[last update: 05.26.2020] 



Dream Cars


Pininfarina's Jacqueline

1961



 

FRFLAG.JPG (773 bytes)
un résumé en français se trouve en bas de page


 

History

The six Pininfarina custom creations
[some automobiles and some "pushmobiles"]

 


(Top row, left) :  boat-tail roadster on 1930 V-16 chassis for the Maharaja of Orccha [see 1930 page]
(Top row, right) :
Skylight convertible said to be mounted on Series 60 Special chassis for the Paris Salon, October 1958 [see 1959 page]
(Center row, left) :
the 1954 sports roadster on 1953 Cadillac chassis, believed to be for Luigi Chinetti (or Norman Granz?) [see 1953 page]
(Center row, right) : Skylight coupe said to be mounted on Series 60 Special chassis for the Geneva show, March 1958, but possibly a pushmobile  [see 1959 page]
(Lower row, left) : Starlight coupe, possibly on 1957 Series 60 Special chassis; this one has survived (1970 classified ad) but more probably engineless, for the Geneva Salon, March 1958 [see 1960-61 page]
(Lower row, right) : Jacqueline, engineless coupe for the Paris Salon, October 1961 [see 1960-61 page and below]

[ See also "Broughams di Lombardia" in the Eldorado Brougham section ]


Excerpt from soft-covered booklet published jointly (?) by Pininfarina and Cadillac; center row,
left, is the "1954 2-seat convertible"; lower row, left, is the "1958 4-seat" car that has survived;
I am convinced that the B&W car (lower right) and silver convertible (top, right) are conversions of the same car

 

 

 

PF Jacqueline, 1961

 


In Turin, the styling model did not yet have the Jacqueline nameplate on the front fenders

 

 

 

   Pfjacq00.jpg (6779 bytes)    Pfjaq01.jpg (8262 bytes)
Pininfarina's Jacqueline "pushmobile"
in front of the Stupenigi Palace in Turin, 1961

    60pfbadg.JPG (9239 bytes)
Left:  in the gardens of the Palazzo (isn't that a white car ?)
Right: Pininfarina logo and script on front fenders

 

 

Jacqueline is sold

A Swiss friend of mine who often visits Scottsdale, AZ, called me early in 2001 to inform me of the aborted sale of some collectible Cadillacs belonging to a collector in France. About half a dozen of these cars were planned to be sold during the January 2001 edition of the annual Barrett-Jackson [Kruse] auction.  As it turns out, the cars never made it across the block.  In fact, it appears some of them never even made it to Scottsdale, from Europe. It seems the Kruse auctioneers thought the vendor's reserve price on one of the cars was much too high.

That car was the rare Jacqueline coupe, a (former)  pushmobile designed by Pininfarina for European auto shows of the early sixties.

My friend was interested in the car and asked me if I knew anything about it. He had got a copy of an appraisal that had been done of the car, in Paris, France, in November 1996.  He knew my interest in Cadillac cars and  was surprised, later, at the wealth of information about Jacqueline that he found in this, The (new) Cadillac Database©.

I too have been interested in Jacqueline for some 40 years.  My late mother and my lovely daughter both have that same name.  In addition, I was working at UNESCO, in Paris, the year Jacqueline made her first public appearance at the Paris Salon.

I remember also talking about her with Pininfarina's PR people, back in 1975. The facts and photos I got from them, at that time, have been included in the Database since its inception in 1996.  I am always pleased when I am able to add a new fact or more reliable historic information about her.  Facts are what count in The (new) Cadillac Database©, not fiction.

It seems, however, that my "facts" just didn't cut it with an irascible French used-car salesman who claims to have been involved with Jacqueline's destiny over the last few years. 

After this person rubbed me once too often the wrong way, I thought perhaps it was time to set the record straight by creating this special page devoted exclusively to the PF Jacqueline. I say again:  the bulk of information included herein came directly from Pininfarina themselves and from other very reliable sources in the world of rare, costly, collectible cars.

If you are familiar with the car and can contribute constructively (and not in a threatening tone!) to correcting any errors, omissions or misconceptions,  I shall be glad to hear from you :

or

email.jpg (7997 bytes)

 

History: 1975-76

I corresponded with Pininfarina in late 1975 and early 1976 but was not able to gain answers to all my questions. Here are those I asked, about Jacqueline, inter alia, as well as the [mostly incomplete] answers I was given at that time.  Perhaps an Italian Cadillac aficionado visiting this site could shed some more light on the interesting topic of the special Pininfarina cars that were allegedly mounted on Cadillac's bespoke Eldorado Brougham chassis:

Q. What were the Brougham chassis numbers used for the five special PF creations [barring the 1930 roadster in the above introduction]?
A. We do not have that data.

Q. What colors were these cars? What color was the trim and upholstery?
A. (a) The Cadillac Skylight convertible displayed at the 1958 Paris show [October '57 or October '58?] had a silver-gray metallic body with bright red leather trim. The 2-door coupe [it had no name] exhibited at the 1958 [???] Geneva Motor show was black with turquoise leather interior. The Cadillac Starlight 2-door coupe exhibited at the 1959 Paris show was white with brown leather upholstery. The Cadillac Jacqueline 2-door coupe exhibited at the 1961 Paris salon was ermine white and had black leather upholstery

[my comments: the appraisal that was done, in Paris, in November 1996, mentions a black, Naugahyde interior; in addition (though not specified in the appraisal) the car was gold-colored at that time]

[PF say Jacqueline had no nameplate at the Paris show and that the latter was added for the Turin show [nonetheless, the photo I have of Jacqueline, in Paris (below), already features the nameplate on the front fenders]

Q. If they were sold, who were the buyers? Do the cars still exist, and if so where are they located? If they were destroyed, when and where did this occur?
A. We do not have the answers to these three queries, except to say that we still own the Cadillac Jacqueline.

After receiving these initial replies to my questions, I was still somewhat in the dark as to the existence of custom Eldorado Brougham models fitted out by the Italian coach builder, so I had an Italian- speaking office colleague call Pininfarina, in January 1976, to make some additional inquiries. Following that call, and after some more research in their archives, Pininfarina wrote again on January 26, as follows:

Here are the answers to your additional questions:

Q. Were the Skylight coupe and convertible built on the Brougham chassis?
A. No, they were built on the Cadillac Sixty-Special chassis .

Q. What was the wheel base of these two models?
A. It was 330 cms. (i.e. 130 inches)

[My comment: the wheel base of both the Series 60 Special and the Eldorado Brougham was 130" in 1959 and 1960; since the Geneva Show takes place in March each year, and since the wheel base of the 1958 Series 60 Special is 133", obviously the Skylight coupe could not have been shown at Geneva in 1958; if  it was mounted  on the 130" wheel base chassis it must have been shown at Geneva in 1959]

Q.  Did the two foregoing models have air-suspension?
A. No, they had mechanical suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers

[My comment: in that case, these two cars were NOT mounted on the chassis of the bespoke Eldorado Brougham]

Q. Which of the two models above were exhibited first?
A. The Skylight coupe was exhibited in Geneva from 13 to 23 March, 1958, while the Skylight convertible was shown in Paris from 2 to 12 October 1958.

[My comment: once again, in 1958, the wheel base of the Series 60 Special was 133"; so, either the year of the Show was NOT 1958 or the the Skylight coupe was not mounted on a chassis with 130" wheel base;
the coupe version shown at Geneva in 1958 was shown again in Turin (I guess in May 1959) with a modified hood fitted with a broad air scoop)]

Q. What was the chassis number of the Pininfarina Jacqueline coupe?
A. We do not have that information. The chassis no longer exists [inferring that it did exist, at one time!]; it has been replaced today (?) by a tubular structure.

[My comment: I think it most unlikely that this pushmobile was ever mounted on the Eldorado Brougham or any other Cadillac chassis for that matter.  This is the opinion also of  Frank Tetro who was commissioned, in 1996, to mount the pushmobile on the chassis of a pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz]

Q. Is the Jacqueline coupe for sale?
A. No

[My comments: ... I was hoping I might just get lucky !]

Q. Did the Starlight and Jacqueline models have original Brougham wheels or only turbine wheel covers?
A. We do not have the answer to that question.

In my humble opinion, therefore, founded on these concise answers to my questions [and I have still the original correspondence with Pininfarina for anyone who is not convinced], the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham models with alleged custom bodies by Pininfarina ... all are a fallacy. For what reason would Pininfarina have installed the Jacqueline coupe first on an Eldorado Brougham (or any other Cadillac) chassis, and then have gone to the trouble (and expense) of removing it later and creating, instead, this pushmobile on a complex and probably costly tubular structure? And what became, thereafter, of the Eldorado Brougham chassis that was (said to have been) used?

My guess is that both the Starlight coupe with Plexiglas top (1959-60) and the Jacqueline coupe (1960-61) were pushmobiles.  Let's hear it from anyone who ever saw these two splendid creations move under their own power [...that is up to 1996, when Jacqueline was put on a pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz chassis].

Like many of us, I would have loved to find out that Jacqueline was, perhaps, the "missing" Eldorado Brougham  for 1959 [engine #100], the one that is supposed to have been dropped in the harbor at Detroit while it was being loaded on a freighter bound for Genoa, Italy. In fact, Cadillac factory records indicate without a shadow of doubt that only 99 chassis were built; EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR [check this page].

But, like you, I like to dream.

 

The photos of Jacqueline in this frame all are from Pininfarina's own archives

pf_jacqAA.JPG (31610 bytes)   

      
The Pininfarina stand at the Paris Salon, October 1961

    

    

           
Right:  Sergio Pininfarina and his sons pose with Jacqueline (date unknown)

 

 

 

History: 1976 - 1996

During this period, I saw Jacqueline only once.  That was at the Geneva Motor Show, in Switzerland, in March 1991.  She was part of a display of special, custom cars exhibited by Barclay cigarettes [part of B.A.T., the British American Tobacco, group], under the attractive title: Barclay Fascination Cars. My press credentials enabled me to get a close look at the "car". I was able to crawl under it and discover for myself that there were, effectively, neither engine, nor transmission, nor any mechanical components of any kind on this "car".  Even the dashboard instruments were the dummy kind and the windshield and windows all were made of of plastic. Obviously this pushmobile never was intended to be driven. She consisted simply of the Pininfarina-built Jacqueline body shell mounted on an intricate, tubular framework with two trailer axles and wheels. The wheel covers were identical to those used on the 1959-60 Cadillac Series 60 Special and Eldorado models (i.e. the Brougham [sedan], Seville [coupe] and Biarritz [convertible].

In the mid-nineties, Jacqueline  was acquired from the PF museum in Italy, it seems, by Belgian Ferrari dealer, Philippe Lancksweert. I guess that his connections with PF, through their mutual business interest in Ferrari automobiles enabled him to secure the sale. I have no idea how much Jacqueline cost him but am guessing around $40K. 

The car was featured at a Christie's auction of Exceptional Motor Cars   in August, 1994 [Lot #086]. There is no indication of who the owner/vendor was at that time. Christie estimated it would fetch around $50,000-65,000, but the car apparently did not sell.

I got Philippe's name from Michel Kruch, in Brussels. I found Michel's number, quite by chance, through www.google.com; Michel had an ad running on the Lamborghini Web page in January, 2002. I called him, January 2002, and he filled in some more blanks for me. Michel said that he had acquired Jacqueline, later, from Philippe, in partnership with a French collector, Hervé Willems (whom I initially thought was of Belgian origin, on account of his name). Michel confirmed that Philippe L. had bought Jacqueline directly from PF; he confirmed also that the car was already painted gold at that time (i.e. the color of Jacqueline as featured in the Collectible Automobile article in January 1996 [see below]. Michel subsequently sold his share in the "car" to Hervé Willems, alias Irving Willems of Tarzana, CA.  Michel confirmed that Hervé (or Irving) subsequently had sold Jacqueline to Alain-Dominique Perrin, CEO of the French Cartier group.  That fact was confirmed directly to me, by Mr. Willems, in November 2006. Soon after that sale went through, Mr. Perrin commissioned Florida auto restorer, Frank Tetro, to make Jacqueline a drivable machine. That fact too was confirmed by Mr. Willems in 2006.

 

All photos here are from  Collectible Automobile

Brpf624.jpg (10572 bytes)
Jacqueline, after a repaint from white to gold
(a job believed to have been done in the  Pininfarina  workshops)

Dr61jacq.jpg (13872 bytes)
Note again the 1959 steering wheel (right)

Dr61jac2.jpg (7942 bytes)
No sign of any spare wheel in this trunk !

 

 

 

History: 1996

The Article in Collectible Automobile
[January, 1996]

The photos published in CA, in January, 1996, show a gold-colored  Jacqueline, although she was originally painted ermine white. From the information I got from Michel Kruch, it appears that she was repainted in Italy, in the early nineties, before being sold to Philippe L. of Belgium.  All photos I have of Jacqueline [before publication of the CA article] show her to be ermine white. She was also still white when I saw her at the Geneva Motor Show  in March, 1991. As mentioned above, apparently she had been repainted "gold" by PF before she was sold to Mr. Lanksweert.

In the CA article, Jacqueline  was reported (correctly) to be owned by a collector in Tarzana, CA, by the name of Irving Willems (see previous paragraphs); Irving is certainly easier to pronounce in the USA than "Hervé". The article mentions also a second, alleged 4-door Jacqueline model, said to have been also on show in Paris, in 1961. I have my doubts on that score, since I was there, but I will listen to anyone who can confirm the rumor ... and supply a picture! My belief is that the 4-door model to which the writer refers was a regular 1960 Eldorado Brougham, designed by Fleetwood, but also assembled by PF; that car may indeed have been also on display in Paris, although I don't remember having seen it there.

In all my contacts with Pininfarina, in the seventies, no "second" Jacqueline model was ever mentioned. Among the artist's drawings (top of this page) that depict the only known PF creations allegedly built on the Cadillac chassis, only one Jacqueline is shown. As may be seen in existing photos of that PF creation, she was fitted with the same "turbine-vane" wheel covers as used on all Series Sixty Special and Eldorado models (including the Eldorado Brougham) built in 1959 and 1960. Perhaps  PF hoped to sell GM/Cadillac on the idea of a PF designed Eldorado Brougham coupe for 1961 and subsequent years.

However, with the exception of the wheel covers, the instrument panel and a 1959 steering wheel, the car had no real, Cadillac "identity". Moreover, Cadillac had lost enough money on each Brougham sold from 1957 through 1960 to even consider prolonging the program after 1960.

At the time the CA article was published, this car was not yet "mobile"; it was still just a rolling chassis or, as its restorer said later, a pushmobile.

 

The Conversion from "Pushmobile" to "Automobile"
by Harbor Auto Restorations, Florida
(summer and fall, 1996)

Mr. Perrin, who apparently bought Jacqueline from Hervé Willems, is well known in collector car circles. He is particularly fond of Ferraris and so it is possible he found out about Jacqueline through his Ferrari contacts. Soon after getting Jacqueline, he teamed up with auto restorer Frank Tetro of Harbor Auto Restorations, Pompano Beach, FL, with the intention of  breathing life into this pushmobile.  

At an estimated cost of some  $50,000, the father-and-son team of Frank and Tiano Tetro carefully and painstakingly mounted Jacqueline   onto a pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz chassis (although it seems that car had its power plant replaced at some time in its life with an earlier, regular 1959 Cadillac engine - not the "Q" type mounted in the Eldorado models). More details about this conversion are given below in the section entitled, "The Article in Sweden's Power Magazine".

I do not know the engine/chassis number of the donor car, but being from a 1959 car (even though it was taken off a '60 Biarritz) it has to start with the digits "59" followed by a letter (either A, B, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, P, R, S, Z) and then six more digits. Mr. Arnaud Sene of Paris, France, the appraiser who inspected Jacqueline in November 1996, listed the VIN as 6929/061100. That number was engraved on a copper plate affixed to the LH side of the upper firewall surface with four self-tapping screws; it appears to have been in that location even before the "pushmobile" was motorized by Harbor Restorations, in Florida.  According to Cadillac production records, the combination 6929 applies only to the 1959 and 1960 Eldorado Brougham models; however, the engine/serial number 061100  falls outside the Brougham range for 1959 (the highest Brougham engine number for 1959 is 060824).  The factory built more than 80,000 additional units after those for the Brougham had been pulled from the production line (by the way, the first 1959 Cadillac engine to come off the assembly line was put in the first 1959 Eldorado Brougham, i.e. car #1). In 1960, all Brougham engines were pulled from among the first 20,000 units to be built [000019-019932]; the factory built more than 122,000 units in addition to those used for the Brougham models. My friend and co-CLC member, Matt Larson, informed me that engine number 06110 could apply to a 1959 Cadillac Series 62, 6-window sedan (in full: 6229-59K06110).

 


 

PFJACQ3.JPG (8511 bytes)    PFJACQ1.JPG (6763 bytes)
In these photos, I believe the car was still just a "pushmobile"

 

Eleven photos in this section are excerpted from Sweden's Power Magazine
I hope the publishers will not object to my using them here for purely documentary
purposes, to further the public's knowledge of this very special "vehicle"

60PFmodl3.JPG (16517 bytes)     60PFmodl7.JPG (13585 bytes)
Left: The donor car - a rough-but-running 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz;
(apparently the original "Q" engine in the 1960 Biarritz had been replaced at one time with a regular one from 1959! - VIN anybody?)
Right: Frank Tetro (standing, right), his son Tiano (standing, left) and other helpers surround the finished car

60PFmodl4.JPG (32045 bytes)     60PFmodl8.JPG (23321 bytes)

60pfmodl9.jpg (30553 bytes)

61jac.jpg (8403 bytes)     61Jac2.jpg (7581 bytes)
Twin exhaust outlets visible in some of these photos
indicate that the pushmobile now has become fully mobile

60PFmodl5.JPG (15081 bytes)     60PFmodl5a.JPG (4933 bytes)
Note how the hood of the pushmobile is hinged at the rear, unlike the 1959 and 1960
Eldorado Brougham models that were hinged at the front.  Note also the cross-

bracing and (barely visible at the far LH side of the upper firewall)   what looks like
a body ID tag (close-up at right); I finally got better photos of it (below) in August, 2006!
It shows the same, "fake" VIN listed on the French appraisal, i.e. #6929/061100

jacq15.jpg (5534 bytes)     jacq15a.jpg (7055 bytes)

60PFmodl0c.JPG (14916 bytes)     60PFmodl0d.JPG (17441 bytes)
Left: a restored engine is now in place; the rear opening hood has been retained; note that on the '60 Eldorado
the air cleaner should be "gold" (the engine in the 1960 donor car was from a regular 1959 Cadillac!);
right: helical springs were retained in preference to the Eldorado's air ride

60PFmodl0a.JPG (42061 bytes)     60PFmodl6.JPG (15105 bytes)
Left: stainless steel roof appears to be polished, unlike those featured on the Broughams of 1958-59; tough to keep clean !
Right:  Frank holds up one of the fixed side glass windows; there was no mechanism to open or close them

61pfint.jpg (6829 bytes)     PFJACQ2.JPG (5417 bytes)     60PFmodl0b.JPG (10319 bytes)
Center:  As a pushmobile, the car had a non-functional steering wheel from a 1959 Cadillac (note the horn ring)
Right:  After the conversion, it was given the wheel, column and steering box of the pre-owned 1960 Eldorado donor car

 

 


 


In this early photo you can see the car's flat floor (no transmission
tunnel) and the "dummy" 1959 steering wheel and horn button    

          

    

                 

    


In Passing: this artist's rendering by "Casey" shows what a 1961 Cadillac
Eldorado Brougham SHOULD look like (i.e. it should have 4 doors, not 2)    

         

 

 

The Article in Sweden's Power Magazine
(issue dated December 1996 - February 1997)

Not too long after the conversion had been successfully accomplished in Florida, an article about the "new", motorized Jacqueline appeared in Sweden's Power Magazine, which specializes in collectible American cars, including muscle cars and customs.

The title of that 5-page article was Cadillac Eldorado Brougham - 1961. It included more than a dozen color photos.  Although I am not familiar with Swedish, I did get the gist  of the opening sentence: of den store Parissalongen 1961 stood en locket guldfärgad Cadillac Coupe Med svepande former ... en NY Cadillac Med europeiska linger  ( ... at the Paris salon, in 1961, stood a luscious, sweeping, gold-colored Cadillac coupe ... a new Cadillac with European lines).  The writer apparently did not know that Jacqueline was originally white and NOT "gold".

Here is a short summary of that article, in English, supplied kindly by Swedish auto enthusiast, Rikard Stenberg:

The [Power Magazine] article in 1996 covers the restoration of this car by Harbor Auto Restorations in Florida. The car had been left there by the owner of  Cartier, the jeweler, in Paris France (who had just bought it from a car collector in California (Irving Willems1).

They
(Harbor Auto Restorations) spent 2000 hours on the car during a period of six months. The car was just a shell/mock-up with no engine, transmission, suspension, steering, electrical system, etc. The car didn't even have a frame -  just two trailer axles.

They sacrificed a genuine (but previously-owned) 1960
Eldorado Biarritz2 for the conversion, taking all the necessary parts from it. They even had to make new floor pans for the car as they (i.e. those on the pushmobile
) were completely flat. They even moved in the guts/interior of all the instruments from the 1960 Biarritz to Jacqueline (which, until then, had only dummy instruments); they also had to make new window mechanisms as the original car just had permanently attached side windows.

Harbor Auto Restorations claimed that Jacqueline's roof is stainless steel and came from a 1960 Eldorado Brougham
(author's note: only the 1957-58 Eldorado Brougham models had a factory-installed stainless-steel roof). The front windshield, the wheels and part of the instrumentation (but with no working parts inside them) also came from the previously-owned 1960 Eldorado Biarritz.
___________________________________________________
1 Either that sale fell through or Willems had to buy the car back from Perrin because he (Willems) was the registered owner once again in 2006 ... if not before then
2  Enthusiast Diego Montefusco, our contact in Italy, pointed out in 12/2005 that the engine (as it appears in the Swedish mag) is clearly not a 1960 unit since the oil filter is next to the power steering pump (1960 engines had the filter in the lower part of the engine block);  he thinks this block may be from 1959 [he is right!], but since he is not familiar with earlier engines he can't tell for sure.  However, he is sure it's NOT a 1960.   Also, the air filter housing is NOT from an Eldo engine, since - beside being gold in color - the correct Eldo filter housing has two "intake horns", while this has just one.  Diego is even  starting to doubt if it's an Eldo engine at all ... and it turns out he is right; it's a regular 1959 engine with  a 4-bbl carb.

 

The French Appraisal Report
[November, 1996]

Jacqueline was appraised  in Paris, France, on November 25, 1996. The French rapport d'expertise (appraisal report)  #800273, incorporates some facts that contradict those in my possession (as an aside, I would like to say that Mr. Sene is a well -known auto appraiser; it was he who, around the same time, appraised the 1962, sea-green collectible VW Combi, named Menthe-à-l'Eau, belonging to my son, Philippe). I was informed in an Email of August 1, 2001 from Mr. C. [you will learn about him later] that HE had ordered this report for a simple insurance valuation. He was critical of Mr. Sene's claimed level of expertise with "American" cars. Nevertheless, the obvious mistakes contained in the report doubtless were dictated by Mr.C. himself.

In his report, Mr. Sene asserts correctly that Jacqueline is a styling exercise by Pininfarina.  However, echoing the story published in CA, the appraiser asserts also that two Jacqueline models were built, both of them on the 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis [wrong - there is only ONE Jacqueline and it was a "pushmobile" for more than 30 years].  Mr. Sene asserts also that the car he appraised is Jacqueline #1. Note that neither Pininfarina nor any of Jacqueline's subsequent owners can provide the slightest shred of evidence [documentary or photographic] to support the theories (a) that Jacqueline was built on a 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis and (b) that two such cars were built. My gut feeling, on reading the appraisal, as stated already above, is that many of the "facts" it contains probably were dictated to Mr. Sene by Jacqueline's (alleged) owner, Mr. C., about whom we shall learn more, below.

As to there being one or two cars, again, on page 43 of the book Cadillac Allanté by Giorgio Bocca [Automobilia, © 1986 - ISBN 88-85058-83-3] we are told, in reference to Jacqueline, that this handsome coupe (is), one of a kind [my emphasis]. The Allanté book states further that Jacqueline ... is part of the in-house collection at the Pininfarina Bodyworks. This confirms that Jacqueline was still in Italy in 1985-86. By the way, when I saw Jacqueline on the Barclay Fascination Cars stand at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1991, she  was still painted white. I assume, therefore, that she was repainted the current gold hue after that date, that is between 1991 and 1995, before the sale to Philippe Lanksweert and before publication of the first article in Collectible Automobile in January, 1996.  I suspect Pininfarina may have upgraded Jacqueline with a fresh, new paint job in the early nineties, possibly with a view to selling her.

The appraiser further asserts that the car was first licensed (immatriculée) in 1961. I have my doubts on that score too, mainly because I am convinced that Jacqueline was an engineless show car, a pushmobile, until 1996. There is a slight possibility she might have been assimilated to an "automobile" by the French customs and licensing authorities, who may have issued a temporary tourist tag (the red "TT" or "IT"plates) for the duration of the 1961 Paris Salon. But then, again, if Jacqueline had been licensed in 1961, there would be an official record, either in France or in Italy. None has been uncovered.

As previously stated, Jacqueline's current VIN is shown on the French appraisal form as 6929/061100, which matches the engraved, copper ID plate on the firewall.  If Jacqueline's engine were effectively a Brougham engine from 1959, its number would be preceded by the code 59P (if she were mounted on a Brougham chassis for 1960, the engine number would start with 60P). In my opinion, therefore, someone with a basic but insufficient knowledge of Cadillac's chassis/engine/body numbering system may have tried to "fabricate" a plausible Eldorado Brougham serial number, simply to add credence to the myth that Jacqueline was effectively built on such a chassis. 

It was not before the summer of 2006 that I was able to view the original (?) ID tag on the car. It it is not a regular, aluminum ID plate such as used by Cadillac since the twenties, but an engraved copper plate, screwed on rather than riveted to the firewall. I still have not been able to get the number of the engine block, but we know the motor came from a 1959 Cadillac although, at the time it was decided to motorize Jacqueline,  that motor it was mounted in a derelict 1960 Eldorado Biarritz!  I have tried a number of times to get clarification from the French appraiser, in Paris, but the telephone number shown on his appraisal appears to be incorrect.

Like the writer of the Collectible Automobile article published almost one year earlier, Mr. Sene asserted also that this car was one of two built by PF on the 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis; I assume he got that information either from the CA article or, more likely, from the person who commissioned the appraisal. He said: ... two Cadillac Jacqueline models were built on the 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis; this one, car #1, featured headlights installed in the front grille, as well as wrap-around tail-lights. He asserted also that the car was built in 1959/60; however, as I said before, this car could not possibly have been licensed as an "automobile" in 1961, considering that it had no engine or drive-train until 1996.

The appraisal gives an odometer reading of 00010 miles (that was in November 1996); Sene stated in addition that the car had been completely mechanically restored (restauration intégrale de l'ensemble de la mécanique), that it was in excellent working order, had new tires but had not yet been through the French technical inspection (the buyer's agent - the irascible Mr. C., below, asserted in August 2001 that the car could pass Les Mines - France's DOT -  without a hitch ...but I doubt that very much). The interior was described as restored and in perfect condition, as were also the paint, chrome and accessories. The body was described as generally in very good condition. There is no way to tell, from this report, that the car was initially a pushmobile, for more than 30 years, and that the chassis, motor, transmission, instruments, etc. were added in 1996 after being removed from a derelict 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz that was retro-fitted at one time with a 1959 Cadillac motor.

In a closing paragraph, Mr. Sene declared correctly that this car was a styling exercise by Pininfarina for a possible Eldorado Brougham coupe; obviously, this information came from the CA article published almost a year earlier.  We know that the Cadillac Motor Car Division of GM was losing money on every Brougham built since 1957; it is highly doubtful, therefore, that the company would seriously have entertained the idea of a new Brougham after 1960, and especially not a 2-door car (the Brougham name per se, implies a 4-door automobile).


 

History: 1997 - 2000

Soon after Harbor Restorations completed the installation of a full drive-train, suspension and other mechanical components, Jacqueline headed back to Europe (presumably in the full ownership of Alain-Dominique Perrin, CEO of Cartier). She was on show at the Bagatelle Concours d'Elégance in Paris, in 1998 and again in 2000. In between times, she did one more return trip to the USA where she stole the show at Pebble Beach, CA, in 1999.  The venue was a joint event entitled Concorso Italiano (the Italian Concours d'Elégance) staged by Pininfarina and sponsored by GM's Cadillac Motor Car Division.

In preparation for the latter New Millennium show at Pebble Beach in 1999, PF contacted me, in Switzerland (just before Gita and I emigrated to South Carolina) to ask if I might know the whereabouts of any of the six PF models described at the beginning of this page. The only cars of whose location I was vaguely aware at the time were the 1930 V-16 roadster, the 1953 2-seater roadster believed to have been built for Luigi Chinetti, NY Ferrari importer, and Jacqueline (which I firmly believed at the time was still in Turin).

Of the show, Chairman Sergio Pininfarina of Industrie Pininfarina - S.p.A. said: I am very pleased that Cadillac, major sponsor of the Concorso Italiano, has dedicated an important part of this event to highlighting the historic creative and industrial collaboration between Cadillac and Pininfarina. Working on Cadillac automobiles has always inspired us to reach for designs that express the distinctiveness of this singular marque. We at Pininfarina are proud of our historic close association with the prestigious Cadillac brand. I am particularly enthusiastic about this relationship because of the technical excellence it has produced and the personal relationships that have developed.

GM Vice-President and General Manager of the Cadillac Motor Car Division, John F. Smith added: We are pleased to use this setting, surrounded by the many historic and beautiful cars here at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elégance, to celebrate this long-lasting and beneficial relationship

A number of Cadillacs built as a result of the "relationship" between Cadillac and Pininfarina were on show there including, inter alia, the unique 1930 V-16 boat-tail roadster, formerly owned by the wealthy Maharajah of Orccha, in India, the regular 1959 and 1960 Eldorado Brougham models, a number of Allanté roadster models and, finally,  Jacqueline.  I understand that the renowned Italian coach builder had been able to borrow the former pushmobile from its then (alleged?) owner, Cartier Chairman, Alain-Dominique Perrin.

In line with that showing, Cadillac collaborated with Pininfarina to publish a beautiful (and rare) booklet entitled Cadillac & Pininfarina - an Enduring Relationship.  Illustrated with many photos, mainly from the PF archives, the brochure relates the alleged long "collaboration" between the American and Italian auto giants.  It is asserted that it had begun some sixty years earlier, in 1931, when the young Battista Farina (nicknamed Pinin - the "little one") had been commissioned by an Indian Maharaja to build a boat-tailed speedster (allegedly for tiger hunting!) on the bespoke V-16 chassis.  It is my opinion, however, that there was no "collaboration" between Cadillac and Battista for this project; Cadillac merely supplied the chassis and engine.

The "collaboration" apparently continued on into the nineties with the manufacture of the  PF-designed Cadillac Allanté roadster.  This part is factual,  but most of the filler-material in between is highly exaggerated. I had an Italian friend inquire about the statement: Pininfarina designed and built one-off  ("off" what?) special bodies on Cadillac chassis, especially (my emphasis) for use by Hollywood stars and magnates. The PR people in Turin were unable to produce a single name of any such "Hollywood star" or "magnate", nor any archival photo of any such special body.

Excerpt from the 1999 booklet by Cadillac & Pininfarina

 

The text continues: The coachbuilder also produced a number of show cars using Cadillac mechanical underpinnings such as a two-seat convertible in 1954 and a four-seat in 1958. So far as I know, the 2-seater convertible was NOT a show car; it was a regular customer order, long believed to have been commissioned by New York Ferrari importer, Luigi Chinetti, and built (completed) in 1954 on a Series 62 Cadillac chassis for 1953. Information surfaced in 2007 indicating that this very special, easily recognizable car may have belonged (before Chinetti?) to King Leopold of Belgium. Indeed, the King was involved in a spectacular car accident between San Biaggio and Cortina d'Ampezzo, in the Italian Alps, on country road #SS51. The date of the accident is not known but is believed to have occurred in late 1956, the year of the winter Olympics held in that region of northern Italy. It seems that the accident was never reported in the (world) press, perhaps because it was the second time the King had gone off the road in a car. The fist (recoded) time was in 1934 when his wife, Queen Astrid, tragically had lost her life. Look at the photos, below, taken at the crash site; the car that the King was driving in Italy looks identical to PF's custom 2-seat convertible.

 

StrCortinaS.jpg (4041 bytes)    StrCortiPF.jpg (4229 bytes)
Left:  the overturned car; that circular front grille opening is unmistakably PF
Right:  this is an upside-down view of the original grille of the 1953-54 custom PF roadster;

unless PF built TWO identical roadsters, I would say that the overturned wreck and the
PF special used later (?) by Luigi Chinetti are one and the same car

 

 

As to the 4-seater PF special, i.e. the Skylight convertible (which is more like a 6-seater), it does indeed fall into the "show car" category; it is illustrated above (second image box, central pair, RH side). The latter is believed to have had Cadillac mechanical underpinnings. Its sister car [they formed a pair in 1958], was the Skylight coupe to its left, above. Rediscovered in New York, many years later, it was found to have been mounted on a 1957 Cadillac chassis and drive-train.  I am convinced that Cadillac had no hand in either of these projects, other than having manufactured the Cadillac mechanical underpinnings that were used (without any Cadillac involvement) to power the PF design.

In the same paragraph, we read: A notable 1961 show car was a handsome coupe built on a Cadillac chassis (again, my emphasis) named Jacqueline in homage to then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In this specific case, the evidence is indisputable:  Jacqueline was never motorized (that is, until 1996). This fact was confirmed by the professional automobile restorers at Harbor Restorations, in Florida, who in 1996 were faced with the arduous task of fitting the Jacqueline body shell onto the chassis of a pre-owned and mostly derelict 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz.  The floor pan was absolutely flat and could not have accommodated a Cadillac drive shaft of that period or earlier. The instrument panel was unwired and none of the instruments ever had been functional; the steering wheel was bolted in place under the dash; there were no holes nor any openings in the firewall for connecting any mechanical components, such as steering, brakes, electrical wiring.

I wonder who, if anybody - at Cadillac - did the proofreading for the final publication of that PF booklet. It says, inter alia: the relationship between Harley Earl and Battista Farina produced the evolutionary design and manufacturing of the ultra luxurious Series 2 Eldorado Brougham during the 1959 and 1960 model years. Cadillac shipped chassis from Detroit to Italy where bodies designed and built by Pininfarina craftsmen (again, my emphasis) were installed. Later, it adds: Pininfarina was responsible for the redesign of a second edition (Eldorado Brougham), including production (construction?) of the bodywork and final assembly in Italy ... The fact is that Earl was retired by the time Phase 2 of the Brougham program was implemented and, secondly, the 1959 and 1960 bodies were DESIGNED BY FLEETWOOD. They used the stock Cadillac, 130" wheel base chassis, including most of the mechanical components of stock models of those years.  These included the floor pan (Jacqueline's original floor pan was totally FLAT), lower body interior panels, seat structures, instrument panel, dashboard, door pillars, hinges, inner door panels (these were modified but used stock hardware), lower front bumper, grille blades (but not the bullets, for a cleaner less cluttered look), headlamp bezels, rear wheel skirts, wheel covers (not the cast alloy turbine wheels used on the 1957-58 Broughams) and a modified lower rear bumper. The forward-opening hood was an exclusive design; it was only 45 inches wide compared to the hood of the stock Cadillac models that stretched to 61 inches. None of the body panels nor any of the glass could be interchanged with stock Cadillac models.

The Cadillac chassis and other usable hardware (crated separately), including many pre-formed body panels, were shipped to Genoa, Italy (located about 100 miles west of Turin). There, Pininfarina merely did the final fitting and assembly at the new Via Lesna industrial complex, using the clay bucks Fleetwood had built and sent over. In his recollections about the 1959 Brougham, Pierre Ollier, a retired GM-Cadillac designer who was closely associated with its design and who owned two ’59 Broughams in the late seventies, mentioned how it had taken three weeks of negotiation with the Italian customs before the Brougham clay models could enter the country; at that time, a law prohibited the import of plaster objects, to protect Italy’s statue industry!

The cars were individually assembled on a stationary production line (photo below). Where required, sheet metal was cut and formed on male wooden forms then welded together. Seams were hammer welded without the use of solder. Potential rust spots were filled with sealer. Chrome trim was made from brass castings. Protective splash pans and flanges were placed under the car to prevent the rocker panel from scraping on steep driveways. The hood, trunk and doors all fit perfectly and tolerances along the panel edges did not vary a fraction of an inch. However, because of all the hand-fitting that went into the manufacture, it was made clear in the service instructions that certain body parts, including sheet metal and moldings may have to be reworked if replacement is necessary. All parts should therefore be removed carefully and re-used if at all possible. Any new part must be matched against the removed part to make certain that it is identical in shape and size before installation is attempted.

 

Br59metl.jpg (6951 bytes)     br59ita0.JPG (7731 bytes)    Br59bdg3.jpg (2820 bytes)
[Left] preformed body panels were shipped to Turin, Italy, to be assembled and fitted (Photo: Pierre Ollier collection)
[Center] stationary assembly line at Pinin Farina's plant in Turin; three Broughams nearing completion (Photo: PF archives)
[Right] A badge like this one identifies the 1959 and 1960 Eldorado Brougham models; no mention of Pininfarina here

 

 

Sure, it all looks good when you just skim over the Pininfarina text but, when you look at the detail, the impression is that PF is pulling on a blanket of which Cadillac deserves to have the majority share. Surprisingly, there is no PF badge on the car (have you ever seen a car "designed and built by PF" that did not carry the company emblem?).  Only a small, oblong chrome plaque bearing the words Brougham, by Cadillac, on a blue enamel, cloisonné background, graces the front fenders just ahead of the front doors, above the chrome side spear on the 1959 Eldorado Broughams.

As regards Jacqueline, the PF booklet mentioned above describes her in these terms: The low tapered line highlights the lightness of the roof panel on this Pininfarina-designed one-off body (my emphasis) that debuted at the Paris Motor Show (in 1961). Note that PF asserts (as I do) that only one of these was made (cf.: "one-off" - more correctly "one of") and that the word "body" is used in lieu of "automobile", or "car", or "vehicle".

 

jacqu_y.jpg (9707 bytes)
Pebble Beach - 1999

 

 

 

History:  2001

The Article in RetroViseur [May]

The appraisal by Mr. Sene was still fresh in my mind (and on my desk) when a third article was published about Jacqueline in the French auto-hobby magazine RétroViseur,  #153, in May 2001. In a 5-page spread by Jean-Eric Raoul, illustrated with many recent photos by Dingo, it was claimed, inter alia (and in error) that 220 Eldorado Brougham models were assembled by Pinin Farina in 1959 and 1960; the correct number is 200 units. The article mentions also the PF Starlight coupe (with Plexiglas roof), shown at the 1959 Paris show:

 


The Pininfarina designed Starlight coupe,
also with Brougham look-alike wheel covers

 

 

There is reference in the article to a single Jacqueline coupe on show at the 1961 Paris Salon; this contradicts the story as told in Collectible Automobile but confirms my own position. It is asserted also (as I too maintain) that Jacqueline was a pushmobile, i.e. a body shell on wheels with no mechanical components to speak of. 

The writer asserted also that the now gold-colored car had never been repainted. That does not tie in with the fact that Pininfarina had confirmed to me in 1975 that the show prototype was painted ermine white (not a color easily confused with "gold").  PF also had supplied at that time a color slide (top row, below) as well as some original ads that had been shot in Turin. I can assert also that  Jacqueline was still painted white when I saw her at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1991.

From what I have ascertained since, Jacqueline may have been repainted "gold" at the factory, around the early nineties, when PF decided to upgrade the old paint job, possibly with a view to selling the car.  

 

     60PFmodl0e.JPG (16978 bytes)

    60PFmodl.JPG (14626 bytes)    60PFmodl2.JPG (16926 bytes)
These photos appear to show Jacqueline in different colors; in fact they all are of the same, white car, but taken in different locations,
under different lighting conditions and probably color-processed using different techniques; the top two images are from a 6x6cm color
slide supplied to me in the mid-seventies by PF's consumer relations department; second row, left, is from a period ad for
Pininfarina coach work; second row, right, is from another PF ad that appeared in the Swiss annual Automobil-Revue it seems
obvious from the background that these two photos were taken on the same day and in the same location; on the third row you can see
two further  publicity shots of a white Jacqueline (I believe the model in the emerald green dress is the same one seen in
the RH photo above it; the one on the left features the same blonde, Italian (?) model; the B&W photo, immediately above,  is from
the book Cadillac Allante by Giorgio Bocca; none of these pictures show a gold-colored car; despite the recent rantings and ravings
of "Mr. C", who claims to know more about Jacqueline than me, I am convinced that there only ever was ONE Jacqueline and this is it!

    
The color separation process here does not show clearly that the car is actually white with a polished, stainless steel roof

 

 

According to the writer, Jacqueline spent "many years" in a Belgian "museum".  The exact period and precise location were not specified but, from my conversation with Michel Kruch, in January 2002, Jacqueline could not have been in Belgium more than a couple of years.  I know for a fact that Jacqueline was, for most of her life, a part of PF's own museum collection in Turin, Italy.

At a date not specified in the article, it is said that an un-named collector had seen the car in the Belgian museum.  What museum? Michel Kruch says the car never was in any museum in Belgium; if anybody (especially any Belgian enthusiasts) ever saw this car in a Belgian "museum" please let me know! That collector became interested in Jacqueline and decided to breathe life into her.  I assume that collector was Hervé Willems (aka Irving Willems) of Tarzana, CA, and that he saw  the car in Philippe Lancksweert's Ferrari dealership in Brussels. Irving, Philippe and Michel form a trio of Ferrari enthusiasts and racing aficionados that apparently goes back a long way.

There is no indication in the French article how or when the car got from Tarzana, CA, to Harbor Auto Restoration in Pompano Beach, FL. From Information I got first hand from Willems, in November 2006, it was Alain-Dominique Perrin, then CEO (now former CEO) of France's Cartier group who bought the car from him (Willems) in 1996 and had it shipped to Florida for the mechanical transformation ... or should I say transmogrification?

With considerable difficulty, the body shell was mounted on a pre-owned and rough-looking 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz chassis powered by a (replacement?) 1959 Cadillac motor by Tiano and Frank Tetro (see above). The tasks accomplished by Messrs. Tetro include fitting a fuel tank, dashboard instruments, windshield and all windows (on the PF showcar these were cut from Plexiglas), as well as working lights all round and power window mechanisms. No mean task!

According to the RetroViseur article, Jacqueline's owner (in May 2001) was Mr. Benoît Couturier, a Paris resident.  I wrote that person in July 2001, asking for some more information about Jacqueline and was hoping to get some clarification for the apparently conflicting information I had got directly from Pininfarina in the mid-seventies. I did get some snippets of information from Mr. C. ... but mainly I got a lot of needless sarcasm! One thing is certain he NEVER owned the car but was simply an agent for Alain-Dominique Perrin. 

 

The French Connection
(July-December, 2001)

Mr. C. sent me a couple of faxes (in July/August 2001) and a couple of e-Mails (in November/December, 2001). His droll sense of humor as well as his sarcastic and caustic tone were immediately apparent. In his first fax message, for example, he asserted that all the information I had on Jacqueline was just hearsay and gossip by people who only think they know the facts; he said I was wandering about in a thick fog and that I was the world's champion at reporting half-truths!

Might I say, in my defense, that in the Foreword to The (new) Cadillac Database©, it is stated quite plainly that "facts" from different sources sometimes are contradictory.  Included here, therefore, are only those "facts" drawn from the source(s) which, in my opinion, seem the most reliable.  It is for you, the user, to point out any errors, omissions or inconsistencies you may come across so that, together, we can improve the Database and thus better serve the hobby.

Subsequently, I learned from a reliable source that Mr. C. is indeed a very "difficult" person to deal with.  I learned from the same source that Mr. C. is just a used car salesman, although he does cater mainly to wealthy clients with a taste for high-end classic and collectible cars. Among his client's are some European "big names", including a former wealthy former neighbor of mine who has requested anonymity1.   Mr. C. apparently sold him a 1957-58 Eldorado Brougham.  At any rate, based on my own  dealings with him, I would say  Mr. C. is the kind of auto salesman you want to avoid at all costs! When Mr. C. found out I had been in contact with Alain-Dominique Perrin, he had to come clean and admit that he (Mr. C.) never owned Jacqueline. My guess is that he was merely acting as Mr. Perrin's agent (in fact, this was confirmed to me directly by Willems, in November 2006).  Mr. C. initially claimed that HE had bought Jacqueline from Willems in 1994 or 1995. In fact, and this was again confirmed later by Willems, it was Perrin who bought the car; that was in 1996.  Mr. C. later admitted that Jacqueline was not built initially on a 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis but had been put later (1996) on a regular 1959 Cadillac chassis (in fact, it was a 1960 model, according to the Florida outfit that did the work). He mentioned a single, 4-barrel carb, whereas the '59 Brougham had the so-called "Tri-Power" unit (three double-barreled carbs). He told me that Frank Tetro had all the details. This was indeed confirmed to me, later, directly by Mr. Tetro.

Well, Mr. C., according to Frank, with whom I spoke on the telephone, the engine and chassis are NOT from a 1959 Cadillac but from a pre-owned 1960 Eldorado Biarritz. Consequently, it should have the tri-power set-up. In fact, recent photos of the engine compartment (taken in June, 2006) show a regular 1959 325HP engine and not a "Q"-type 345HP motor as used on all 1959-60 Eldorados, including the Brougham).

The plot thickens!

Mr. C. said he was "absolutely convinced" that there were two Jacqueline prototypes (did he get that "reliable information" - because it was in print - from the article in Collectible Automobile?). He claimed that "his" car was #1.  He suggested that the one I saw in Geneva (i.e. the one from Pininfarina's own museum in Turin and that was widely photographed by the press in 1961/62) was not "his" car.  So, then, by Mr. C.'s account, the Paris show car must have been #2.

Take that with a pinch of salt! 

I am beginning to seriously doubt the ability of Mr. C., despite all his ranting and raving, to provide the world with any reliable, factual information about Jacqueline. He even asserted that the Jacqueline shown at the Paris Salon in 1961 was NOT white and referred me to a photo in a book on Cadillac published by France's EPA group.  I have in my vast Cadillac book collection the one published in 1985 by E.P.A. [Editions Presse Audiovisuel] entitled Cadillac - Toute l'Histoire; it is a translation of the book by Walter F. Robinson Jr. and carries ISBN # 2-85120-236-7. This book does NOT include any photo of Jacqueline (either in color or in B&W). Does any reader have the ISBN of the other (alleged) E.P.A. book to which Mr. C. refers? Could it be Les Américaines, by Nory and Martinez? My copy of that one unfortunately has remained in Switzerland. I suspect that the photo to which he refers depicts a regular 1959 or 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and NOT Jacqueline.

With respect to Jacqueline's original color, I have a copy of Pininfarina's Consolidated Annual Report for 2000 in which, on page 6, is an original factory photo of Jacqueline  in the company of a charming model dressed in an emerald green gown (see above group of pictures). Note the second photo of Jacqueline, with the same model, gown and car, taken at night.  If that car isn't white, then "I am a monkey's uncle!"

It was confirmed by my Swiss friend from Scottsdale that Jacqueline's last owner was a wealthy French businessman with an extensive collection of Ferrari models (this was Alain-Dominique Perrin - I had read about Mr. Perrin in an American hobby magazine, a few years earlier; I knew that he owned also a red 1953 Cadillac Eldorado, and perhaps others too). He (my Scottsdale friend) mentioned what he referred to as "a clique of European high-rollers" who congregated at the annual Barrett-Jackson collectible-car auctions in his town; these (apparently) were Messrs. Perrin, Willems, Kruch, Lancksweert and possibly also Mr. C. In my opinion we could be dealing here with a sort of cabal, intended to boost to new heights the now motorized version of  Jacqueline.

One of Cartier's office complexes is located near Fribourg, in Switzerland; I knew this from driving past it frequently when we still lived in that country. I was able to get the address off the Internet and shot off a letter to Mr. Perrin asking him kindly to confirm that he was, indeed, the current owner of Jacqueline. I received his reply dated January 21, 2002; at that time he was in London. He said: I can only confirm what Mr. Couturier has told you, i.e. that the Cadillac Jacqueline has been sold and that the (new) owner wishes to remain anonymous." As to my comments about Mr. C's rudeness towards me, as well as his manifold and manifestly untrue assertions about Jacqueline, Mr. Perrin said he did not know Mr. C. very well and recommended that I resolve the issue directly with him.

Mr. Perrin's assertion in January 2002, confirming that he had sold Jacqueline in 2001, does not tie in with the information I got five years later (in November, 2006) directly from Willems who asserted that Perrin had retained ownership of Jacqueline up to 2006 and that he (Willems) had bought her back directly from Perrin that year. The plot thickens even more.
_________________________________________________________________
1
At one time I thought Jacqueline might be in the possession of this former neighbor as he had bought already a Cadillac Eldorado Brougham from Mr. C.  The dates of the possible transactions
    seem close enough together to  justify this assumption (summer,  2001). This wealthy collector  is very discreet about the cars in his collection.  I know  he has an early V-16 phaeton, Fleetwood
    style 4380 all-weather phaeton as well as a customized 1959 Eldorado Seville town car alleged to have been commissioned by the late King Farouk of Egypt but now known to be the work of an
    amateur customizer from Baltimore, MD.  Jacqueline would have been a probably and interesting addition to that eclectic collection.   But, in all honesty, Mr. C.,  I don't really care WHO
    owns Jacqueline; my only concern is that the TRUTH be told!

 

Mr. C. goes "off his rocker"
(December, 2001)

My innocent query to Mr. Perrin put  Mr. C., into a fuming rage!  Mr. Perrin, it seems, had passed on my letter to him and this had set the cat among the pigeons!  Mr. C. contended that Perrin sold Jacqueline in May, 2001; this ties in with Perrin's own statement in January, 2002. Read on, however, and you will discover a surprising "conclusion" to the true (?) story of Jacqueline's ownership.  

I still cannot believe the tenor of the fax I got from Mr. C. on December 14, 2001. I wonder what could have been eating him? I suspect he was very unhappy that I should have got so much (factual) information about Jacqueline and that my Cadillac Database© on the Internet was making all that information widely available to Cadillac enthusiasts around the world ... even to some who might have a special interest in Jacqueline

Mr. C. seemed to prefer his "myths" (read "lies") to my FACTS about Jacqueline! Those "lies" obviously were intended to attempt to boost Jacqueline's value in the eyes of  potential (unsuspecting) buyers.  Such buyers might not be too happy to find out that the story spun by Mr. C. is just that:  a good story!

Needless to say, I rarely receive communications couched in such aggressive, threatening language, although I do admit that my apparent single-mindedness of purpose does seem, on occasion, to get some people's hackles up. The people who criticize me, however, often are the very owners of what I shall call "questionable" Cadillacs with whose history I happen to be familiar and that I see occasionally described "inaccurately" (to say the least)! Some of these include the Hartmann V-16 roadster of 1937, the so-called Vatican V-16 of 1938, a couple of Eldorado Brougham models, the alleged "unique" 1959 Motorama custom special with in-dash TV, the equally alleged "Farouk" 1959 Cadillac Eldorado town car, and now Jacqueline). People don't like the truth if there's a chance it might diminish in any way the profit potential of their special "baby".

The only "crime" of which I stand accused, as an auto historian, member of the Society of Automotive Historians (SAH) and compiler/keeper of The (new) Cadillac Database© on behalf of the Museum and Research Center of the Cadillac & LaSalle Club, Inc. (CLC), is that of keeping said Database as factual, accurate and up-to-date as possible, for the benefit of its hundreds of thousands of users (between its inception in May, 1997 and the latest update of this page, the site has had more than a million "hits").

What a strange fellow, this Mr. C !  Judging by the tone and substance of his communications to me (excerpts below) and others that he has exchanged in the past with a fellow Porsche enthusiast and friend of mine in Paris, in my opinion "C."  shows all the symptoms of suffering from a serious psychotic condition.  At the risk of incurring his wrath before a duly constituted court of law, here or in France (where I travel frequently) I will let you form your own opinion as to his "medical condition." Here is what this very irate gentleman (?) had to say (my comments are incorporated directly in the text, in brown font, between square brackets):

December 14, 2001

Mr. Saunders, I thought my last message about the Cadillac Jacqueline was quite clear; it appears I am mistaken and that you are still "poking your nose in other people's business" [Mr. C. uses an unpleasant French neologism: fouillasser]. Mr.  Perrin has passed your letter on to me; you will never get any reply from him, Mr."know-it-all-but-not-quite." Cartier is no longer at that address and Mr. Perrin is no longer  Cartier's CEO [indeed, the new CEO is/was Bernard Fornas, but Mr. Perrin did get my letter at that address and he did have the courtesy to reply].  You never went to Tarzana and you never met Hervé [I never said that I did; I said I had "re-discovered" Jacqueline in Tarzana, CA in the article published in Collectible Automobile in January, 1996].  Mr. Perrin doesn't give a damn [in French: il se moque complètement] about your address in Scottsdale [I had told Mr. Perrin that I hoped we might meet one day at one of the annual Barrett-Jackson auctions there]. He has nothing to tell you about Jacqueline. The car was sold in May 2001 to someone whose name neither I nor Mr. Perrin will ever reveal to you1 [my emphasis].  As regards the car's history, I already gave you the details once. Please forget us and the Cadillac [did Mr. C. actually believe that after sending me this venomous epistle, I would actually want to "forget" him and the Cadillac; the only purpose it served was to pique my interest even more]. Please don't waste time answering [this e-Mail]; there will be no further communication from this end [he did write again, 48 hours later!].  I hope that I have been very clear about your "research" [his quotation marks].  SO STOP EVERYTHING [his own, threatening emphasis].
____________________________________________________
1  I did find out the name of the "new" owner again ...in the summer of 2006.  Read on !

Well, one thing is clear: Perrin obviously did own Jacqueline at one time, just as I had surmised. I opine also that he may have become suspicious that "she" was not all her vendor ["C."?] had made her out to be. As may be seen, above, the "expert" appraisal done in Paris in 1996 is at best inaccurate, at worst blatantly untruthful.

Until I found out more information, in the summer of 2006,  I had to accept Mr. C's word that Jacqueline had effectively been sold again in May, 2001. As I said  in a previous update, I expected we would hear from the "new" owner in good time. And so it came to pass!  By the way, it is rumored that Mr. Perrin has parted with much of his classic auto collection (in addition to Jacqueline).

I told Mr. C. I could not understand his ire. I had concluded from the tone of his first two messages that he simply lacked basic good manners. However, his obvious desire to "shut me up" suggested to me that he might be trying to hide something more. I assured him that I did NOT intend to (nor ever would) give up researching the history of any car that I chose and that I thought was worthy of interest ( ... or that was plain suspicious), nor would I ever refrain from publishing my findings in the Cadillac Database  if I believed the facts to be true and essential to proper historical accuracy; it was my goal also to try to protect potential buyers from unscrupulous or untruthful auto vendors. I assured him that I would continue, as always, to keep secret the identity of any Cadillac or LaSalle owner who wished to remain anonymous but, as to verifiable facts or previously published information about a specific car or person, this information would remain public. My goal, I said, was to gather and to publish only facts (or information from reliable sources) about the collectible Cadillacs we all own or admire.

After asserting two days earlier that he would never write again, Mr. C. e-mailed me once more (on December 16, 2001), threatening me with legal action (!!!)  if I ever dared to publish again a single word about the Cadillac Jacqueline. Obviously he wanted to "muzzle the press".  Here is my own translation of his French original:

December 16, 2001

Sir [very official, very polite], following your reply, I have sent a copy to Mr. PERRIN and another to Jacqueline's current owner. The language of your communication is considered threatening [orig.: (ce) sont des menaces pures et simples]Be warned that we forbid you to publish anything [else?] about the Cadillac Jacqueline [is that the Royal "we" or does he include Mr. Perrin and Jacqueline's new owner, as well as himself?]  At the slightest publication, despite our opposition, we will produce your threatening [???] letter [in court?] and we will file a suit as appropriate.  Please stop harassing us with your inquiries about private property without due authorization. I hope to never hear from you again.

Needless to say, Mr. C., I am trembling in my boots!

Naturally enough, Mr. C's  uncalled for "epistolary aggressions" of December 14 and 16, 2001 simply piqued my interest even more and I have continued, tirelessly, to investigate this former pushmobile with the intention of getting all the facts out in the open.  A car like this can not easily be hidden away, nor can it easily hide its true heritage.  So, Mr. C., I guess I'll be seeing you in court for having dared to print, in this Database, more than just "a single word" about Jacqueline!  

The current owner (summer 2006) has confirmed the change in ownership. Read on !

 

History: 2006 (and temporary conclusion)

I was hoping to pick up some up-to-date information about the car during the 2002 and 2003 venues of the well-known annual Barrett-Jackson auctions at Scottsdale, AZ.  However, I heard from my friend there that although the major players in the Jacqueline "saga" were indeed in attendance again at the auction ... the car was NOT.  So perhaps it had indeed been sold in Paris and the new owner did not want it in Scottsdale.

In June, 2006, a Belgian friend of mine was in Antwerp to pick up a car he had shipped over from the USA. He was very surprised to find, in one of the hangars at the docks, the car in the photo-block below.  We later talked at length about his discovery when Gita and I spent a few days at his home in Brugge while attending the Grand International Cadillac Meet in Zeebrugge during the first weekend in September, 2006.

The car was being shipped to a Ferrari dealer in California.  Ferrari?  Remember Philippe Lancksweert and Michel Kruch from Belgium? Indeed, the consignee was a company called Heritage Classics on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. Some CLC members who attended the Cadillac Grand National in Hollywood, this year, may even have visited the place. 

I inquired of Heritage Classics if the car belonged to them and if it might be for sale. They answered "yes" to the first part of the question and "no" to the second. Then, a few days later, I got an eMail from the "new" owner ...none other than Mr. Hervé [Irving] Willems!

Wasn't he the guy who bought the pushmobile from the Belgians, Lancksweert and Kruch, back in the early nineties? It seems that Willems is the head honcho at  Heritage Classics.  My friend in Scottsdale confirmed that he, Kruch, Lancksweert and Perrin (and possibly Couturier too) all are "Ferrari buddies."  In 2004, Willems and Lancksweert drove together a 275 GTB Ferrari  in the classic TourAuto, a GT-class annual European rally; in this thirteenth edition the participants drove from Tours (remember the Robert Keyaerts Cadillac Museum at Langeais, near Tours) to St. Tropez on the Mediterranean (remember Brigitte Bardot?)  For the sixteenth edition, next year, the venue is Le Mans

I don't think Jacqueline will be competing...

Fact 1: Willems owned the car in the early nineties.  Fact 2: Willems owned the car again in 2006.  This begs the question: did Willems ever actually sell Jacqueline to Perrin and, if so, why did he buy her back?  What has Mr. C. got to do with all this? In my humble opinion the whole Jacqueline story stinks of combinazione (the Italian equivalent of cabal). It would make a good movie title: Five Men and a Pushmobile (Lancksweert, Kruch, Willems, Perrin, Couturier and Jacqueline).

I ask myself: is it possible that Perrin found out Jacqueline  was not all she had been made out to be, i.e. a custom creation by Pininfarina on the 1959 Eldorado Brougham chassis? Is it possible the sale (to him) had been conditional on the car passing muster with the French DOT (les Mines)?  These guys can make your life a misery, even with the best of stock (American) classic cars, so this "concocted custom job" must have had them rolling in the aisles.

Whatever the actual story, the fact is that Jacqueline  now has come around full circle, back to square one so to speak. What next?

 

History: 2007

What next?  Well, the car came up for sale at the Monterey Sports & Classic Car auction (lot #586) organized by RM Auctions on August 17 and 18, 2007. Not surprisingly, it did not find a buyer, although it is reported that bidding reached "only" $260,000 ... when the catalog gave an estimated value between $350,000 and $400,000!

Below is an excerpt from the catalog description (again with my comments in brown font).  Sounds impressive ... but all the buyer is getting, in fact, is a home made custom job comprising a unique PF pushmobile (worth around $80,000?) mounted on the chassis of a (greatly) pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz and powered by a non-matching V-8 engine and transmission from an unidentified Cadillac of 1959 (estimated value: $5,000). If you add labor and a paint job and you are looking at a total cost (not "value")  of around $100K.

In 1958, a contract was signed between the two firms as Cadillac had looked to this world-class carrozzeria to design and construct bodies for its limited production 1959 and 1960 Eldorado Broughams (inaccurate information:  PF did not "design" the 1959-60; they were a Fleetwood, in-house design; PF was commissioned only to panel-beat  assemble the parts that were shipped to them in Italy). These impressive cars were unmistakably Cadillac and reflected many of the marque's styling themes, however, despite similar appearances none of the parts from the hand-crafted Brougham interchanged with a regular production Series 62 or Eldorados.

When word had been given to the coachbuilder that at the conclusion of the 1960 Brougham project, there would be no more business in the foreseeable future between the two companies, Pinin Farina would not leave without at least fielding a few ideas. After all, they didn't want to lose a goose that had been laying golden eggs at their doorstep.

Pinin Farina went to work on a couple of custom proposals to try and woo Cadillac back to Italy, and developed a pair of unique customs, both two-door and four-door versions
(to my knowledge that 4-door version is the figment of someone's imagination!
There is no record, so far as I know, of any four-door version of Jacqueline; in my opinion the propagators of this myth translated wrongly the Italian '2-posti' and '4-posti' (i.e. '2-seater' and '4-seater') as '2-door' and '4-door' ] of what they hoped would be the Eldorado Brougham's replacement. Thus was born the Jacqueline. While both cars [???] were smart and stylish, it was very clear that the coupe stole the show.

When the Jacqueline (pushmobile) was first unveiled at the 1961 Paris Auto Show, it won rave reviews by both members of the press and the public. The automotive media commented on its advanced styling, highlighting such features as its impressive, but not over-chromed, grille and clean, sculpted body side lines - a total departure from the rear quarter fins that had come to symbolize Cadillac style. To the rear, wrap-around taillights were featured and the greenhouse offered wide panoramic views with vast expanses of glass (actually Plexiglas) supported by thin pillars on all four corners.

A few items had been retained from that original Pinin Farina-built Brougham, such as the A-pillar along with the basic windshield design, the steering wheel 
(which was actually swapped from a 1959 to a 1960 model during the "transformation" from pushmobile to automobile), the basic dashboard layout (with all dummy instrumentation), and the exclusive Cadillac wheel covers, which were maybe just a little too flashy.

Originally finished in Cadillac's own Ermine White, accented with a brushed stainless steel top in the same manner as the 1957 and 1958 Eldorado Brougham, it followed a new direction in automotive of design with a "less is more" theme. Interior styling, finished in black
(vinyl) with limited use of chrome, was fresh and modern, featuring one-piece bucket seats with a center armrest and a special compartment behind the passengers to store a picnic basket or possibly a set of golf clubs
(or perhaps some expensive Gucci luggage?)

Many of the lines seen on the Jacqueline would indeed eventually come to be found on other products from different General Motors Divisions, if not on Cadillac, and this vehicle would go down in the history books as one of the most attractive concept cars of the early 1960s.

After the Jacqueline's days on the show circuit had come to an end in the early 1960s, she was retired and became part of the Pinin Farina museum, where she stayed for the next 30-plus years with only occasional exhibitions
(including an appearance in the "Barclay Fascination Cars" exhibition at the Geneva Auto Show in March, 1991). In the mid-nineties, Pininfarina, as they had officially changed their name to in the mid-sixties (on June 6, 1961, to be preicre), sold their design study from the 1960s, and the Jacqueline eventually ended up in the United States (the time elapsed between the sale by PF and the car's arrival in the USA is not yet fully documented; however, we know she spent some time in Belgium and, later, in France, where an unsuccessful [?] attempt was made to register her in November, 1996]. Shortly after coming to America (and before she went back to France), the new (and old) owner (Irving Willems or Alain-Dominique Perrin?) decided it was time for the Jacqueline to receive something it had never been equipped with, a functional Cadillac chassis and running gear.

During its time on the show circuit in the early 1960s and in its subsequent years, the Jacqueline has been merely a "pushmobile", moved into place on dollies as there was no engine, no steering, no suspension, just a custom tubular frame equipped with a pair of axles from a trailer to which the body had been mounted.

Maintaining the heritage of the Jacqueline intended chassis, it was decided that Cadillac would be the heart and soul of this car. It was also decided that the use of period materials that would have been available to Pinin Farina at the time of its creation would also be utilized in this project. Providing the chassis was a
(very pre-owned) 1960 Eldorado Biarritz that had donated many other parts (including its original motor) for (other) restorations. Powering the car  (i.e. the 1960 "donor" Eldorado) was a 1959 vintage Series 62 V8 engine of 390 cubic inches and 325 horses, along with a matched transmission (it seems incongruous to me that a well-used engine and transmission - 37 years old and in what condition? - would be used to breathe life for the first time into this rare, PF styling exercise). It was also decided that a standard suspension set-up with front coil springs, rear leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers all around would be utilized (although it was claimed - and the fake VIN suggests - that the car was built on the chassis of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, which would have been equipped with air suspension).

One major alteration to the body was needed - the fabrication of a new floor. Back in 1961, Pinin Farina had not planned on the need to accommodate a drive-line, so to keep a continuity of beauty (in fact, to facilitate construction!) left the floor perfectly flat. Other important issues also had to be addressed including creating a working steering system, installing operational foot pedals and wiring up the essential gauges and instruments.

All in all, it was a monumental task that had to be done to the same high standards of craftsmanship and skill that had gone into making the coachwork those many years earlier. Results proved positive and in the late-nineties (1996), the Jacqueline was able to hit the road for the first time in her life under her own power.

Retaining all of its original sheet metal and styling touches, an application of subtle gold metallic paint has been applied to the exterior
(by Pininfarina, before the sale in the early 90s?), with its gleaming stainless steel roof. Most of the interior appointments, including the original one-piece bucket seats, are exactly as they were when crafted and installed by the coachbuilder, except that many of the items are now fully functional.

This is a rare and very unique opportunity to obtain a certified (by whom?) one-of-a-kind, fully functional piece of art that has never before been offered at public auction. Directly from a period of grace and elegance known as Camelot here in America, this heirloom of style and beauty, christened to honor one of America's most beloved First Ladies, Jacqueline Kennedy, could be yours.

With the same combination of elegance and natural glamour she carried when she made a rare appearance, this dramatically designed coupe is sure to be invited to where only the finest automobiles gather and will be held in the same high esteem as the woman for whom it was named
( .. .and its
"dummy" body tag, with purely imaginary Cadillac numbers for body, chassis and engine, will doubtless be one of the talking points among the Cadillac cognoscenti for the next few decades!)

 

Hello, Mr. C. !  Are you there ?
Do you know this car ?

jacq01.jpg (7154 bytes)     jacq18.jpg (6813 bytes)     jacq11.jpg (5185 bytes)

jacq17.jpg (4794 bytes)     jacq05.jpg (4827 bytes)     jacq12.jpg (5316 bytes)     jacq06.jpg (5065 bytes)

jacq03.jpg (5891 bytes)     jacq04.jpg (4202 bytes)
Left: Jacqueline nameplate in Cadillac-style script graces leading edge of front fenders
Right: Not alloy, turbine-vane wheels but simply wheel covers from 1959-60 Eldorado and 60-S models

 jacq07.jpg (5743 bytes)    jacq08.jpg (6887 bytes)    jacq10.jpg (3836 bytes)    jacq09.jpg (5453 bytes)
Left and 2nd from left: 1960 instrument panel and steering wheel (on an alleged 1959 car?); turquoise carpet not ideally suited to new, "gold" body color
3rd from left: no rear seat, only luggage room (with only three protective strakes? I would have put in at least five);

Far right: very plain inner door panel with red emergency door warning lamp; the 1959-60 Eldorado models had round, courtesy lights, like this, near the door hinges

jacq13.jpg (6813 bytes)    jacq16.jpg (7112 bytes)    jacq14.jpg (6184 bytes)
Engine bay reveals 1959 engine from a regular Cadillac model;
note, non-original, two-fan cooling system (right)

[ were this the "Q"-type, Eldorado motor, the air-cleaner cover would be "gold"]

jacq02a.jpg (4461 bytes)    jacq02b.jpg (3187 bytes)    jacq14a.jpg (1805 bytes)
The Pininfarina nameplate and logo grace the front fenders (left and center)
At right, what looks like a custom-crafted Cadillac crest emblem on the front hood

wpe1.jpg (6518 bytes)
... and last but not least, this "made up" VIN and body tag! There NEVER was a Cadillac engine #59P061100, although we did find a   #59K061100,
that belongs to a 6-window sedan of 1959; it remains to be seen WHO put that "fake" tag on the car; it does appear to have been put on the firewall already before
the body shell was put on the donor 1960 Eldorado Biarritz chassis by Harbor Restorations (see "1996"section photos of the engine bay, above); one thing for sure,
the intent was to make it LOOK like the tag from a regular 1959 Eldorado Brougham (both Nos. "6929" and engine code "59P..." belong ONLY to that factory model)

(All photos in this block: © 2006 and courtesy of Rik Gruwez)

 

 

 

Information received from Matt Larson, Cadillac & LaSalle Club Research Specialist and Historian
(Matt is co-author with Ron Van Gelderen of the ultimate LaSalle book: LaSalle - Cadillac's Companion Car)

As you know, the first two digits of a VIN indicate the model year, followed by a capital letter that identifies the body style; the remaining six digits are the car's sequential build number. 

YES, there is a 1959 sequential build sheet #061100.  HOWEVER, the letter is "K", indicating   style 6229 6-window sedan, NOT "P", that would be style 6929 Eldorado Brougham!

In the 1959 model year, there are 35 cars on a record sheet - a single horizontal line lists 46 possible data elements that fully describe each individual vehicle. I have decoded hundreds of them for current owners.

Now, it gets strange!  The entry for car #061100 has been taped over on the original record and retyped.  The vertical lines are missing and the data spacing is off a bit.  At the right side of the entry is a hand written note "also see above 097011".   I never have seen any other record that has been changed - it jumps off the page instantly when you look at the sheet!

Naturally, I looked up sequence number 097011. That car is an "M", i.e. style 6029 Fleetwood 60 Special sedan.  There does not appear to be any connection with sequence #061100.

Your records are correct, Eldorado Brougham #99 for 1959 had engine serial number 59P060824. The Cadillac records for 1959 do NOT indicate any Eldorado Brougham with a body number higher than #99. 

For many years there has been a story that 1959 Eldorado Brougham with body number 100 fell overboard in shipment from Italy to the U.S. There is nothing to substantiate that story.

There has been speculation that Pininfarina kept #100 and built the Jacqueline out of that car.  I do not have ANY basis for assessing that conjecture.  The Jacqueline appears (in photos) to be a shorter car than production Broughams.  That may be an illusion because of the rounded shape of the body - I have not seen the actual car. 

An inspection of the car to determine the engine and chassis serial numbers, the engine unit number and the body tag data (if any) is clearly necessary to establish the pedigree of the car called Jacqueline. 

 

Well, Matt, as you can see from the pictures in the preceding box, Jacqueline's body tag resembles none that you or I ever saw on a Cadillac. It appears to have been cobbled up specially for this "car".  It won't be easy to determine WHO created it from scratch or WHERE the numbers came from.  One thing is certain, however, it was made up by a person familiar (but not sufficiently familiar) with Cadillac's production numbering system.

Pininfarina would be my first "suspect", considering they were responsible for putting together the 1959 and 1960 Eldorado Brougham models. However, I'm not saying there was any evil intent on their part, only that they needed to put some kind of "logical" VIN on the body they had built as a styling exercise to try to coax GM-Cadillac to continue production of the Brougham through 1961 and 1962.

Contacts have been renewed recently with Pininfarina's PR people to try to determine if this tag is typical of the kind attached by the Italian company to its prototypes or styling exercises.  At any rate, as we have seen, the current chassis and drive train are from TWO different actual Cadillac models. The chassis is that of a derelict 1960 Eldorado Biarritz (the number is currently not known but may be found stamped at the front of the LH frame side bar; it will be included in the range from 60E000001 to 60E142184). The engine is NOT matched with the chassis (although it should be); it comes from a regular 1959 Cadillac and is the 325HP type with 4-bbl carburetor in lieu of the 345HP, so-called "Q" engine with three, dual-bbl carburetors mounted on all Eldorado models that year.  Once again, the number is currently not known but may be found stamped on the center LH side of the block, above the oil pan; it will be in the range from 59*000001 to 59*142272. The asterisk here replaces one of the following letters designating the original body style in which the engine was mounted :   A, B, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M,  P, R or S.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline seeks a new owner with deep pockets.   This ad was posted on the www in December 2006   I've been told by potential buyers who inquired that the asking price is $400,000 :

1961 CADILLAC BROUGHAM6 :  BROUGHAM6 by PININFARINA, THIS FABULOUS ONE-OFF CAR7 WAS BUILT BY THE LEGENDARY ITALIAN COACHBUILDER, PININFARINA FOR THE 1961 PARIS AUTO SHOW AS AN HOMAGE TO THE GRACE & STYLE OF THEN FIRST LADY, JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY. PININFARINA & CADILLAC COLLABORATED ON FOUR BROUGHAMS8 FROM 1958 TO 1961. THE 'JACQUELINE' IS THE ONLY ONE REMAINING IN EXISTENCE9 AND IT IS ALSO THE ONLY 1961 BROUGHAM6 EVER PRODUCED
__________________________________________________________
6  in fact, the only Broughams "built" by Pininfarina are the stock 1959 and 1960 models (200 units in all) that were designed by Fleetwood and assembled at the PF
    premises in Turin, with a view to trying to diminish production costs. True, PF did work on four designs which they say were inspired by Cadillac's Eldorado
   Brougham
  project (second box of illustrations, above, lower two rows);  however, Cadillac did not "collaborate" with PF in this work. 
7  The word "car" is confusing in the sense that it means "motor vehicle"; this "car" only became a "motorized vehicle" in 1996;
8  There was NO DIRECT COLLABORATION whatsoever between Cadillac and Pininfarina in the making of these alleged "four Broughams from 1958 to 1961"; it is    

    true that at least ONE of these four cars was mounted on a 1959 Cadillac chassis, but Cadillac never was involved in PFs decision to use a Cadillac power-train for it;  
9  This is not correct; at least ONE other of these show cars [the light-colored Skylight coupe, above] has survived and was discovered to be mounted on a 1957 Cadillac
    chassis and drive train:  

 

jacqstor.JPG (14957 bytes)

 



In my humble opinion, the text of this ad fails to mention the essential fact that Jacqueline was originally built as a simple styling exercise by PF and that she was not motorized at that time.  A more factual ad should read:

Originally an engineless shell (a pushmobile), built for the 1961 Paris Salon by legendary Italian coachbuilder, Pininfarina, this stylish coupe was later put on the chassis of a pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz that had been retro-fitted with a 1959, 325HP motor. The car is now fully drivable. PF named this salon model Jacqueline as homage to then first lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Jacqueline is one of four similar salon models built by PF from 1958 through 1961: the Skylight coupe and convertible, possibly mounted on Cadillac chassis, the Starlight and Jacqueline coupes (both pushmobiles). Only the Skylight and Jacqueline coupes are known to have survived.

Jacqueline appeared again for sale as a "1961 Cadillac Brougham" in Hemmings Motor News, Dec., 2007 (?), with a revised price tag of $385,000!  The ad contained no pictures, only the phone, and fax numbers of the vendor as well as his web site URL: Ph. 310-657-9699, FAX: 310-657-9698; website: www.heritageclassics.com.

 

History: 2009

An article by David LaChance appeared in Hemmings Classic Car magazine on May 1, 2009 under the title 1961 Cadillac Jacqueline Coupe - A Pininfarina stying exercise meant to tempt GM.  It is well written and documented (mainly from the information included on this web page), it includes many photos, presumably taken by the author.

 

History: 2011

The  car was to be sold at auction, by Bonham's of London, during their Paris venue on February 5, 2011.  Here's what they had to say about it:  One of four Cadillac-based styling exercises made by Pininfarina between 1958 and 1961, the car enjoyed time on the show circuit in the early 1960s, before being consigned to the Pininfarina Museum where it remained for the next thirty years. In the mid 1990s, it was bought by the president of Cartier and noted car collector, Alain Dominique Perrin, who sent it to the U.S. to be made roadworthy on a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz chassis. The car, which would be welcome at the world's most prestigious concours d'élégance events, is now fully driveable and has only covered delivery mileage since its mechanical restorations. Most of the interior is exactly as it was originally conceived by Pininfarina.

Late extra (Feb. 5, 2011):  the car is said to have found a new home, in Germany.  Someone wealthy enough (and not too bothered by the car's second-hand running gear and "interesting history") apparently did not hesitate to spend almost 213,000 (circa $290,000) to acquire it.

 

History: 2012

Later (Feb. 2012):  In the German auto magazine Auto Bild - Klassik  #2 for February 2012 there is a lengthy article (in German) about Jacqueline in her new teutonic surroundings. So far as I can tell from the 2 years of German I studied in school in 1955-56, the substance of the German article is borrowed from this very page of the Cadillac Database. I am flattered.

Later still (Sept. 2012):  Thanks to the talent of my friend from Ukraine, Vlad Soroklat, and the many photos I sent him, the Jacqueline is now available in 1:43 scale for the discerning toy collector.  It is marketed in (very) limited quantities by EMC, the firm run by Vlad. The photos below will  show off the excellent workmanship that has gone into creating the replica.

In addition to the "motorized" Jacqueline, colored "gold", Vlad has also made a true-to-scale replica of the original Pininfarina pushmobile that was painted white until it acquired the golden hue in the mid-90s.  The REAL aficionado will certainly want to have BOTH versions!  

 


In the background may be seen the full-sized Jacqueline on show, in Germany; some adroit camera work
has placed (in the foreground) the individual small parts needed to create the miniature replicas you see below

    
(Left) The miniature Jacqueline is reviewed in issue #17 of The Diecast Magazine (9/2012)
(Right) The original styling model was not powered; it was a simple pushmobile that was painted white

 

    
 

Finally, Some Unanswered Questions

1.  Has anyone seen a color photo taken of Jacqueline at the Paris Salon, in 1961?

2.  What year was  Jacqueline repainted from white to gold?   Who did that work?
     When I saw  her at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1991, she was still white
     and still sitting on the tubular frame. Mr. Kruch says she was already painted gold
     when she came to Belgium, from Italy, in the nineties. That could possibly mean a
     repaint by PF, in Turin.

3.  I  suspect the photo below as taken in Turin, during the making of the Allanté, a
     combined sports roadster project between Cadillac and Pininfarina that began in
     1982 and ended in 1993. There probably was a lot of movement around the
     workshops at that time and perhaps an outsider saw Jacqueline and made an offer
     that Sergio couldn't refuse.  But that is pure conjecture on my part. Can anyone
     shed more light ?

 

 


Sergio Pininfarina (center) with his sons, Andrea and Paolo;
sadly, Andrea was killed in a traffic collision in 2008

 

 

4.  When did the sale go through between Philippe Lancksweert and Pininfarina?
     Are any details of the transaction available?

5.  Who owned Jacqueline when she was shown on the Barclay Fascination Cars
    
stand at the Geneva Motor Show, in Switzerland, in March 1991?  I suspect it was
     still Pininfarina, as she was still painted white.

6.  What are the correct engine/chassis numbers of the Jacqueline "donor car" (the
     pre-owned 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz  with the 1959 engine) ?

 

Please contact me if you can answer any of the preceding questions.  If you wish to remain anonymous, I shall gladly accede to your request. I would not want to involve any of you in any frivolous law suit over the convoluted and sometimes frivolous history of this car!

or


(Note: "JCF" took over responsibility for the Cadillac Database in January, 2011)

 

 

Envoi

So you see, dear, irascible Mr. Benoît Couturier, tout vient à point qui sait attendre (i.e. if you wait long enough everything will fall into place)! I bided my time, patiently, for five years, knowing that Jacqueline would eventually surface again.  And she did ... in a hangar in Antwerp's docklands. 

Finally I got the answer to the question: who is the "new" owner of Jacqueline? which YOU asserted that neither you nor Mr. Perrin would EVER give me.  Well, it turns out the "new" owner is in fact the "old" owner.  How's that for a surprise?

BTW, one of my close friends and a former neighbor of mine from Chambésy, Michel G.,  was the former Ferrari importer for Switzerland. On the occasion of a recent vacation trip of mine to that country (Sept. 2011), we got talking again about Ferraris and other exceptional cars. He confided in me that he was equally close friends with Philippe Lancksweert, Michel Kruch, Hervé Willems and Alain-Dominique Perrin. Need I say more? Your "private"  and "secret"  information about "your" car, Jacqueline, is a JOKE!  

Tiens fume !  Or, as they say here, "put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!" 

 

trd60pff.jpg (6440 bytes)     trd61pfr.jpg (5557 bytes) 
To conclude on a lighter note, here are unique 1:43 scale models of the PF Starlight (left) and 
Jacqueline (right), both honed out of  balsa wood by René Daffaure [RD-Marmande]
and  commissioned by me, circa 1975 (Photo: © 1995, Yann Saunders)

 

 

 


Jaqueline photographed in the New Millennium, in company with a genuine 1961 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

 


Jacqueline in company with a regular 1961 Cadillac coupe



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résumé en français

La firme italienne a collaboré plusieurs années durant avec la Cadillac Motor Car Division de la GM, notamment pour ce qui concerme l'assemblage et la finition, en 1959 et 1960, des fameuses Cadillac Eldoardo Brougham dessinées non pas par la firme italienne mais par les carrossiers attitrés de la firme américaine, Fisher & Fleetwood.  Dès 1986 et jusqu'en 1993, PF dessine (cette fois) pour la GM les sportives Allanté et en fabrique les carrosseries sur place dans leur usine de Turin.

Hormis cette collaboration directe, Pinin Farina habilla deux chassis Cadillac à titre privé, pour le compte de deux riches clients: un spider pour la chasse au tigre en Inde, sur chassis V-16 de 1930 sur demande du richissime Maharaja d'Orccha, puis un second spider sur chassis V-8 de 1953, réalisé en 1954 pour Luigi Chinetti, agent Ferrari à New York dans les années cinquante. A noter que ces deux voitures ont survécu.

Furent construites par ailleurs quatre carrosseries spéciales (non motorisées ?) pour les Salons de Paris, Genève et Turin; ces "carrosseries" étaient, semble-t-il, exécutées sur de simples chassis roulants composés d'une armature tubulaire et de quatre roues.   Néanmoins, elles ressemblaient fort à de véritables automobiles bien qu'elles fussent en fait immobiles ou "autononmobiles". Il s'agit des coupé et cabriolet Skylight de 1958, du coupé Starlight de 1960 à pavillon en Plexiglas teinté, et enfin du coupé Jacqueline (en honneur de la première dame des Etats-Unis de l'époque, Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy).

J'avais pu admirer la Cadillac Jacqueline au Salon de Paris, en 1961 (je travaillais à l'époque à l'UNESCO), puis à nouveau en marge du Salon de Genève, trente années plus tard, en 1991; elle y faisait partie d'une exposition mise sur place par la British American Tobacco de Genève, sous le titre de Barclay Fascination Cars. A cette époque, Jacqueline faisait encore partie de la collection privée de la firme Pininfarina à Turin. Au cours de deux entretiens epistolaires, en 1975 et 1976, j'avais obtenu de la firme italienne des renseignements précis sur ce modèle; à cette époque il n'était pas à vendre.

Aussi ma surprise fut-elle de taille en apprenant, en janvier 1996, que Jacqueline se trouvait aux Etats-Unis dans la collection privée d'un franco-américain, Hervé Willems, dit aussi Irving Willem. Il s'agissait encore, à l'époque d'un simple chassis roulant.

Jacqueline fut acquise peu de temps après par Alain-Dominique Perrin, ancien PDG de Cartier et grand amateur de belles autos. Il confia sa nouvelle "autononmobile" à M. Frank Tetro, PDG de la Harbor Auto Restorations, en Floride, l'invitant à lui insuffler la vie (c'est à dire à la motoriser), ce qui fut fait à grand renfort de dollars ! 

Au prix de considérables efforts, M. Tetro fut en mesure d'installer la carrosserie PF sur un groupe chassis-moteur de Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, année 1960 [en fait le moteur est un simple 325CV Cadillac de 1959]. Il me confia en 2002 que l'opération avait coûté environ $50,000. Il avait fallu installer un réservoir de carburant, tous les instruments de bord (factices au demeurant), parebrise, lunette AR et glaces latérales (en plexi sur l'original), lève-glaces électriques ainsi que tout l'éclairage (intérieur et extérieur).

Rapatriée en France, la nouvelle "automobile" fut soumise à expertise en vue de son passage aux mines. On fit appel au cabinet d'expertise Arnaud Sene à Paris.  Sans doute Arnaud n'avait-il jamais vu pareille "auto"; il fut donc obligé de se fier en grande partie aux assertions du mandataire. Dans son rapport d'expertise en date du 25 novembre 1996 il affirme, par exemple, que Jacqueline avait été construite à deux exemplaires (ce qui est faux); il affirme également que la voiture de M. Perrin est la Jacqueline numéro 1 (qui possède donc la numéro 2 ?).  Il prétend en outre que les deux (Jacqueline) avaient été montées (à l'époque) sur chassis de la très rare Cadillac Eldorado Brougham de l'année 1959 (99 exemplaires seulement). Or il existe une fiche de constructeur pour chacune de ces 99 voitures; aucun de ces 99 chassis ne fut confié à Pininfarina. Ainsi qu'il est mentionné plus haut, M. Tetro confirme avoir monté la carrosserie Jacqueline sur un chassis Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz de 1960 [ ...mais avec moteur de 1959].

Au mois de mai 2001 est paru dans RetroViseur un intéressant article sur Jacqueline, illustré de plusieurs photos. Par l'intermédiaire de son rédacteur en chef, Serge Cordey, j'ai pu entrer en contact avec la personne réputée veiller aux destinées de l'auto; il  s'appelle Benoît Couturier et habite Paris.  Je l'ai donc contacté pour tenter d'obtenir confirmation éventuelle des données déjà en ma possession. 

Sacré "coco" que ce vendeur de voitures d'occasion "d'exception" ayant, à ce qu'on me dit, pignon sur rue à Paris !  A en juger les termes de ces communications (ci-dessous) et celles qu'il aurait échangées par la passé avec un autre journaliste ami, amateur de Porsche, il me semble qu'il soit atteint d'une grave psychose.  Au risque de subir sa vindicte par devant un tribunal dûment constitué, je vous laisse juges de son "état":

...je suis Benoît Couturier et je viens de recevoir votre courrier qui, me semble-t-il, est un beau reflet du monde de l'automobile car c'est une belle compilation de ragots de 'on dit' et d'informations de gens qui croient savoir.

Vous êtes pour la Cadillac Jacqueline dans le brouillard complet et le champion du monde de l'à peu près.

.....

...je pensais lors de mon dernier courrier avoir été très clair concernant la Cadillac Jacqueline mais il semble que non et que bien au contraire vous continuez à fouillasser.

Monsieur Perrin m'a passé votre courrier auquel il ne répondra jamais1, Monsieur 'je sais tout mais à peu près'. Cartier n'est plus rue des Biches2. Monsieur Perrin n'est plus président de Cartier. Vous n'êtes jamais allé chez Hervé qui n'habite plus à TARZANA3.

Monsieur Perrin se moque complètement de votre adresse à Scottsdale, il n'a rien à vous dire sur la Cadillac Jacqueline qui a été revendue en mai 2001 à une personne dont je ne vous dirai pas plus que lui le nom.

Concernant l'historique je vous en ai déjà donné les détails une fois. Merci de bien vouloir nous oublier complètement nous et la Cadillac Jacqueline.

Merci de ne pas perdre votre temps dans une ultime réponse qui resterait lettre morte.

J'espère cette fois-ci avoir été très clair au sujet de vos "recherches". VOUS ARRETEZ TOUT !

.....

...suite à votre réponse, j'en ai communiqué une copie à Mr PERRIN et une autre au propriétaire actuel de la Jacqueline.

Les termes de votre courrier sont des menaces pures et simples
4.

Nous tenons à vous avertir que nous vous interdisons toute parution au sujet de la Cadillac
Jacqueline.

A la moindre parution malgré notre interdiction nous produirons votre lettre de menaces et engagerons les poursuites qui nous semblent correctes
5.

Merci de cesser de nous importuner par vos enquètes sur des biens privés sans autorisation.

A ne plus vous lire.

______________________
1
  En fait, M. Perrin m'a très gentiment répondu pour me signaler qu'il avait revendu
    Jacqueline et que M. Couturier était seul en mesure de me renseigner sur son devenir
2   Pourtant mes courriers lui sont bien parvenus à ladite adresse
3   C'est vrai; mais je n'avais jamais affirmé le contraire !
4   En fait, j'avais "menacé" de poursuivre mes travaux, primés, d'historien et compilateur de la
     NBDC© (la nouvelle base de données Cadillac); sans doute M. Couturier craint-il que la vérité

     se fasse jour et que le/les acheteurs passé(s) ou  en puissance ne lui demande(nt) des comptes

     ...ou se fassent plutôt rares !
5   Comme vous pouvez le constater, malgré les vélléités de M. Couturier de me "museler",
     la NBDC© continue (et continuera encore longtemps) de paraître et de présenter des FAITS,

     tant qu'il y aura des amateurs de belles voitures et notamment de belles Cadillac.

Aux dernières nouvelles (automne 2006), Jacqueline est rentrée chez son précédent propriétaire, Hervé Willems, en Californie. Perrin aurait-il fait annuler la vente, ayant appris certaines vérités sur cette curieuse voiture ? Simple supposition de ma part.

On l'a vue lors d'une importante vente aux enchères organisée par la maison RM Auctions à Monterey, en Californie, au mois d'août 2007. Au catalogue on a estimé "l'auto" entre $350,000 et $400,000. Les enchères, en revanche, n'ont pas dépassé les $260,000 ...un prix - à mon avis - qui dépasse de loin la valeur réelle de cette fort belle carrosserie PF montée (tant bien que mal) sur le chassis d'une épave de Cadillac Eldorado, année 1960, et mue par un V8 Cadillac de base, année 1959.

Un petit tour et on recommence à zéro.  

Dernière heure (le 5 fév. 2011):  Jacqueline aurait trouvé un nouvel acquéreur [information à vérifier].  Quelqu'un aux moyens importants (et qui n'avait que faire de la mécanique "d'occasion" dont Jacqueline fut dotée, ni de son "historique " pour le moins intéressant) n'aurait pas hésité à dépenser près de 213,000 Euros (env. $290,000) pour se l'offrir.

Je me rèjouis de connaître la suite de la saga de la Jaqueline !

Au fait, l'un de mes amis proches, Michel G., un ancien voisin de Chambésy, fut longtemps importateur Ferrari pour la Suisse. A l'occasion d'un récent voyage d'agrément [en sept. 2011], nous avons reparlé ensemble des Ferrari et autre voitures d'exception. Il m'a confié qu'il était lié d'amitié également avec Philippe Lancksweert, Michel Kruch, Hervé Willems and Alain-Dominique Perrin. Dois-je vous en dire plus, cher M. Couturier ? Je pense qu'il me suffit d'affirmer que vos informations "privées" et "secrètes" portant sur "votre" Cadillac Jacqueline nous ont fait RIRE aux éclats !

 

 

 

© 1996-2020, Yann Saunders, DLM Group, and the Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum and Research Center Inc.
[ Background image: artist's impression of Pininfarina's "Jacqueline" ]