Arizona

Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
19 - 20 January 2017
Lot 167

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

{{lr.item.text}}

$170,500 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

{{internetCurrentBid}}

{{internetTimeLeft}}


Engine No.
58P060521
Body No.
638
  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • The ultimate and most expensive American automobile of its era
  • Sought-after 1958 model with the more powerful “Tri-Power” V-8
  • Finished in the rare, attractive original color of Lake Placid Blue
  • Rides on correct air suspension; includes many of the rare correct vanity accessories
  • One of the most rare highly desirable 1950s automobiles today
language

Series 70. Body Style no. 7059X. 355 bhp, 365 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic power drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

It is hard to imagine an American automaker today building a four-door sedan that would be priced higher than a new Ferrari or Rolls-Royce. In the 1950s, it was a different time. Glitter was good, bigger was better, and too many accessories was just right in the age of chrome and neon. Ford had upped the ante with the introduction of its Continental Mark II, a two-door coupe so elite that the Blue Oval didn’t even bother calling it a Lincoln. It was an era ripe for the ultimate Cadillac: a car heaped with everything that General Motors’ engineering and styling gurus could throw at it.

Harley Earl’s styling team contributed multiple new ideas, including four-door hardtop sedan bodywork with side windows that disappeared completely, frames and all; rear-hinged rear doors, which were a throwback to the 1930s; and a broad expanse of sparkling brushed stainless steel for the roof. Quad headlights were exclusive to the model and still illegal in most states. The engineering staff worked out a litany of power accessories that was so numerous that “power everything” wasn’t just a convenient phrase, it was a reality. The trunk lid and rear doors not only opened with the push of a button, but they closed with one too, and the doors would lock automatically when the transmission was put in gear. A memory front seat was a first for a production car, as were the forged aluminum wheels. Naturally, there was air conditioning.

All of this high living came at a cost of $13,974, which was twice the cost of the Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. In fact, one had to look long and hard to find a production car anywhere in the world that was as expensive as an Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac reportedly lost $10,000 on every car built, which was why the original “Eldo Bro” lasted for only two years and only 704 examples were made.

The 1958 model offered here, number 638, unlike many of its ilk, survived the years in very original and well-preserved condition, despite its original delivery in Minnesota. The previous owner elected to perform a body-on cosmetic restoration, photographic documentation of which accompanies the car. The straight, sound body was properly stripped and refinished in the beautiful and unusual original color of Lake Placid Blue, a sparkling metallic shade that contrasts beautifully with the stainless steel roof. Lake Placid Blue was a relatively rare Eldorado Brougham color, used on only 41 of the cars during both years of production. Similarly, the chassis was cleaned and properly refinished, and today is still clean and attractive; chrome throughout is consistent, with excellent bumpers and solid trim, much of which remains original. The interior of the Brougham was re-upholstered only as necessary, with new cloth inserts but the original blue leather upholstery, which is still in excellent condition, especially given that it has been with the car since 1958.

Most impressive are the car’s details. It still rides on correct air suspension, unusual, as this complex system was regularly replaced by coil springs a few years into the life of most Broughams. Air suspension is thus extraordinarily desirable—not to mention serenely comfortable. The steel roof, next to impossible to repair properly if damaged, is straight and beautiful, with no major blemishes. The memory power seat functions correctly, as do the interior lights and the power-operated trunk lid.

Accompanying the Brougham is a copy of its original build information from Cadillac, copies of the factory Service Information and shop manuals, a reprinted owner’s manual, and the aforementioned restoration photographs. Furthermore, the car is supplied with several of the correct original vanity accessories, including six magnetized cocktail tumblers, a largely complete Evans vanity case, a plastic cigarette box, and a note pad with Cross silver pencil.

Few Eldorado Broughams have been as conscientiously well-kept and sympathetically restored as that offered here, which has all of the correct, hard to duplicate features sought after by the connoisseur. The opportunity to drive it yourself to Perino’s or Ciro’s has passed, but it retains the stunning glamour of a bygone age—as only Cadillac could present it, with the most expensive automobile in the world.