1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible / Model History, Specs, Photos

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.

1960 cadilllac barritz

1960 Cadillac Eldorado Barritz Convertible

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.

classic cadillac barritzWhat 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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1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille

classic eldorado barritz

Luxurious seating in the 60 Eldorado Barritz

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

1960 cadillac eldorado specs

Tail fins somewhat toned down from 1959.

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)

1908 Maxwell Model LC / All Details, Model History

The automobile featured in this article is an original 1908 Maxwell Model LC. This model is an excellent example of the brass era of automobiles. This was a period during the very late 1800's to the early 1900's. The brass era refers to the time when brass fittings such as radiators, horns and headlamps among other car parts were used prominently. This was also the first era of auto manufacturing.

maxwell lc automobile

1908 Maxwell Model LC

The Maxwell Automobile

The Maxwell was a brand of automobiles manufactured in the United States of America from about 1904 to 1925. Of historic significance is that the Maxwell company is the predecessor of today's Fiat Chrysler automobiles.

Maxwell began in 1904 as the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company, using the former Mobile Steamer factory in Tarrytown, New York. The founders of the company were Jonathan Dixon Maxwell, and Benjamin Briscoe. Maxwell had performed work with Oldsmobile and Briscoe had spent some time with Buick. The start up company's financing largely came from J.P. Morgan.

In 1909, Maxwell-Briscoe was the third largest American automaker, with 9,400 sales per year, and $3 million profit since the company’s founding. To help promote how sturdy and relaible their cars were, Maxwell sponsored a historic national cross-country drive, the first such drive by a woman with a female mechanic.

maxwell carsWe have pointed out in other articles that competitive auto events went a long way in promoting the quality and durability of one's automobile product. Maxwell-Briscoe had good success in this arena. The Glidden Tour was a great way of comparing the many cars entered. The 1908 Glidden Tour, as an example, received massive newspaper coverage. The public wanted to be able to compare cars as mentioned above and a tour featuring so many of these brands in one event was quite a big opportunity. The tour concept also had advantages for potential car buyer as opposed to races alone where stripped down vehicles competed in speed. The racing concept, with specially made cars really didn't show potential buyers what they could purchase.

To give you an idea of how the Glidden Tour operated....the 1908 Tour had rules where each automobile was to carry an observer. The observer would note every repair and adjustment and basically everything that involves their assigned car. Points are taken away for each repair and/or adjustment needed and failure to run on schedule. The Glidden Trophy was awarded to the car club that lost the fewest points.

The United States Motor Company

General Motors under William Durant was unsuccessful in bringing the Maxwell Briscoe Motor Company into the GM fold. Maxwell-Briscoe however did believe they needed to merge with a competitor to stay competitive. The end result was the start of the United States Motor Company.

The Maxwell-Chrysler Connection

The first Maxwell car was made in 1904 by Jonathan Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe, who in 1909 joined the short-lived United States Motor Company.This was a combination of several automakers including Maxwell, Brush Motor Car Company, Alden Sampson Trucks, Stoddard-Dayton, Columbia Automobile Company, Briscoe Manufacturing and others. The idea of this merger was to help these automakers financially. Obtaining bank financing was not easy and the feeling was that there was strength in numbers. One problem with this particular arrangement was that only Maxwell was operating profitably.

The United States Motor Company folded in 1913 but Maxwell, being profitable, continued on alone until the post World War One recession. In 1920, owing a great deal of money to creditors, Maxwell connected with Walter P. Chrysler, who had resigned from the Buick division of General Motors. The purpose was to try to save the company. In 1922 the Maxwell company took over Chalmers Motor Car Co. In 1923 Walter Chrysler bought control of Maxwell.

Under Walter Chrysler’s leadership, the company began to produce more competitive automobiles. The company introduced a revolutionary six-cylinder vehicle that was showcased at the 1924 New York Automobile Show. In 1925 the Maxwell Motor Company  was renamed as the Chrysler Corporation, with Walter P. Chrysler as it's president. The Maxwell automobile would be the car that eventually became the Plymouth brand under Chrysler.

The 1908 Maxwell Specifications

The 1908 Maxwell was a very popular automobile. Popular enough that it came in third in sales behind Ford and Buick. The reputation was as a sturdy automobile with simple but excellent engineering.

brass era automobiles

Example of some of brass fixtures on the Maxwell LC

The 1908 Maxwell Model LC was built with a horizontally opposed 2 cylinder 14 HP engine. The engine used a chain drive.

The car had a three speed gearbox and an all steel body.

This model was a part of the Brass Era with it's brass headlamps, horn, radiator and tail light.

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The 1914 Ford Depot Hack

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brass era maxwell automobileThe 1908 Maxwell Model LC was a lightweight vehicle for two and was one of the first automobiles to use a steering wheel as opposed to a tiller. The Model LC was the entry level Maxwell. There was a 1908 Maxwell Model D that was a five passenger vehicle with a carriage top. The Model D had a straight four cylinder engine and a 104.0 inch wheelbase.

The 1908 Maxwell LC came in one body style. The designation LC was only used for the 1908 model year.

Maxwell Collector Cars

maxwell automobile specificationsAny Maxwell automobile still in existence is a rare model. When you come across one the Brass Era models with it's eye-catching brass fittings, it will get your attention.

As of this writing early Maxwell collector automobiles, while being quite rare, are priced reasonably. At auction, the 1908 Maxwell Model LC averaged about $18,500. Depending on condition and restoration, the range can be from about $15,000 to the mid $20,000 area.

References for this article include...The Indianapolis News...Maxwell Motor and the Making of the Chrysler Corporation by author Anthony J. Yanik...Complete History of Chrysler Corporation, 1924-1985.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)


1948 Hudson Commodore / Model History, Specs

The automobile featured in this article is a top of the line 1948 Hudson Commodore. The Hudson Motor Car Company produced upscale automobiles. Hudson offered standard features that were options with many other automakers. This 1948 model was the first of the third generation Hudson Commodores. In 1948 the Commodore was offered with either a straight eight or straight six engine. Our featured model has a straight six.

1948 hudson commodore

1948 Hudson Commodore

The Hudson Motor Car Company

In the case of the Hudson Motor Car Company, the firm began operating in 1909. The company was founded by Howard Coffin, George W. Dunham, and Roy E. Chapin although the start up money essentially came from Detroit Michigan department store magnate Joseph L. Hudson. Hudson's was a major Detroit retailer up until it's merger into Dayton-Hudson. In a way it was Joseph Hudson who founded the company.

Hudson's were made in Detroit until 1954, when they merged with Nash-Kelvinator to create American Motors (AMC).

Hudson's Progressive Engineering

Hudson automobiles were known for quality and for introducing a lot of firsts. One big first was the steering wheel being placed on the left side of the vehicle with hand controls in the center. Dual brakes were yet another first as well as the first balanced crankshaft used in their straight six engine. The balanced crank shaft meant much smoother idling. As mentioned above, the Hudson Motor Car Company had yet another first with the all steel body brought out on select models in 1935.

hudson automobile specsThe 1948 Hudson Commodore

The Hudson Commodore was produced from 1941 to 1952. The Hudson Commodore was the most luxurious automobile built by Hudson.

The 1948 model year represented the third generation of the Commodore. In 1948, the Commodore was one of the first new design cars post-WWII. This year was the start of Hudson's Step-Down or Monobuilt design. This was a real revolutionary post war design change which would last through the 1954 model year. The step-down design with it's encircling frame essentially made the Commodore a lower car and people would actually step down r lower themselves to enter it. Safety was thought to increase with the car having a surrounded chassis. Weight was also reduced with the unibody construction and aided performance and handling.

For 1948 the Hudson Commodore was only offered in one series. The choice was an inline six or inline eight engine.

1948 Hudson Commodore Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1948 Hudson Commodore offered either an inline six or inline eight cylinder engine. Our featured model has a 262 cubic inch inline six delivering 121 HP.

Transmission was a three speed manual.

Brakes were Bendix Duo-Servo drums.

Front suspension were independent coil springs with rear semi-elliptic leaf springs.

Dimensions for the 1948 Hudson Commodore included a wheelbase of 124.0 inches...overall length of 207.5 inches...width of 77.06 inches...height of 60.4 inches.

Curb weight 3,750 lbs.

See the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

1936 Hudson Deluxe Eight

The Hudson Hornet

References for this article include...Hudson: The Story of the Hudson Motor Car 1909-1957 by Ted W. Mayborn and Mitch Mayborn....The History of Hudsonby Don Butler.

hudson step down design

Much lower with the Step-Down design

 hudson automobile badge

1948 Hudson Commodore Collector Car Values

Hudson automobiles in very good condition are popular with collectors. The Hudson automobile was produced as an upscale car and when you run across one of them at a car show you'll be immediately impressed. You should also find these well manufactured automobiles reasonably priced and good cars to start a collection with.

As with all collector cars for sale, the asking prices usually reflect the overall condition of the vehicle and degree of restoration, if any. As of this writing we see a 1942 Hudson Commodore 4 door Sedan priced at about $12,000. A 1949 Hudson Super Six at $10,000. A 1947 and 1950 Commodore for about $12,500 each. You will also find some specific Hudson models in pristine condition in the $40,000+ area such as the 1929 Hudson Super Six, Landeau and the 1953 Hudson Hornet Club Coupe.

hudson commodore interiorHudson car enthusiasts may want to check out website...www.hudsonclub.org...this is the Hudson Essex Terraplane (H-E-T) Club, Inc

The Hudson Essex Terraplane (H-E-T) Club, Inc, an organization dedicated to preserving the products of the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan (1909-1954) and American Motors Corporation (1955-1957). This is an international club that is dedicated to driving and preserving these great automobiles, with over 3,000 members worldwide.

The North Central Chapter of the Hudson Essex, Terraplane Club was one of the first car clubs formed in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)