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The (new) Cadillac Database©

The Fabulous
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

1957 - 1960

Part 14
Banking on the Brougham

Being a look at the investment potential of the Eldorado Brougham
[ Market trends ]


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The Eldorado Brougham models were sleepers for many years, even in the late eighties when collector car prices went "over the moon".

For as many years, collectors also preferred the first generation Eldorado Broughams, i.e. those built in Detroit in 1957 and 1958, compared to those assembled in Italy in 1959 and 1960.

However, in the late nineties, the cars we call the "Italian" Eldorado Broughams, because they were assembled in Turin at the Pininfarina works, caught up with - and in some cases even overtook - the domestic variety. There is a simple explanation. Fewer Eldorado Broughams were built in Italy than in the USA (200 compared to 704). The rarer the car, the sounder the investment in the long term. But rarity itself does not always translate into quality or big bucks. Styling also is an important factor.

When the market peaked, in 1989, the King of the Hill among the post-war "classics" [I hate the word "classic" when applied to a post-WW2 automobile] was the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz of 1959, with its 1960 counterpart a close second. In excellent condition, some of these 1959-60 Eldorado Biarritz models could command prices in excess of $100,000.

At6 that time, despite production figures that were less than half those of the 1959-60 Biarritz, the 1953 Eldorado convertible [532 units made], which had held the pole position on the value charts for many years, topped at "only" $90,000. The trend was reversed again as we entered the new millennium.

According to the allegedly well-informed hobby magazines and price guides that publish current, accurate, reliable pricing for collector vehicles 1900-1990, you could pick up in 1998, for around $30,000 an Eldorado Brougham in excellent condition, that is restored to current maximum professional standards of quality in every area, or [a] perfect original with [all] components operating and appearing as new.

Not any more !

There may be all of TWO surviving Eldorado Broughams in the whole world today that could rate as being in #1 condition, that is 95-plus point show car that is not driven.

According to the experts, such a car has ceased to become an automobile and has become an object of art. It is transported to shows in an enclosed trailer and, when not being shown, it is stored in a climate-controlled facility.  Yeah, right!

Sure, you could possbily pick up a "nice", running  Brougham in the price range quoted by the "experts." But it would be far from "excellent" and even farther from "perfect".

As regards the 1957-58 models, those $30,000 Eldorado Broughams most certainly would not be entirely original, that is with the original air suspension, with all power equipment fully functional [including in particular the A/C unit, the trunk, the memory seat, the automatic headlight dimmer, the first fully transistorized radio and the automatic radio antenna]. More importantly, it certainly would not have the full complement of vanity items and personal accessories.

In my opinion, do not hope to find in 2007 a "very good" Cadillac Eldorado Brougham for less than $100,000. As regards the 1959 model in particular - the rarest of them all, with only 99 units built - it should be noted that almost 20% of the total production was [in 1998] in the hands of a single collector, in Ohio. Many of his cars are parts car, granted, but when you buy one of these babies you want to be sure of a plentiful supply of spares. In my opinion, again, there are few, if any, 1959 Eldorado Brougham models on the market. Bob has them all ...and they are in his safe and capable hands!

The final word for this section is borrowed from an article that appeared almost a half-century ago in Car Collector [March, 1958]. The authors of that article believed that ...Brougham values will improve in the coming years, steadily, if not dramatically. But eventually the Brougham will have to take its rightful place among Cadillac’s other engineering and luxury masterpieces, the V12s and V16s. We happen to think that this ascendancy will take place sooner, not later, as many of those who summarily passed the Brougham by [including ME] realize the magnitude of their mistake."

Below is a table showing the market trends of the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham over the twenty-year period 1977-1997.  Prices are drawn from Old Cars Price Guide. They reflect ...prices from collector-car auctions, verified reports of private sales [and] input from experts.  They apply to a car in perfect original condition or restored to the highest degree.

  Estimated Values in US Dollars
Year of
Price Guide
Brougham for
Brougham for
Brougham for






































The latest 2007 prices are based on my own observation of the market since 1997


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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club
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