In 1955, Cadillac sat way at the top of the luxury-car heap, racking up annual sales of 140,777 — that’s half again as many cars as Imperial, Lincoln, and Packard sold combined. Not only that, its cars enjoyed the lowest depreciation rate of any American make. The division was so far ahead of its peers, it was beginning to expand further upmarket, inching back toward the lofty pricing perch its V-12 and V-16 offerings occupied around the time of the Great Depression, which caused GM to consider killing Cadillac in 1933. But its competitors were beginning to catch on. Cadillac made a large pricing stride for 1953 with the introduction of the Series 62 Eldorado. Born of the glitzy Motorama show cars of the early ’50s, the Eldo and its Oldsmobile Fiesta and Buick Skylark siblings brought sporty show-car styling cues to life, previewing features and flourishes that would soon come to mainstream models, including lowered one-piece, wraparound windshields; flashy two-tone paint schemes; Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels (Buick and Cadillac); and, in the Eldorado’s case, a lower “channeled” body and rigid parade boot. Each came loaded with the zestiest powertrains and most sybaritic creature comforts their divisions could muster. The extensive… Read full this story
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