Lot 175

Arizona 2023

1955 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible


$84,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Offered from the James Raisbeck Estate
  • One of just 3,950 built
  • Gorgeous Harley Earl-penned styling
  • 51 years in single previous ownership
  • Fewer than 16,000 miles from new and believed to be thoroughly original

First created as a design exercise for the 1952 Detroit Motorama, the iconic Cadillac Eldorado convertible drew its name from the marque’s 50th, or “Golden” anniversary. For 1955, Cadillac’s head of styling, Harley Earl, incorporated new sweeping, pointed tail fins to replace the “fishtail” versions first created in 1948. This convertible-only model was the first Cadillac to sport these new, soon-to-be-iconic fins. Brake, turn signal, and backup lights were situated at the base of the fins, and an Eldorado badge appeared on the rear decklid. Other styling enhancements included the full rear-wheel cutouts, "Saber Spoke" cast aluminum and steel wheels, and metallic appliques on the upper door and quarter-window sills.

For 1955, the Eldorado's 331-cubic-inch overhead valve V-8 produced 270 horsepower, 20 hp more than the standard 331-cubic-inch engine, thanks in-part to the addition of two four-barrel Carter carburetors. The standard transmission was a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic. A selection of optional convenience accessories included air conditioning, heating, a new electrically operated antenna, fog lights, side-mounted spotlights, a new signal-seeking pre-selector AM radio, a remote-control trunk release, and six-way power seats.

With only 3,950 made in 1955, and a price tag of almost $6,000, the Eldorado convertible was the finest product Cadillac could produce, reserved for the marque’s most discerning clientele. Consequently, any example is highly prized today, especially astonishingly low-mile examples like the stunning automobile offered here.

Amazingly, for the car’s first 51 years, it remained the pride and joy of its original owner, only seeing 15,200 miles before it first changed hands in 2006. In 2007, the 331-cubic-inch engine was rebuilt, with all components cleaned, sand blasted, and painted as appropriate. Having seen limited mileage since, the car is said to have been properly stored and privileged to the consistent care of in-house mechanic.

This Eldorado is said to have never needed any cosmetic work beyond some small paint touch-ups and refurbishing a few pieces of chrome. The top, interior, carpet, and chrome remain in excellent original condition. This Cadillac also retains its owner’s books and service stickers on the door. In strikingly preserved condition, this car will compete extremely well in any Antique Automobile Club of America Preservation Class event, having won a class award in the Original/Unrestored Category at the 2006 St. Anthony's Concours d'Elegance in Oklahoma City.

With its rebuilt engine and iconic open design, this low-mileage, well-preserved Cadillac Eldorado remains an important piece of American automotive history and is the perfect choice for long highway trips or short jaunts around town, sure to turn heads anywhere it goes. All proceeds of this sale will go to the James and Sherry Raisbeck Foundation.