[ last update: 10.12.2010 ]
The (new) Cadillac Database©
Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
1957 - 1960
Boasting about the Brougham
Being an illustrated review of the
advertising and merchandising
themes and material relating to the Eldorado Brougham
Return to The
Cadillac Database© Index Page
or select preferred chapter
Included in my collection of promotional material [other than photos] relating to the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham models of 1957 through 1960 were the following items [the bulk of these is now in a Dutch collection]:
- the original advertising card for the Eldorado Brougham prototype, 1955 that was
distributed at the 1955 GM Motorama [used as the background image for this page];
the original advertising folder for the Eldorado Brougham prototype, 1955 [below];
this was also distributed during the 1955 Motorama.
- the original advertising folder for the Eldorado Brougham prototype, 1956. Below, you
see the cover [top, left], rear cover [top, right] and two inner folds [lower, left and right];
this is truly a magnificent, heavy card folder; the image is not good; one day I may get
around to putting better images on line.
- a special issue of Cadillac's in-house magazine, Cadillac Craftsman, carried a color photo of the 1956 prototype Eldorado Brougham following the Paris and New York auto shows. This is a very rare item, particularly considering that the image is shown in reverse, the steering being on the right [i.e. the "wrong"] side. The same image was used (and positioned correctly this time) in a later promotional piece for Reynolds Aluminum. Printed on the reverse, under the heading Dreams Do Come True was this text:
1957 marks the graduation exercises for a handsome, promising offspring of one of Detroit's most popular families. For the Eldorado Brougham, Cadillac's prestige car for next year, has passed its final tests and now leaves the dream car stage to become a production model. If you think that there's an air of elegance about the sedan pictured on the other side, you're right. It graduates with honors in futuristic engineering and styling. In fact, it sports a fashionable "cap and gown" ensemble for the occasion - roof and rear fender skirts made of lustrous, ever-bright stainless steel. No newcomer to the automotive industry, stainless steel has more than survived the constant change in styling concepts over the years. Today, more pounds per car are being used than ever before, and the trend is upwards with stainless steel being specified for new applications such as the Eldorado Brougham's roof. Its strength, resistance to corrosion, and permanent beauty, are being utilized to provide the motoring public with lasting glamor [sic] and the convenience of little maintenance. Besides the glistening stainless steel roof and the gleaming stainless steel rear quarter panels which stretch almost a third of the length of the car, the Brougham boasts many other innovations. For instance, there are four headlights - one set each for low and high beam driving. Also new is the absence of center door pillars, and the use of a retractable rear seat armrest containing a storage compartment [I wonder why the latter never became an industry standard?]
[ reversed image ]
- Original Press Kit issued for the New York auto Show, January 1957 (only a couple of the press photos are shown below; you will find more on this page).
- the original advertising folder for the Eldorado Brougham production model for 1957
[below, left]. In my opinion, this piece is not worthy of the fabulous car it portrays;
the image is misleading; the flimsy brochure is printed on newspaper-thin, easily ruffled
paper; the cover is white with a banner that reads: For the rarest satisfaction in all
motordom... with the Cadillac "V" and crest below it [even though there were no such
decorative items on the car...]; on the rear cover are listed the general specifications
and standard equipment; despite its flimsy nature, nonetheless, one of these was acquired
in November, 2003, by the owner of car #214 ...for $430 ! I suppose that is "nothing"
compared to the price paid for the car ($65,000!)
- the Cadillac Data Book for 1957 which includes a 32-page section devoted to the new and
Magnificent Eldorado Brougham by Cadillac [below].
- the Owner/Operator manual for the 1957-58 models.
In one edition of a GM brochure illustrating the various models being offered to the public in 1957, there is a side view of a red Eldorado Brougham below a yellow Eldorado Biarritz; another shows a ¾ front RH view of the bespoke Eldorado Brougham; in yet another issue of that brochure there is a yellow Eldorado Seville model on the same page.
- the standard and prestige color product catalogs for 1958 included the Eldorado Brougham model
- the only known color magazine advertisement for the Eldorado Brougham was published
in Fortune, March 1958 [below, left]. I have two other ads in B&W, one that features the
1957-58 version of the Eldorado Brougham (shown together with other Cadillac models [below,
right]) and the other (believed to be extremely rare) depicting the 1959 Brougham;that was given
a special showing by Cadillac in their San Francisco showroom from May 19-23, 1959
- there was some indirect (and very discreet) advertising for the 1958 Eldorado Brougham in the mailer catalog entitled Every Journey is a Special Occasion; you can just see the front clip of the Brougham in the publicity shot on the left, below, and the tail-fins in the image on the right. Also, on the reverse of that catalog appears the same illustration as in the full-line color catalog [blue Brougham, below, right]:
- The elegant Eldorado Brougham was featured also on the reverse of two other mailer catalogs for 1958 : The Keys to a New Cadillac [below, left] and The Moment you Take the Wheel [below, right]:
- the Cadillac Data Book for 1958 which includes the same 32-page section as in 1957 with
a few editorial changes reflecting the minor modifications made to the 1958 Eldorado Brougham
models [see image, above, for the 1957 car].
For 1957 and 1958
- the rarest and most desirable item of Eldorado Brougham merchandising literature is The Eldorado Brougham Color and Upholstery Selections book, a dealer showroom item measuring 19 x 8¼ inches. This book is about as rare (...and equally as [or MORE] valuable!) as the Arpège perfume atomizer. If you consider that a "regular" Cadillac color and upholstery book of the fifties may fetch $400-500 today, you may easily imagine what this one is worth! I know of only two (maybe three) such books extant: one belongs to BOA member Charles D. Barnette, who has Brougham #590 and he actually saw one other at the 1986 CLC Grand National in Fort Worth, TX. I wonder who has it today? The "third" item may just be the second one; it was acquired at the 100th Anniversary Grand National in Detroit in 2002 (price not disclosed). Late Extra [December, 2008]: that "second" or "third" item has changed hands once again; I am not at liberty to reveal the name of the current owner but he did accept to tell me that he paid not $170, nor $1,700 but $17,000 [!!!] to satisfy his craving to own one of these super-rare Brougham "artifacts". It' was probably a more sound investment, in 2002, than buying shares in one of the major US auto conglomerates!
On the dark blue leather cover is what appears to be a sample of the car's brushed stainless steel roof. Inside (top half) are the two carpet samples [Karakul, code #1 and mouton, code #2] ; the lower half is divided into three sections: left are seven leather swatches, center are 16 cloth swatches and right are the 15 special Eldorado Brougham exterior paint selections; the last "page" in that selection groups together 24 small, diamond-shaped paint chips showing the 24 standard Cadillac colors which could be ordered also for the Eldorado Brougham; only fourteen of them were actually used; none were ordered in the following standard colors: Cheviot Gray metallic [code #14], Somerset Blue metallic [code #24], Turquoise [code #28], Peacock Blue metallic [code #29], Acadian Green [code #30], Regent Green metallic [code #36], Calcutta Cream [code #40], Alamo Beige metallic [code #42], Meridian Taupe metallic [code #49, which is much like the 1959 Persian Sand hue], or Tahitian Coral metallic [code #48] ...in my opinion, those last two colors would have fit the Brougham perfectly!
The book was made by the Display Corporation of Milwaukee, WI.
- the Cadillac Data Book for 1959 which includes a 22-page section devoted to the Eldorado
- the full-line color catalog for 1959 (standard and prestige editions) which include only an
artists rendering of the car (LH profile) as well as a picture of the leather interior option
Once again the rarest and most desirable item of Brougham merchandising literature is The Eldorado Brougham Color and Upholstery Manual, a dealer showroom item that is as wide as the year's Dealer Data Book and twice as tall. Like the 1957-58 edition mentioned above, the book was made by the Display Corporation of Milwaukee, WI.
It was not previously listed here as I was not sure of its existence. Now there is no doubt about it according to Eldorado Brougham owner, Jean-Claude Franchitti (58EB#479, 59EB#23, 60EB#58 and 60EB#68) who was able to admire one, in 2004, in the collection of an Ohio resident. The book shows all possible interior combinations in both leather and cloth. He knows of only three such books in existence. Apparently the same one was used for both years (1959 and 1960).
As a matter of interest, J-C reports that one of these books sold on eBay in the latter part of 2004 and fetched more than $5000 ! That almost puts to shame the prices achieved over the last 2-3 years for the Arpège perfume atomizers that were "standard equipment" on 1957-58 Eldorado Broughams.
I am equally grateful to Jean-Claude for sharing with us the images (below) of his own, ultra-rare color and upholstery book for the 1959-1960 Eldorado Brougham.
Unfortunately, I have found
no way to reproduce digitally the true colors of Cadillac paint chip charts, especially
- the Cadillac Data Book for 1960 which includes an 8-page section [down from 22 pages
the previous year] devoted to the Eldorado Brougham. The only other known literature
item for the 1960 Brougham is a service information brochure, being a supplement to the
1959 Brougham Service Information Booklet. The 1960 edition covers only the servicing
changes on the latter model. It includes an index of all Brougham service information
published in the Cadillac Serviceman in 1959;
- the full-line color catalog for 1960 (standard and prestige editions) which include an
artists rendering of the car (LH profile) and the leather interior option [below]
No fanfare introduced the 1960 Eldorado Brougham models. About thirty chassis were made ready as soon as the 1960 standard production line got rolling. These were shipped to Pinin Farina in Italy, as had been the 59 chassis the previous year. No 1960 models were ready for delivery until about March that year. One assumes that Cadillac was losing so much money on each Eldorado Brougham sold that it had been decided not to encourage sales of that particular model.
Other Merchandising Material
In addition to the foregoing material, I had all the dealer mailers from 1957 through 1960, some of which include photos and artists drawings of various Eldorado Brougham models.
There's a good story about the 1957 Eldorado Brougham on the Hemmings webpage (car #107). This one is painted bright red and was owned first by Calvin J. Werner, Cadillac President and General Manager from September 1, 1966 to June 30, 1969. The article appeared first in Hemmings Classic Car for August, 2005.
Return to The
Cadillac Database© Index Page
or select preferred chapter
© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle
[ Background image: promotional card for the Brougham prototype of 1955 ]