The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado is one of the earlier Eldorado models, as this particular Cadillac lasted from 1953 to 2002. In the 1959 model year, Cadillac produced 142,272 Eldorados, making it the third-best year for Cadillac within the 1950s.
Changes from the Previous Year
For the 1959 Eldorado, Cadillac delivered new styling for this vehicle. It got twin bullet taillamps, large tailfins, two roof pillar configurations and rooflines, matching beauty panels for the deck latch lid, and jewel-like grille patterns. Drivers also got to show off the fins that are among the most popular in the history of autos.
Design and Assembly
Although Cadillac was responsible for the design of the 1959 Eldorado, Pininfarina of Italy completed the assembly. The result was that the Eldorados were basically hand-built in Italy. While the standard 1959 Cadillacs had massive fins and “rocket ship taillights,” the Eldorado had narrow and discreet taillights with modest tailfins. Experts agree that the Eldorado’s more discreet styling in this respect was a hint of what was to come for Cadillac. It is also worth noting that the Eldorado was extravagant, showing off extra chrome to catch the eye.
The power of the Eldorado was also extravagant, as it used a variation of the 390-cubic-inch V8 engine from other Cadillacs with three two-barrel carburetors and 345 horsepower. It was these three carburetors that allowed the Eldorado outperform to the other Cadillacs despite using the same 390 CID V8 engine. Thanks to the power, the 1959 Eldorado could hit 130 miles per hour despite weighing 5,000 pounds. For the 1959 version, the mechanical upgrades also included a scientifically engineered drainage system plus completely new shock absorbers.
Compared to other Cadillacs of the time and models from other automakers, the Eldorado was very luxurious. It included standard features you could not even get as an option on most other autos. Examples included the antenna, power vent windows, and air suspension.
The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado was available as either a two-door convertible or a hardtop. You may still find either version of this auto. One of the most extravagant and expensive variations was the Eldorado Biarritz convertible, which started at $7,401 back in 1959. Because of the high price, Cadillac only made 1,320 of these autos. A few years ago, the only surviving example with black paint on the interior and top was listed on eBay for just over $90,000. In the case of the Seville and Biarritz versions of the 1959 model, “Eldorado” was spelled out right behind the opening of the front wheels. These models also had body sill highlights, which were full-length and curved over the profile of the rear fender before going back on the upper beltline.
The 1959 Eldorado also saw some reshuffling in terms of naming. What was previously called the Series 62 turned into the Series 6200. The two-door versions and De Villes had previously been part of the Series 62 but became the Series 6400 and Series 6300, respectively. The four-door Eldorado Brougham became Series 6900 instead of Series 70. All of these various configurations shared a 130-inch wheelbase.