By the late 1950s, Cadillac ruled the American luxury car market with exciting products that were highlighted by formidable engineering, lavish amenities and the cutting-edge styling of Harley Earl, GM’s legendary styling chief. While the 1959 Cadillac models were somewhat controversial and misunderstood when new, today’s collectors and enthusiasts agree that they continue to possess an unmatched combination of luxury, power and sheer presence.
For 1959, Cadillac’s Eldorado series included the Seville two-door hardtop and the Biarritz convertible, along with the Brougham four-door hardtop. Standard Eldorado features included all available items on the Series 6300 DeVille and beyond – power brakes, power steering, a 345-horsepower, 390 cubic inch V8 engine with three two-barrel carburetors, and Hydra-Matic Drive. Standard comfort and convenience equipment included a heater, fog lamps, air suspension, electric door locks, a radio with a rear-mounted speaker, power windows, power vent windows, a six-way power front seat and a remotely operated trunk lid, among other items.
Befitting its top-line status, just four options were available for the Eldorado – air conditioning, cruise control, the Autronic-Eye automatic headlight dimmer and E-Z Eye glass. As a result, the Eldorado Seville hardtop carried a lofty base price of $7,401, identical to that of the Biarritz convertible, deterring all but 975 of the wealthiest buyers in 1959.