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Hagerty Employee

The 1955–58 Cadillac Eldorado brought a rise in power … and tailfin size

When it comes to classic Cadillacs, modern-day admirers tend to gravitate toward the big-finned 1959 models. In fact, one of the star cars at Barrett-Jackson’s upcoming May 8–17 online auction is a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Custom Coupe that once belonged to Hank Williams, Jr. The country music superstar released Red, White & Pink Slip Blues in 2009 but likely didn’t have to hand over the keys to his Caddy to cover the rent. The Dakota Red Eldorado—among the first cars scheduled to cross the block—carries an average #1 (Concours) value of $92,900 and a #2 (Excellent) value of $70,500.


With all due respect to the ’59 models, if you want Cadillac class but prefer slightly more subdued styling, the 1955–58 Eldorado may provide the happy medium for which that you’re searching. By happy, however, we don’t mean cheap, even though Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton says the cars have experienced “generally declining interest over the past couple of years and are now worth less than they were 10 years ago.”


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New Driver

Cadillacs of that era were designed to "make a statement" about one's affluence.  Arriving in a Cadillac was both the end of the journey--  a grand arrival at a destination, but also even more so, arriving at a successful station in one's life. The design notion of "understated elegance" was not part of this generation of Cadillacs.


When I read about "power" and "tail fin" in the same sentence, my brain jumps quicker to a shark rather than any car. 😂


As an owner of both a 1958 El Dorado Brougham (ex-Ricky Nelson) and a 1957 El Dorado Biarritz (Bahama Blue), I am pretty well versed on these cars, but the rarest of them all is the 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Sedan Seville (4 door hardtop) of which four were built.  I tried to buy one of the remaining (I traced two of them down) but was unsuccessful.  The owner wanted the price of the Biarritz, and although rare, is but what I call a "footnote" car.

Bill Warner



The '58 Eldorado Brougham was also made in Detroit and had the same body as the '57.  The '59 & '60 Eldorado Brougham's had bodies made at Pininfarina. 

New Driver

With all due respect, if I want tailfins on a car I want the biggest and most obnoxious tailfins ever made in Detroit. This is why I want a 1959 Cadillac. Nothing screems obnoxious American styling like the tailfins on the 59 Caddy. Some day, when I finish my other projects, I'll buy one!!

Pit Crew

I have owned a 1960  Coupe for over thirty years and love the car. Hard on fuel but very reliable. our family have put over 100,000 Miles going to car shows with the Children and now they are adults we still enjoy it. into a second engine rebuild to lower the compression so we can run pump gas. 


Correction: the engines were 365 CI, not 265. 

New Driver

It was because of these oversized monsters with those ridiculously large tail fins that most VW owners of the era(me included) had “help stamp out Cadillacs” signs in their rear windows!