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.

You may enjoy these additional articles from Auto Museum Online found on the links below...

1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special

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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)

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille / Specs, Model History

The automobile featured in this article is a great looking, restored, 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille. The 1957 Series 62 Cadillac represented the fifth generation.

1957 cadillac specs

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille

The 1950's was the decade of the car fins and Cadillac did not disappoint. Starting in the late 40's and continuing straight through the decade of the 50's, Cadillac tail fins, which were first inspired by the P-38 military airplane, would become larger and larger through the years.

This really began with the first new post war designed Cadillac's for 1948. In 1949 the most significant engineering change involved the introduction of the new overhead valve 331 cubic inch V8 engine.This worked out well for Cadillac and the benefits carried on for over a decade. The new post war design was spearheaded by Frank Hershey, working under Harley Earl, who is credited for the first tail fins on a Cadillac, and the 1955 Thunderbird.

By the 1950's Cadillac was the leader in the luxury car category. Much of this had to do with changes beginning after 1940  when Cadillac stopped producing the LaSalle. From that time on Cadillac concentrated on building only what was referred to as prestige automobiles.

57 cadillac tailfins

Good view of the larger tailfins

Cadillac Changes for 1957

GM's Harley Earl was the head of the design team for the new 1957 Cadillac. A major change for Cadillac in 1957 was the new tubular X-frame without side rails which resulted in lower body lines but with the same usable space.

Front end styling was changed with rubber bumper guard tips and dual, circular parking lamps set into the lower bumper area. The side trim was changed and all models had dual taillights.

Wheelbase measurements were changed with three different lengths being offered in the Eldorado sub series. The Sedan DeVille was longer  than "standard" models and the Eldorado Coupe Seville and Biarritz convertible were even larger than that.

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille Specifications

The 1957 Cadillac Series 62 models were all given 365 cubic inch V-8's with Rochester Four Barrel Carburetors that delivered 300 horsepower.

All Cadillac for 1957 were built with Hydra-Matic drive transmissions, power breaks and power steering. These were standard equipment on all models.

Front suspension was independent coil spring and rear was longitudinal leaf spring.

Overall length for the 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille was 215.9 inches. Wheelbase was 129.5 inches. This differed from the Series 62 Coupes and Convertibles which were five inches longer overall but with the same 129.5 inch wheelbase. Width was 80.0 inches and height 61.0 inches.

Cadillac sold a total of 146,841 units for the 1957 model year.

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The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

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Reference material for this article includes Cadillac Database... The Cadillac Story: The Post War Years by Thomas Bonsall...Cadillac: The Tailfin Years by Robert J Headrick Jr.

57 cadillac dashboard

57 Cadillac dash

Cadillac Collector Cars

Most automobiles and trucks from the 1950's continue to be very popular collector vehicles.

In the case of Cadillac, you have a car built by one of the oldest brands in American automobile history. Cadillac was formed in 1902 by three men who had been involved with Henry Ford. The brand is named after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, and was sold to General Motors in 1909.

The 1957 Cadillac deVille was named one of the top-10 Cadillacs of all time by Money Inc. This was also the car that Elvis Presley reportedly purchased as a gift to his

An excellent website for Cadillac enthusiasts...http://www.cadillaccountryclub.com/   Here you will find information ranging from classics to the new Cadillac Escalade. For a list of Cadillac Car Clubs see website...http://www.carclubsworldwide.com/cadillac-car-clubs.php

The new car base price for the 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille was about $4,900. Today the model would have a wide range of values depending on of course condition, restoration history and originality. As a rule you may be looking at $20,000 to $35,000 and up for restored models. Values also differ significantly based on exact model.

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille / All Details, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Series 62. An elegantly designed vehicle with relatively small tailfins, especially compared to the types of tailfins Cadillac would come out with during the last few years of the decade.The Series 62 was offered in a variety of two and four door styles that included sedans, coupes, and convertibles.

1954 cadillac coupe deville

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille

New for 1954

For 1954, Cadillac touted it's design as being as distinguished as the Cadillac name itself.

A more contoured front bumper along with a new grille and a new lowered hood were the first thing a Cadillac buyer might notice.

Also, the introduction of a new "V" and crest. The car's fenders had straighter lines both front and back and the tailfins go upward more sharply. Add to this new rounded exhaust ports and a two inch overhang across the windshield which is visor like and helps with sun glare and snow and ice accumulation in that upper portion.

The 54 models also had larger parking and turn signal lights plus new rectangular design of the chrome-framed vent wings. In conjunction with the vertical pillar posts this addition provides exceptionally strong roof support. An Eldorado type wrap around windshield was seen on all models.

The 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille came with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission as standard equipment as well as power steering. Air conditioning, power brakes, fog lamps, radio and electrically operated front seats were among options at an extra cost.

54 cadillac models

Front end changes for the 54 Cadillac

Henry Ford, Cadillac and General Motors

The Cadillac brand came out of dispute between Henry Ford and his investors in 1902. A breakup ensued and the investors were essentially left with the hard assets of the factory. The investors felt they had little choice than to try to sell what assets remained of the now closed plant when a man named Henry Leland, a manufacturer in Detroit entered the picture.

Henry Leland was producing engines for Oldsmobile at the time and was more interested in reopening the factory than keeping it closed. Leland, who just happened to have invented a new engine, convinced the old Ford investors that his new engine was stronger than that of Olds and he could even build them at a lower cost. The auto factory remained open and the new automobile to be produced would be named the Cadillac. The Cadillac name for this new car was the namesake of the explorer and  founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

General Motors, which was acquiring nameplates would purchase Cadillac in 1909. As they say, the rest is history. Cadillac would continue on and become the luxury automobile and SUV division of General Motors Corporation.

Cadillac had always proclaimed that their goal was to make their name "the standard for the world". In a big way they did accomplish this. To be sure, Cadillac had it's competitors along the way and still does. There was Lincoln, Imperial and a host of others during the 20's and 30's (think Auburn, Pierce-Arrow, Cord) but Cadillac always kept their reputation intact as a quality, stylish, well engineered and luxurious automobile. Even at their relatively high prices,

The Cadillac Crest

It's interesting to note that Cadillac had forty four revisions to it's crest during the past century. Of historic importance is the fact that the first emblem was the family crest of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of the city of Detroit. This would make the emblem actually older than Detroit itself.

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Specifications

The 54 Cadillac Coupe deVille came with a 331 cubic inch V-8 delivering 230 HP.

Transmission was an automatic four speed.

1954 cadillac tail fins

Relatively small tail fins compared to what would come from Cadillac during the late 1950's.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Front suspension were independent coil springs with a longitudinal leaf spring in the rear.

The overall outside length was 223.4 inches, height 61.0 inches, width 79.8 inches with a wheelbase of 129.0 inches. Estimated curb weight was 4,520 lbs.

Total Cadillac Series 62 production for 1954 was 58,024 units which was down about 12,000 from the previous year.

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

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

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.

cadillacs of the 1950's1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Collector Values

As we have said several times, most 1950's American cars are popular collector cars. Cadillac had some very creative designs during the decade and models from each year of the 50's have a story to tell. Look at any of the models and you just knew it was a Cadillac.

Top 1954 Cadillac models include the Eldorado which depending on condition and restoration factors can be near and well into six figure valuations. The 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille, again based on condition and restoration details, can run from $30,000, $45,000 on up.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)