[ last update: 03.16.2000 ]       Best viewed with a screen image size of 640 x 860 pixels

The (new) Cadillac Database©

The Fabulous
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

1957 - 1960

Part 15
Brougham on the Boulevard

Being a couple of tips on how to operate
the 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or select preferred chapter


Br_crst.jpg (4207 bytes)


All the mechanical components of the first generation Eldorado Brougham models were precision built and extensively tested under simulated road conditions at the factory, preparing it beforehand for regular driving. The car was delivered ready to provide its owner with the kind of luxurious motoring he/she would normally expect only after a break-in period. The only recommendation to new owners was to avoid, during the first 100 miles, driving at any one constant speed, either fast or slow. Also to be avoided were full throttle starts and severe application of the brakes.


Starting Up

To start the Eldorado Brougham engine, both rear doors must be closed and the transmission lever placed in the Neutral or Park positions. A unique feature of the Hydra-Matic transmission on the Eldorado Broughams is that the control lever cannot be put in any gear if either rear door is open. In addition, neither rear door can be opened until the gear lever is placed in the "N" [Neutral] or "P" [Park] position.

The ignition switch is located on the lower instrument panel, facing the driver, below and to the right of the A/C controls [in the 1959-60 Eldorado Brougham the position of the heater and A/C controls is reversed; heater controls are located to the right of the steering column and A/C controls to the left]. By simply inserting the key and turning it one notch to the right, the ignition circuit is completed, all instruments and accessories are activated, the starter is engaged and the engine is automatically cranked until it starts. A flooded engine may be manually started, like a normal ignition system, by turning and holding the key to the far right position.


Seat adjustment

Are you sitting comfortably? You should be. The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is equipped with a remarkable Automatic Favorite Position Seat. Each time you sit down in the driver’s seat, it will return automatically to the position that you have preset. In fact, it may be preset to return to the favorite position of two different drivers.

In addition, to make it easier for you to exit the car, the front seat will move back and down, simultaneously, if either front door is opened. When your wife gets out to attend her hair-dresser appointment, be prepared to wait a few seconds until your seat returns to the driving position! Of course, to annoy your wife and to prevent the seat moving back and down while she alights, you can always flick to the "OFF" position, the lockout switch on the lower front edge of the seat!

Now, if you just bought the car and you want to adjust the seat to your favorite position, be sure to bring along some sandwiches and a hot cup of coffee; this operation is going to take some time and considerable patience. Are you ready?

OK, first try to become familiar with the seat control panel and knobs, located on the arm rest of the driver's door. There are three main ones. The one in the center controls the forward/aft movement of the entire front seat. The one behind it controls the up/down movement of the rear edge of the seat. The one in front of it controls the up/down movement of the front edge of the seat. So far, so good?

Now look behind each of these three knobs. Can you see the two small push-buttons [one red, one green], behind the main control knobs? Pick the color you want; your wife can use the other one. Now set the seat to your favorite position:

Take it one knob at a time. Turn it right or left until the arrow color of your choice lines up with the white index mark on the transparent plastic quadrant located on your side of the knob. Now use a dull pointed tool (e.g. a ball-point pen tip) to hold down the small push-button behind the control knob, the one that is the same color as the arrow you placed on the white index mark. While pressing down on that push-button, rotate the knob left or right and let the seat move until it reaches the most comfortable position for you.

As you have to use both hands for this operation, your body will be twisted somewhat to the left; you may have to release the push-button and control knob to check the new position with your hands on the wheel, your feet on the control pedals, and you seated in a comfortable, straight-ahead position. If you are not satisfied, you may make some further adjustments.

When you have found the most comfortable forward/aft position, repeat the adjustment process with the two other control knobs and push-buttons, for seat height and angle.

Now have the other driver adjust the seat to his/her favorite position. Beforehand, rotate the knobs so that the arrow of the other color lines up with the white index mark and make sure the push-button of the other color is depressed while the adjustments are being made.

No matter how you - or the other driver - have set the seat position, you may still make manual adjustments by rotating the control knobs at any time; this will not affect the preset position. The seat will return to that position at any time the car is stopped and either front door is opened and then closed.

If someone else has driven the car and used the other favorite position, ensure that before you drive off you rotate each control knob so that the arrow of your chosen color lines up with the white marker on the transparent quadrant.

Meanwhile, the toast is burned, and the coffee is cold!



Wanna listen to the radio? Your Eldorado Brougham is equipped with the first all-transistor radio to be installed in an American car. It needs no warming up. Turn the unit on with the LH knob, which also controls the volume; the antenna will rise automatically to a preset height for normal reception; by pushing on the RH knob the antenna will rise even higher. Operation of the other radio controls is the same as in stock Cadillacs of those years.

Just out of interest, this piece of trivia is from enthusiast Michael Dalton:  You think the Brougham is complex?  Check out what they were doing at Packard a couple of years earlier.   The engineering department  there came up with a radar system to control braking in case of driver incapacity or inattention.   When the radar detected another vehicle/pedestrian/obstacle in front of the car, the brakes would be automatically activated, thus preventing a collision. Unfortunately.   They gave this newly equipped car to the president (of Packard) and let him try it out. It braked for everything. When the car turned a corner, it picked up streets signs, fire-hydrants, even leaves.   Needless to say, the system never made it to production.


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or select preferred chapter


© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image: 1957-58 Eldorado Brougham engine ]