Rare Desert Find: 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

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The seller says that this rare and valuable car was sitting in the California desert for years. This is a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, 1 of 304 Broughams built in 1958 and car #578 out of 904 Eldorado Broughams built between 1957 and 1960. It now resides in Dallas, Texas. This is a rare car, and it’s quite valuable even as it sits here in need of a full $100,000+ restoration.

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Thank you, California desert, for helping to preserve this car much more than sitting outside almost anywhere else would have. How a car like this came to its lowly lot in life to be sitting outside in a desert for years and years is beyond me. But, like almost every vehicle ever made, this was just a “used car” at some point in its history, even though it’s always been rare. This car would have cost around $14,000 in 1958, the equivalent of around $117,000 today. I don’t think that there’s any way to option up a new Cadillac to $117,000 today, but you can fairly easily spend that much for another luxury sedan in today’s dollars, and some ultra-luxury sedans would be several times that amount.

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Thankfully, the body looks more solid than I would have expected it to after being exposed to the elements for so long; even if those elements rarely included precipitation. Just like humans, vehicles sitting for too long is never a good thing; they need to be exercised, like humans do, in order to stay in shape and to keep things working smoothly. This may be my favorite view of the ’58 Eldorado Brougham, the rear 3/4 view. Gorgeous. But, the front and rear views aren’t too shabby, either! This YouTube video shows how the trunk will operate on this car once you have it restored.

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Yes, this car needs a full, nut-and-bolt restoration, stripped down to the frame and it needs to have every possible thing on it restored. You already know that it won’t be inexpensive to do that, but if you can sock away a few months of your own time to do some of the work you should be able to keep it under $100,000, maybe. This is not a bring-it-to-Maaco-for-a-$995-paint-job sort of car, this is a Pebble Beach lawn sort of car. These are rare and they deserve the very best. That being said, don’t expect to turn a profit on this car if you bring it to a restoration shop and tell them to go at it. These cars sell in the $120,000-$140,000 range in perfect condition and this car is already over $20,000, so plan on doing some of the work yourself if you plan on turning it around for a profit. Hagerty lists the value of a #1 concours 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham at $78,600; that seems low to me and some recent sales have confirmed that they are going for up to 50% more than that. Once you’ve restored this interior you’ll be ready for any national concours event.

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You can see that one of the most sought-after pieces of these cars is missing, the beautiful, triple-carburetor air cleaner; ouch. That may be a problem to track down, but hopefully you can find one so you don’t have to do this under there. This car has 50,545 miles on it, so that’s good, but sitting in the desert for years is not good. The 365 V8, 335 hp, 400 lb-ft of torque engine will obviously need a through rebuild. This is a lot of power today and it definitely was a lot of power in 1958! But, this car weighs about the same as a 2016 Cadillac Escalade does, believe it or not; so you’ll need every horsepower you can get to move this 5,500 pound luxury cruiser from your covered trailer to the next car show where you’ll doubtless win yet another trophy for best in show.

This is a car that I could only dream of owning someday; if I find an 8-pound gold nugget or win the Powerball. But, you can grab this car on eBay right now, or in seven days if you’re the high bidder. What will this car sell for? And, how would you restore this car, or would you?

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Comments

  1. Joe

    That is some car. I especially like the stainless roof, triple carbs, and suicide doors (forgot about them and only think “lincoln” with suicide doors). Suicide doors make it look more like a 2-door for some reason, maybe my brain scans for door handle location when deciding 2 or 4 door?? Very nice.

  2. Brad

    I’ve only read the word ‘brougham’, but never heard it said.
    Is it pronounced Broog-um? Bruff-um?

    • Rando

      BROAM or maybe Bro-um

    • Big Mike

      Brome. Like the first part of bromide.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      In my old neighborhood the natives said “Bro-ham”.

    • Joe

      We said “brome” like the city Rome with a “b” in front.

      • Brad

        : ) Thanks guys. I assumed “Bruff-um” due to Brough Superior being pronounced “Bruff” (at least, that’s how Jay Leno says it).

        Sounds like it changes, depending on where one lives.

  3. Woodie Man

    A beautiful car…a real shame it was allowed to sit and bake in the desert. Listing says it has a ’57 engine…..thats curious. I’d love to know the backstory.

  4. Van

    Really cool
    Cuban cigar cool
    Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin cool.
    I was born in 1958 cool.
    The USA is on top and always be cool.
    What you got?

    • Chris

      Yep.

  5. AMCSTEVE

    I’d take care of the nessacary repairs fix the interior, clear it and cruise. I would put a for sale sign on it, enjoy it then flip it to the next guy.

  6. geomechs

    Before I start pushing up daisies I would love to restore something like this. Might have to wait till my next kick at the can though unless those elusive numbers decide to come and grace my tickets…

  7. redwagon

    went to the cadillac config tool and the most expensive cadillac i could configure was the cts-v sedan at $103,335.

    my guess is that it would cost at least that amount to restore this one!

    • Van

      This is a 1958 CTS-V.
      As good as the new car is, I’d rather have this fully restored.
      With better brakes and sway bars of course.

      • Tim

        The 59-60 broughams were an entirely different car, even bodied by pinin farina.
        Not sure why the production figures for 57-58 were added to the 59-60 numbers in the article, they are unrelated.

  8. jim

    someone didn’t deserve to own a car like this, left for junk (

  9. Mark

    When I was a kid back in 1958, I parked cars in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the Mai Kai restaurant, at that time one of the finest dining room in S. Florida. We had several guests who came to the Mai Kai in these cars. They were all executives either with GM or a major supplier of parts to GM like tires, glass, upholstery etc. One of the most spectacular cars we had come to the restaurant had a brushed copper roof with black body. It was a show stopper!

  10. G.P. Member

    I was born in 1958 and I have never seen a caddy like this. It is awesome, I never knew they had so much style. If my Dad would of only bought one and put it in storage for me.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Pete – the seller – is a stand up guy and knows his stuff – he has recently sold his current place – regrettably moving some vehicles he’d rather keep – save his contact info.

  12. Mark S Member

    That is about the most fantastic Cadillac that I have ever seen, it must have been unbelievable when it was new. When you stop and think that these were created in a time long before the computer and precision automation of today. Hand drawn and built by true craftsmen. I sometimes wonder why people buy something like this ( which was a cut above everything else) and then let it go to crap from neglect, my vote would be to do a body off restoration. Can you imagine being the first owner end the experience of looking over that long hood when he pulled away from the curb for the first time.

  13. Rancho Bella

    These are at the top of the food chain in Lux. Stunning when restored

  14. p

    What a car!

  15. renzo

    MONSTER-sized generator(is that a suspension air compressor on top?) I can imagine the suspension components are made of un-obtanium.

  16. John Newell

    I’m with Steve on this one. I’d clean up the interior, fix the running gear to perfection but I’d leave the exterior alone. It looks like art on four wheels to me and the suicide doors add romance you won’t see anywhere else.

  17. Keith

    Wow…see…this is one of the things that keeps me going: knowing that there ARE cars like this still sitting around un-restored and waiting for someone to grab them. While this one is far out of my financial reach, I’ve known about these 58’s for years and am surprised to see one un-restored. Very cool!

    Like 1
  18. streamliner

    Bidding ended April 21, 2016 at $27,400. BIN price was $34,500. No argument — a terrific car with a lot of potential. That said the seller is over-greedy. The market has spoken. 18 bids. Lots of interest. I agree with other comments that cost of restoration will be around $100,000. If you pay $36,000.+ delivered, the math doesn’t add up. Yet another dealer bleeding the hobby dry. My guess is the seller has a lot less — maybe $10,000. into this. $27,400. as is, where is — is what this Caddy’s worth.

  19. Ian

    This gentleman actually had two of these listed at the same time. This one was the better one. He claims this one had most of the original air suspension components intact – a very important thing for these cars to have, because some were cut up and coil springs installed – NOT correct. And makes it very hard to restore the air suspension back when someone took it out. The other one was in far worse condition, still a dry car, but interior was completely gone and actually recovered in yellow or some obnoxious color at one point, and he said the car was on blocks suspension wise. He said they were both on blocks, but this one, had most of the air suspension intact. He didn’t detail about the other one. If I recall, this car was supposed to be white or something with black mouton carpet and black/white interior, but I forget the ad now. I Tried to attach a photo of the other car he had, but it won’t load, I still had the message in my eBay inbox. Sat a lot higher and was much more far gone. The back seat in the car featured in the article could almost be used as is.

    Like 1
  20. peter

    On top of the generator is another round cylindrical item. Is it a vacuum pump?

  21. Ken

    I have owned one of these cars, 1958, sold in 1983 for 3,500.00
    These are very rare, 1957 400 built 1958 304 built. New this car was 13,074.00
    100K to restore is on the LOW end, more like 150-200K done correctly. The chrome work alone would be over 20K. Bumpers are cast not shaped steel, very difficult to chrome plate.
    The item on top of the generator is the AIR RIDE compressor.
    The brougham used a unique system, where the ride height adjusted even if the engine was not running. This allowed the car to adjust while passengers or luggage was being loaded.

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