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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Crisp Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible Heads To Auction


 Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

There are those that remember GM’s head of design Harley Earl for nothing else than bringing us the ostentatious tail-finned vehicles of the 1950s. Although they are the most easily recognized mark he left on the automotive world, his impact reached much further than the rear of near 20 foot long luxury cars. His innovations extended beyond the world of design, into marketing, engineering, and casually creating the the job that is now known as “Car Designer”.
His contributions to to the automotive industry cannot be overstated, and that’s important to take note of when talking about the products in which he had a hand in designing. Make no mistake, Harley Earl is the reason a Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible like this one could fetch between $190,000 and $220,000 at auction, whereas something like a Chrysler New Yorker convertible would be lucky to hit $40,000.

2017 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

From when it was introduced in 1953, until the end of the decade, the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible was the Cadillac.

Starting out at an imposing 18.4 feet long, the car grew to 18.6 feet in 1954, and then shrunk back down to a more reasonable 18.5 in 1956. For reference, the current Cadillac Escalade ESV is 18.6 feet long. Without a back up camera, or sensors to help you park, lane keep assist to help you stay between the lines, or preventative braking system to help you with emergency stops, it’s a wonder that any of these cars survived the era, let alone 60 years.

Then again, many of these Cadillacs had smart owners who knew they’d gotten their hands on something special, and didn’t log a whole lot of miles on them. This example has just 68,301 miles on it, and coupled with the complete restoration, that makes it one hell of an attractive piece of automotive history.

Well, that and the fact that it is aesthetically perfect in every way. From the gorgeous combination of Bahama Blue paint and white orlon top, to the Saber spoke wheels with gold accents, this is the way a drop top 1950s land yacht should look.


Whether you’re a fan of the chrome and fins era or not, you have to admit, there is something undeniably intriguing about a car like this. It’s representative of an era in a way few vehicles are, and a position that Cadillac would hold through the end of the 1970s. You can look at this car, and get an understanding of what was going on in America, what people aspired to, and that’s the kind of esoteric thing that puts a vehicle on a special level.

1956 was the sweet spot for the Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, as the design was revised for 1957, and among other bits, the car gained the infamous “chipmunk cheek” rear fenders. The rear of the ’56 on the other hand is perfection, not over-the-top, but rather visionary. From the vertically stacked quad exhaust, up to the tip of the chrome on the tail fins, your eyes are drawn in.

 It’s easy to imagine how a young George Lucas would have seen one of these cars, and imagined a universe where these little design details came to life, and zipped around in a galaxy far, far away.

Via: Silodrome