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1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

No other car captures the essence of the “jet age” quite like the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, with styling that could have been copied from a fighter plane. While many believe that Cadillac’s tailfins were a product of the 1950s, their use actually dates back to GM’s 3/8-scale “Interceptor” design studies of the early 1940s, which were inspired by the radical P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft of World War II.

Available in Biarritz convertible and Seville hardtop form, along with the hand-built Brougham four-door hardtop, the Eldorado was Cadillac’s undisputed image leader for 1959. Standard Eldorado equipment included a heater, fog lamps, air-assisted suspension, a radio with a rear speaker, power windows, a six-way power front seat, power door locks and whitewall tires. Power was provided by the top Q-code 390 cubic inch V8, which thumped out 345 horsepower with a trio of two-barrel carburetors, teamed with a four-speed Hydra-Matic Drive automatic transmission.

Just four options were available for the Eldorado – air conditioning, cruise control, the Autronic-Eye automatic headlight dimmer and E-Z Eye glass, along with a no-cost bucket seat option for the Biarritz. Both the Biarritz convertible and the Seville hardtops carried a lofty base price of $7,401 when new, with only 1,320 examples of the Biarritz produced.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Gallery

See full 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Gallery

Story by Rm Auctions

In Detail

type Series Production Car
built at USA
price $ $ 7,401
engine V8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain OHV
displacement 6391 cc / 390.0 in³
compression 10.5:1
power 257.3 kw / 345.0 bhp @ 4800 rpm
specific output 53.98 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 150.33 bhp per tonne
torque 589.78 nm / 435.0 ft lbs @ 4800 rpm
body / frame Steel over Tubular-Center X-Frame
front tires Tubeless 8.20 x 15
rear tires Tubeless 8.20 x 15
front brakes Power Assist
rear brakes Power Assist
f suspension Air-Ride Suspension
r suspension Air-Ride Suspension
curb weight 2295 kg / 5060 lbs
wheelbase 3302 mm / 130.0 in
front track 1549 mm / 61.0 in
rear track 1549 mm / 61.0 in
length 5715 mm / 225.0 in
transmission 4-Speed Hydramatic
final drive 3.21:1