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Lot 117

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

  • Chassis no. 536275127
  • Body no. 345

Sold for $148,500

210 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission; coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126"

- From the Estate of Don Kizziar

- Cadillac’s prestige convertible

- High-quality restoration

- One of only 532 built for the first year of the Eldorado

General Motors scored a hat trick with the 1953 Motorama traveling shows. All three of the upscale divisions, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac, had prestige convertible “idea cars,” dramatic in design but close enough to production models that they were ready to manufacture. Named Fiesta, Skylark and Eldorado, respectively, they entered limited production during the year. Based on the Series 62 convertible, the Eldorado differed in having a wrap-around windshield, a portent of GM’s future, and a distinctive dipped cockpit contour, and it came with a hard “parade boot” to cover the top when lowered. Standing just 58.8 inches high, it sold for $7,750, which was 90 percent above the sticker on a standard Series 62 convertible and nearly $2,000 more than the next most expensive model, the Series 75 Fleetwood Imperial Sedan.

The chassis and powertrain were basic Series 62: 210 bhp, 331 cubic inch overhead-valve V-8 and GM’s excellent Hydra-Matic four-speed self-shifting transmission. The compression ratio had been increased for 1953, and all Cadillacs had a 12-volt electrical system, a sign of things to sweep the industry during the next three years. New for ’53 was the optional Autronic Eye, an automatic headlight dimming device that responded to oncoming lights.

Eldorados came with a host of features as standard equipment: whitewall tires, wire wheels, power seat, windows and steering, signal-seeking radio, fog lights, automatic heating system, windshield washers and license plate frames. The model gained additional exposure when Dwight Eisenhower rode in one during his January 1953 inaugural parade. Just 532 were built for the model year.

Purchased by Mr. Kizziar in 1992, this car was given a complete restoration, completed the following year. The body-off renovation took 3,600 hours of work. Striking in Aztec Red with a black convertible top, it has a red and white leather interior and the characteristic chrome wire wheels. The car presents very well for an older restoration, and cosmetic issues are very minor and only visible upon very close examination. The paint, however, is all in good condition and exhibits a nice shine.

All chrome on the car is good, as is the interior. The seats are red with ribbed white inserts, a theme repeated on the door panels, and the upper dashboard is leather padded as well. The leather is all in excellent condition, complemented by matching red carpet and nice sill plates. The odometer shows 388 miles, likely the distance traveled since restoration. The engine compartment is clean and nicely detailed but not over-restored.

The car was honored with a First Place in Cadillac LaSalle Club national competition in 1996. It has been well cared for, and it should be very competitive today, as well as an excellent pleasure or tour car. Eldorado owners were style-setters in 1953. The next owner of this car will surely be as well!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more