The Cadillac Eldorado is a luxury car manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1952 to 2002 over twelve generations.
The Eldorado 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 bodyshells and were the most expensive models that Cadillac offered those years. 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 built in high volumes on a unique two door personal luxury car platform.
The Eldorado carried the Fleetwood designation from 1965 through 1972, and was a modern revival of the pre-war Cadillac V-12 and Cadillac V16 roadsters and convertibles.
The nameplate 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 South American "Lost City of Gold" that fascinated Spanish explorers.
Chosen in an internal competition for a 1952 concept vehicle celebrating Cadillac's golden anniversary, the name Eldorado was subsequently adopted for a limited-edition convertible for model year 1953.
Cadillac began using the nameplates "Eldorado Seville" and "Eldorado Biarritz" to distinguish between the hardtop and convertible models (respectively) while both were offered, from 1956 through 1960 inclusively. The "Seville" name was dropped when the hardtop was initially discontinued (1961), but the Biarritz name continued through 1964. Beginning in 1965, the Eldorado became the 'Fleetwood Eldorado'. 'Biarritz' returned as an up level trim package for the Eldorado for 1976.
The Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta, and Buick Roadmaster Skylark as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. A special-bodied, low-production convertible (532 units in total), it was the production version of the 1952 El Dorado "Golden Anniversary" concept car. Along with borrowing bumper bullets from the 1951 GM Le Sabre show car, it featured a full assortment of deluxe accessories and introduced the wraparound windshield and a cut-down beltline to Cadillac standard production.
The expansive frontal glass and distinctive dip in the sheet metal at the bottom of the side windows (featured on one or both of GM's other 1953 specialty convertibles) were especially beloved by General Motors' styling chief Harley Earl and subsequently widely copied by other marques. Available in four unique colors (Aztec red, Alpine white, azure blue and artisan ochre — the last is a yellow hue, although it was shown erroneously as black in the color folder issued on this rare model). Convertible tops were available in either black or white Orlon. AC was an option, as were wire wheels. The car carried no special badging other than a gold-colored "Eldorado" nameplate in the center of the dash. A hard tonneau cover, flush with the rear deck, hid the convertible top in the open car version.
|2||Engine||2,496 cc (2.5 L)|
|3||Class||Personal luxury car|
|5||Body Style||Cadillac CTS coupe|
|6||Body Layout||FR layout|
|8||Wheelbase||2,400 mm (94.5 in)|