurious appointments such as power brakes, power steering, Hydra-Matic transmission, dual back-up lights, two-speed windshield wipers, a vanity mirror, heater, fog lamps, a radio with antenna, power windows, six-way power seats, electric door locks, and a triple-two-barrel-carbureted V-8 engine that elevated output by 20 horsepower over the base model. Just 1,320 examples of this open flagship were built, of which far fewer remain in as outstanding condition as the featured car.
According to the Cadillac build record, a copy of which is on file, this early-production Eldorado Biarritz (clothed with body number 144) was optioned with air conditioning, E-Z Eye glass, twin license frames, Autronic Eye, and cruise control. Finished in Ebony paint with an Ivory top over an interior of White Cardiff and Florentine Grain leather with medium gray carpets, the Cadillac was restored at some point in more recent years. This was the likely opportunity for installation of the car’s current front bucket seats, a rare factory option that considerably enhances the driving experience.
By the late 2010s the Eldorado had passed into the care of Eugene Williams, a noted collector of 1950s-era American classics, including numerous 1959 models. In a testament to the car’s quality, Mr. Williams once stated, “This is the best ’59 I have ever owned.”
More recently acquired by the consignor, the Cadillac was re-commissioned for road use in late 2021. The carburetors were rebuilt, a new fuel pump was installed, the engine was tuned, and the paint was buffed for optimal cosmetic presentation. Ideal for collectors of seminal postwar open luxury American cruisers and marque aficionados, this Eldorado Biarritz may be exhibited on event fields and enjoyed for its refined driving character, as a stellar example of late-1950s Cadillac design.