19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

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Lot 167

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

  • Engine no. 58P060521
  • Body no. 638

Sold for $170,500

Series 70. Body Style no. 7059X. 355 bhp, 365 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic power drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • The ultimate and most expensive American automobile of its era
  • Sought-after 1958 model with the more powerful “Tri-Power” V-8
  • Finished in the rare, attractive original color of Lake Placid Blue
  • Rides on correct air suspension; includes many of the rare correct vanity accessories
  • One of the most rare highly desirable 1950s automobiles today

It is hard to imagine an American automaker today building a four-door sedan that would be priced higher than a new Ferrari or Rolls-Royce. In the 1950s, it was a different time. Glitter was good, bigger was better, and too many accessories was just right in the age of chrome and neon. Ford had upped the ante with the introduction of its Continental Mark II, a two-door coupe so elite that the Blue Oval didn’t even bother calling it a Lincoln. It was an era ripe for the ultimate Cadillac: a car heaped with everything that General Motors’ engineering and styling gurus could throw at it.

Harley Earl’s styling team contributed multiple new ideas, including four-door hardtop sedan bodywork with side windows that disappeared completely, frames and all; rear-hinged rear doors, which were a throwback to the 1930s; and a broad expanse of sparkling brushed stainless steel for the roof. Quad headlights were exclusive to the model and still illegal in most states. The engineering staff worked out a litany of power accessories that was so numerous that “power everything” wasn’t just a convenient phrase, it was a reality. The trunk lid and rear doors not only opened with the push of a button, but they closed with one too, and the doors would lock automatically when the transmission was put in gear. A memory front seat was a first for a production car, as were the forged aluminum wheels. Naturally, there was air conditioning.

All of this high living came at a cost of $13,974, which was twice the cost of the Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. In fact, one had to look long and hard to find a production car anywhere in the world that was as expensive as an Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac reportedly lost $10,000 on every car built, which was why the original “Eldo Bro” lasted for only two years and only 704 examples were made.

The 1958 model offered here, number 638, unlike many of its ilk, survived the years in very original and well-preserved condition, despite its original delivery in Minnesota. The previous owner elected to perform a body-on cosmetic restoration, photographic documentation of which accompanies the car. The straight, sound body was properly stripped and refinished in the beautiful and unusual original color of Lake Placid Blue, a sparkling metallic shade that contrasts beautifully with the stainless steel roof. Lake Placid Blue was a relatively rare Eldorado Brougham color, used on only 41 of the cars during both years of production. Similarly, the chassis was cleaned and properly refinished, and today is still clean and attractive; chrome throughout is consistent, with excellent bumpers and solid trim, much of which remains original. The interior of the Brougham was re-upholstered only as necessary, with new cloth inserts but the original blue leather upholstery, which is still in excellent condition, especially given that it has been with the car since 1958.

Most impressive are the car’s details. It still rides on correct air suspension, unusual, as this complex system was regularly replaced by coil springs a few years into the life of most Broughams. Air suspension is thus extraordinarily desirable—not to mention serenely comfortable. The steel roof, next to impossible to repair properly if damaged, is straight and beautiful, with no major blemishes. The memory power seat functions correctly, as do the interior lights and the power-operated trunk lid.

Accompanying the Brougham is a copy of its original build information from Cadillac, copies of the factory Service Information and shop manuals, a reprinted owner’s manual, and the aforementioned restoration photographs. Furthermore, the car is supplied with several of the correct original vanity accessories, including six magnetized cocktail tumblers, a largely complete Evans vanity case, a plastic cigarette box, and a note pad with Cross silver pencil.

Few Eldorado Broughams have been as conscientiously well-kept and sympathetically restored as that offered here, which has all of the correct, hard to duplicate features sought after by the connoisseur. The opportunity to drive it yourself to Perino’s or Ciro’s has passed, but it retains the stunning glamour of a bygone age—as only Cadillac could present it, with the most expensive automobile in the world.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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