The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 117

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

  • Chassis no. 5762076125

Sold for $187,000

325 bhp, 365 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 power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129.5 in.

  • The height of 1950s Cadillac elegance
  • Factory-equipped air conditioning
  • Beautifully restored

It was 1957. Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. Sputnik was in the sky. Elvis Presley was on the Ed Sullivan Show for what would be the third and last time. He would also own a new Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, the car that marked the reachable pinnacle of automobile ownership for many Americans. At over $7,000, it was achievable for the man or woman of great personal success—someone who, like Presley, had climbed their way up and desired to reward themselves with the best that money could buy. It spoke to that success with vast quantities of chrome, impressive highway-devouring performance, and styling that only Harley Earl’s studio could have dreamt up.

The 1957 Cadillac sported a new X-framed chassis, which did away with side rails and provided added structural strength, contributing to an even quieter, smoother ride than before, as well as allowing a lower body placement for reduced overall height. The resulting car virtually hugged the road, and with its apparent acres of rounded sheet metal crowned with knife-edged tailfins, the vast Biarritz Convertible seemed to drift down the highway. Naturally, the upgraded interior came with all imaginable power accessories and creature comforts.

One of just 1,800 Eldorado Biarritz Convertibles produced in 1957, Don Davis’ example is beautifully restored in its original Starlight Silver Metallic over red leather upholstery, an unusual and striking livery. Desirably, it is equipped with factory air conditioning, which was rare enough on a 1957 Cadillac, but especially so on an open convertible, and most of all on the top-of-the-line Biarritz. The trunk opens remotely with the push of a button, and the same button pulls the trunk lid closed. Talk about conspicuous consumption! Other important accessories include the “Autronic Eye” automatic headlight dimmer, a Wonderbar radio, and a hard “parade” cover for the folded convertible top. Chromed “sabre” wheels are shod with wide whitewall tires, the classic look for a Cadillac of this era.

The Eldorado Biarritz remains, as it was in 1957, a four-wheeled symbol of success, completely appropriate to the collection of Mr. Don Davis, and especially so when equipped with factory air conditioning—all the better for open-top driving under Texas sunshine.

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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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