- Iconic '50s-era 'big-fin' styling with stunning color combination
- Upgraded with added air-conditioning
- Autronic Eye dimming headlights, cruise control, and E-Z Eye glass
- One of the most striking GM designs of the 1950s
The unchallenged icon of its era, the 1959 Cadillac, is a testament to the mantra of the 1950s - more is better, too much is not enough. In 1959, Cadillac's premier Eldorado sub-series included the Seville hardtop, the Biarritz convertible, and the Brougham four-door hardtop. Standard Eldorado features included all the items available on the De Ville line and beyond, including a heater, fog lamps, air suspension, a radio with a rear-mounted speaker, power windows and vent windows, six-way power seats, power top, remote-control trunk lid lock, electric door locks, and whitewall tires. Additional amenities include numerous lighting conveniences, a visor vanity mirror, and special finned wheel covers. Very few options were available on the Biarritz, although our featured example has the desirable factory air-conditioning system, Autronic Eye dimming headlights, cruise control, and E-Z Eye glass. Of all the 1959 Cadillacs, the convertibles are the most sought-after, and of course the glamorous Eldorado Biarritz sits at the peak of collectability and desirability.
While the 1959 Eldorado was controversial and misunderstood in its time, the collectors and critics of today agree that it possesses an unmatched combination of power, presence, and luxury. The pinnacle of the Cadillac line in 1959, the Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, carried a base price of a then whopping $7,401, and just 1,320 examples were produced for the 1959 model year. This 1959 Eldorado Biarritz is a remarkable example that benefits from an older, high-quality restoration that still presents beautifully today. The car is finished in a stunning combination of a red exterior over white leather upholstery, a contrasting red dash and carpets, and a white convertible top. It still exhibits beautiful paint, excellent brightwork, and straight body panels. During a recent inspection, it was noted that some standard Series 62 components were used during the restoration; however, the chassis number confirms this is indeed a Biarritz.
The white leather is in excellent condition, showing some light character from use, particularly on the driver's seat, but is otherwise beautifully clean and supple. Original interior appointments include a pushbutton radio, dash-mounted Autronic Eye sensor, and an ashtray for every occupant. The pinpoint vinyl top is, of course, power-operated and in good order, with a small vinyl repair noted on close inspection. The Eldorado Biarritz-only fiberglass parade boot is included for a tidy finishing touch.
The Eldorado showcased Cadillac's ultimate engine for 1959, the powerful Q-Code 390-cubic-inch V-8, which is topped by three two-barrel Rochester carburetors. This engine, with a period-correct 1959 block produces 345 horsepower and is mated to a three-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Lifting the enormous hood reveals a highly detailed engine compartment with correct colors, decals, and tags. The massive gold air cleaner covers the factory's multiple carburetion system, and power steering and brakes are standard fitments. While a complicated and oft-troublesome air suspension was standard on the Biarritz, this example has since been upgraded to a more desirable coil spring setup - a common practice to improve reliability and eliminate headaches for owners, and many were converted early on. Additionally, it was recently fitted with a new set of correct US-Royal whitewall tires for the proper stance and ride quality.
The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz is the ultimate expression of mid-century design excess; all is achieved with a brilliant balance of elegance, sophistication, and panache. It is no wonder that it is one of the most iconic and collectible American cars of the era, and this marvelous example is certain to bring Cadillac-sized joy to its next custodian.