American Exce$$: 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Series 70
Top-tier American luxury from the era of "We Like Ike"
Factory advertisement from 1957. There was no 1958 ad for the Eldorado Brougham.
Many people, the world over, view the 1950s as the "golden age" of the North American automobile. They aren't wrong, it's nigh impossible to dislike the tailfins, chrome, quad headlights, high-compression V8s, and "jet age" styling of the later 50s North American cars, and even the restrained, 1940s holdover styling of the early 50s cars, that the end of was marked by Howard "Dutch" Darrin's 1951 "Anatomic Design" Kaiser and the 1953 "Loewy" Studebaker (actually penned by Bob Bourke), has its share of fans. One of the all-time greatest American classics of this era is the 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, known internally and among aficionados as the Series 70.
Cadillac may today be best known for numerous reliability faux pas (ranging from the "not ready for prime time" V-8-6-4 and underdeveloped HT 4100, to today's rampant electrical problems and the notorious, myriad issues with the Northstar V8), for concept cars that should have been produced like the Elmiraj and Cien, and for several vehicles discontinued too soon, such as the CTS-V, XLR, and many of their newer large sedans that satisfied the core market of older Americans and the carriage trade, but in the 1950s, their reigning position as king of the hill on the American luxury market was threatened: not only by rivals' products like the Continental Mark II and Crown Imperial Ghia limousine, but by European rivals like Mercedes-Benz, Facel Vega and Rolls-Royce that were never more available to Americans before the post-World War II era. Faced with lots of tough competition in 1955, and with the Motorama traveling exhibitions in full swing, Cadillac created the Eldorado Brougham concept car, which was received well. By 1956, the concept was under development as a production model.
1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham concept car.
Following on the coattails of the original 1953 Eldorado, which was popular and well received enough in spite of its eye-watering price, that it was made into a range-topping trim level and simplified somewhat the following year, the 1957 Eldorado Brougham was again the priciest car you could buy from a Cadillac dealer, with only 704 made over 2 years & each priced at $13,074 USD. That price was literally a king's ransom back then, up there with the Facel Vega FVS and HK500, BMW's large-chassis V8 cars like the 502, 503 and 507, the Mercedes-Benz 300S and 220SE coupes, and the Bentley Continental, and it equates to around $118,270 in today’s money.
The Eldorado Brougham is powered by a 335-hp V8 with two four-barrel carburetors, and is loaded with features such as air conditioning, six-way power driver’s seat with a “favorite position” memory and easy entry/exit mode, power door locks, heating system with under-seat blowers, power trunk opening/closing, and a lot more.
It even featured an automatic headlight dimmer and polarized sun visors that became darker when tilted. Let’s not forget the vanity features such as a matched set of stainless steel drink tumblers, special lipstick and cologne, a cigarette case, tissue holder, a makeup compact, as well as a rear armrest that included a pad, pencil, and mirror.
When it debuted for 1957, the Eldorado Brougham wowed the crowds with its quad headlights, signature stainless steel roof, rear-opening suicide doors, and Jet Age air suspension — the first car to use such a system, Citroen notwithstanding (the French automaker's design was oleopneumatic and depended on hydraulic fluid, whereas the Eldorado Brougham suspension was entirely air-driven).
Model #57-70 style code #7059X 1957 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 400 were built. Model #58P-70 style code #7059X 1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 304 were built.
With a total production of only 704; the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is a highly coveted collectible automobile. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham took the automotive industry by storm with power, presence, performance, and prestige, and the cars' survival rate is higher than expected, with the majority of production still extant in some form.
This car was photographed at the 2021 Function 4 Junction, in Junction City, Oregon.