The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 123

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

  • Chassis no. 536273055

Sold for $231,000


Series 62. 210 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • The original Cadillac Eldorado
  • The 309th of only 533 produced
  • Long-time California car restored by experts
  • Beautiful overall condition


El Dorado! Over the passing decades, the name has come to refer to a legendary “City of Gold,” long sought-after and never acquired by all those who seek fame, fortune, and plunder. Only slightly less desirable in 1953 was Cadillac’s Eldorado, which was, at the time, the most glorious automobile that the company had ever produced. It was the first production Cadillac to carry a name that would continue to mean the finest in American luxury for generations to come.



One of four 1952 General Motors Motorama dream cars that were ushered, largely unchanged, into limited production the following year, it was, essentially, a Series 62 Convertible Coupe. However, the body was radically reshaped, incorporating a wrap-around windshield, Packard Darrin-like “dips” in the doors, and an acrylic fabric convertible top that disappeared neatly behind a metal boot when lowered. This being the 1950s, comfort abounded within: power seats, windows, and steering were all standard in the leather-trimmed cockpit, as was a signal-seeking radio, an automatic heating system, and windshield washers. The package was finished with wire wheels shod with wide whitewall tires.



In a public relations coup for the ages, the first production Eldorado literally rolled out with the president of the United States in the backseat, as Dwight Eisenhower used it for his inaugural parade in January 1953.



Only 533 lucky souls got to experience what Ike experienced. The original Eldorado has gone down in history as the most unique and rarest of the many cars to carry the famous name, and it remains among the most desired of all post-war Cadillacs.



The Don Davis Collection naturally includes a 1953 Eldorado among its ranks. The 309th built, this car is formerly of John White’s respected Ramshead Automobile Collection in Central California. Several years ago, it was the recipient of a respectful and correct cosmetic restoration in black with an optional two-tone black-and-white interior and black cloth top, performed by noted 1953 Eldorado restorers, Steve Henson and Ronald King. There is only very minor wear to be found throughout, and overall, the car is still in very impressive condition and very much as it appeared when it left the factory. Additionally, finished in the outstanding and unique color combination of triple black, the Eldorado demonstrates quite an imposing and sleek presence.



The 1953 Eldorado is an American legend, a term often overused but here accurately applied, as the first of a long line of cars that marked the finest efforts of the Standard of the World. Don Davis’ example is an excellent opportunity to acquire such a car and perhaps to cruise leisurely down Pennsylvania Avenue, just as Ike did in 1953.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more