In 1957 Cadillac's Eldorado Brougham was as good as luxury motoring got. The Brougham started at $13,074 (equivalent to $130,000 today), was more expensive than many houses of the time and represented 3 year’s average wages.
Cadillac lost over $ 10,000 on each example built – they had a point to prove about being the best car manufacturer in the world and no expense was spared on their flagship vehicle.
These cars represented up-to-the-minute rocket-age technology of the day, owners could choose paint color and interior fabric, but no options.
GM developed X-frame chassis to enable installation of the industry's first production self-leveling air suspension (replacing springs with inflatable rubber bags), in conjunction with America's first production four-link rear suspension.
These cars had bespoke 15 x 6 Kelsey-Hayes forged aluminum wheels. The higher roll center, lower center of gravity, shorter wheelbase air suspension and special tyres combined to offer Cadillac levels of driveability in a more controllable and dynamic package.
The list of standard features was astounding for the era:
Power everything including steering, brakes, windows, locks, 6 way electric front seats (both seats independent) with "favorite position" programming, truck release, switches in the rear doors prevented the transmission from shifting into a drive gear while the rear doors were open and the rear doors automatically locked while driving.
Add to this air conditioning, front and rear speaker system, automatic antenna when the radio was turned on and an Autronic-Eye that automatically dipped your high beams when oncoming traffic was sensed.
In addition, every Eldorado Brougham was delivered with a full vanity set, including four metal drink tumblers and magnetic tray in the glovebox, tissue holder, and cigarette case. An Evans compact case also included a comb, mirror, cigarette case, lipstick, coin holder, and powder. In the rear, a special compartment contained a small leather notebook with Cross pencil, beveled mirror, and a perfume atomizer with a single ounce of Arpège Extrait de Lanvin perfume.
Only 704 Eldorado Broughams were built on a special line at Cadillac's Clark Street plant in Detroit—400 in 1957, 304 for '58. Both years used 365-cu.in. Cadillac V-8s mated to GM's four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, but the '57 used dual four-barrels and 10:1 compression ratio, for 325 rated horsepower, while the '58s switched to a trio of two-barrels with compression bumped a quarter point, and was rated at 335 horsepower.
Engines were sound-tested and only the most silent of Cadillac powerplants were chosen.
Build #320 of 400 hand-made ultra-luxury Eldorado Broughams.
This car has enjoyed caring, local SA ownership since 2004. The engine has been fully rebuilt and the transmission overhauled. The air conditioning has been serviced and blows cold.
This car’s suspension has been converted to coil springs. The original air compressor, engine bay wiring, relays and air tank are still held and go with the vehicle.
With beautiful black paint, acres of sparkling chrome and its sublime brushed stainless-steel roof, this car is a class act.
Open the heavy suicide doors and the sumptuous black and white leather seats (better than your lounge chair) invite you into the beautifully appointed cabin.
All original gauges are intact and in working order.
This car retains all its original drive line and luxury features including:
A full set of vanities as supplied by Cadillac at the time of purchase:
- Evans Lady's compact with case, lipstick holder, powder puff, cigarette holder, coin holder
- Set of 6 Tumblers with magnetic bases
- Container for the above
- Cigarette case
- Beveled edge mirror
- Notepad with Cross pencil
- 1 bottle of Arpege by Lanvin perfume
- Atomiser top for perfume bottle
All items are fitted to dedicated compartments in the glove box and rear seat armrest. The glove box is also equipped with a fold out tray for the tumblers
- Original for 1957 press release folder containing a description and photographs of the car
- Model of 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
- 1957 Cadillac Shop Manual, Brougham specific "Book of Information (Brougham Shop Manual)
Parts and spares:
- Carburettor rebuild kit for 2x4 Barrel Carter carburettors
- 4 speed Hydramatic transmission, rebuilt by Rowell & Searle, Adelaide
- Cadillac electric radio antenna
- Vacuum wiper motor
- Set of brake shoes, (new)
- Brake booster core
- AC compressor core
- Master brake cylinder core
A fantastic example of a rare, blue chip investment and American Icon. Only a handful of these in Australia.
ENGINE: V8 – 365 Cubic Inch (325 HP)
FUEL DELIVERY SYSTEM: Twin Carter 4-Barrel Carburettors
TRANSMISSION: Automatic – 4 speed
BRAKES: Drum - Itegral
TRIM: Leather in Black & White