Custom 1957 Eldorado Seville low rider
Another outstanding example of
d'Ādostino's work: here, a 1958
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham matched with a customized 1958
Allender & Co.,
Detroit (USA): These actually are NOT Cadillac models, but the customized
1957 Chevrolet El Morocco. It really has no place in the Cadillac Database©, other than the fact that, viewed from
the rear, for example, it might easily pass for an Eldorado Brougham of the same
vintage. And that was, without any doubt, the ultimate intention of the customizer.
The El Morocco models, nonetheless, are extremely rare and were made by Chevrolet
for only two years (1956 and 1957). In 1957 they made convertibles, two door hardtops, and
four door hardtops. They were sold and warranted by Chevrolet and sold by the latter's own
What's this ? A 1957
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham ...convertible ??? Sadly, no.
Barris, George (USA) Custom design for
Larry Watson [no other details]. I have information about a customized 1957 Eldorado
#14] built for the same Larry Watson who had a shop beside that of George
Barris in Hollywood. That Brougham, however, does not appear to have been
designed by Barris
Dore, Rick (USA) 1957 custom Eldorado roadster
Erles, Steven (USA) Interesting proposal
for a 1957 custom Eldorado wagon
Fleetwood (USA) 1956 prototype of 1957 Eldorado, with 1956
textured grille [photos]
Fleetwood (USA) 1955 prototype of 1957 Sixty-Special [photo -
rear ¾ RH view]
Fleetwood (USA) 1957 prototype of "Series 75" limousine
Note vent in rear quarter window and '57 park and
turn signal lamps
Fleetwood (USA) 1959 Series 75 limousine rear clip, clay
This factory shot by Madler [#17160], is from Sept.
Fleetwood (USA) special 4-door Eldorado Seville 4-door sedan,
style 6239SX. Only 4 were built. Two members of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club own one of these
rare cars: Don S. Pike and John W. Vandegrift [see 1997 membership roster]. These four
cars have block ELDORADO lettering centered on the trunk above the Cadillac "V".
Also there is a "Seville" script on the front fender. But for their
four doors in lieu of two, these cars are like regular '57 Eldorado Coupes. One of these
Seville hardtop 4 door sedans was sighted in 1991 in a junkyard called
"A-Autoparts" on Arrow highway near the 605 freeway intersection in Arcadia, CA,
by Cadillac enthusiast Michael J. Morton. It was in unrestored original condition, black,
complete and not rusty. At the time, the yard said they were taking offers on it. They did
know about its rarity but did mention it was #4.
This photo courtesy of Katie Robbins, MI
These two photos courtesy of Lance Hirsch, TX
Fleetwood (USA) To make up for the absence of the Motorama
show in 1957, Cadillac exhibited the special Cadillac Sixty-Special "Director";
this was another "mood" car, a mobile executive suite. The RH front seat pivoted
180° to permit a secretary to turn and face "the boss" - and to take dictation
at speeds from 70 to 100 mph! - seated in the rear, at a special desk. Features included
dictaphone, telephone, filing space and even a semi-concealed storage compartment on the
driver's side of the front seat "secretary position" concealing a hand gun and
holster behind a sliding door; more on this car: McC p. 320 [no picture].
Most of these are stills from a GM
merchandising film of 1957; others are from Time magazine. Top (far left): the
"Director"at the "Tavern on the Green"
in New York's Central Park; top row (next) radio-telephone (in cabinet) and
writing desk, both within easy reach. Top (next 2): secretary position, with
back to dash:
next row (left): secretary types while boss makes phone call and takes notes;
(next 2) more views of boss' position; (far right) file storage behind front seat
Bottom row (left and center); admirers at NY car show; (right) driver gets to ward
off would-be aggressors with Colt .45 automatic pistol !
Fleetwood (USA) Custom Series 62
convertible Cadillac Allegro with interior by Sue Vanderbilt, a lady designer in
the Cadillac Interior and Color Studio of the GM Styling section. The "biscuit and
button" design of the [open] door panel differs significantly from the regular
2-inch piping seen in the production Cadillac models that year
[ Photos: © GM Styling - Self
Starter annual, 1998 ]
Fleetwood (USA) [???] Special Sedan de Ville
with vinyl top similar to Eldorado Seville. Photo supplied kindly by the present owner,
Steve Sepowski, who said this: I have a question regarding my Cadillac that I was
hoping you might be able to answer. It is a 1957. The emblems (gold) say "Sedan
deVille". The VIN is 5762137132. It has what appears to be an original vinyl or
leather top in perfect condition. An automotive upholsterer friend said the length and
straightness of the seam leads him to believe it's original. Another friend said it might
be a special model for export and could be quite rare. I just want to know how I can be
sure it's an original Sedan deVille. The trim tag says 57-6239. Paint code says 24-20. It
also has "NX" and "EHX" on the tag. ANY information would be
greatly appreciated. Well, Steve, this one has me stumped; the paint codes certainly
indicate a two-tone combination [#24 (upper) = Tahoe blue and #20 (lower) = Orion blue];
yet it looks like the lower color is #24 and the roof covering much darker, hence it was
probably re-trimmed after leaving the factory. The accessory codes "EHX"
and "NX" suggest that the car was fitted at the factory with E-Z-Eye tinted
glass ("E"), a heater ("H"), power windows ("X") and power
vent panes ("N" or "NX"). Anyway, I find it interesting enough to
warrant a place in the "Dream Cars" section.
Fleetwood (USA) [???] Special Series Sixty Special for
U.S.General Omar Bradley. The lower rear section had a unique trim.
Fleetwood (USA) [modified] Who trimmed the tail fins off
this Eldorado Brougham? I say they should be shot!
Fleetwood? (USA) Prototype? Was it ever built ? The
1955 and 1956 wagons like this found only very few takers. They were built under Cadillac
supervision by Hess & Eisenhardt.
Frick/Vignale (USA/Italy) Sliding roof coupe with body by
Vignale; This car (with roll-back roof) was ordered by one John Wood Blodgett, Jr., the
son of a lumber baron in Portland, Oregon; it was powered by the 1955 Eldorado motor and
featured a steel body (others were made of aluminum). Frick broke off his
association with Vignale after this car; the whereabouts of the 1955 prototype [above] and
the Clark car are unknown (1994); the Blogett car is owned since November 1989 by Michael
Pomerance (1994); previous owners were Blodgett's secretary (mid-sixties), Emmet Boitz (an
Oregon truck driver), Earl Benz (also from Oregon), then various West Coast dealers; SIA143
[Photos: © 1994, Special Interest Autos]
GM Canada: Eldorado Biarritz "bubble top" for 1957
Royal Tour by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II; photos below. Here is a press release
about the car, issued at the time: OSHAWA, CANADA---A
Cadillac with a crystal-clear Plexiglas top has been specially outfitted by General Motors
of Canada for the use of the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during the royal stay in
Canada. The "bubble" canopy,
molded in one piece by A. V. Roe, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer in Toronto, has been
fitted to an Eldorado Biarritz convertible to provide an unobstructed view of her Majesty
by thousands who will line the streets during her visit to Ottawa. The windproof and waterproof top is
easily removable if true convertible weather prevails. The car, complete with bubble, will
be flown to Washington from Ottawa to be available for the royal party's arrival at the
U.S. Capital. Special interior lighting for night
use is provided through the installation of small spotlights on each armrest. Another
light will play from the floor between the two specially-installed bucket-type front
seats. This illumination will insure the royal couple being visible at all vantage points
at dusk and darkness. The right-hand front seat has been
specially designed to fold under the instrument panel to allow for maximum freedom of
movement in entering and leaving the automobile. When the seat is folded, the entry space
is about 30 inches -- equal to the width of a standard house door. The floor is covered from front to
rear in deep-pile black carpetry. The upholstery and interior trim in genuine leather. The
interior color scheme is black and white. This from CLC member, M. McClure in March 2002: I am
searching for the location of a one-off car specially prepared by A.V. Roe in Toronto,Ontario for the Queen during her visit to Canada in '57. Most notable was the
3/4" thick crystal clear, Lexan bullet proof bubble hardtop, hand fabricated
utilizing the latest vacuum forming technology of the time developed for jet fighter
canopies. The car may have been shipped to Washington shortly after her visit, for later
visits to the U.S. My father, now in his 80's was one of a select few, chosen to produce
this fine automobile, and my wish is to locate it for him and personally take him to see
it if it still exists.
Pininfarina (Italy) [Added to 1957
"Dream Cars" page in April, 2007 - is featured also in 1958 and 1959] Skylight
coupe and convertible. These stylish cars were shown first at the Geneva salon,
Switzerland, in March, 1958 (the coupe version) and at the Paris salon, in October 1958
(the convertible). Pininfarina asserted to me, in 1976, that the Skylight coupe
and convertible models had been mounted on Cadillac chassis, standing at 130 inches.
Since the wheel base of the 1958 Sixty-Special chassis is 133 inches, the chassis
could NOT be from a 1958 Cadillac "60-S". Regular 1957 and 1958 Cadillac
models used a chassis with 129.5" wb (close enough to PF's stated WB). The chassis of
the 1959 Sixty Special and the restyled Eldorado Brougham both have a
wheel base of 130 inches; but then the car could not have been shown in Geneva in March
1958, because the '59 chassis were not available until the fall of 1958. Initially,
I had assumed in error that the coupe version had made its debut at the Paris show in
October, 1958; in fact it was at Geneva. Late
Extra (6/2005): Michael W. Schultz of Houston TX sent me a
startling ad from the December 1970 edition of Hemmings Motor News (p.1324).
Offered for sale for $5,000.00, in a ¼-page ad, is what appears to be the
light-colored coupe (shown below) with the hood scoop. The text reads: Unique Cadillac
- 1957 motor, chassis, 1959 [1958?] custom body by Pininfarina, Torino, Italy.
Perfect condition. Can be inspected at Vicmar Garage, 8 E. 83rd Street, New York, NY
10008. Mileage over 50,000 - Asking $5,000.00. The text was "signed" H.v.
T. Schwier, 342 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017. The phone number 697-4639 was listed.
When I corresponded with Fredy Valentini of PF's PR department in 1976 (i.e. some six
years AFTER publication of that Hemmings ad), he did not hint that the Skylight
had survived, even less that it had been sold. If the ad is true, I wonder where that car
is now? Did it find a buyer? Is it still around? A Google search in June, 2005
revealed that there is still a Vicmar Garage Corp. operating a parking garage at
8 E. 83rd Street, New York. The telephone number listed is 212-650.0675 ...if anyone is
interested! Later still (4/2007):
Australian enthusiast, Ron Wilson kindly went through his extensive auto history files and
sent me some pertinent information from period magazines in his possession that put a
definite time-line on the story of these two PF customs. Ron was able to confirm that the coupe was exhibited first at Geneva, in March
1958. He included a photo taken at that show and published in The Autocar for the
week ending March 21, 1958. The caption reads: A sleek Cadillac by the same master
[the previous caption had referred to a PF-designed Alfa Romeo]. The article describes the
car thus: A new Farina work is a sporting saloon on a Cadillac chassis, commissioned
by G.M. [???]. Externally this is sleek considering its vast dimensions, and its
functional and delicate grille treatment is an object lesson for transatlantic stylists.
It has a more capacious living room trimmed in pale blue leather than the
Buick he showed at Paris and Turin, but there is evidence of compromise. Thus the floor
level is high relative to the waistline [the belt], and the front seat backrest
has had to be curtailed [kept low] to maintain this line. The steering-wheel
looks oddly high in relation to the lower screen rail [what is the "lower screen
rail"?], but cannot be lowered without jeopardizing clearance above the seat
cushion. In line with other current Farina creations, there are very deep front and rear
windows and side windows of curved glass. I have my doubts about G.M.'s
"commissioning" these customs from PF, even despite the special brochure edited
by Cadillac, in collaboration with Pininfarina, in 1999, on the occasion of the Concorso
Italiano staged in conjunction with the annual Pebble Beach event in California. PF
said that both these Pininfarina designed coupes featured a taut line that created an
impression of slenderness in spite of its [the Cadillac's] large frame
[chassis?]. The 1959 version [suggesting there had been an earlier - 1958? -
version] presented some changes such as a hood scoop and an altered waist line.
While the added air-scoop is visible in the later photos, there are, in my opinion, no
noticeable changes at the belt line. Ron suplied also a photo of the convertible version,
taken at the Paris Salon in October, 1958. That photo was published in The Autocar for
the week ending October 10, 1958; that is the week preceding GM's release to dealers of
the new, 1959 Cadillac models (an early released 1959 Fleetwood Series 60 Special
was also shown at that Paris show). Ron remarked that the instrument panel of the PF
custom job appeared to resemble more closely that of a 1958 Cadillac than a 1959 model;
indeed, an enlargement of the Autocar bird's-eye-view confirms Ron's opinion. The article
goes on to describe the car as a cabriolet version of the Cadillac coupe exhibited at
Geneva last March another example of [Pinin Farinas] work as
consultant to the styling department of General Motors [???]. The tail fins are
thin and mostly horizontal; the front grille is a clean simple design, also with a
horizontal motif and the four head lamps blend nearly [neatly?] with the styling.
Ron theorizes that the same chassis
[one from 1957] was used for all "three" cars: first, the dark-colored coupe
with white roof [Geneva show, March 1958], the convertible [Paris Show, October 1958] and
the light-colored coupe with the new hood scoop [1959?]. The latter is the car that was
offered for sale in Hemmings, in 1970. For want of a better explanation, I will
go along with Ron's theory. What we need now is to find the light-colored coupe with
the hood scoop ...and put it under the microscope!
These photos show the dark
colored "Skylight" coupe that was on display at the Geneva salon in March 1958;
the car in the row below (photos supplied by Pininfarina, in 1976) is painted a
lighter hue (possibly the same color as the
convertible below it; an air-scoop has been added to the hood (there is none on the hood
of the convertible); the convertible appears to be a similar,
light color to the second (?) coupe, that appeared for sale in Hemmings Motor News
in 1970; that car was located in New York
and according to the ad was mounted on a 1957 Cadillac chassis; it is now believed that
all "three" PF custom jobs
were mounted successively on THE SAME 1957 Cadillac chassis.
[ B&W photo (above, left): © The Autocar, week ending 21 March 1958,
courtesy Ron Wilson ]
For sale in New York, in 1970
Will it ever show up again?
The PF Skylight convertible on show during
the Paris Salon, October 1958
[ Sepia photo (left) and enlargements (center and
right): © The Autocar, week ending 10 October 1958, courtesy Ron Wilson ]
The color photo of the PF convertible
shows it to be painted a light metallic gray with bright red upholstery;
that color scheme was confirmed to me by Pininfarina in 1976.
[ Color photo and enlargement: © 1958, Pinin Farina,
courtesy Revue Automobile, 1958-59 ]
It is highly likely
that the dark-colored coupe on display at Geneva in March 1958 and this silver gray
convertible shown at Paris in October 1958 were one and the same car
[ Photos: © 1958, Pinin Farina archives, courtesy
Fredy Valentini ]
[ Image: © 1958 The Autocar, week ending 14
November 1958, courtesy Ron Wilson ]
I got these two photos from the PF archives
in Turin; they show a light-colored coupe, apparently with a metallic paint finish
and (again) with a white roof; it features an air scoop on the hood; both this car
and the Geneva coupe have Borrani spoked wheels
[ Photos: © 1959, Pinin Farina archives, courtesy Fredy Valentini ]
This image is from a
classified ad in Hemmings for December, 1970
WHO HAS GOT THIS CUSTOM
COUPE TODAY ?!?!
[Unknown, France ???] special custom
Eldorado convertible sans fins, with a front clip that is no longer
recognizable as a Cadillac. Who knows the
whereabouts of this car today ?
[Unknown, USA] special Series 62 Coupe filmed in Scottsdale, AZ,
January 1999. A similar car was shown at Auburn, IN, in
May 1999 [lot #793] and was reportedly sold there for $14,000; mileage was 33k.
Poor image is from TV/video;
© 1999, Yann Saunders
[Unknown, USA] Mildly customized coupe
[Unknown, USA] special Eldorado Biarritz convertible with 1955-56
Eldorado rear end features; I saw and photographed this car at Reilly Cadillac, in
Kingston, PA, 1982.
[Unknown, USA] special Eldorado Seville coupe sans fins
and dechromed; seen at "Mac" McCord used car dealership in Tulsa, OK, 6/82
[Unknown, USA] Another special Eldorado Seville coupe sans
fins and dechromed; for sale on the Internet in February, 2003:
[Unknown, USA] special custom coupe.
[Unknown, USA] special custom Eldorado Seville
(possible John d'Agostino?)
[Unknown, USA] special hard-top convertible on Seville chassis
[Unknown, USA] And yet another "finless
[ Photos: Internet ]
[Unknown, USA] And one more for the collection! It seems that
quite a few
buyers did not like the finned "chipmunk cheeks" of this model.
[Unknown, USA] Custom Eldorado Seville
[Unknown, USA] Another mild custom coupe,
on the block at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, AZ
"Boosted" 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. It's a
shame, in my opinion, to do this to such a rare and desirable collector
car. Three or four of these models have suffered the same fate.
"Marilyn Monroe" dream (?) creation
[Unknown, USA] CLC
member Walter Youshock has a group of
photos of a '57 convertible with cloth/leather interior, an Eldorado
Brougham glove box (compartmented?) and Eldorado hard boot. The car was
called Allegre but I've never found anything else about it.
[Unknown, USA] Possibly from
France (notice the tricolor French flag on the RH front fender) I came
across this image of a semi-custom, blacked-out 1957 limousine while
surfing the net in Feb. 2014. I will gladly give due credit to its
author and copyright holder if he/she would identify himself/herself.
[Unknown, USA] Retro van on 1957 Cadillac
Photo: Internet, by "King Caddy Daddy"
[Unknown, USA] Camper conversions on 1957 Cadillac
commercial chassis by Superior Coach Corp.
Van der Stricht, Patrick (Belgium)
Patrick is a devoted Cadillac enthusiast. This is his artist's proposal for a
1938-39-40-41-48-49-51-53-54-55-56-57-58 custom Eldorado coupe (...and I may even have
missed a couple of years in my speedy examination of this delightful drawing!
Drawing courtesy of Patrick Van der Stricht
Vignale (USA/Italy) [see Frick/Vignale (USA/Italy)]