The Cadillac Eldorado is a luxury car manufactured by Cadillac from 1952 to 2002 over twelve generations. It was one of the most expensive models that Cadillac offered and was at or near the top of the Cadillac line. The original 1953 Eldorado convertible and the Eldorado Brougham models of 1957–1960 had distinct body shells. The Eldorado was never less than second in price after the Cadillac Series 75 limousine until 1966. Starting in 1967, the Eldorado retained its premium position in the Cadillac price structure, but was manufactured in high volumes on a unique, two-door personal luxury car. The Eldorado carried the designation from 1965 through 1972, and was a modern revival of the pre-war Cadillac V-12 Cadillac V-16 roadsters and convertibles. The name “Eldorado” is a contraction of two Spanish words that translate as “the gilded (i.e., golden) one” and also refers to El Dorado, the mythical Colombian “Lost City of Gold” that fascinated Spanish conquistadors.

Eldorado has appeared in several movies and TV series, such as: AJ and the Queen (2020),  Copkiller (l’assassino dei poliziotti) in 1984,  The Pretender (1996-2000),  Becker (1998-2004),  Matlock (1986-1995),  Veep (2012-2019),  and The Amazing Spiez! (2009-2011) .

To describe the evolution of the Cadillac Eldorado throughout its 12 generations as a road trip of change is an understatement. When we compare some of those defining moments in design then we see a car moving with the times. From those massive tailfins on the 1959 Biarritz to no tailfins in the nineties. Or that massive 224.1-inch long ’74 Eldorado contrasted with the 188.2-inch long ’86 model. Truly, some of the sickest Cadillacs ever made!

Those 12 generations of change brought us some of the classic car models that not only excite gearheads but that have become collectibles worth a small fortune. In 2013, a ’57 Biarritz reportedly went under the hammer for a cool $649,000. Not to mention, these classic Cadillacs look sick when restored. Let’s take a look at the journey of the Cadillac Eldorado and some of those sweet classics we would love to own.

1st Generation

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

The 1953 Cadillac Eldorado made its presence felt in the market, maybe not with its sales (representing 0.5% of Cadillac sales in ’53), yet certainly with its price tag of $7,750. Significantly more expensive than a regular Cadillac Series 62, but it also couldn’t be missed on the road with its 220.8-inch-long body, it was also 80.1 inches wide with a 126-inch wheelbase.

1953 Cadillac Eldorado

It was powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine delivering 199 horsepower with 324 ft-lb of torque. Only four-color options were available: Alpine white, Azure blue, Aztec Red, and Artisan Ochre. Only 532 were produced, but it was only the beginning of the Eldorado brand. Reportedly, a 1953 Eldorado Convertible was one of the stunning cars that Marilyn Monroe owned.

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