1953 Cadillac EldoradoConvertible
Year of manufacture1953
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Hershey event, 5 - 6 October 2022.
- Offered from the St. Yves Collection
- Single-family ownership for the past 45 years
- First year of the iconic Cadillac Eldorado luxury series
- The pinnacle of American luxury in its day, with just 532 produced for 1953
- Powered by a numbers-matching 331-cu.-in. Cadillac V-8 engine producing 210 hp
Spanish for “the gilded one,” Cadillac’s now iconic Eldorado line debuted to great fanfare in 1953. The new model was the production version of the 1952 El Dorado concept car built to celebrate Cadillac’s golden anniversary together with the Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Corvette, and Oldsmobile Fiesta. The new “dream car” featured several physical departures from its fellow Cadillacs, most prominent of which were the chrome bumper bullets borrowed from the 1951 Le Sabre concept. An expansive wraparound windshield led to distinctive low-cut doors at the body’s beltline, concluding with a steel tonneau cover sitting flush with the rear deck, designed to seamlessly hide the shapely convertible top when stowed.
True to the tastes of well-heeled Americans, who celebrated the prosperity of the time without excessive public displays of wealth, styling was both sporting and elegant without being overly ornate. The car carried no special badging other than a gold-colored "Eldorado" nameplate in the center of the dash and door sills. At a time when the average American home cost $8,200, the new Eldorado started at $7,750—twice that of a regular Cadillac Series 62 convertible. The Eldorado signaled its driver was one of good taste and achievement and truly solidified Cadillac as the “Standard of the World,” a popular slogan that accurately echoed the company’s quality and status at the time. While only 532 models were built for 1953, Cadillac considered the Eldorado a success, as it launched an ultra-luxury model line that would endure for five decades.
Offered for the first time in nearly 50 years and wearing a presentable older restoration, this Eldorado is one of those exclusive 532. Per the copy of its original build sheet, the car was constructed in May 1953 with a Denver, Colorado delivery order. Originally ordered in the unusual color combination of black over blue-and-white leather upholstery, the car now wears an equally striking appointment of dark blue over black Naugahyde interior, from a previous refurbishment performed over 40 years ago.
Equipped with its numbers-matching 331-cubic-inch V-8 engine and benefitting from single family ownership for the past 45 years, this Eldorado is a superb driving example of one of the most exclusive mid-century American luxury cars ever made. Showing the patina of its older restoration and loving use over the years, it currently presents in driver-ready condition and would make an excellent candidate for a full concours-quality restoration if so desired.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf22.