29 Nov Car of the Month – December
1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
- Engine – 365 CID V8
- Horsepower – 335 hp
- Transmission – Twin-Turbine Dynaflow 4-speed automatic
- Curb Weight – 5,070 lbs
- 0-60 time – 10.9 seconds
- Top speed – 119 mph
- Number built – 815
- MSRP price – $7,500.00
Cadillac cars were status symbol in the 1950s. They were the biggest, fastest and most luxurious cars on the market, and in 1958 the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible was the most luxurious American car offered and the most expensive as well.
Inspired by Motorama show cars, the Biarritz featured exclusive rear sheet metal with aircraft-inspired fins atop rounded rear fenders. The radically curved wraparound windshield was revolutionary for its time, and the design featured a longer, wider and lower silhouette. Special 15-inch chrome-finish Sabre Spoke wheels were standard on the Eldorados. The Biarritz was supplied with a fiberglass reinforced plastic top boot finished in the same color as the car body. This “parade boot,” as it was called, was the perch for many Homecoming Queens and sports heroes of the era.
Developed by Harley Earl and his team of stylists shortly before Earl’s retirement, the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz is the most sophisticated of the fin-era automobile designs. It boasts the most chrome of any car in history and has rubber conical extrusions on the front bumper that Caddy buffs began calling “Dagmars,” referencing the one-name moniker used by a well-endowed American actress of the 1950s.