1956 Cadillac EldoradoBiarritz Convertible
To be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
$175,000 - $225,000 US
Cadillac was proud to introduce their new model line for 1956. The new-for-1956 Cadillac represented a significant step forward in their tradition of unending search for automotive perfection. Each model had been advanced to a remarkable degree in both engineering and design. The line was conceived in keeping with the varying preferences of discriminating Cadillac buyers; each car carrying with it a personality and individuality of their own - perhaps none more so than the Eldorado.
The “Solid Gold Cadillac” was the first major motion picture to include the name of America’s favorite luxury car in the title. The 1956 film starred Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas and a gold 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible; with many other Cadillac’s joining the starring car on film. Numerous movies have since followed that have included the Cadillac name and recognition of this American luxury favorite.
Nineteen fifty-six also saw two Hess & Eisenhardt-modified 1956 Cadillacs join the presidential motorcade to be utilized by the United States commander-in-chief, who at the time was Dwight Eisenhower. These cars would be employed for these duties by the Secret Service well into the 1970s. The “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley, also famously owned a 1956 Eldorado that he had custom painted in “grape.”
In 1956 Cadillac introduced the Biarritz name to distinguish their Convertible from the newly named Eldorado Seville Coupe. Like the 1955 model, the Eldorado had a completely different rear end from the standard Series 62 Cadillacs with prominent rear tailfins. In 1956 the Biarritz script was located on the front fender, just behind the wheel arch. The 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible carried a substantial factory price tag of $6,501 when new. With only 2,150 examples built, this Biarritz is truly a masterpiece of Cadillac craftsmanship.
The example being offered has been with the same owner since May 2001, and over the 2001 to 2002 timeframe, this car was professionally and beautifully restored by Harbor Auto Restorations in Pompano Beach, Florida. The Biarritz is presented in factory code 90 Alpine White with a code 90 Ivory, power-operated soft-top and red and white leather interior that represents factory code 18. The car is reported with an initial build date of May 24, 1956.
The Eldorado is powered by a smooth and powerful 365-cid, 305-hp V-8 engine that features two Carter four-barrel carburetors and signified by the factory “batwing” air cleaner. A four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission effortlessly shifts the gears. Among the many standard features that the Biarritz exhibits, you will find numerous courtesy lights, remote driver’s side mirror, power windows, power six-way front seat, power steering and power brakes. Among the optional accessories on this particular car is the quite rare and very desirable air conditioning (code K). It is quite worthy in noting that it is reported that less than 20 similar cars also had the factory air option in 1956. Additional extras include E-Z Eye glass (code E), heater (code H), Autronic-Eye (code U) and remote trunk release (code S).
It is unsurprising that this fine car (Antique Automobile Club of America Class: 29 Car #: W15003) has a show pedigree that is commensurate with its presentation. Among the awards are an AACA First Junior in Hiawassee, Georgia (June 1, 2002); Cadillac and LaSalle Club Grand National First Primary (100 of 100 available points earned), Dearborn, Michigan (August 10, 2002); AACA First Senior AACA National, Hershey, Pennsylvania; CLC Grand National First Place Senior (100 of 100 available points earned), Des Moines, Iowa ( August 6, 2005); AACA Grand National First, Melbourne, Florida (March 14, 2008) and AACA Grand National Senior, New Bern, North Carolina (May 15, 2010). This record demonstrates the level of restoration, detail and subsequent regular maintenance to preserve the Eldorado’s deserved status.
It is difficult to find a better example of GM's styling and engineering prowess than viewing the 1956 Cadillac Eldorado. Highly coveted by hard-working, upwardly mobile Americans when new; surviving examples remain decidedly sought-after today and they continue to rank among the most luxurious and elegant automobiles ever to come from GM during the fabulous 1950s.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible