[last update: 05.26.2020] ]
The 1953 Cadillac Eldorado
|1953 Eldorado Special Sport Convertible - Facts page|
|Miscellaneous page and description of survivors|
|Tabular roster of survivors|
Numerical List of Survivors
Identified surviving cars, as of 10/29/2012 are 1921 out of 532 cars built. i.e. 36.1%2 of the total production
002, 003, 004, 006, 007, 008, 009, 014, 019, 021, 025, 033, 036, 037, 039, 040, 043, 044, 046, 047, 049, 050, 053, 055, 057, 057, 062, 063, 064, 066, 068, 074, 075, 079, 080, 081, 084, 086, 087, 089, 093, 094, 095, 097, 099, 107, 113, 120, 123, 139, 145, 147, 148, 152, 153, 155, 156, 159, 165, 166, 173, 174, 177, 179, 183, 187, 188, 189, 191, 195, 203, 208, 210, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227, 231, 235, 238, 241, 243, 245, 246, 248, 252, 255, 256, 257, 258, 261, 263, 264, 266, 268, 269, 271, 272, 281, 283, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 296, 297, 302, 303, 304, 309, 311, 312, 313, 314, 318, 319, 323, 324, 327, 328, 329, 330, 337, 341, 342, 344, 345, 348, 349, 350, 352, 355, 357, 360, 361, 362, 365, 368, 369, 373, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382, 389, 392, 393, 394, 395, 397, 399, 404, 407, 412, 416, 420, 430, 431 [??], 433, 435, 437, 444, 447, 448, 456, 476, 477, 483, 484, 486, 489, 493, 495, 500, 502, 505, 506, 512, 513, 518, 519, 522, 524, 529, 533
1 In 2/2005, Matt Larson had a confirmed count of 165 cars (up from 138 in August, 2003); some are not listed here to respect their owners' wish to remain anonymous;
2 Although I am confident that more 1953 Eldorado survivors will be found in the coming months/years, the initial survey reveals a relatively low survival rate compared to the equally rare - if more costly - first generation Eldorado Brougham models built just
4 and 5 years later; in October 2010, almost 64% of the latter had been positively identified as survivors.
Mano Forsman of Sweden sent me an encouraging e-Mail in January 2001, complimenting me, inter alia, for the work done in The (new) Cadillac Database© section devoted to the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. I had thought for a long time of devoting a page to the 1953 Eldorado models; Mano's e-Mail was instrumental in getting it off the ground. It was Mano who supplied the details of many '53 Eldorados currently in Scandinavia. He should be an inspiration to all owners or potential owners of a 1953 Eldorado, or any older Cadillac for that matter. Many of us would balk at the idea of attempting to restore a car that had become so deteriorated as his [photo below, car #241].
Like the bespoke Eldorado Brougham models of 1957-1960, the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado was a costly (for the time), limited production model. Only 532 units were built, even though the highest Eldorado body number is 533; one body number was not used. Mikael Nilsson of Sweden [car #506], read in a magazine article published in Sweden that although a car with body #533 did exist, the total still came to only 532 units. According to the Swedish story, the numbering of the 1953 Eldorado models began with #2. This is incorrect; Matt Larson confirms that numbering did begin with car #1.
BTW, this page was first put on line in 2001 but [unlike the pages devoted to the Eldorado Brougham models of 1957-60] does not seem to garner much support from current owners. Perhaps few of them have an Internet connection or even know about this, The (new) Cadillac Database.
Anyway, Matt Larson has agreed to share with Database users his excellent research work that has been featured already in the CLC Self-Starter (August, 2003). In that same issue, Fredus (Pete) Peters has seven pages of information and photos of the 1953 Eldorado for your reading and viewing pleasure.
The name Eldorado comes from the Spanish words el dorado, the "gilded one". It was applied in ancient times to the chief or cacique of a South American Indian tribe. According to a legend handed down from the Spanish conquistadores, the chief's followers would sprinkle his body with gold dust on ceremonial occasions, then he would wash it off by plunging into the cool waters of a mountain lake, high in the Andes chain.
The name usually is associated also with a mythical (?) land of fabulous riches, believed to be somewhere in S. America. The quest for it inspired many European expeditions, including one to the Orinoco river by Sir Walter Raleigh [1552-1618], the man who fought with Sir Francis Drake and defeated the Spanish Armada [the fleet sent against England by Philip II of Spain in 1588 AD].
Considering the amount of gold booty stolen from the Indians by Spain's Francisco Pizzarro [1475-1541] who conquered Peru in 1530, it is highly possible that he and his band of 180 followers found and plundered more than one such el dorado on their pillaging conquest of the Inca lands.
The Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors selected the name for a special convertible show car built in 1952 to celebrate the company's Golden Anniversary. That name was suggested in an in-house competition by Mary-Ann Zukosky, a secretary in the merchandising department. The company later adopted it for the limited-production Eldorado convertible built in limited numbers the following year. It made its official debut on September 20, 1952.
Under the banner heading The Cadillac El Dorado1 - Most Exciting Car Ever Built, copy writers for the annual Cadillac Data Book for 1953 spread a resounding message about the new car around the vast network of Cadillac dealerships. Illustrated in the four pages devoted to the new model are a RH ¾ front view, the rear fins from the rear RH side, a full LH side view, the dash panel and rear seats [I have added some comments of my own in square brackets and in color -like this].
For 1953, Cadillac proudly presents the classic new Cadillac El Dorado. Its rugged chassis offers superb riding characteristics, better roadability, greater comfort, easier handling and more safety features than ever before offered in one American open type car. What's more, it is powered by the great new Cadillac 210-horsepower engine. Add to this combination the fact that Cadillac stylists have created a special convertible body that sets a new pace in seating room, style and beauty ...and the result is the exciting new El Dorado.
Into this new El Dorado, Cadillac engineers and stylists have combined the features most desirable in a sports car [?!?! - the exclamation marks are for our British and Italian readers who have a different view of what constitutes a "sports car", Hydra-Matic transmission NOT being one of them]. It has a wide over-all width [sic] (80 1/8 inches), a low, road-hugging silhouette (58 1/8 inches), comfortable seating for six passengers [in a "sports car"], and ample room for luggage. The El Dorado meets the full needs of an American sports car [?!?! again, my exclamation marks !]. Body surfaces in the Cadillac El Dorado are accentuated in subtly rounded shapes and curves. The long hood, low doors, the top and the rear deck lid are carefully proportioned to emphasize the sports car [?!?!] flavor. The durable, disappearing top is lined with a layer of rubber to assure a waterproof interior, and is available in WHITE or BLACK. When the top is folded down, it is concealed by a metal cover in the rear deck to give a smooth, flush appearance. the cover for the disappearing top matches the car color.
This illustration [the LH side view] shows the long, sweeping lines of the El Dorado. Note the full, wrap-around windshield ... the smooth fin-like fenders ... the gently sloped hood ... the wire wheels ... the low-cut doors. All give an added appearance of speed and comfort.
Interior trims are available in three solid tones of leather - RED, BLUE and BLACK, and in three two-tone leather combinations - BLUE and WHITE, RED and WHITE, and BLACK and WHITE. Any one of the interior choices may be had with any one of the twelve standard 1953 exterior colors2 or with four new colors exclusive to the El Dorado3.
The El Dorado instrument panel features a plastic Royalite, anti-glare cover that keeps annoying instrument reflections off the windshield. It is color-matched to interior trim. The instrument cluster and control knobs are of chrome finish. Other features are a new El Dorado steering wheel with plastic leather [anybody know what is "plastic leather"? - Vinyl, I guess] hand grips ... smart new clock ... deep glove box.
El Dorado interiors are smartly tailored in genuine leathers. The front compartment seat, seat-back inserts and a portion of the leather door panel are finished in ¾-inch saddle-stitched pipes. Hip room in front is over 63 inches. The rear compartment is similarly fashioned in leather. It features wide side armrests ... generous-sized recess in the front-seat backs for exceptional leg room ... and 51 inches of hip room [one whole foot less than up front!]. Genuine leather seat bolsters ... chrome garnish moldings and door hardware add a final touch of elegance and quality.
The following equipment is furnished standard on the El Dorado: Heater, Radio, Windshield Washer, Oil Filter, Power Steering, Wire Wheels, White Wall Tires and [a single?] License Frame.
1 The text refers frequently to "the" El Dorado, which is an erroneous doubling up of the Spanish pronoun "el", meaning "the"; it's like saying THE THE Dorado. Many (including me) often make the same mistake when referring to "the" Le Sabre, "the" Le Mans, "the" El Camino, "the" La Espada or Hess and Eisenhardt's late seventies-early eighties "the" Le Cabriolet. On the other hand, it is correct to say "the" Eldorado [spelled out as a single word]; in that case, "the" becomes a function word placed before a proper, well-known name, like "the" King [Elvis Presley] or "the" Mayflower [the sailing ship that brought the Pilgrims to our shores].
2 Eleven of the standard 1953 colors were actually used. These were: code #1, black, #2 Cobalt blue metallic [a very dark or midnight blue], #3 Forest green metallic [a very dark green], #4 Emerald green metallic [a lighter, bottle green], #5 Tunis blue metallic [a medium gray-blue], #6 Phoenix beige metallic [a medium gray-beige], #7 Pastoral blue [a very pale baby blue], #8 Norman gray metallic [a very dark, anthracite gray], #10 Court gray [a very light gray] and #12 Crystal green metallic [a light turquoise green]. None were done in Gloss green [a very light pastel gray-green], code #13.
3 These were: code #22 Artisan ochre [a pale yellow], #27 Alpine white, #28 Azure blue [medium sky blue] and #29 Aztec red [a bright vermilion]
What's to see, here?
I hope to gradually build up a comprehensive roster of surviving 1953 Eldorado models. For this, I must count on users of this resource who either possess a surviving 1953 Eldorado or who know the location of one or more of them to contact me so that, together, we may build up this lasting record of these rare and desirable cars. If possible, always send the car's body number to try to avoid duplicate entries.
And now for some pictures of the cars themselves.
Mano's car really should be first on the list but now I decided to show them [more logically] in numerical sequence, so his car has dropped down to position "241". Hope you don't mind, Mano! BTW, take courage! There are cars out there in much worse condition than yours. Look at these two!
But first some various factory photos
Some factory-issued merchandising literature
To my knowledge, only three pieces of merchandising material were issued to the general public in 1953 describing that year's new Cadillac models; only two of these mentioned the costly new Eldorado model. The first piece was a full-color, single-sided folder from which are drawn the illustrations below. The other was also a full-color, so-called dealer "mailer" entitled Start of a Wonderful Journey (also illustrated below).
A famous 1953 Eldorado
And now, the known survivors
But first, a word about 1953 Eldorado production figures. I got this message [in January 2001] from '53 Eldorado fan, Dave Ventresca. He said: Just a quick note to let you know I really enjoy your Cadillac Database website. Last night I just logged on to your new 53 Eldo page. I just have one correction so far: the correct count of cars built is 533, not 532 as is so often mentioned. There is irrefutable evidence that #533 is alive and well and sitting in Michigan or Wisconsin. There was an article in a Cadillac newsletter several years back that contained a Xerox copy of the data plate. As I am a 25-year member of the southern California Cadillac La Salle club, and have owned many Cads, I consider myself one of numerous experts on the 53 Eldo. I have body # 337, a body off restoration, so you can imagine that I really enjoyed that page. When I buy a digital camera, I will send you a picture of my Artisan Ochre with red interior Eldo. Keep up the great work!
Well, it turns out that Dave is both right ...and wrong! True, there is a 1953 Eldorado with body number 533; it is currently  located in Florida. However, only 532 cars were actually built; the reason for the discrepancy is that one body number was never used.
Anyway, thanks for the information, Dave; it's always a pleasure to have contacts with other aficionados, especially those who have something constructive to bring to the hobby, in general, and to The Cadillac Database© in particular.
Interestingly, more than half of the surviving 1953 Eldorado models listed here are currently  located outside the USA; some are in Canada (these did not have too far to travel) but the vast majority of them are located in Scandinavia (Sweden, to be precise). The climate in that country does not really lend itself to the enjoyment of convertible automobiles ...but those Swedes are a hardy race! Hej !
Car #1 is not known to have survived. Factory records show this car to have been in company use. Painted Artisan Ochre (yellow), it was displayed at that year's Auto Shows.
Car #2 is the one used in President Eisenhower's inaugural parade. The engine number was listed as #5362-08900. Matt Larson mentions three sheets in the factory records for this car. The first one shows it as Cars in Company Use and says Condition for Inaugural parade; the car was shipped to Capitol Cadillac Olds Co., Washington, DC. The second sheet is a factory Return For Credit notice; the block labeled Reason for return says Show Car. The third sheet is the amended record to fill a New York order, shipping the car to New York City on 8/26/53. This car was reportedly sold for $103,000 at a BJ auction in 1988 [lot #963]. Color was white. Late extra [5/2008]: There exits a short, home movie of Ike's inaugural parade. I heard about it from Cadillac aficionado, Frank Schmidt; he wrote: Roderick Cox of Bethesda, MD, took the home movie. He was a school teacher at the Friends School, a private school in Wash. DC (still operating). He is since deceased. By the way, he grew up near Detroit and his dad worked for a bearing company there. Salesman to the auto companies. Rod went to the University of Michigan and was on a football team with Gerald Ford, later president of the U.S. Rod was on the track team too and won the National Hammer throw championship in the early '30s. Hopefully, Frank or his brother will upload a digital version of that home movie on You Tube and I will put a link to that site here in due course.
This could be Eldorado #1 or #2
The license tag on this factory photo reads
"Cadillac El Dorado" (in two words)
Car #3 is believed to have survived. This came from Darrel Drennan, a Cadillac Database visitor, in February, 2003: I have read your information as it pertains to the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado. My grandfather was a Cadillac dealer at one time and in 1953 sold a 1953 Eldorado to a local couple. About about 25 years later, he bought it back from the widow of this couple. He had it restored a little. It was painted, new interior, wheels & bumpers re-chromed. My grandfather has passed away and now my father has the car. It has about 100k on the engine which has never been rebuilt. It runs pretty good, but I think the transmission slips a little. I don't live in the same town as my father so I am doing this by memory. I was going through your database and pictures of the Eldorados that had the number of when each car was built, #1, #9, and so on. By looking at the body plate for car #241, I think my father has car #3. Again, I am doing this from memory, but I think I am correct. It's white with a black top (new), and a red & white interior. Matt Larson contacted Darrel and told him where to look for the VIN and body tag information for car #3; he did not receive a response.
Car #4 [NEW, 2/2005] was a GM show car in 1953; owned by the late Noel Thompson in the nineties, the car has since been exported; the current owner and location are not known at this time .
Car #6 [NEW, 2/2005] was the GM Motorama show car; it was last heard of in Brazil, in 1992. Rafael F. de Castilho from Brazil wrote: Thank you for the huge contribution you're making to our hobby and this great marque we love so much. I noticed that you're tracking surviving '53 Eldorados. There is only one known in my country (Brazil). It belongs to CLC member Luiz Gil Leão Filho. It was recently restored; originally Azure Blue, now it is beige with black top and seats.
Car #7 [NEW, 2/2005] was last known to be in Nevada, in 1992; it was painted black.
Car #8 [NEW, 2/2005] was located in Southwestern USA in 2003; its current whereabouts are not known.
Car #9 was offered for sale at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 1996 [lot #735 - venue not specified]. It was bid up to $47,500 but apparently was not sold. White in color, the VIN is #5362-17781. It was described as a great driver and show car. In 1994 it was in a prominent Midwest collection.
Car #14 [NEW, 10/2012 - info from Marc Tuwiner] Marc got it with #399. Both cars are currently (10/2012) being restored to 100-point status. Originally Artisan Ochre, Marc intends to keep the original body color but will convert the upholstery to red instead of the original black.
Car #19 was for sale in Las Vegas. It is still factory red and is about 70 % restored after being in storage for the last 20 years. This tip from Quentin Hall, a '53 Eldo owner and sleuth in Australia. Late extra [09/2005] : the car was seen for sale again en eBay in August and October, 2005. Vendor provided a detailed history and current condition, saying that well-restored examples currently fetch $250,000 !!! The car looks good in the photos but obviously needs a LOT of work (brakes, hydraulics). It has not been driven in 20 years or more and is partly disassembled. Amusingly, vendor says the upholstery was done over with some of the finest hydes [hides?] of the naugh, suggesting that the "naugh" might be some kind of exotic mammal. In fact, the material used is ordinary vinyl impregnated cloth, known generically as "naughahyde". Bidding reached over $40K but the reserve was not met. Vendor gave a "Buy-it-Now" price of $65K.
[ Photos: eBay Web site ]
Car #21 [NEW, 2/2005] is currently  in the NY area; it has an all white interior.
Car #25 [NEW, 1/2009] has been offered for sale on Ebay, with car #430 (below); both are in very poor condition; this one has a "Buy-it-Now" price of $45K. Matt Larson has had these two cars on record since 1992. He commented: Car #25 and #430 have been on my survivor list since 1992 when they were located in a junk yard in Utica, NY and listed as "parts cars" by the late Gerry Peukert. In December 2004, #430 was for sale as a "disassembled car" in Chicago. Late extra [11/2007]: Car #25 possibly now resides in Brazil, as do possibly Car #214 and Car #430 [info from CLC member, Bob Hoffman on the Club Forum, Jan. 2010].
Car #25 or 430
It pains me to put up photos of such "basket case" Eldorados but, hey,
smeone may actually breathe life back into one or both these cars one day
[ Photos: Internet ]
Car #33 [NEW, 12/2004] was located by Swedish enthusiast Philippe Van Assche (Car #738). This one is Azure blue with red & white trim (which may have been previously solid red). The windshield and pot metal are excellent; the engine and transmission don't have matching numbers. This is an Arizona car; it is 100% complete; there are small areas of rust in the floor pans. Currently the car belongs to Stewart Homan ("Dream Cars"), in England, and is undergoing restoration. Late extra [11/2007]: the car is reported to be for sale [info from Jan-Willem Halsema of the Netherlands].
[ Photos: © and courtesy Philippe Van Assche ]
Car #39 [NEW, 2/2005] was formerly owned by the late H.E. MacLaughlin of Florida. He was a long-time Eldorado and Eldo data collector. The car is currently  Azure Blue with a blue interior.
Car #40 [VIN #35467] was sold recently to a collector in Texas for six figures (tip and photos from Aussie enthusiast Quentin Hall). Swedish Eldorado sleuth, Jerry Jansson, though this might be car #65 because the VIN falls between car #64 and car #66. In fact Matt Larson knows the car well. It was for sale in July 2004 by Heritage Classics in Hollywood for $128,500. At that time it was restored to the present condition and acquired by Wayne Davis of Davis Oldsmobile Co., Fort Worth, TX. Matt reminds Database users that body numbers are by no means in ascending order of VIN. The car is correct, but for the white top that was originally black. Latest [4/2008]: The car is being auctioned again by the RM Auction group on April 19, 2008.
Car #43 was previously shown in error as belonging to Sr. Luís Noé Arredondo, of Mexico [see car #46, below]. In fact the car is properly titled in the USA and has belonged to a collector in north-eastern USA since 1984 [see also car #46, below]. Late Extra [3/2006]: according to Belgian enthusiast, Dirk Van Dorst, this car was on display at Hershey in October, 2005. He got some photos.
[ photos to come ]
Car #46 Was erroneously identified as #43 [this correction was received from enthusiast Philippe Van Assche, our '53 Eldorado investigator in Sweden]. Sr. Arredondo had first contacted me in December 2000, saying his car is white with red leather trim. Luís lives in Guadalajará, Mexico. He said: por el momento no tengo ninguna foto buena del auto, este está en perfectas condiciones de restauración, nos ha llevado 17 años reconstruírlo [...] Prometo enviar fotos pronto y los felicitó por el exelente trabájo que hacen con su pagina, me sentiré muy orgulloso si me ponen en ella [translation: right now I don't have any nice photos of the car; it is in perfectly restored condition; it took us 17 years to rebuild the car; I promise to send photos soon and I congratulate you for the excellent work you are doing on your page; I would be very proud to be listed]. He says he knows of three other '53 Eldorados in Mexico City; he will try to provide more details about them. In a subsequent communication to Philippe [thanks to whom many cars in this roster were located], Luís wrote: Perdón por la tardanza en contestar pero no tenía ni las fotos ni los datos. Pero aquí hay algunas fotos del auto en el estado de reconstrucción que se encuentra y el número de serie 53-6267SX, motor número 536233304 y el número del auto es el 046; espero que les sirva de algo y estamos en contacto [translation: sorry for the delay in answering you, but neither the photos nor the data were available; however, I now enclose some pictures of the car during restoration; the series number is 53-6267SX, engine #536233304, body #046; I hope this is of use to you; let's keep in touch].
Car #47 [NEW, 2/2005] was located in the Midwest in 203.
Car #50 [NEW, 12/2004] is a red one with red and white leather trim. It was owned many years ago by collector-enthusiasts John and Irene Linhardt of New York [now (2005) residing in Florida but preparing to move to Georgia]. It found its way to France where it was owned by Alain-Dominique Perrin, CEO of Cartier, Paris. It was offered for sale at auction (in Paris) in December, 2004. Late extra [3/2006]: our "man in Scandinavia", Jerry Jansson, saw the car advertised for sale in Norway for circa $100K. You may still be able to see it on this site.
Car #55 [NEW, 2/2005] is a California survivor; it is now painted Alpine White.
Car #56 [NEW, 10/2005] has survived; it was offered for sale on eBay in October, 2010 (this was brought to my attention by a Mexican aficinado and friend of mine). The vendor said: It is very unlikely that you will find a factory red car in this condition, it speaks for itself! The '53 here had a frame-off in 2003. We recently went over the whole car and also put on a new correct top. It was offered for sale with a starting bid of $250,000!
Car #57 [NEW, 2/2005] is also a California car; it is mostly original and sports a Continental kit.
Car #62 [NEW, 2/2005] was offered for sale in Hemmings, in 2000; located at the time in Arizona, this one had a Continental kit and was offered for $33K, with a CDV parts car.
Car #64 is a black one (?), on exhibit at the Deer Park Winery and Auto Museum collection north of San Diego, CA. It is featured on p.20 of the book Cadillac Eldorado by James W. Howell and Jeanna Swanson Howell, published by Motorbooks International of Osceola, WI, in 1994 [ISBN #0-87938-879-X].
Car #66 [NEW, 2/2005] was a California car; it is now  located in the Eastern USA.
Car #74 was offered for sale for $7,000 (!) in the Self Starter in the seventies. It was blue with an after-market Continental kit. I wonder where it is today?
[ Photo: © and courtesy Jerry Jannson ]
Car #75 (NEW, 10/2012) resides in Brazil, according to Marc Tuwiner (10/2012); 3-4 other 1953 Eldorado models reside there too. #75 was brought to my attention, later, by Marcus Conte of Brazil who has done a great job of restoring the car to its former splendor.
[ All photo: © 2012 and courtesy Marcus Conte ]
Car #80 [NEW, 2/2005] was sold to a French buyer circa 1995; this car has dealer-installed A/C, with outside air intakes; it features also non-original stainless steel trim from a 1953 Series 60 Special as well as 60S hash marks on the rear fenders and chevrons under the tail-lights used only on "Series 62" Cadillacs of 1948. Late Extra 2/2009: The owner has been identified as the late Robert Keyaerts, a Belgian industrialist, the car is on display in the Museum named after him, in Langeais near Tours (France), that was founded and is operated privately by his daughters, Magali and Genevieve. Information supplied kindly by CLC member, Rod Dahlgren, former owner of #225; he wrote: I was just looking for some interior detail photos of a 53 Eldorado and saw your website. I can add to your information a little. Car #80 is in the Keyaerts sisters museum in France. I have many photos of that car that I took while visiting them a few years ago. Since I was beginning a restoration of car #225, the Keyaerts sisters Magali and Geneviève gave me full access to their car for me to photograph as I wanted.
Left: The car as shown on the museum's advertising poster;
it came originally from New Jersey - tag #746 YWF]
Right: cell phone snapshot from museum visitor, Rod Dahlgren
[ Image, left: © 1992, courtesy Magali & Genevieve Keyaerts ]
Car #84 was advertised in for sale in Hemmings Motor News in the Fall of 2003. It was brought to my attention kindly by Jerry Jansson of Sweden (who is helping also to build up the Eldorado Brougham database). The vendor said: This may be the last available 100% complete, rust-free, number matching California 1953 Eldorado convertible; it needs easy cosmetics. The phone number was given as 916-989-3191, FAIR OAKS CA. Late extra (5/2005): this one has been acquired by Mikael Måtensson from Sweden. Mike has also #297, below. He says it had been garaged since 1965 and is one of the best, untouched ones to be found. It is a good running car and is totally rust-free.
Car #86 is featured in the CLC's Self Starter magazine for August, 2003; it belongs to CLC member Gerald MacPherson who resides in Bangkok, Thailand. The VIN is #5362-42833; this car reportedly was sold for $75,000 at a BJ auction in 1992 [as lot #1003]. The color is white.
Car #87 with VIN # 5362-43652 was acquired by Ross Morgan of Perth, Australia. He provided the following story about it: Car 87 was the Hero Car in the 2009 movie “My One and Only”. Sold new to Grand Rapids, Michigan, shipped April 30th 1953. Paint is Azure blue (but lightened for “My One and Only” movie to match a color palette) and was optioned with E-Z Eye glass and Antifreeze. I purchased it from a pilot (lady) from Hampshire, Illinois early 2008. Soon after, it was contracted to The Herrick Company for use as the “Hero Car” in the 2009 movie “My One and Only” staring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, Logan Lerman and Chris Noth. This car was used in all but one scene (because of overheating – the backup car had to be used in the Greyhound bus scene). It was used for some 15 scenes - Renee & Logan sharing the driving. It culminated in a wonderful experience when we drove the Eldorado in Manhattan, NYC to the movie premiere on Aug 18, 2009. Afterwards, the production company gave me the license plates (used on my car in the movie). The Eldorado was shipped to Australia and needed some restoration work including engine and transmission rebuild. The car is one of the most comfortable cars I’ve ever driven and a real pleasure to cruise around in. We drove this car to the very successful 2014 Cadillac LaSalle Club of Australia Nationals in Busselton Western Australia (April 2014). BTW, all 1953 Eldorados came standard with the sporty Kelsey wire wheels; it was the movie company that wanted the car to be fitted with regular 1953 Cadillac wheel discs.
Ross arrives in Manhattan, NYC, aboard Car #87, to attend the movie premiere there on Aug 18, 2009
In this B&W shot was taken on the movie set in Baltimore, Ross is at the wheel; his two daughters, dressed in period attire, occupy the rear seat
Space constraints prevent the Club from showing off these
large, high-definition images in full-sized color splendor
Car #89 with VIN # 5362-44493 reportedly was sold for a reported $85,000 at a BJ auction in 1994 [lot #662]. Color was white.
Car #93 was offered for sale on eBay in September, 2004. There was no sale. An Ontario (Canada) car, it was originally black on black, it is currently being painted red.
Car #95 was "discovered" in Hemmings by my Swedish buddy, Jerry Jansson. This California car is described as a 100% complete, rust-free, 78,000-mile car that will be "an easy restoration".
Car #97 [NEW: 5/2004] : Enthusiast Jerry Jansson spied this message in the guest book of the owner of car #326 (below): From: JOE MARCHIONE (JMCARSOO@webtv.com/color>), Date: 15.4.2004, Subject: 53 caddy eldo : I have owned 4 Eldorados in the last 20 years; my car is #97 and is getting a total frame off restoration. I hope to have it done this year; the color will be azure blue with dark blue and white interior; I will keep you up-to-date as the car completes its 5-year restoration. The car was originally Alpine White, with red leather and a black top.
Car #99 with VIN # 5362-43382 reportedly achieved a high bid of $80,000 at a BJ auction in 1992 [lot #695]. Color was yellow.
Car #107 [NEW, 12/2006] has found a new home in Louisiana. Matt Larson offered the buyer some help and was able to authenticate the car. It is an original, red car; it was recently acquired by Brady Como from the owner who had performed a frame off restoration, begun in 1984. The car is in # 1 condition and is a numbers matching car, including the transmission It is a real Eldo complete with red interior and black top.
Car #120 is owned [1/2001] by Christer Hansson, Lödöse, Sweden. This car was sold first in Canada (Calgary, Alberta). Christer bought it in 1999, when it arrived in Sweden for the first time. Originally Alpine White, it has been restored and currently is painted Artisan Ochre [yellow]. I believe this one is for sale (2005)
Car # 139 [this from enthusiast Philippe Van Assche in Sweden]: the car is located in the UK and is for sale; the reported (but unconfirmed) mileage is 14K. Described by the owner as a strong #2 needing minor detailing; the car is said to have been restored in California about 20 years ago. It has been stored and maintained in Monaco and has the six wire wheels.
Car # 148 [according to the engine number (5362-69173), this is car #287 - Matt Larson will seek clarification from the owner - Philippe Van Assche gives the engine #536255622, as shown in the tabular record]. This fine example belonged for many years to Robyn McCombe of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; it was bid to $52,000 at a BJ auction in 2000 [lot #708]. Here is what Robyn wrote to me: My 1953 Cadillac Eldorado was fully restored, with a complete frame off restoration. It was bought by the president of CJOB 68 AM radio in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada in 1953. I was the fourth owner and owned it for about three years. The car is in immaculate condition and currently resides in Greenwich, CT [Robyn sold it to Malcolm Pray in 2001]. Colors are Alpine white with a red and white interior; it has a white vinyl top. Only 29 Eldos were ordered and delivered with dealer-installed Continental kits; this is one of them, which makes the car rarer than most. Because these factory-ordered kits were supplied by different accessory houses, not all of them are the same. Others owners/restorers also have added because they liked the look of them. Robyn has acquired two more 1953 Eldorados that he plans to fully restore (#246 and #365 - see below). Late Extra (5/2005): this car (or one purported to have the same engine number 5362-55622, was offered for sale at auction on eBay by the San Diego Collection of Vintage Cars; it does NOT have a continental kit! Bidding rose quickly from $10,000 (opening bid) to $81,000. There was shown a "Buy-it-Now" price of $125.000. "Later" Extra (1/2006):The car was bid up to $115,000 at a Kruse auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Even later (3/2006) [???]: I saw this car for sale on Internet, apparently by the Imperial Palace collection in Las Vegas, with this description: 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible ID# 7J1002276 [???] The Eldorado was first introduced into the public in 1953 in limited production; only 532 were built. This particular car is number 148. The Eldorado factory list price was $7,750.00 which was more then the cost of an average home; it was America's most expensive car. Powered by its original 331 V-8 and Automatic Transmission, it is in excellent driving condition. All components and instruments work properly, power equipment includes power steering, power brakes, power seats, power windows and a power top. The 1953 Eldorado is one of the most elegant American cars ever built. http://www.theautocollections.com/index.cfm?key=1542&action=details&tab=inventory is the address of the Imperial Palace Web site. Latest (2009/2010?): "The Auto Collections" (Imperial Palace) list the car as having been sold.
Car #155 will soon be for sale [12/2004]. Our '53 Eldorado detective in Sweden, Philippe Van Assche spoke with the owner in July 2002 who says he got the car from the estate of John Miller. The car is Alpine white, with red & white trim and black top.
Car #156 [NEW, 11/2005] was offered for sale on EBay in November, 2005 (item 4593558717] with a starting price of $55,000. Late extra [Summer, 2010]: the car has been fiully restored and repainted to white; advertised in the Club's Self Starter magazine, the asking price is now $275,000!
VIN 5362-54818 for sale on EBay, Nov. 2005
[ thecar is located near Boston, MA ]
Car #173 was formerly owned by Cadillac Dealer, Dave Towell of Akron, OH. Enthusiast George McVey bought it from Dave in 1980 and sold it again in late 2003. The photos I took of the car in Dave Towell's premises, back in June 1978, show it with saber-spoke wheels and stainless steel (Fleetwood) lower fender trim. Matt Larson says that at least four 1953 Eldorados got the same fender treatment; he adds that saber wheels were seen also on many '53 Eldorados, after these wheels became available, starting in 1955. Like most of Dave's cars, this one carried his personalized "DT" license tags, this being number 11 in the collection. I wonder where it is today ? Late Extra [Nov. 2010]: the car is currently located in California. The new owner, Todd Todd, kindly sent me the photo of the restored car. What a beauty
Car #174 [NEW, 10/2005] was exported to France in the early eighties, according to '53 Eldorado enthusiast, John Linhardt, with whom I had a long phone chat in October, 2005. John has had many of these Eldorados and has recently sent Matt Larson all the details. I shall be incorporating them on this page in due course.
Car #179 is currently [2/2002] in Germany; it is maroon (a non-original color). Thanks for the tip, Andreas!
Car #187 with VIN # 5362-59395 reportedly was for sale at a BJ auction in 1993 [lot #675]. Color was red. Results of bidding (if any) not listed.
Car #188 [NEW, 12/2005] offered for sale at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction venue in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2006 [lot #1051]. Described thus [I give it to you in extenso]: The '53 the Eldorado Convertible was a very expensive Luxury automobile as the listing price was $7,750. A quite rare and sought after automobile as there were only 532 Eldorado convertibles built for 1953. The featured cllassic is #188/532 as documented on the cowl tag. Numered rare cars are in high demand and short supply. The car was purchased as an actual mile car. The odometer reads: 53,587 although being sold as "mileage exempt." One must really consider over the past 52 years how many have disappeared for various reasons: rusted out, wrecked, destroyed etc.. The rule of thumb would be that only 10 - 20% exist today and how many become available for purchase... This fine automobile is equipped nicely: 331 c.i. V8 with 210 horsepower, power steering for ease of driving, power windows, original AM radio, hydra-matic transmission, power top the fabric replaced with the German harts-cloth to add the perfect elegant touch, black and white leather interior compliment the jet black exterior finish, glass windshield washer jar and gold plated emblems. Opportunities to own this type of a rare piece of precious metal do not come every day. This fine Cadillac is a real investment that you can enjoy parading around. Own a real American icon. Late Extra [1/2006]: the car sold for $108,000 [this figure includes BJ's commission].
Car #203 survives, according to my friend Quentin Hall in Australia (car #433), Few details are currently available; the owner is "Larry" of East Coast Sheetmetal. The car is an unrestored original. It is red with a black interior. According to Q., it's a good, honest, rust-free survivor.
Car #212 is currently [2/2002] in Germany; it also is maroon. Thanks again, Andreas!
Car #213 is an Aztec red car that belongs to Helmut Koch from Horgen, Switzerland. It was reportedly restored in England at a cost of $ 600,000 (!!!). Mister Koch bought it in Switzerland from a dealer who usually specializes in European cars. Mister Koch is the organizer of the annual international Cadillac meet at Zurzach, he is NOT the president of the Swiss CLC nor of any other car club. Information for this entry was supplied, kindly, by Austrian enthusiast, Georg Pfeiffer.
Car #214 resides in Brazil, as does #75 (both confirmed by Marc Tuwiner, 10/2012) ... and as do possibly Car #25 and Car #430 (comment by CLC member, Bob Hoffman on the Club Forum, Jan. 2010).
[ Photos: © 2012 and courtesy Marcus Conte ]
I believe these 3 photos show the same car
Car #216 is currently [4/2001] reported in Southern California, where it is owned by Jerry Krumm of La Habra Heights. This information came all the way from Philippe Van Assche, in Sweden. Thanks Philippe. Come to think of it, I remember photographing this car at the CLC Grand National meet in Denver, CO, in August 2001. Late extra: The car was offered for sale in the Self Starter for October, 2001 and September 2002 ($75,000), and as of 2/2004, Jerry is still willing to sell his car. Latest [Feb. 2006]: one more 1953 Eldorado that has gone to Sweden (tip from Christer Hansson, car #120)
Car #222 has been fully restored and found a new buyer at the annual Kruse auction sale in Auburn, IN, in September 1999 (lot #652). Blue with matching blue and white interior it was bid up to $64,000
Car #223 resides in Belgium and is definitely not a trailer queen. Gert Verberk, her owner attends all the meets he possibly can ...even if the weather does not allow dropping the top. The car was previously owned by Ronald Schillage of San Jose, CA (venue of the 1999 Cadillac Grand National); at that time it sported the license tags "IFG-140"; it has been featured in a book (published in England, in 1989) showing that tag number. The car has a continental kit and a 45rpm record player in the glove box (info and photos supplied kindly by Belgian Cadillac enthusiast, Dirk Van Dorst).
Car #225 [NEW, 3/2009] Was formerly owned by CLC member Rod Dahlgren. He wrote: I was just looking for some interior detail photos of a 53 Eldorado and saw your website. I had car #225 in joint ownership with partners in Germany. It was secreted away during a nasty dispute; currently it is unfinished and with a new owner in Germany. I am about to sell that person all the remaining parts I still have for the car.
Car #227 was brought to my attention in 2002 by enthusiast, Philippe Van Assche in Sweden: Body # 227 VIN # 5362 64041, Trim # 35 (Black) Paint # 22 (Artisan ochre) Top # 4 (Black) Location: California. This car was bought new in San Diego California. It was a good running car in 2002 but needed a lot of restoration work. Lots of chrome work had been done already done. The interior needed seats and carpets; the side panels and dash were excellent and original. The car showed 62,000 miles on the odometer. Late Extra [8/2008]: Freshly and totally restoredcar took a Hello, my name is David Finlon from Atlanta Georgia with car #227. Thanks for showing our car, it has an incredible restoration and is very correct; we spent over $200,000 restoring it. Later [10/2008]: The car is adverized for sale on Ebay with a minimum starting bid of $300,000.
Car #231 is owned [1/2001] by Svein-Erik and Willy Mortensen from Tromsö, Norway. Svein wrote this: I live in Tromsö, Norway. In February 2000, my brother and I bought a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado from Svein Johansen from Reinoy, 130 miles from Tromsö. It had been standing for 12 years and we knew about it all that time. Svein had purchased it from Bjorn Selvik from Lillestrom who in turn had got it from Jerry Drescher, Tacoma, WA, in 1987. The odometer shows 61.000 miles. It is very rusty ...but not as bad as Mano Forsman's car! The exterior color is Artisan Ochre with white top and red/white interior.
Car #235 currently [7/2002] is in Sweden, owned by the same person who has car #79 (above). This car is also undergoing a frame-off restoration.
Car #238 is VIN 65536 with paint #28, trim #32 and top #4. It is owned by Harry J. Visco of Middletown, NJ [(732) 495 1156] . The car is restored in the original colors; the owner is still looking for a few parts.
[ Photos: courtesy Matt & Michaline Larson, 5/2006 ]
Car #241 belongs to Mano Forsman who inspired this page of the Cadillac Database [the VIN is #5362 65356]. It was first delivered to Chicago, IL ( he has a copy of the first truck shipping label from the factory). It spent some of its life in Florida. From there, about 10 years ago, it went back further north than Illinois, to Canada; that's where Mano bought it 10 months ago. As may be seen in the photo below, it needs a lot of work. Mano believes that when it is completed, his '53 Eldo will have undergone the mostly extensive restoration of any of them! All the metalwork will be done by Mano's son, Henric, a professional coach builder in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Late Extra (9/2007): Mano had a minor heart problem in 2007 and has had to give up restoring this one; also his son got married and now has a life of his own to lead. Mano sold the car to the owner of #243, below, who will continue where Mano left off. Thanks for saving this one, Mano. Take care of your health !
Car #243 [NEW, 2/2005] was originally an Ontario (Canada) car; it has a new windshield; it may be for sale with a coupe parts car from Texas. Latest [Feb. 2006]: one more 1953 Eldorado that has gone to Sweden (tip from Christer Hansson, car #120). The new owner is Jerry Långdahl (the son of Elving Långdahl, the previous owner of this one); he is the only man in Sweden (maybe even in Europe) to own three “Tripple Crowns” (all 3 exotic GM Motorama models).
Car #245 [NEW, 10/2005] was owned many years ago by collector-enthusiasts John and Irene Linhardt of New York [now (2005) residing in Florida but preparing to move to Georgia]. Its current whereabouts are not known.
Car #246 was acquired recently by Robyn McCombe of Winnipeg, Canada. It is painted Alpine White with an Azure Blue interior and a blue top. This car came from New York and Robyn has begun a complete frame-off restoration of it, to bring it back to show quality. In March 2002, he wrote: As you know I am currently doing a frame off on Car #246. So far we have taken apart every single part of the car. The frame has been sandblasted, and fully detailed. The body has been sandblasted, painted and put back on the frame. Now we are working on the body panels (doors, fenders, parade boot etc.) I have enclosed some progress pictures of the car. We are expecting it to be completed by Fall 2002. In 2001, Robyn sold another '53 Eldo (car #148, above).
Car #255 is owned [4/2001] by a Mr. V. Williams; it is Artisan ochre in color although it had once been repainted Aztec red. Mr. Williams pulled the car out of a chicken coop in Alabama, back in 1997. It is a little rusty in the middle (floor pans and rockers), however, it is all there and all original. It is unrestored and sits in a dedicated two car garage alongside his red 1959 Series 62 convertible. The owner is curious to know how many 53 Eldorados are in existence today; I hope this Internet page gradually will give him a reasonable idea. He would also like to know the best way to trace the history of his car, including the dealer who took delivery of it originally, as well of the name of the first titled owner. That, unfortunately, is almost impossible to find out.
Car #256 is a sassy, azure blue custom Eldorado [VIN #5362-66847]; it is quite well known. It was ordered by a wealthy industrialist in Wisconsin, Mr. John Alexander. Cadillac engineering boosted the engine to 300 HP with a Rootes-type 4-71 turbo-charger, twin 4-bbl carbs producing 300HP via a 2-way, functional header and exhaust. It is fitted with exposed exhaust pipes (a la Duesenberg), designed with cut-outs so they could be opened to draw attention to the special engine, or closed for quieter operation. The special engine is coupled to a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. It is further fitted with Borrani knpock-off wire wheels and 12-inch, cast-iron brake drums finned for improved cooling. The project was supervised by Cadillac's Chief Experimental Test Engineer at the time, Frank C. Burell. The car has knock-off, Borrani spoke-wheels in lieu of the regular Eldorado issue for that year. It recently  underwent a 4-year restoration; Art Chrisman did the engine work and the interior was done over by Jenkins Restorations, in NC. It was reportedly sold for $105,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 1997 [as lot #695]. Late Extra [8/2008]: Hello, my name is David Finlon from Atlanta Georgia with car #227. If you are interested in the location of #256, the special supercharged car, it belongs to a good friend of mine in Gainesville Georgia, named Milton Robson [of Playtime Auto Collection, Potomac, MD?]. Milton is a huge collector of many cars and has the finest display in Georgia. Later [11/2010]: The car was sold at an RM auction on 13th November 2010 for $385,000 (it was estimated to sell for between $450K and $650K). Later still [3/2013]: The car was on display at Amelia Island, SC, together with a handful of similar prototype Cadillacs. Latest : There may be a link to a YouTube video (I cannot guarantee that it will always work)
Car #258 with VIN # 5362-66948 reportedly was for sale at a BJ auction in 1993 [lot #457]. Color was black. This is said to be the one used by the Franklin Mint to create their replica in 1:16 scale.
Car #261 was located in 2004 by Swedish sleuth, Philippe Van Assche (car #378) who also sent the images, below. The car is painted Artisan Ochre and has black leather trim. It is a rust free California car with an excellent windshield and pot metal; passenger rear quarters are perfect, numbers match; front seat and steering wheel appear to be from a '53 Coupe de Ville and it is believed the car came like this from the factory (?). Currently the car belongs to Stewart Homan ("Dream Cars"), in England, and is undergoiong restoration. Late extra [11/2007]: the car is reported to be for sale [info from Jan-Willem Halsema of the Netherlands].
[ Photos: © and courtesy Philippe Van Assche ]
Car #263 [engine #5362-68032] is owned since 1982 by Dan McNamara of Merced, CA. He acquired it from classic car dealer Dale Johnson; the car is in #2 condition; it is a near-original, non-restored driver that was sold new in Los Angeles. The license tag reads 53 ELDO !
Car #281 [NEW, 10/2007] was reported by owner-enthusiast, Mano Forsman of Sweden, as having survived. The body tag shows: Trim 39, Paint 28 and Top 1. At the present time it is repainted white and has a black top. The car is located for the moment in
Germanybut will soon be going to the UK. The present owner purchased it two years ago. It is in very good condition with very good original interior, with some minor details missing. Mano is hoping to get us some pics for the survivors pages.
[ pics to come ]
Car #286 Seen for sale in Hemmings, May 1999, for $125K. Current owner unknown. These pics turned up on the Internet in 2007. Here is a nice looking survivor despite the body tag having been sprayed blue at the same time as the car.
Internet photos, 2007
Car #287 was reported sold as Lot #732 at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2002. I've seen two prices quoted for the same car: $87,500 and $94,500. It was reported to have a new interior by Jenkins of NC. The car was offered again for sale at the Barrett-Jackson venue, in Scottsdale, in January 2003. Makes you wonder if there is any truth in these grandiose auction sale results. So far as I can see, it is not unusual for the same cars to cross the block in Scottsdale a number of times in a row! I guess the purpose is to drive up the prices. Hemmings had it advertised again in June, 2003, for $110,000 ! Duh ! This is possibly also the car offered at auction by RM Classics in January, 2005 as Lot #071 [same color, same trim]. http://automotivewharehouse.com/10711953954119FL_1100_1072.dat.html A car very much like this one (red/red) was again offered for sale on the Internet in June, 2005: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4554538211 Is it this one ? The minimum bid was $90K; there were NO bidders. Late Extra [9/2005]: This just in from Eldorado "detective", Jerry Jansson of Sweden : GXM Auto Wholesalers sell government seizures. New Hummers that the goverment must sell are being auctioned off for as little as $50. Used car dealers are not legally allowed to bid on these cheap vehicles. [They have in abeyance] Drug Seized 1953 CADILLAC ELDORADO; THIS CAR IS NUMBER 287 OF 533 BUILT IN 1953. IT IS EQUIPPED WITH POWER WINDOWS, POWER SEAT, POWER TOP, BRAND NEW TIRES. The photos of this 1953 CADILLAC ELDORADO for sale can be seen here [Click for Pics of the drug seized 1953 CADILLAC ELDORADO]. EXTERIOR COLOR Aztec Red. INTERIOR COLOR Red/White. LOCATION Pompano Beach FL. PRICE $110000 Its always fun when the bad guys get it!!! But I suspect you have do be dealing some illegal substances to be able to afford these cars!
Car #288 is owned by CLC member Ronnie Branch; it has recently undergone a full restoration; the pics, below, speak for themselves! Formerly shown here were three photos of a red/red car It turns out that this was NOT car #288, which has been recently (May, 2008) the subject of an exchange of messages on the CLC Forum. Ronnie wrote: This car has never been red. I did see that in the Cadillac Database but they must have the pictures in the wrong spot. When I got this car 5 years ago it was an ugly purple with green interior. Now it has all blue interior; it has gone through a nut & bolt restoration and has taken us 5 years to get to this point. But we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It has all been worth it. It's been very expensive but, it's very beautiful. The photos of the (erroneous) red car have been moved to the section, below, showing surviving '53 Eldorados still requiring positive identification.
Car #289 is only partially restored; it was available for purchase in December, 2002 for around $46,000. For that kind of money, in my opinion a serious collector can find a very nice running car needing only minor detailing and cosmetic work to become a first prize-winner. From what I have read, this car is made up of bits and pieces of an original car with parts from a 1953 Coupe de Ville; the result will be a non authentic car. The current (2/2003) market value of a near-mint original 1953 Eldorado is in the region of $74,000 (Consumer Price Index value guide); the most fitting description for this one is a car that is "restorable but not operable"; it is "all there but presents a real challenge to the restorer." As such, according to the experts, its value is around $13,000-14,000 (still a lot of moolah, considering the physical condition of the vehicle and the fact that some excellent originals are currently available for $45,000-$50,000. The car was advertised again on e-Bay in February, 2003; you could "buy it now" for $28K. More information and photos available on this Web page. The photos below show the car as it was when offered for sale. In December 2004, our '53 Eldorado expert in Sweden, Philippe Van Assche, said the car was now in his country and would be restored in the coming years.
Car #296 [engine # 5362-70650] was brought to my attention in November 2001 by Philippe van Assche, of Sweden. He says it is a 20 year old restoration, still in good condition. The car is Azure blue (code #28), with matching blue and white interior (trim code #32) and a white top (code #1). The owner lives in Michigan, USA.
Motor City meet, 2004
Car #297 was imported to Switzerland in the early mid-eighties by the Oertli family [better known as Ertley, in the USA] who restored it from ground up but then painted it from white to a non-original color (Burgundy wine). He subsequently sold the car to a friend of mine, Daniel Von Aesch [not to be confused Philippe Van Assche - Car #378, below!]. Daniel kept it around twenty years and I used to see it frequently at meets of the Swiss Cadillac Club. In July 2003, he sold it to Mikael Måtensson from Sweden. Mikael says: The VIN is 536270524; Daniel owned it for more then 20 years. It´s a good rust-free car from California that was repainted in non original color (dark red metallic) have been white from the beginning; the interior was done in the same color, dark red and white; the car runs real fine and looks good; I will use it for a couple of years before doing anything to it. He kindly sent the pics below. Thanks, Mikael. Enjoy your "new" car. I told Mikael there probably are more nice, running '53 Eldorados in Sweden today than in any other country in the world ...including the USA !
Car #303 [NEW, 5/2005] was apparently exported to Mexico. I got this info from enthusiast Gary Hillman, in the UK, who got it from another enthusiast in Finland. The Finn wrote: Hi
. Sorry for my late answer. I have had a lot of problem with Internet in the last 4-5 weeks but finally now it works (I hope.) The caddy is still in the first owners family and the engine and tranny have been rebuilt since I put the ad in usabil.nu. The tranny was leaking oil so they rebuilt the gearbox and engine at the same time; it has only been in the car for 1-week now and runs great. Also the engine room has been rebuilt and re-painted. The extended rear fenders were done by a Cadillac dealer in the 50´s [custom job?] This car was in the Autorama motor show in Gary , in 1953! Detroit, Michigan
It was one of 3[Eldorado?] cars exported to
. This car is #303 of 535 [actually, only 532 cars were built]. The car was repainted a few years ago and the interior is new. Mexico
The chrome is good.. The price on the car is 85,000 USD. Best regards: Jari Savolainen.
One side window has a crack (easy to fix). I think there is a small crack on the front window on the passenger side.
The rear window is the small model. There were 2 different styles that year. No rust at all, ever. The car is located in
Late extra [Feb., 2008]: Matt Larson, CLC resident expert on the 1953 Eldorado models, has this corrected information about #303: Jari Savolainen is in error about the history and details of car #303. Other than the 17 cars that were sold into
Canada, only one car was exported when new; it went to GM Continental in . Car #303 could not have been in the Autorama motor show in Antwerp, Belgium , in 1953! The very first Autorama was put on by the Detroit, Michigan MichiganHot Rod Association at the University of Field House in January of 1953. Car #303 was built in July 1953 and shipped to Detroit on July 15. I do not have any way of determining by whom and when the car was taken into Los Angeles . The statement that: The rear window is the small model. There were 2 different styles that year. is misleading. There was only one style of rear window for the Eldorado. It is a small plastic window and does not have a zipper. Only the standard 1953 series 6267 convertible has the large zip down rear window. Mexico
Car #304 was located by Philippe Van Assche from Sweden [he owns Car #378, below]; the owner lives in the USA close to the Canadian border. This car was up for sale in April, 2002.
Car #309 [NEW, 12/2204] was located in 2004 by Swedish '53 Eldorado sleuth, Philippe Van Assche, owner of Car #378, below.
[ Photos: © and courtesy Philippe Van Assche ]
Car #312 is owned [1/2001] by Roland Bränd, of Bjursås, in Sweden. He bought it from Dale Johnsson of Turlock , CA, in Feb. 1980. It was in good driving condition; Roland restored the car doing all the work on his own. Excellent job! This one is in VERY beautiful condition [see photo below].
Car #313 is owned, since 1972, by Federico Duarte, of Mexico City, Mexico. The car is in concourse condition. His son, Jonhattan, says he knows of two other '53 Eldos in his city. Originally Aztec red, this car has been repainted white. The car may have been sold at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2005.
Car #314 was mentioned by Mano as being in England, owned by the Homan family; its VIN is #5362-72694]. He kindly supplied this info and the photos below that he got from Stewart Homan, the current owner: We found the car in Pittsburgh PA in the summer of 1986; the owner was a guy named John Magraw and he collected pre-war dual-cowl phaetons. He said that he bought the car from the original owner in 1960 and used it as a daily driver until 1968. During that time he bought all new chrome and accessories from the local Cadillac dealer. Later, he then parked the car, with 42.000 miles on the odometer, until 1982 when he carried out a mild restoration on it. He sold the car in early 1986 to a guy from northern California [that "guy" was Todd Todd; he identified himself to me in 2010] who flew in to Pittsburgh, drove the car as far as Chicago, where the transmission went bad; he called John Magraw and demanded his money back in full. When we saw the car it was at the transmission shop; we were trying to do deal with an English buyer but the car got sold to Jerry [Dr. Gerald] De Persio2, in Newport Beach, California. A year later, we were in southern California and saw a white 1953 Eldorado for sale. When we spoke to the owner (it turned out to be Jerry De Persio) it was the same guy. We asked Jerry if he would keep the car until we sold our 1959 Eldorado Biarritz. He agreed to this and about eight months later we finally got the car. In the meantime both Todd Todd and our original English buyer tried to acquire the car. We have done very little to it. We have put about 10.000 miles on it in 13 years, restored the wires and purchased a personalized license plate ("53 ELD"); this is a relatively cheap process anywhere in the world except in the UK where you may only get existing numbers issued by the motoring authorities. Our plate cost us around $ 4.000 ! This is the car on the cover of the book "California Classics"; it was used as "Spice Girl" Mel B's wedding car. Best regards, Stewart.
2 Stewart may be interested to know that in the mid-eighties I exchanged correspondence with Dr. De Persio on the topic of the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz; he had three of them at the time, all in beautiful condition. I was preparing a roster of survivors of these models too; unfortunately I lost it in a computer crash! I may get around to creating another one, some day.
Car #323 was brought to my attention by Canadian enthusiast, Stephen Nadon who kindly sent the photo, below. This car has had a ground-up restoration and has run only 700 miles since completion.
Car #324 [NEW, 10/2005] was owned many years ago by collector-enthusiasts John and Irene Linhardt of New York [now (2005) residing in Florida but preparing to move to Georgia]. Its current whereabouts are not known.
Car #328 [NEW, 10/2014] currently resides in Canada; I am hoping to get more informtion about it soon.
Car #329 Mano [car #241] tells me the car is located in Aland, Finland. It is believed to be in good, restorable condition. The owner's name is Örjan Sjöström. Now this from a Web site devoted to the car: My name is Rasman and I live on the Aland Islands that belong to Finland and are situated between Finland and Sweden. I have had this 1953 Cadillac Eldorado for 12 years. It is alpine white with a red interior. Mine is number 329.
Car #337 is owned by Dave Ventrasca. He wrote in January 2006 but I delayed this entry hoping to get a photo of the car [these photos are now available, below]. Dave wrote: I am a 25-year member of the southern California Cadillac La Salle club, and have owned many Cads, I consider myself one of numerous experts on the 1953 Eldorado. I have body # 337, a body off restoration, so you can imagine that I really enjoyed that page. When I buy a digital camera, I will send you a picture of my Artisan Ochre car with red interior. Keep up the great work! Sorry it took me so long to include your car, Dave!
Car #341 was advertised for sale on the Web, in December 2002, by Trobys Memory Lane of South Hackensack, NJ. It was said to be one of the finest restored ones in existence http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/0/4/31468504.htm. This is the same car seen in Hemmings, by Jerry Jansson, in the summer of 2003: FOR SALE CADILLAC: 1953 ELDORADO conv, one of only 532 built, only a handful exist, framed-off by one of the top restorers. Troby's Memory Lane (featuring only the finest classic CADILLACs), Tel.: 201-457-7900, NJ. The price was listed as $150,000! Offered again at Fall Hershey, bidding climbed to $137,500 but no sale ensued. It has air-conditioning (according to Matt Larson, it did not start out life with A/C nor power brakes - A/C in an Eldo convertible was first available in 1956 and power brakes were not available in 1953).
Car #342 is a potential survivor [confirmation needed]. The photos below, by "Charles" [CLC member #23665] are believed to be of this car. It is unrestored and appears to have non-original and very neglected interior.
[ Photos: © 2008 and courtesy of "Charles", CLC member #23665 ]
Car #344 was owned many years ago by collector-enthusiasts John and Irene Linhardt of New York [now (2005) residing in Florida but preparing to move to Georgia]. This one was sold as lot #700, for $155,820 at a BJ auction in 2000; VIN - #5362-75988); total frame-off restoration; thecar took 1st place in the Cadillac LaSalle Club, Inc. Nationals in the summer of 1999. This car is said to be a knock out and the epitome of early fifties automobiles. Later (Dec., 2010): I have been in touch with Todd Todd, another former owner of this car. He says: Thought I would fill you in on a couple of 53 Eldos. I owned #344 between 1988-2000 (I bought it out of Texas in 1988; I believe the guy I bought it from came from back east somewhere - NH?), restoring it with the hope of winning the Grand Nationals in San Jose in 1999 ... which I was lucky enough to do (it carried "Senior" badge#314). Steve Henson had a beautiful Ochre/red car that was just as nice as mine except for a few things that did not work and were not sorted out. Everything worked on my car. All of the Eldos in the picture that year belonged to myself, Ken Gimelli (2), Jim Zinardi, Bob Hoffman, Steve Hensen, and I can't remember the others. I consigned my car to Wally Herman for the BJ Auction in 2000 and it was sold to Troby's, who sold it for 250k. Anyway, Ken still has 3 Eldos left, with no plans to sell. Jimmy Z still has his, and Hoffman his. I will get VIN#s for you. By the way, I'm the guy who purchased #314 from John McGraw with the intention of driving it to Chicago, barely making 100 miles before the tranny completely gave out. McGraw was a good guy, but his assurances that the car was completely road worthy was a bit overstated. Being young and far away from home, I called John And he offered to take the car back. In hindsight, I should have kept it. Ran across the car at DiPerriso's [Gerald?] and tried to buy it back, but he had already sold it to someone in England. My '53 Yellow Coupe belonged to Wally Herman for years and I always tried to pry it away from him and it was only this year that I had a chance to purchase it. [NEW, 10/2008] owner-enthusiast Marc Tuwiner has information to the effect that this was a gift from baseball giant Joe DiMaggio to one Norma Jean Baker (aka Marilyn Monroe).
Car #349 also has survived and is approaching the final stages of restoration (info from David Finlon, car #227, 10/2008); believed to have been originally white/white it has been changed to red/red. It is being redone completely and correctly, As I write, it is going to the trim shop.
Car #350 [NEW, 5/2003] is alive and well in New Zealand. It was owned for many years by Cadillac enthusiast, Denis McLachlan, but has been sold to the "Wearable Art Museum" in Nelson. Originally a good driving car, in 2003 it underwent a full restoration before being put on display. Gita and I visited the museum during our mini-World-Tour of Australasia in March-April 2005; unfortunately, we did not see the car as it was in the paint shop at the time.
Car #355 with VIN # 5362-76416 reportedly achieved a high bid of $102,500 at a BJ auction in 1992 [lot #381]. Color was white. Late Extra [June, 2009]: this came in by eMail from a Dutch enthusiast: To update your information on a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado: The number 355 is now in The Netherlands and for sale for EUR 155.000,- at Lasalle Classic Cars in Alphen aan de Rijn
The car is currently in Holland (2009) and has been fully restored
Car #360 [NEW, 2/2003] was brought to my attention by Philippe Van Assche of Sweden. The car was advertised for sale in California as having had a frame-off restoration and being of show quality. It is white with red & white trim. Late extra [3/2007]: this car was sold at Amelia Island for $132,000.
[ Photos: © and courtesy Philippe Van Assche ]
Car #361 was offered for sale on EBay in November, 2007. There were 17 bids, topping out at $162,600 but no sale ensued; the vendor's reserve was higher. The car is located near Munich, Germany. It is believed that this car was part of the former Crone collection; it is restored. Originally painted a metallic turquoise (color code #12) with black leather interior (code #35) and white top (code #1), it has since been repainted and trimmed in a an unusual shade of maroon and fitted with a black top. The car came from a large, private Cadillac collector in Michigan who reportedly owned about 12 of these; this one is said to be "simply the best".
These photos were formerly believed to be of cars #179 or #212
Photos in these two rows are from the EBay Web site;
here, the color looks more "plum" than maroon (different lighting?)
Car #362 was owned many years ago by collector-enthusiasts John and Irene Linhardt of New York [now (2005) residing in Florida but preparing to move to Georgia]. Currently  it is located in southern Sweden according to "detective" Philippe Van Assche. It is reported to be in good running condition.
Car #365, VIN: 536278594, paint: 28 (Azure blue) trim: 32 (Azure Blue and white interior with white top), was purchased in 2001 by Robyn McCombe of Winnipeg, Canada. Robyn says the car is originally from Texas but spent the last 25 years in Florida [Nota: according to the factory build-sheet, it was delivered initially to Chicago, IL, on July 31, 1953]. It is in need of a complete restoration that Robyn intends to start when he has finished with his other 1953 Eldorado (car #246, above). Another '53 Eldorado enthusiast, Philippe Van Assche of Sweden (car #378, below) e-Mailed this complementary information in February, 2002: The car needs a complete restoration. It is in quite rough condition. It is a complete car except for an air cleaner. The seats are rough, but other seats are available. The car has all the Eldorado specific parts you would need, such as the top bows, drop down doors, steel parade boot, wrap around windshield frame work, dash, ID tag, sill plates, interior panels and stainless parts. Those are the parts that make this car worth restoring. I knew one person who spent $10,000 on top bow reproduction. This car already has all that! In March 2002, Robyn added that he had advertised the car for sale on e-Bay "as is"; this was only to test the market. He still plans on doing a full, frame off restoration as soon as he has finished car #246.
Car #378 This fine looking Azure Blue survivor belongs to Philippe van Assche, from Lödöse, in Sweden. VIN # 5362 79067, Trim # 32 (Blue/White), Paint # 28 (Blue), Top #1 (white). Philippe writes: This car was found sitting in a barn in Peoria, IL, in October 2000, with 79000 original miles on it. The car was bought new in August, 1953, by Mr. Charles Sword of Peoria, IL, a partner in the Swords & Dietz company. Mr. Louie J. Dietz bought it around 1955 and the car stayed in the same family ever since. It was cosmetically restored in 1977, with new paint and rechroming of most parts. When Mr. Dietz passed on in July, 1984, the title was transferred to his wife, Mrs. Viola E. Dietz. Mrs. Dietz died in November, 1999. I acquired the car from Mr. Gregory Arbogast, grandson of Mrs. Dietz and executor of her estate. The car still had the original interior but it was in very poor condition, so I have put in a new one to match the original; Jenkins Restorations supplied the leather. I had to restore the brakes and hydraulic system before I could use the car. Now it runs and drives perfectly and is a pleasure to cruise with. Sorry it took me so long to add your car to the list, Philippe.
Car #379 is currently [2/2002] in Germany; it is dark green (a non original color). Thanks for the tip, Andreas!
Car #380 belongs to long-time CLC member Fredus "Pete" Peters, to whom I apologize for not mentioning this car sooner (things tend to get lost when you are attempting to manage a Database of 6,600 pages and 20,000 images !) Here's what Pete has to say about his car: My car, VIN 536279815, was originally an alpine white car (#27) with a blue and white interior (#32). It has been repainted (right down to the hinges on the seats) to be artisan ochre (#22) with red interior (#39). The top is black (code #4). It has an Autronic Eye, but does not have power brakes. I'm searching for the parts to install the power brakes (I'm a full option nut). The body tag reads ACC: P. I'm not sure what that was. My data says "P" means windshield washer, but I can't believe that wasn't standard on the Eldorado [Matt Larson says "P" stands for "Plain" in lieu of tinted glass]. The car had undergone a very nice cosmetic restoration before I bought it, but there were a lot of mechanical and electrical things that needed attention. All are done now except I need to find or make a new limit switch that ensures that the top cannot be operated unless the boot is open. I won't bore you with a list of things that I have fixed, but if you want to know, ask, and I will gladly regale you with a long list! I'm a do-it-yourselfer.
Car #381 [NEW, 2/2005] was brought to my attention by French enthusiast, Robert Sarrailh. He was in Scottsdale for the annual Barrett-Jackson auction. This car was brought in by its Mexican owners. The car was last sold at an R&M auction in Houston, Texas, in 2004 [Lot #071] for $106,700 ...despite replacement engine aid incorrect rear window. This car was brought to my attention also by Jerry Jannson, who is always looking out for more cars to add to this list.
Center photo: note wrong rear window shape
[ Photos: RM Classics web page ]
Car #394 used to reside in a Dutch museum in Amsterdam and was discovered on the Internet by Swedish Cadillac enthusiast, Jerry Jansson who duly and kindly reported it to the Club for inclusion in the roster of known survivors. This additional piece of information from Eldorado Brougham enthusiast Damon Lenszner in the UK: [the car] is a documented 4,000 mile car that is currently being resold by them [the Museum] due to the owners move to Bali. The car is apparently concours and the asking price is....are you sitting comfortably...200,000 Euros [circa 253,500 US greenbacks]. My question is this: is a '53 Eldorado with 4,000K miles worth that much? My answer is: NO! But the sad truth of the matter is that a (crazed?) collector could quite easily spend that much trying to create perfection (which, as you all know, is unattainable). But worse: there probably is a buyer out there, with that kind of money to spend, who will buy the car and mess up the statistics! Late Extra [Feb. 2006]: the car is still for sale [tip from Belgian Cadillac enthusiast Jan-Willem Halsema]. Later [11/2007]: Jan-Willem added: the "Amsterdams Automuseum" closed on April 2, 2006; after that, Peter Straathof started "La Salle Classics" (http://www.lasalleclassiccars.com/collectie.php?search=#169). The business is located about twenty minutes drive from my home but I have never been there yet. The other owner started "Bel Air Classics" (http://www.belairclassics.nl/). I think that #394 is still owned by one of them; hopefully I will find out soon.
Car #395 I saw this car at the CLC Grand National in Denver, CO, in August 2001. The car is in fine condition. It carries VIN # 5362-79752 and was reportedly sold for $90,000 at a BJ auction in 1998; it was said to have had a complete nut and bolt concours restoration; a true 100-point car. Color was Artisan Ochre with black top and black leather upholstery.
Car #399 (NEW, 10/2012 - info from Marc Tuwiner] It is Alpine White and is being frame-off restored to a 100-point car in white with red & white uphostery. Marc got it with 14 artisan ochre and the cars were in British columbia, I plan to make the ochre car a 100 point car with red interior(not black as tag denotes )
Car #412 was offered for sale on e-Bay (the Internet auction site) in November, 2003. I believe the vendor did not honor the sale although he did refund the deposit. The buyer, in Australia, intended to restore it. The cowl tag reads, 53-6267SX, trim #32, paint# 28 (Azure Blue), body FW412, top 4, acc P7. Late Extra (5/2005): according to enthusiast/owner (#433), Quentin Hall of Brisbane, Australia, the car came to Brisbane but not to the guy who bought it on eBay. It is now owned by Tommy Deen (it has been said that the Deen brothers have, at one time, owned the majority of collectible post-WW2 Cadillacs in Australia !) Latest (6/2006): Quentin was able to buy this one off Tommy. He will complete its restoration in addition to that of #433.
Car #416 [NEW, 12/2004] was sold at auction, in Paris (France) in December 2004. The car has received a ground up restoration. Originally, it was white, with black and white leather and a black top.
Car #420 [NEW, 2/2005] is going to be restored in N. Texas.
Car #430 [NEW, 1/2009] is in very poor condition and has been offered for sale on Ebay with a "Buy-it-Now" price of $60K. Another '53 Eldo in worse condition (#25, above) was offered by the same vendor in Pembroke Pines, FL. Matt Larson has had these two cars on record since 1992. He commented: Cars #25 and #430 have been on my survivor list since 1992 when they were located in a junk yard in Utica, NY and listed as "parts cars" by the late Gerry Peukert. In December 2004, #430 was for sale as a "disassembled car" in Chicago. Late extra [11/2012]: the car now resides in Brazil; it is undergoing a full restoration by owner-enthusiast Marcus Conte.
It pained me to put up photos of apparent "basket case" '53 Eldorados but, hey,
Marcus from Brazil is currently breathing life back into this car (see below)
[ Photos: Internet ]
[ Photos in these 3 rows: © 2012, Marcus Conte ]
Car #431 [NEW, 8/2008] this possible survivor was brought to my attention by David Finlon, the owner of car #227. He wrote: I just spoke with a guy who thinks his car is #431. His name is Norman Sudeck of Alhambra, CA. Thanks for the tip David; let's hope for confirmation from the owner so that we may update this Database entry and perhaps add a couple of pics.
Car #433 was recently acquired  by Quentin Hall, an enthusiast in Brisbane, Australia. Quentin's car has the Bendix power-brake package installed (power brakes became available on the 1954 model year Cadillacs and the factory subsequently offered a Power Brake Package, 1950 through 1953, part #146 2266, $73.90. It is described in the Cadillac Master Parts List as a "Complete installation package". Gita and I saw "Q"s car when we visited the Hall's in March 2005. The car came from Canada. How it got to Australia is a story I hope that "Q" will relate one day. Restoration is well under way. If it turns out half as nice as the '59 Biarritz that "Q" restored previously, then it will be a beaut !
Car #435 [NEW, 10/2005] was offered for sale on eBay in October, 2005; it had not been previously included on the roster of survivors. Here are excerpts from the vendor's description : You are looking at one of the rarest and most desirable Cadillacs of all time - a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible! ... Restoration of this car was started in the early 70's - she has been in climate controlled storage since 1975. We have paperwork back to 1966 showing this was in Riverside California - it is easy to believe this when you see the condition of the metal! ... The car looks to be all original, with no indications of major accidents, welds, or repairs on the body and frame. The body is straight, the car was re-painted long ago ... but in my opinion a car like this really deserves a higher quality paint job. Much of the chrome was re-done - the rest is in very good shape with no pitting ... The car was optioned with the Autronic Eye ... The trim tag reads Trim #34, Paint #27, Top #4.
Car #437 [NEW, 2/2005] was sold in Boca Raton, FL, by R&M Auctions [Lot #53]; the car is now red with a red & white interior and white top; it has also a continental kit.
Car #447 with VIN # 5362-84055 reportedly was sold for $141,750 at a BJ auction in 1996 [lot #725]. Color was blue and it was described as the best in the world.
Car #448 was originally Azure Blue with a black top and black interior; it was owned by collector Brent Merrill of
Toronto, Canada, and sold at the RM Auction in on 1/18/2008 for $159,500. Originally shipped to Arizona , PA, the now Aztec Red car with a matching red interior is a widely traveled example and we would like to learn more about previous owners and locations. Brent bought the car at a Christies Auction in Pittsburg , but the bill of sale indicated it came from a European collection, via Westend Olympic GmbH/Hudson Advisors Germany. Hopefully, our European friends will add to the history of the car. Pebble Beach, California
[ Photos: Auction Web site ]
Car #456 [NEW, 2/2008] was a No Sale at the RM Auction in Ft. Lauderdale on 2/16/2008. The closing bid, including the buyers premium, was $181, 500. The winning bidder declined the car when it was determined that it was not in fact a matching numbers car. Originally the car had a black top (code #4); it is now white. It had also an all red interior (code #39) which is now done in red and white.
Car #476 was owned by Fred Kanter of Kanter Auto Products. John Linhardt remembers it being red; it is believed to be still around.
Car #484 [NEW, 10/2005] is known to have survived; details about it have been sent to Matt Larson by enthusiast, John Linhardt, of Florida. These will be added here in due course.
Car #486 belongs to John and Irene Linhardt, in Palm City, Florida. It is the only known survivor of the eight Eldorados that were painted Cobalt Blue (code #2). The car was loaned to General Motors in 1990 for display in the GM collection and was enjoyed by visitors for 18 years before returning to Florida in 2008.
Car #495 belonged for many years to the late Jerry Peukert, a close friend of Florida enthusiasts, John and Irene Linhardt; the car remains in the family. It was acquired from Robert Mannino, mentioned in the section below entitled,
Car #500 [NEW, 12/2005] offered for sale at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction venue in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2006 [lot #1261]. Said to be restored from the ground up: Every nut and bolt and every body seam is right on. An uncompromised restoration. All numbers match. Late Extra [1/2006]: the car sold for $216,000 [this figure includes BJ's commission]. The owners have contacted me and wish to remain anonymous. They were kind enough to supply all codes and numbers from the body tag.
[ Photos: Internet, 12/2005 ]
Car #502 soon will be in Switzerland. The following info was received from Austrian enthusiast Georg Pfeiffer: #502 is doing fine, see attached pictures. These were taken at the Classic Cadillac Club Germany's annual meeting in Bavaria one week ago [May, 2004]. The car used to be part of Robert Crone's collection of 10 (!) '53 Eldorados which he had purchased at an auction in the early 90s. The car then was sold to Reinhard Schultz who took home several trophies from the Zurzach- meeting in the following years. Two years ago Mr. Schultz was forced to sell the car to German Classic Cadillac dealer Ulrich Mueller. Just a few days prior to showing up with her at the meeting in Bavaria, Uli sold the car to a guy in St. Gallen, Switzerland; she's a gift for the buyer's daughter [wish I had a Daddy like that !] and probably is being delivered to Switzerland one of these days. The paint job looks like artisan ochre, I don't now if it's exactly the correct color mix. The car's interior is matching light yellow leather throughout, absolutely beautiful even though not correct... I don't know the original specs, since I didn't take down all data from the body tag. The car has been taken very well care of since I last saw her in 1998, she is still in excellent condition.
Car #506 is owned [1/2001] by Mikael Nilsson from Degernes, Norway. This Eldorado came to Sweden from the USA in 1999; it went to Norway same year. The car is in good running condition and will be restored in the coming years. I got from Mikael, in 2002, a working switch block for the driver's door arm rest on my '64 Sixty Special. Thanks to him, now I don't have to get out of the car to pick up the underground parking tickets!
Car #513 has been owned since 1993 by Rom Rydalch, a college auto body teacher in Long Beach, CA. Originally Alpine white with a black and white interior, this beauty is now restored in triple black. Friends Tom Rydalch and Jerry Krumm (Car #216, above) are frequently seen together at Southern California shows with their twin triple black Eldorados.
Car #519 was brought to my attention in April 2004 by Swedish enthusiast, Jerry Jansson, who saw it offered for sale in Hemmings Motor News: CADILLAC: 1953 Eldorado, body #519, frame-off underway, will sell as is or completed. 916-989-3191, FAX: 916-989-1811,FAIR OAKS CA. The vendor describes it thus: This example has undergone a complete ground up restoration and is finished in red and has a black cloth convertible top. The interior has been correctly appointed in red leather. A rare opportunity to acquire one of the rarest of the 1950's Cadillac's -- $89,500.00, Stock Number: 2629
[ no image ]
Car #529 turned up on Ebay in January, 2009. It has been restored and repainted from white to blue for a role in the movie, "My One and Only", starring Renee Zellweger. The owner, Marc Tuwiner, wrote: This is a super car out of California. I still have the matching black and gold plates. This car is all matching numbers and also has the original door lube tag. In the near future this rare 1953 Eldo will appear in a star studded new movie This is one of two hero cars that were used as the main cars. A well known female actress [Renee Zellweger] will star in a movie and drive the car across the country. The movie company leased the car for two months and spent a lot of time in Baltimore and New Mexico. The movie has this car in many of the driving Scenes. The picture company wanted to use the hubcaps, but I do have the wire wheels. The movie company also picked this pale blue color . This rock solid California car was white from new. There were 259 Eldos made in white that year. This interior is new and was done in leather. The interior was done by a leader in the industry as a rush job however nicely done. We are now putting in the carpet and tightening this car up. There will be new pictures added; we are chroming some pieces that were not done due to time constraints for filming. Most of the chrome was redone this summer (2008) prior to filming. The movie people sprayed some dirt on the cars to make them look a bit weathered or dirty as you may see in the current pictures. I will be adding newer pictures soon of the car and you will see it detailed. Marc's car is featured in the Self Starter for Nov.-Dec. 2009.
[ images ]
Car #522 was reported sold at auction by the Barrett-Jackson organization in 1997, as lot #714, for $91,875. It was reported sold again at another Barrett-Jackson auction in 1998, as lot #684 for $72,500 [or $76,125???; the owner had invested $125,000 in its restoration ?!?!] The VIN is #5362-89137 and the car is black, which is the color it was when it left the factory; BJ described it as a rust-free California car, running and driving as new.
Car #533 [highest body number for a 1953 Eldorado built] This from Philippe Van Assche, Sweden, November 2001: About Body # 533, I was told that the car had been sold to two brother's in Florida from Michigan, eight years ago; the car was a "basket case"; included in the deal were two other 1953 Eldorados (I don't have the body numbers) as well as a lot of parts. I got this information from Scott Barnhart, the former owner's son, when I visited him in Michigan in October 2001 (his father passed away a couple of years ago). Thanks for the info, Philippe. Late Extra: Mano Forsman recalls having seen this ad for in Hemmings Motor News, some time in 1995: 2 Eldo 53, both cars in # 5 [poor] condition; one is body # 533. Interesting trades only. 904-242-....FL. Latest [Jan., 2006]: Dave Ventrasca [53 Eldo #337] said: I just logged on to your new 53 Eldo page. There is irrefutable evidence that #533 is alive and well; found in Michigan, it is currently  located in Florida. There was an article in a Cadillac newsletter several years back that contained a Xerox copy of the body tag.
Cars that still need to be positively identified
[ for which I have photos from mostly unknown sources ]
...in Alpine White
...in Azure Blue
NO (GOOD) PHOTOS FOR THIS ONE
...in Aztec Red
I videoed many '53 Eldorados in Santa Clara, CA, in June 1999, on the occasion of the CLC Annual Grand National meet, including a red one that was subsequently sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in January 2000 for $147,000! That's the highest selling price achieved by a '53 Eldorado in recent years
...in Artisan Ochre (yellow)
Non - "Eldorado special" colors
[ but (mostly) 1953 Cadillac colors, nevertheless ]
Juan Diaz, CLC member #17890, supplied this lead in December, 2002: Today I came across a 1953 Cadillac [Eldorado] in the local Auto Trader; I live in San Jose California. It needs restoration and the seller is asking for 37K. The car is said to be black. Thanks for the tip, Juan.
As I said above, at the Grand National meet of the Cadillac-La Salle Club, Inc., in Santa Clara, CA, June 1999, I was fortunate to be able to photograph many 1953 Eldorados, including this incredible line-up. Unfortunately, I omitted to collect body numbers at that time, so I am hoping that the owners will contact me, if they read this.
Other Unidentified Cars
# ....., was owned circa 1983-84 by Roland Brand of Sweden (Lic. tag FKA 941)
# ....., # ...... [two cars] may have survived in Pakistan [see previous entry].
# ...., # ...., # ...., # ...... [at least four cars] belonging to a Cadillac enthusiast in Perth, Australia (photographed at the Busselton meet in 2014)
# ...., # ...., # ...., # ....., # ...... [five cars] were mentioned by German enthusiast Markus Keller. As a member of the CML (Cadillac Mailing List), he wrote: I still remember the feeling when I saw five '53 Eldorados a few months ago. They were and probably still are hidden in a barn somewhere in the middle of nowhere, here in Germany [Markus, I am guessing these cars are from the former Crone collection in Germany - see above]. Markus was replying to a posting from another enthusiast in Pakistan who had mentioned TWO surviving '53 Eldorados in his country.
# ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ..... [many cars] all were owned at one time by Wally Herman, a collector car dealer of Paradise Valley, AZ. Sadly, Wally passed away peacefully, in his sleep, on August 17, 2001. Dave Dubie, President emeritus of the Sonoran Desert region of the Cadillac LaSalle Club, Inc. (CLC) wrote Wally's obituary in the Self-Starter (the Club's magazine) in the issue for November-December, 2001.
# ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ....., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # .... [fourteen cars] were reportedly owned in the seventies and eighties by Robert Mannino of New York with whom I remember corresponding about the 1957-1960 Eldorado Broughams, back in the 70s. Turns out he is not "Mr. Nice Guy". According to a 1999 press cutting from the New Jersey Advance, by Dean Balsamini who wrote the Supreme Court Bureau column, Mr. Mannino was accused of being the South Shore serial bandit and was indicted by a Staten Island Grand Jury on no fewer than 24 counts, including first-degree burglary, robbery, criminal impersonation and weapons possession! Hopefully, all his former cars (including a few Eldorado Broughams) now are in the possession of reputable collectors.
# ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ....., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # ...., # .... [nineteen cars] are claimed to have been owned over the years by enthusiast Bud Ward of California (Budcadillacman@aol.com) : In January, 2001, he wrote: I have owned "19" 1953 ELDORADOS in many colors. Curently I have two for sale [ # ..... and # .....]. One is 60% done and the other is 50% done. I have 98% of the parts and many extra; I have two new windshields, still in the crates. Too much to list. Just e-mail or contact me by phone at 417-860-9664. [...]
# .... [unknown, well-known] CLC member Jim Jordan in
Oklahoma Cityprovided the photos below; he writes Beverly Osborne was an Oklahoma Cityrestaurateur who originated "Chicken in the Rough," 's first franchise fried chicken. This pic was taken in April of 1954 at his America Lincoln Boulevard(Route 66) restaurant in . It was white with red or red and white interior. Where is it now? It was last seen at a swap meet in the late 80's where it was traded for a worn out car hauler. Oklahoma City
# .... owned by CLC member, Wayne Turner, who also owns most of the rare, 1955 Custom View-Master station wagons on Cadillac chassis, by Hess & Eisenhardt.
Some Recent Auction Results [Car body numbers not known]
# ..... was offered for sale as lot #3826 in Auburn, IN, at the annual Kruse auction venue there, August 2000; it is an Alpine White Eldorado with red and cream interior. It had got a frame off restoration (completed in the Spring of 2000) and included brand new wire wheels and a factory approved continental kit. This car was bid up to $80,000 but was not sold.
# ..... was offered for sale as lot #732 at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction, January 2002, in Scottsdale, AZ. The same car (same VIN) was reported sold for $84,000. It was said to have had a completely restored engine, transmission, brakes and bearings, with only 4,500 miles. BJ Said: Car is ready to tour or show. Very, very tight driver. Car speaks for itself!
# ..... My friend Jerry Jansson caught this one in Hemmings, in the summer of 2003: FOR SALE ELDORADO: 1953, undergoing frame-off restoration, this car will be a high point and show ready, factory color is Aztec red or you pick color, will sell at any stage of restoration, please call for details. 916-989-3191, FAX: 916-989-1811, CA.
#..... In December 2003, Jerry found this one for me on the Barrett-Jackson auction listing for Scottsdale, AZ, January 2004: lot #725 (red on red), with a quality restoration by Quality-Craft of Huntington Beach, CA. Bids peaked at $82,000; there was no sale.
#..... Enthusiast Steve Andrews wrote (July, 2002]: Yann, there is an Azure blue '53 Eldorado in Old Car Trader, from California; it is partially restored: new paint, good driver, new chrome, #78,000. Tel.: 916-989-3191. There was also a yellow (Ochre) one but I lost the info on it.
#..... Jerry Jannson [again!] spied this message in the Guest Book of the owner of car #326 (above): From Jorge Nunes (firstname.lastname@example.org), date: 15.1.2004, subject: Cadillac Eldorado Convertible 1953: I'm a lucky fellow who owns such a nice car. It's in the family for about 35 years. Now it requires full attention and I want to re-condition it to top condition, from body, paintwork, power train, electrical devices and wiring, seats, trim and canvas. Please help me to find an organization where I can purchase a parts catalog, a workshop manual, all requested parts and obtain help and suggestions for the re-condition. This vehicle is in Lisbon, Portugal. If you request, I'll sent the serial number. By January, 2005, no further information had been received and there was no answer from the given eMail address ???
#..... Steven Nadon of Ontario, Canada, saw the '53 Eldorado formerly owned by Tony Siciliano. Apparently it was sold by RM Classics at Novi, MI, for $90,000.
# ....., was bid up to $130,000 at a Kruse auction in Auburn, IN, in the Fall of 2006 (black with black top and B&W trim).
[ images to be processed ]
This table is from RM Auctions (2007) and lists some actual sales results
[ does anyone have the body numbers? ]
2004 Vintage Motor Cars and Boats at the Houston Classic $106,700 US 2005 Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona $100,000 US 2005 The Florida Collector Car Auction $120,375 US 2005 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island $110,000 US 2006 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island $132,000 US 2006 Michigan International Fall Classic Car Auction $162,000 US 2007 The Florida Collector Car Auction $216,000 US 2007 The Florida Collector Car Auction $162,000 US 2007 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island $132,000 US
Now some artists' impressions of the 1953 Eldorado
And lastly, for those of us who (like me) can't afford the real thing:
... here are some '53 Eldorados in miniature
Click here for more Cadillacs in miniature
Late extra [April, 2002]
The End of an Era
[ the demise of the Cadillac Eldorado ]
Courtesy: ASSOCIATED PRESS
LANSING [Michigan] -- The last of a commemorative series of Cadillac Eldorados rolled off a local General Motors Corp. assembly line Monday, company officials said.
The last Eldorado of the 1,596-car Collector Series' 2002 line, which was built to mark the end of the Eldorado's production, was completed at the Lansing Craft Center.
The 2002 collector series is available in Alpine White and Aztec Red, two of the Eldorado's original colors. The cars were limited to reflect the original 532 Eldorados, which were built in 1953.
The early Eldorados featured the tail fin, which was one of the most famous designs in American automobile history. GM said the fin was inspired by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning Aircraft.
The Eldorado was a 'halo' car for Cadillac and marked the beginning of a long period of luxury leadership for the Eldorado nameplate and the Cadillac brand, said Mark LaNeve, Cadillac General Manager.
The last Eldorado made at the Lansing plant will be donated to the Cadillac Museum in honor of Don Massey, who owned one of the largest Cadillac dealerships in the United States, GM said.
Nicola Bulgari will purchase the second to last Eldorado to add to his collection of classic cars in Rome, the Detroit-based automaker said.
Buy now, pay later
Introduction 1953 Eldorado Special Sport Convertible - Facts page Miscellaneous page and description of survivors Tabular roster of survivors
© 1996-2020, Yann Saunders, DLM Group, and the Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum and Research Center Inc.
[ Background image: the Golden Anniversary Eldorado prototype ]