Motor City

25 July 2015

Previous Next

Lot 118

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

  • Chassis no. 5770058691
  • Body no. 16

$125,000 - $175,000


Series 70. 325 bhp, 365 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • An early example of the ultimate post-war Cadillac
  • One of only 704 built over two years
  • An impressive example; a well-sorted driver
  • Finished in its original colors
  • Documented by a copy of the original build sheet


It is hard to imagine an American automaker today building a four-door sedan that would be priced higher than a new Ferrari or Rolls-Royce. In the 1950s, it was a different time. Glitter was good, bigger was better, and too many accessories was just right in the age of neon and chrome. It was an era ripe for the ultimate Cadillac: a car heaped with everything that General Motors’ engineering and styling gurus could throw at it.

Harley Earl’s styling team contributed multiple new ideas, including four-door hardtop sedan bodywork with side windows that disappeared completely, frames and all; rear-hinged rear doors, a throwback to the 1930s; and a broad expanse of sparkling, brushed stainless steel roof. Quad headlights were exclusive to the model—and still illegal in most states. The engineering staff worked out a litany of power accessories so numerous that “power everything” wasn’t just a convenient phrase, it was a reality. Naturally, there was air conditioning as well.

All of this high living came at a cost of $13,974, which was twice the cost of the Eldorado Biarritz. In fact, one had to look long and hard to find a production car anywhere in the world that was as expensive as an Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac reportedly lost $10,000 on every car built, which is why the original “Eldo Bro” lasted for only two years and 704 examples. As such, this dream machine was GM’s “halo model,” meant to dominate the American luxury market as their pre-war V-16 models did so effortlessly.

The car offered here was the 16th Eldorado Brougham built, making it one of the earliest known to exist. It was originally finished, as it appears today, in the striking color of Lake Placid Blue with a Medium Blue “bayou” cloth and leather interior, and it was delivered to a dealer in Oregon. The current enthusiast owner notes that the car has been well preserved with regular pleasure driving since its older restoration when, presumably, the notoriously troublesome hydraulic, self-leveling rear suspension was replaced with the simple and reliable standard Cadillac leaf springs, an adaptation common to most survivors. It is still a marvelous ride. Significantly, the myriad of electrical features are properly functional with the exception of the electric seat switches on the door panel. (A new switch for the seat has been installed on the seat itself to move it up and back.) The car has undergone extensive recent sorting, including replacement of the wheel cylinders, brake shoes, master cylinder, and other brake hardware; fixes of numerous small details; and fabrication of correct brackets and linkages for the rear fenders. Chrome was also re-plated as necessary. It now runs and drives well and has been enjoyed by the owner for numerous 100-mile drives.

It is hard to find a more opulent cruiser than an Eldorado Brougham!

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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