It has been said that this is the largest car ever built. The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz is truly a very large automobile and represented the pinnacle of automotive elegance in 1960. The decade of the 60's for essentially all automakers represented a change from the excessive chrome and tail fins of the 1950's and ended up with the powerful muscle cars during the last half of the decade.
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz
Legendary General Motors head designer Harley Earl absolutely loved big tail fins.The inspiration for tail fins on automobiles came from the aircraft of the 1940's.The story is that Earl was impressed with the Lockheed twin tail P-38 fighter from World War Two and the rest as they say is history.
Auto tail fins beginning around 1948 generally kept getting larger and larger through the 1950's and reached their largest in 1959 with the Cadillac. Tailfins actually grew bolder and larger until they became almost outrageous. The fins were certainly large on the 1960 Cadillac but toned down from 1959. It has always been a given that the 1959 Cadillac receives the credit for the largest fins.
It should be noted however that beginning with the 1960 Cadillac line-up, the design excesses of the 1950's decade were being downplayed. During the fifties it seemed that each year brought a new twist on longer, lower, wider, along with the ever-taller tail fins and in addition to that ever more chrome.The Cadillac of the 1960's didn't usher in many new engineering advances but styling did take on a more conservative approach.
Anyone who visits the "Cadillac Ranch" on Interstate 40 just a few miles west of Amarillo, Texas can see how Cadillac tail fins progressed through the 1950's. This is the site where the front end of Cadillac's are buried in the ground and the rears with their fins are sticking up in the air. Ten Cadillacs buried nose down in a field at the same angle as the Cheops Pyramid. Nobody had the idea that the art installation from 1974 they named Cadillac Ranch would become the roadside attraction it is today. If you happen by Amarillo on the Interstate it makes for an interesting stop and some great photos.
What Harley Earl did with the Eldorado was one of the most exciting designs to hit the automotive world, and by 1960, everyone knew that if you were driving Harley Earl’s Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, you were driving a great automobile with all the comforts available.
Among standard equipment was air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, dual back-up lamps, six-way power seats, heater, fog lamps, remote control trunk lock, radio with antenna and rear speaker, power vent windows, air suspension, electric door locks. Basically, just about anything you would want or need for this car was standard equipment.
1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz Specifications
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz was produced with a 390 cubic inch V-8 engine. This engine with three carburetors delivered a very impressive 345 horsepower.
Brakes were hydraulic power and transmission was a Hydra-Matic automatic with four gears.
Front suspension were independent coil springs with coil springs in the rear along with air-ride.
Wheelbase was 130.1 inches, overall length 225.0 inches, height 59.1 inches, width 79.9 inches. Curb weight was 5,058 lbs.
Only 1285 units of this particular model were produced which makes it a very rare car today.
This 1960 Cadillac Barritz would have cost you about $7,400 when new.
Of significance with the 1960 Cadillac Eldorado, the engine for the 1961 model would be a bit less powerful with a 390 cubic inch V-8 with 325 HP. The air-ride suspension and three carburetor arrangement would be gone after 1960.
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Reference material for this article and some good reads include...The Cadillac Story: The Post War Years by Thomas Bonsall.....Cadillac: A Century of Excellence by authors Robert Leicester Wagner...Cadillac: The Tailfin Years by Robert J. Headrick Jr.
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz Convertible Collector Car
As mentioned earlier, only 1,285 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz Convertibles were manufactured. These are true classic automobiles and make a statement about the era of which they were designed and created.
Cadillac is a classic brand of American luxury automobiles and is a true icon of the American automotive industry.
Values for these very rare 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz Convertibles are in a range of about $70,000 to $220,000.
(Articles and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)