- Cadillac’s hand-built luxury halo offering; staggering $13,074 when new
- This stunning example is No. 38 of only 400 built for 1957
- Dual-four-barrel-carbureted 365 cu. in. V-8; four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission
- Dark blue over a medium blue interior; brushed stainless steel roof
- Formerly part of the Duane Sell Collection for over 40 years
- Solid, driver-quality example; air suspension recently serviced
By the 1950s Cadillac had firmly established its reputation as the “Standard of the World;” its stylish, advanced vehicles conveyed heads of state and leading entertainers alike, and they were eagerly sought by members of the social and economic elite. What, then, did the marque have to prove?
Apparently, Cadillac brass felt some sort of challenge to its luxury supremacy was brewing, because it introduced the extravagant, cutting-edge Cadillac Eldorado Brougham for 1957. Priced at $13,074, each Eldorado Brougham reportedly cost more than any Rolls-Royce on the market at the time, and certainly well in excess of any contemporary Lincoln; one suspects that this almost unthinkable price was, on its own, a sort of selling point.
For that, buyers got a suicide door-equipped pillarless hardtop sedan with cutting-edge styling (lower than other Cadillacs then on the market, it was also the first to sport quad headlamps) and a slate of luxury and technology features including a transistorized radio, power memory seats, automatic locking doors, the Autronic Eye automatic headlamp dimmer, and a remarkable self-leveling air suspension system—all equipped standard. Power was supplied by a dual-quad-carbureted 365 cubic-inch V-8 mated to a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.
Despite the princely price tag, General Motors reportedly lost a considerable amount of money on each example it sold, owing to the model’s hand-built nature and incredible technological complexity. But as with any proper halo car, the Eldorado Brougham did not necessarily exist to make money: It existed to make a point about its creator’s capabilities. In that regard, it was an incredible success.
This example’s trim tag indicates that it is body number 38 of only 400 produced in 1957; only 304 cars were built the following year, bringing production of this desirable Eldorado Brougham body style to a mere 704. Originally painted Chamonix White, it was refinished in dark blue at a later date; the color nicely compliments its signature brushed stainless steel roof, as well as its medium blue Parisienne cloth and medium blue leather interior. Overall this Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a solid, driver-quality example that has benefitted from having its air suspension recently serviced.
Designed to dazzle the world, the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is as compelling today it was in 1957; thanks to the attrition suffered by cars even as cherished as these, the uniquely American luxury experience it offers is now even more exclusive than when the model was introduced.