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1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

The running epitome of ’50s excess

The ’50s were a strange decade: on the one hand, the danger of nuclear annihilation grew bigger and bigger as tensions between East and West reached new peaks and, on the other hand, automotive design also reached new peaks - peaks touched by the ultra-high fins of cars like the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, a true symbol of its time.

When you think of American cars from the ’50s, depending on who you are, you’re bound to first picture in your head one of three cars: the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird or the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. The latter is most definitely the showboat, figuratively and literally, of a whole design trend; a trend that climaxed with this very car that, in a way, managed to kill off the trend altogether. The trend I’m talking about is of aeronautical inspiration, and it took off (pun intended) in the late ’40s and early ’50s thanks to concept cars like the Buick Le Sabre and a host of other GM Motorama creations.

No, those chrome-bathed fins didn’t help the cars corner better nor did they aid the back end in sticking to the ground better - they were just for style, and 1959 was the year of all-out chrome and all-out fins. Some think those cars are everything that’s wrong with American cars, others simply think they’re flamboyant while others still adore them. I guess it’s a matter of personal preference but, undoubtedly, the ’59 Eldorado continues to turn heads 60 years later.

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Cadillac Eldorado - A Look Back

Cadillac Eldorado - A Look Back

The “personal luxury vehicle” is an idea that many U.S. automakers have tried to make work over the years, with varying levels of success. The idea was a coupe or convertible meant more for luxury than outright speed, a bit like a grand tourer but with more of an American flavor. Many of these models tanked even before European grand tourers were readily available and well-known in this country. Only a couple of cars managed to make it work, and one stayed stay alive for 10 generations spanning 50 years. That car was the Cadillac Eldorado, and it remains one of the best loved classic Cadillacs.

The Eldorado started off as a concept car in 1952, to mark Cadillac’s 50th anniversary. This being the golden anniversary, the name Eldorado (the name of a mythical city of gold that the Spanish were searching for in South America) was chosen. The idea specifically came from Mary-Ann Marini, a secretary at GM’s marketing department. The car was a flagship vehicle for many of the years that it was produced, and it was always used as a way for Cadillac’s designers to try out new and bolder styling ideas.

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1953 Cadillac Eldorado

1953 Cadillac Eldorado

The Eldorado model was part of the Cadillac line from 1953 to 2002. The Cadillac Eldorado was the longest running American personal luxury car as it was the only one sold after the 1998 model year. Its main competitors included the Lincoln Mark Series and the lower-priced Buick Riviera.

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Elvis' Cadillac auctioned

Elvis’ Cadillac auctioned

This car is a tribute to Elvis and his love for the American Cadillac.It was custom made by John D’Agostino, a California custom car designer .The car was auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 20th.
Elvis owned over 200 Cadillacs in his lifetime, many of which were gifts. He had a great love for Cadillacs. Elvis and Cadillac were almost synonymous , when you thought of Elvis, you thought Cadillac, and vice versa.The car is associated with Elvis in 1959, when (...)

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1959 Cadillac Eldorado

1959 Cadillac Eldorado

Eldorado was a model built by Cadillac from 1953 to 2002. The name Eldorado was derived from the Spanish words "el dorado", the "gilded one"; the name was given originally to the legendary chief or "cacique" of a South American Indian tribe. Legend has it that his followers would sprinkle his body with gold dust on ceremonial occasions and he would wash it off again by diving into a lake. The name more frequently refers to a legendary city of fabulous riches, somewhere in South America, that inspired many European expeditions, including one to the Orinoco by England’s Sir Walter Raleigh.

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