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The (new) Cadillac Database©

The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
1957 - 1960

Part 6
Beauty that Bespeaks the Brougham

Being some of the notable styling features of the
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham for 1957-58


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(lire la version française en cliquant sur le drapeau tricolore)


It is with great pride that the Cadillac Motor Car Division offers the Eldorado Brougham to the motoring public.

The Brougham will be purchased by discriminating individuals who want
and demand automotive perfection.


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These are the opening words in the 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Service Information manual.  Under a full-sized artist's [photographic] rendering of the Brougham's front fender badge, the introductory paragraph went on to stress the importance of proper maintenance, which could not be over-estimated.  Servicemen were told that Brougham service should receive priority over all other service assignments.

Did buyers of the Brougham stop to think of its service requirements?  I doubt it.  They were more taken by its elegant lines ...as also by the impression it would leave on the neighbors.  Here was indeed a rare1 and beautiful car.  There were few places where you would see two on the same street.
1  Out of interest it may be noted that other U.S. built cars are rarer (in production numbers) than the Brougham; these include, inter alia, the Chrysler 300J hardtop, the 300K, the LeBaron 4-door Hardtop, the Dodge Polara station wagon, the Dodge 880 convertible, the 4-door Edsel ranger for 1960, the 1961 Chrysler Custom 300, the 1961 Ford Falcon 2-door sedan, the 1960 Lincoln 4-door sedan, the 1960 Lincoln Continental sedan, the 1963 Ford Comet wagon, the 1962 Nash Metropolitan, the 1960 Ambassador hardtop.  If it is rarity you are looking for in a car, you have a good selection to choose from! Personally, I still prefer the ... Eldorado Brougham.


Suicide Doors


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On the Brougham production prototype, the so-called
"suicide" doors all latched into the body sill.
This arrangement was found to be unsatisfactory 



On the production cars, the doors latch at the center of the body, on a 14-inch high steel pillar, which eliminates any obstruction in accessing both front and rear seats.  Doors are hung on ball-bearing hinges for perfect operation.  Door locks are controlled from the front seat; when the door lock button on either front door is depressed, the locks on all doors are engaged.


Rear-end Styling


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Contrary to the standard Cadillac models for 1957, the rear fender fins of the Brougham are swept backwards, as they had been on the Eldorado models of 1955 and 1956.  This novel fin line would become standard on the 1958 Cadillac models. Vertical tail-lamps are inset at the base of either fin. The rear bumper is in two parts set each side of the license plate holder. Incorporated at the outer edge of these bumper sections are the louvered exhaust ports.   Inboard are twin circular lamps, the outer pair (with red lenses) being the turn signal and brake lights, the inner pair (with white lenses) being the reversing lights.



Dual Headlamps - Horn


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The Eldorado Brougham’s parallel dual headlamps were introduced on La Espada and El Camino, two dream cars exhibited at the 1954 General Motors Motorama. Centered below each pair of headlamps is the distinctive grille masking the Brougham’s four, specially tuned horns





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Like the prototype Eldorado Brougham, the production models too have exclusive, forged, alloy wheels combining aluminum and steel for strength and lightness. Their turbine-vane design differs from the saber-spoke design used on most of General Motors’ Motorama show cars. The central hub cap is removable, allowing access to the wheel mounting nuts; it sports the well-known Cadillac emblem in a harmonious balance of red and gold



Roof line - Windshield - Fender Crowns


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The light-colored roof gives the Brougham an airy, convertible look.  It is made of brushed stainless steel and greatly enhances the beauty of the car. The extra-large tinted windshield has a compound curve for maximum visibility as well as filtration of the sun’s rays. The stainless steel grille at the base of the windshield supplies air for ventilation, heating and air-conditioning; In addition, an air outlet is recessed into the crown of each front fender to aid in cooling the engine compartment



Interiors - Seats


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No fewer than 44 interior trim and color combinations are offered, as are two different carpet styles Karakul, a close-knit wool loop carpet or mouton [French for sheep] which is a specially processed lambskin covering2. Seat backs incorporate wide, comfortable armrests. A compartment in the rear seat armrest houses the following convenience items: a note-pad and propelling pencil, mirror and perfume atomizer containing an ounce of Lanvin’s renowned Arpège perfume extract. A heater located under the rear seat warms the rear compartment through special grilles at the base of the seat; these have individual controls


2According to Brougham owner and former CLC President, Al Haas, the mouton carpeting for the Broughams was supplied by Roberts Furs of Detroit [source: Self Starter, May 2004]


Instrument Panel - Glove Compartment


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This is fashioned with a jeweler’s precision. All instruments are arranged for maximum driver convenience and there are warning lights and indicators for low oil pressure, low fuel level, high water temperature, battery discharge, hand brake left on, headlight high-beam on, turn signals and open trunk; the glove compartment is custom fitted with a cigarette case, tissue dispenser, a vanity compact, six magnetized drinking cups and an acrylic vanity mirror with a metal back, which folds out to form a tray for the cups; beauty is not all that makes the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham stand out from the rest of the luxury pack. It was also a bit of a mechanical marvel. Here are three key features. You will find more amazing facts in the following chapters.





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According to the Cadillac Data Book for 1957, the Eldorado Brougham is powered by the finest, most powerful engine in Cadillac history. It develops its 325 hp through its two four-barrel carburetors, a larger capacity air intake and air cleaner, and a larger free-flow intake manifold.  Power is transmitted to the rear axle via the standard Cadillac Hydra-Matic transmission



Air suspension


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The advantage of having air suspension [...when it works] is that the car remains level, and at the same height, irrespective of load and load distribution. The same, constant clearance is maintained between the rear axle and the frame, ensuring equal ride quality over smooth or rough road surfaces; it also prevents bottoming of the suspension and minimizes the lean of the car in curves; The system consists of individual air springs (or air domes) at each wheel, leveling valves at each wheel, an air storage tank and an electric air compressor which operates only when required and maintains a pressure of 100-120 lbs. per square inch in the air storage tank at all times

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SAE brochure on the new, experimental air suspension system for the Eldorado Brougham



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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image: Excerpt from the 1957 Cadillac Data Book, Brougham section ]