53 Years In Storage: 1957 Cadillac Biarritz Convertible

Talk about a car we don’t see every day, this is truly a rare find among rare finds! Only about 1,800 of these were ever made, and this one can be yours if you make a deal through this craigslist advert in the area of Poolesville, Maryland. Let’s take a look…

For those of you who were not around when these were new, please allow us to briefly fill you in: Cadillac produced 12 generations of the Eldorado, from 1952 to 2002. An Eldorado Biarritz was, in the middle of the 20th century, the absolute stuff of dreams. In fact, Elvis Presley had one around the same time of his third performance on the Ed Sullivan show. If you had one of these, people knew you were really someone special. A Sotheby’s listing for one of these described it rather well: “…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 [Elvis] 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 only thing above this was the Brougham, but that’s a whole other story.

This one is, to put it mildly, in need of more than just TLC. The seller doesn’t give us much at all with which to work, be it words or pictures, however if you’re still with us here, you know what you’re seeing. If it has its original running gear, it likely has a 365 cubic-inch V8 mated to a 4-speed automatic. We’re told that it has 60,000 miles and air conditioning, as well as “dual q”[sic] which we presume to mean dual quad carburetors. Regardless, it’s a limited-run car that cost about $7000 when new, or $64,000 in today’s dollars. It obviously needs everything, but it could command six figures when restored.

All things considered, I would love to save this car. If I had “stupid” money, you can bet “smart” money that I’d have this on a trailer and en route to an expert shop before the ink was dry on the paperwork. If money were no object, would you have one of these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Robbie M.

    One of my dream cars. But, alas, the wallet is empty. :(

    Like 5
  2. ccrvtt

    Hoosier Lotto is over $2.5 million tonight.

    Like 4
    • Dovi65

      And you’ll need a sizeable chunk of that 2.5M to get this dreamboat back to fighting shape.
      Sad that such a magnificent machine was put away and ignored for so long that it deteriorated to this condition
      I’ve lusted after one of these [along with the Eldo Brougham of the same era] since I was a kid in the 1970s. They were used cars then, but I had no money

      Like 13
  3. Will Fox

    These are a no-loss investment for sure, and worth every penny to restore. You’ll EASILY spend $120K+ to do a frame off, and quite a few reproduction parts are now made for these including the obscure trim pieces. You could restore it as it left the factory, but so many color combinations were available for these, I’d be tempted to ‘fudge’ a bit and pick interior/exterior colors it may not have been produced in. C’mon, Powerball!!

    Like 11
  4. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Winning the Mega Millions this week. Buying this babe on Monday.
    4 motor EV conversion…airbag suspension…cream white paint…gold plated chrome…LED lighting everywhere including tail fin inserts…custom print canvas top…bison leather interior. Yep.

    Like 6
    • Robert White

      Get in line, BuckO. I’m going to win the Lotto 649 in Ontario and then I’m going to pick up the Cadi & trailer it home to CANUCKISTAN.

      Bob

      Like 15
      • Angrymike

        >CANUCKISTAN
        Lol, haven’t heard that in a while !
        I’ll bet this was one heck of a beauty. I’m more of a muscle car guy, but this would be an excellent second car (next to my 69 hemi Roadrunner) but I digress, I’ll never afford either !

        Like 1
    • Miguel

      Detroit, I hope you are joking with the EV conversion.

      Like 1
  5. grease

    interior and dash not mentioned but the body looks relatively complete along with a lot of it’s original chrome, frame for top also looks to be mostly there.
    Tough old girl to find new or NOS parts for but I expect parts cars are out there.
    You got to have the right Shop, Skills and Tools to take on a brute like this..

    Like 4
  6. 71FXSuperGlide

    Well, whaddya expect for nearly $40K? More than 4 photos? LOL

    Certainly worth a look, but you have to wonder what the story on the pink hood is.

    Like 2
  7. Matt

    Hello,

    I did repaint work on a ’57’ Biarritz for a realtor in Berea, Ohio when I was in college back in ancient 1975. I remember the power everything on that car ! What a land yacht !! It had a cat’s eye also, which I think many of the Caddy’s had. Pretty car !! It was a blue-green metallic with a white top. He recently passed, but I suspect the car sits in his multi car garage along with my ’66’ XKE that I never should have sold !!

    Like 5
  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Thoughts… One too many zeros and the white corrosion around the rear bumper parts would make me want to see what’s underneath. Had a customer with one of these and for what they weigh that dual carb engine would really move it down the road. The lack of pictures and the seller’s attitude would keep me away from this one.

    Like 2
    • AMcA

      I believe those rear bumper sections are cast aluminum, which butt up against stainless trim aft of the rear wheel.

  9. OIL SLICK

    One to many zeros for that $4000 car

    Like 2
    • Golan

      Agreed. It’s ridiculous.

  10. healeydays

    That was about the same price for a Mercedes 300SL for that year. Decisions, decisions…

    Like 2
  11. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Look at that patina! I would leave it as is and drive it! After I made the hood match with fauxtina of course. In other news, I bought a 65 Rustang Fastback, woo hoo.

    Like 5
    • On and On On and On Member

      Chuck F 55chevy …..Bought a Rustang? Let’s see pictures! and change your name to Chuck F 65rustang……….. good for you buddy.

      Like 4
  12. That Guy

    It looks unusually straight and complete, and the visible rust doesn’t look too scary, though obviously nobody is going to buy this sight-unseen. Even at the asking price there’s a lot of room left before getting underwater on this car. Restored, it’s six figures all day long.

    Like 1
  13. Brian L Boespflug

    I’m not sure you could break even if you got the car for free. As a collector car these will always be popular but they won’t be a slam dunk six figure sale like they have in the past. Stuff from the 50s is becoming a much tougher sell because the people who really loved them are aging out.

    Like 2
  14. TimM

    What a boat!! There’s more cubic feet in the trunk than most modern cars have over all!! Back in the day you could move a family of five across town with all there possessions!! Wouldn’t even have to put the top down!!

  15. WR Hall

    About fifty years ago I recall one exactly like this in the same shape In Portland Or. We had a customer who was a drunk and bum who used to always have old beat up Cadillacs. I got no clue where he dug them up literally or what happed to them. I recall the Eldo sitting in remants of a garge for a few years then disappearing. This would have been the mid to late sixies. Mostly mid 50’s vintage. He is long gone and the house been yuppified so all traces long gone.

    Like 1
  16. Del

    Not enough info in the advert to justify the price.

    No engine pics or details.

    No underneath pics

    No thanks

    Like 4
  17. CaCarDude

    Ah the good old days when these big land yachts roamed the roads of America. Back in about ’59 when I was at the young age of 11 my Father had a good friend who was a Master Chef at a local (Sacramento) yacht club restaurant, he had the identical El Dorado from new but was a beautiful light silver blue metallic. I recall many times as he rolled up to our house the sound from the glass packs he had installed. Top down always and he always had a small bottle of his finest elixir on the seat next to him. Old Walter was one nice old gentleman, not sure what ever happened to the Caddy as life took so many turns growing up back then. This is one rare find and I do hope it gets saved and will once again grace the open roads.

    Like 3
  18. Andrew Franks

    If I had the room, and foolish money in my wallet, i would jump all over this car, save it, make it stunning and blow everybody away with it. Assume around $175,000 to get it right, over $200,000 to get it perfect with all the toys working, keep it for five years, maybe six, give it to Sotheby’s Auction then, and get about 10% on your money. Not a wonderful annual return on investment but who cares? You are down the road in a unique dramatic automobile.

  19. On and On On and On Member

    My sentiments Andrew. 10% is not that bad for a retirement 401k interest. And the pleasure you would derive from watching the transformation and driving the final product= priceless………..

  20. rapple

    1957: The year that American auto makers made the big commitment to wretched excess. The last few years of the ’50’s featured annually changing acres of useless sheet metal and chrome bling with zero improvement in engineering. On a positive note, if you want an attention grabber, drive up in one of these. It worked for Elvis!

    Like 1
  21. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    There’s a local guy that has a few of these….his cars get featured here every now and then….wounder if he is having a fire sale on those he has listed…..

  22. Steven Wilson

    One can only wonder why they would put it a filthy place and call it storage. Granted a pristine caddy will fetch over 250,000 to 300,000 especial a Biarritz. My neighbors brother had a 57 Caddy Biarritz with the stainless roof and he sold it for over 300,000 years ago. This is one beautiful automobile but time has taken her glory away from her. what a shame.

    • April

      The stainless roof car would be an Eldorado Brougham. The Biarritz was convertible only.

    • Miguel

      How did he have a stainless steel roof on a convertible?

      • AMcA

        That would have been an Eldorado Brougham.

        There was a coupe version of the Biarritz, called Seville, but it had a vinyl roof (or whatever they used at the time).

        But only the Brougham had stainless.

        Like 1
  23. grant

    $7000 in 1957 is equivalent to $64,000 today; however in 1957, your money could get you the best car made, or a pretty nice house. A relatively average one ton pickup will cost you 64k (or more) today, and a house? 64k is a fairish down payment.

    Like 3
    • AMcA

      When you do the inflation correction, remember that people’s incomes were lower in the past. The average worker in 1957 earned $3,800 – $32,000 in today’s dollars. Today’s average worker makes over $50,000.

      You could look at the $7,000 1957 car as being about double the average income, or the equivalent of a $100,000+ car today.

      Like 1
  24. Bob McK Member

    I had a 58 Seville back in the early 90’s. Beautiful car. Got laid off in 92 and had to sell it to eat. Sure wish I had it today. Only got $10K for it back then. The guy that bought it lost her in a fire. SAD!

    Like 2
  25. Tom Member

    My mentor, friend an master restoration expert Ray Jackson restored a 57 Eldo Biarritz Convertible back around 1990. Lighter metallic Green with the Parchment color convertible top. Stunning car. I do believe it went on to Michigan to win a concours restoration award. Amazing cars these are.

  26. jim Thulin

    I’ve got the (all original) steal top same car with 12,000 original miles. Not the rare rag top but still rare. Excellent condition with such low miles but I tried selling a few years ago for 45,000 and no one even responded…….ouch

    • Brian

      Fading enthusiasm for these 50s iron

  27. Bruce

    There was one across the street from where I lived on as a kid. It was owned by a sports writer named Marty DeVictor. As I recall, it was black with a white convertible top with a dark red or maybe Burgundy interior.

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