[ last update: 12.19.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Photo Pages


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Unless otherwise specified all photos and illustrations are from Yann Saunders'
collection of Cadillac photos, advertisements and product catalogs,
reproduced courtesy of the Cadillac Motor Car Division and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club



53crowng.JPG (7143 bytes)     crst53b.JPG (6132 bytes)
Gilded Cadillac "V" and crest, right, set off   by a diamond and emerald necklace
by Harry Winston, graces cover of 1953 product folder



The 1953 Cadillac models were face-lifted versions of those of the previous three years.  The bulbous look of the early fifties continued to pervade.   This year the "Dagmars" (bullet-shaped bumper impact guards) took on a whole new meaning;  they were ginormous!1

The big news this year was the bespoke "Eldorado" model of which a prototype had been exhibited at last year's "Golden Anniversary" show, marking fifty years of Cadillac production. It stood out from the other models in the range on account of its panoramic, or wrap around windshield, the stylish dip in the belt molding just behind the doors and the hard boot, flush with the body, that covered the convertible top in the lowered position. Only 532 units were built; they are prized collector items today.

The 1953 models, according to the copy writers, was "...the perfect automobile to introduce Cadillac's second half century of achievement and leadership."  They featured some beautiful, new interiors, an equally new 210 HP engine, advanced power steering, improved Hydra-Matic (automatic) transmission and [at long last] a decent, new air-conditioning system.

The product line was described and illustrated principally in two merchandising folders and one "mailer" catalog, the first in a long line of such "mailers" published in the fifties and sixties.  These differed from regular published material in that the cars were photographed rather than drawn.

The four basic series were presented in the regular sales folder in this order:  Sixty Special, Sixty-Two and Seventy-Five. That is also the sequence in which I have presented the illustrations below. There was a separate, single-sided folder on the beautiful Eldorado model.  As for the exceptionally beautiful mailer item, it was entitled "Start of a Wonderful Journey"; a few photos from that catalog are also included below.

No publication dates are shown on either of the folders or the catalog.

Once again, the distinguishing mark of the 1953 Cadillacs is the front clip with its huge, "bullet" impact guards surmounted by a stylish fin.   Similar if slightly less provocative "Dagmars" were mounted also in the rear.






Additional information on the 1953 models and the related sales literature may be found  in The (New) Cadillac Database© sections entitled "Descriptions and Specifications of Cadillac Cars 1951 - 1955",  "Cadillac and La Salle Sales Literature 1950 - 1954" and "Dream cars of 1952-1953".  Further recommended reading includes:

(a)   "Automobile Heritage's Illustrated Guide to 1950 Through 1959 Cadillac" by Roy Schneider, © 1978,  published by Automobile Heritage Publishing Co., Post Office Box 7, Temple City, CA 91780 [ISBN #0-917104-02-1] and

(b)  The "Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000" edited by James T. Lenzke, © 2000, published by Krause Publications, Inc., 700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990 [ISBN #0-87341-925-1, Library of Congress #91-61301].
1   Dagmar was the nickname given to one Virginia Ruth Egnor, a "blonde bombshell" who achieved some notoriety in 1950-51 when she appeared on NBC's "Open House" in slinky, body-hugging gowns that underscored - for no other purpose but to provoke - the lady's very ample bust.  When you look at this lady in profile, you will have little doubt why the bumper guards on fifties Cadillacs often are referred to as "Dagmars"!


The Series Sixty Special



Factory photos

Images from merchandising catalog

This image from period ad
[ Z. Taylor Vinson collection ]



This gentleman's car carries a licence tag from Rome, in Italy:
it seems he has come to Paris on vacation, judging by the volume of luggage in the trunk;
the  car is parked on the Champs Elysées, opposite the Lido music-hall

A couple of period photos
Ledt: a couple of impressive machines!
[ Photos:  Internet ]



The Sixty-Two Series

The Sedan


Images in preceding 3 rows are produced at the factory

Images from merchandising catalog 

Two fine survivors; the one on the right has the wrong wheel covers (1954-55) and is missing the fender script
[ Photod:  Internet ]




The Coupe

Factory photos


5362cp2.JPG (11190 bytes)     5362cp5.JPG (6383 bytes)
Images in preceding two rows are from a merchandising catalog




The Coupe de Ville

Original factory photo (copped)

Original factory photo


5362cdv2.JPG (8629 bytes)
Images in two preceding rows are from a merchandising catalog

Image from period ad
[ Z. Taylor Vinson collection ]




[ This photo:
© and courtesy CLC member John Washburn ]




The Convertible

Factory images

     53cvtop.JPG (8330 bytes)


5362cv2.JPG (11166 bytes)
Images in preceding three rows are from a merchandising catalog 


Photos of Survivors






53cvA.jpg (6382 bytes)     53CVB.jpg (6267 bytes)     53cvC.jpg (4943 bytes)     53cvD.jpg (6163 bytes)
Not quite a perfect restoration but certainly a lot of work went into this survivor
[ Photos: Internet, 2008 ]

"Miss Piggy" takes a ride in a pink convertible

Advertising for the former "Sands"  hotel in Las Vegas

A fine survivor on the Internet ... this one with optional Continental Kit



The Seventy-Five Series
sedan and limousine


Factory photo of one of the two "Seventy-Five" models



5375c.JPG (10788 bytes)
Both the "Seventy-Five" cars shared the rear clip of  The "Sixty Special";
in the rear, the name"Fleetwood" was spelled out in script between the tips of the "V"

Artist's views from factory merchandising catalog 



Interiors of the "Seventy-Five" cars continued to be trimmed in either gray  or taupe  (illustrated)
The driver's compartment in the limousine was trimmed in black leather

Another pair of  nice survivors



The Eldorado


el53lin1.jpg (3392 bytes)     el53lin2.jpg (2658 bytes) 

el53lin3.jpg (3828 bytes)     el53lin4.jpg (3091 bytes)     el53lin5.jpg (4798 bytes)


  el53h.jpg (5761 bytes)     el53d.JPG (6611 bytes)     el53i.JPG (8462 bytes)

  El53clr1.jpg (8115 bytes)     el53e.JPG (11942 bytes)
These views are from the individual Eldorado folder

The Eldorado was fitted with wire wheels;
wire wheel discs were available to dress up the other models in the range

El53drg.jpg (8352 bytes)
This artist's impression is from the cover of a rare Eldorado folder
[ possibly the press portolio ]


Some exceptional Survivors






Styling Details and Misc.


Four 1953 models on display in an unidentified showroom

53dash.JPG (11674 bytes)     53dash2.JPG (6329 bytes) 

53elcap.jpg (4265 bytes)     engn53.JPG (6542 bytes)    
Left: center wheel cap for Eldorado wire wheel




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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image:  1953 Dagmar bumper impact guard ]