When the Cadillac Eldorado made its debut it was major news. All three of GM’s top car lines had been authorized and budgeted to produce special convertible models for the 1953 model year and while the Buick Skylark was dramatic and the Oldsmobile Fiesta sporty, the Eldorado was pure class, style, elegance all combined with a dashing flair of excitement. With a base price starting at $7,750, whereas the standard Series 62 convertible was just under $4,150, Cadillac was able to produce 532 copies of this incredible car. The first time many people first saw the new Eldorado was on January 20, 1953, carrying the newly sworn in President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Standing in his open white convertible, which today would upset the Secret Service to no end, he smiled, waved and braved the mid-40’s temperatures that cool winter morning. It was an inspiring sight to behold.
A number of these cars were loaned out by Cadillac for civic functions across the land, anywhere the media might show up. They were handsome vehicles sporting that massive Cadillac grille and distinctive styling. Despite its close resemblance to the standard Series 62 models, Eldorado featured unique body work, including the hood and main body panels being channeled, and was well appointed with power steering, as well as power windows, front seat and of course, a power operated soft top. Featuring redesigned doors that dipped lower than the regular convertibles, a folding top that disappeared which was covered by a fiberglass boot suitable for parade use, a wrap-around “Panoramic” windshield and chrome wire wheels, the Eldorado was a cut above everything else on the road. Also included in the package was the leather padded dashboard with special badges, and gleaming chrome wire wheels. Under the hood were 210 horses coming from the 331 cid V8 engine, backed up by a new and improved Hydramatic transmission.
It was a major victory for GM’s public relations department having Eisenhower riding in an Eldorado convertible. That car, body #2, is well-documented and remains in a private collection to this day. However, on the very same day Ike was sworn in, the Cadillac Division was putting the finishing touches on Eldorado body #4, the car Hyman Ltd. is proud to offer. On that day it was released from the factory to be shipped to Division offices in Los Angeles, California. Somewhere along the way body #4 was diverted to San Francisco, where presumably it was used for publicity and advertising purposes. Today, the car sits as a monument to when America was the world-leader in automotive design and production and Cadillac was King of the hill. Unfortunately, the history of this car has been lost after its shipment to California’s Bay Area, but the trail was picked up again in 1993 when it was purchased by the late Noel Thompson who not only loved his cars, but used them on a regular basis. Thompson treated this Eldorado convertible to a full cosmetic restoration after which he drove and exhibited it on a regular basis for parades, special events and enjoyable drives. After his passing, Ohio based collector Harry Yeaggy, another outstanding collector, acquired this Eldorado and kept its appearance in splendid condition as well as exercising its mechanics.
An older ground up nut and bolt restoration, this gorgeous Eldorado is still striking today. As per its original specification, it is finished in Alpine White, with all-white leather seating surfaces complimented by pure-white dashboard and garnish moldings, while the floors are covered in a full set of rich ivory colored carpets. Keeping with the theme of “White” the soft top was changed to this same scheme during restoration. This Eldorado has all of the standard equipment such as the hard-shell parade boot, factory heater and defroster, Signal Seeking radio and those gleaming chrome wire wheels. The engine compartment is beautifully detailed, and the car runs and drives wonderfully.
One of less than 200 hundred survivors, but most importantly the 4th car built, and with a great history, this 1953 Eldorado is ready to be driven and enjoyed, representing a golden-era of the American automobile and when driving a Cadillac was the ultimate pinnacle of success.