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1953 Custom Cadillac El Dorado

First generation (1953)

The Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Buick Roadmaster Skylark as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. A special-bodied, low-production convertible (532 units in total), it was the production version of the 1952 El Dorado “Golden Anniversary” concept car. Along with borrowing bumper bullets (akadagmars) from the 1951 GM Le Sabre show car, it featured a full assortment of deluxe accessories and introduced the wraparound windshield and a cut-down beltline to Cadillac standard production.

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The expansive frontal glass and distinctive dip in the sheetmetal at the bottom of the side windows (featured on one or both of GM’s other 1953 specialty convertibles) were especially beloved by General Motors’ styling chief Harley Earland subsequently widely copied by other marques. Available in four unique colors (Aztec red, Alpine white, azure blue and artisan ochre — the last is a yellow hue, although it was shown erroneously as black in the color folder issued on this rare model). Convertible tops were available in either black or white Orlon. AC was an option, as were wire wheels. The car carried no special badging other than a gold-colored “Eldorado” nameplate in the center of the dash. A hard tonneau cover, flush with the rear deck, hid the convertible top in the open car version.

Although technically a subseries of the Cadillac Series 62 based on the regular Series 62 convertible, sharing its engine, it was nearly twice as expensive at US$7,750. The 220.8 inches (5,610 mm) long, 80.1 inches (2,030 mm) wide vehicle came with such standard features as windshield washers, a signal seeking radio, power windows, and a heater. The Eldorado comprised only .5% of Cadillac’s sales in 1953.

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