No Limits Magazine from the Auto History Preservation Society
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Friday March 13, 2015
Cadillac from 1954 to 1958 - Sophistication and Style. Tech, News, Period Ads, Road Tests, Brochures, Magazines and More!

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More Stories - More Information
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1957 Super 88 Convertible

Oldsmobile 1954-1958 - The Rocket Grows in Size and Power!

Bonno 1957 Chevrolet

This 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is James Bonno's Legacy to his Father

1957 Fuel Injected Pontiac Bonneville

Pontiac 1955-1958 - From Stodgy
L-Head Straight Eights to Hot V-8s!

1966 Olds Toronado Cutaway

1966 Toronado Makes US Front
Wheel Drive Cars a Reality

1964 Plymouth Sport Fury Hardtop

Plymouth 1961-65: From
Disaster to Stability

1950 Mercury Coupe

Mercury's Post War "Flathead" Years

1949 Olds 98 Holiday Hardtop

The Oldsmobile 303 Rocket Years

1968 GTO COTY Ad

The Pontiac Performance Years

1956 Plymouth Belvedere

The Plymouth "Forward Look"
Years Detailed

1961 Starfire

GM Personal Luxury Cars
1961-65

1970 Performance Car Chronicles

What We're Preserving
and How We Store It

July 1969 Car Life Magazine

The Treasures of the Society's Magazine Archive

The 1957 DeSoto Adventurer

1946-1961 DeSoto
A Great Brand Declines

The 1946 Hudson

Hudson 1946-1957
The Slow Demise

1950 Packard Convertible

Packard 1946-1958
The Post-War Story

Jessi and Kurt Celebrate AHPS

Jessi Lang - Sometimes Winning Comes in Short Little Laps.

1955 Olds F-88

1954 Olds F-88 Sports Car
Part Two - Why NOT the F-88??

The first Mustang- 1965

Mustang: 50 Years on the Road

1965 Pontiac 2+2 and GTO Ad

The Paper Chase Part 1
Selling the Sizzle

From the Automotive History Preservation Society
Cadillac 1954-1958 - Showing it was "The Standard of the World"

1958 Cadillac Series 60 Special

This 1958 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood was the shortest car in the Fleetwood line! That huge rear "Extended Deck" was a feature of this model. It rode on its own wheelbase and cost a whopping $6,232 in 1958 money.

1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

The 1954 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. The Eldorado was the luxurious, fully appointed version of the "lesser" Series 62 convertible. A total of 2,150 were sold
.

1955 Fleetwood Series 60 Sedan

The stretched wheelbase Series 60 4-door sedan was a strong
seller even though it was $800 more than the standard sedan,
and 18,300 were sold in 1955
.

1956 Eldorado Convertible

The Eldorado convertible returned in 1956 as the "Eldorado Biarritz". 2,150 were sold - losing some sales to the new Eldorado coupe.

1957 Olds Super 88 2-Door Hardtop

The 1957 4-door Sedan De Ville was an upscale version of the standard Series 62 4-door hardtop. It sold well with 23,808 delivered.

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

The 1958 Eldorado Brougham was a refined version of the '57.
Even so, only 304 were produced, due in part to the deepening Recession and it $13,000 price tag.

1957-58 Cadillac Chassis and V-8

This page from the 1958 brochure shows the 1957-58
Cadillac "X" frame and discusses the 365 CID V8. Cadillac's HP
claims were not conservative in '58 with 335 claimed for the
optional across the board Eldorado 3 2-barrel engine.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Press Kit

The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was Cadillac's answer to the Lincoln Continental. Not only did Cadillac equal the Continental, but it surpassed it in technology, options and even cost.

Click on the Brochure picture above to read or download it


Help Us! We need the 1959 and 1962 Cadillac Brochures to scan!
(We will return them to you). Contact Eric White at eric.white@ahpsoc.org if you can help.


By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Building, bigger, better and more sophisticated luxury -

Nowadays, Cadillac is another luxury brand nipping at the heels of BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus. But in the 50s Cadillac was "the standard of the world" when it came to defining top-end big bucks vehicles. Style, power, options, opulence, ride, you name it, Cadillac had it in spades - and before anyone else.

Effortless cruising, convenience, gorgeous interiors made of top quality cloth and leathers, power everything - there was nothing that could touch a Cadillac. What happened? Simple, and they still don't get it at Chevrolet, er GM - when cost drives you quality takes the back seat. Yo, Cadillac - read this and maybe you have an epiphany - but probably not.

1954 Cadillacs - 40 Year Anniversary
Cadillac marked its 40th consecutive year of V-8 availability in 1954, and the '54 engine was a far cry from the 70 brake horsepower Type 51 motor of 1914. The 1954 powerplant was 331 CID, included a four-barrel carburetor, boasted an 8.25:1 compression ratio, and was now rated at 230 HP. Cadillac sales in 1954 fell from the previous year's peak of 109,119 to 94,530, but that was still second best in post-war production.

Many appearance improvements marked the 1954 Cadillacs. They included a lower, sleeker body, a new cellular grille insert, inverted gull-wing front bumpers, and tapered “Dagmar” style bumper guards. Round, jet-style dual exhaust outlets were incorporated into the vertical bumper extensions, and the rear bumper was entirely redesigned.

A 1953 Eldorado-type wraparound windshield was seen on all models. Sedans used a distinctive type of window reveal molding which created a built-in sun visor effect. For coupes, a smoothly curved wraparound backlight was referred to as the 'Florentine' style rear window. A wide ventilator intake now stretched across the base of the windshield on all models, and the chrome-visored headlamp look was emphasized. A 12-volt electrical system and aluminum alloy pistons were standard equipment for 1954.

1955 Cadillacs
In 1955 sales suddenly jumped to 141,000 deliveries -- this was the year of frenzied automobile buying by the US public, and Cadillac was treated to a piece of that pie.. The product line now included the Eldorado, a super-luxury model that sold 3,950 in its first year. For several years the Eldorado was marketed with styling touches that the rest of the line would adopt a year or two later.

Power seats, power steering and electric windows were fitted as standard in some models. More and more Cadillac owners had their cars optioned with air conditioning.

While no major appearance changes were seen on Cadillacs this year, a number of refinements were made. Most notable was the grille, which was redesigned with wider spaces between the blades, and the parking lamps were repositioned directly below the headlights. Tubeless tires were a new feature throughout the line.

The 331 CID V-8 introduced in 1949 was at its zenith in 1955. The block was maxed out at 270 HP and 345 ft. lbs. of torque in the Eldorado. Next year would see a change.

1956 Cadillacs - bigger engines, more options and subtle change
For 1956, sales continued to rise, with 155,577 produced, almost triple the number for 1950! In the same year, Packard was gasping its final breaths, and Imperial sales were dropping. Only Lincoln's production increased dramatically, but at 50,322, it had a long way to go to match Cadillac. The "Standard of the World" was dominating the top rung of the U.S. auto market.

Although a facelift was the major restyling news for 1956, there were still many changes in the Series 62 lineup and especially in the Eldorado sub-series. Totally new models included a pillarless four-door called the "Sedan De Ville" and the "Eldorado Coupe Seville". The latter represented an especially luxurious hardtop coupe, which was built to the same standards as the Eldorado convertible and similarly priced.

The Cadillac Series 62 Sedan De Ville four-door hardtop and Eldorado SeVille two-door hardtop were introduced to the public on October 24, 1955. The 1956 Hydra-Matic transmission incorporated changes that increased its size and smoothed out shifting qualities. It was developed by GM at a cost of $35 million - a lot of coin in 1956.

The 1956 Cadillac V-8 grew to 365 CID, and with new cylinder heads, made as much as 305 HP in the two 4-barrel carburetor equipped Eldorado.

1957 Cadillacs - More opulence and Holy Smoke - a $13,000 hand built Eldorado
In 1957 Cadillac stunned the luxury market with completely new styling and its own 300 and 325 HP V8s. Cadillac also released another show car come to life, the 4-door Eldorado Brougham, which had debuted in the GM traveling Motorama in 1955. This new Eldorado, with its advanced styling, was priced above $13,000, a huge sum for its day.
But the Brougham came with every conceivable option plus a few features never before seen on any car. 

Cadillac adopted a tubular X-frame chassis on all models in this year. It did not require side rails and resulted in greater structural rigidity while allowing lower body lines without loss of useable space. New front-end styling was marked by rubber bumper guard tips and dual, circular parking lamps set into the lower bumper section.

Side trim was revised, and a dual taillight theme was used throughout the line. By utilizing different center frame sections, the wheelbases and overall lengths of specific series and body styles was possible. The Series 60S and Series 62 4-doors were now hardtops with the Series 75 being, the only closed sedan. Ball joint suspension was a new technical feature adopted this year.

Model year sales were 146,841, down form 1956's 155,577, but still earning Cadillac Division ninth in industry ranking for two years in a row

1958 Cadillacs - Subtle Changes and that was smart
1958 Cadillacs were basically carryover models with a facelift on all but the Brougham. There was a new grille featuring multiple round 'cleats' at the intersection of horizontal and vertical members. The grille insert was wider, and the bumper guards were positioned lower to the parking lamps. New quad (dual) headlamps were seen throughout all lines, and small chrome fins decorated the front fenders. Tail fins were a bit less pronounced, and trim attachments were revised.

This would be the last year for domestic production of the hand-built Eldorado Brougham at Cadillac's Detroit factory. Future manufacturing of the special bodies would be be done by Pininfarina of Turin, Italy.

Five special Eldorado Biarritz convertibles were built with completely automatic top riser mechanisms and metal tonneaus. The system incorporated humidity sensors which activated the top riser mechanism in case of rain. These cars were fitted with four-place bucket seating and custom leather interior trims including drive shaft tunnel coverings.

Model year sales were down to 124,011 from 1956's 146,841. The recession had hit even Cadillac's affluent buyers.

Next Installment - Cadillac goes crazy in the styling department . . . .

To Read More About the 1954-58 Cadillacs - Click HERE and Select your Year

To see a 1957 Cadillac Road Test - Click Here

To see 1954-58 Cadillac Factory Ads - Click Here and pick your Year

To see 1954-58 Cadillac Factory Brochures - Click Here and pick your Year

 


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