1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

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The Spectacular Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

In the two years since the Eldorado was first introduced by Cadillac, it has won itself a unique place in the hearts of motorist everywhere. Though the Eldorado name originally designated only the convertible model, it will include for 1956 both an open and closed car. The first of these- the spectacular Biarritz- is a true achievement in advanced design and engineering. Its high-sweeping fender lines... its beautiful grille and rear bumper assembly ... its unique "disappearing top" ... its special "Sabre - Spoke" wheels ... its special hood ornament ... its chrome ribbed saddle molding ... and it's many special color options ... give it a beauty all its own. To add still greater glamour, the Biarritz is available with gold wheels and a gold grille. And the Biarritz is powered by a special 305- h.p. Cadillac engine, and offers Cadillac's most advanced features of engineering throughout. In every way, it is a true masterpiece of Cadillac craftsmanship.

1956 Cadillac Brochure

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Click on the Eldorado color names below to view the cars.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In The Mood. The 1956 Cadillac Mood Cars.

     We are going to take a diversion from the usual 1956 Eldorado discussion in this update and talk about the Mood cars. I hope you enjoy my perspective about these special cars. At a minimum, I know you will enjoy the rare photos in hi-resolution.  
In 1956, Cadillac built four mood cars to display at the Motorama. Each car was a different body style and each "mood" was unique. The mood names were the Gala, the Castilian, the Palomino and the Maharani. 
 Of the four cars only one is known to exist, the Maharani. It was the car that had the most modifications and I believe that is why it survived. As you will see in the pics below, it stood out a lot!  For the most part the modifications to all four cars revolved around the interior. Upon first look, the Gala, Castilian and Palomino had interiors that could have blended in with the regular cars back in the day. The cars themselves were standard production line cars that were sent to the styling dept. to be customized for the Motorama. They all had standard serial numbers and data tags. My fear is they were driven, used, abused and then sent to that big salvage yard in the sky. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe one day, one of the missing three will turn up.  Let's get to it. 

The Gala
This Sedan de Ville was painted pearl white to suit the theme of the Gala aka the Wedding car. Interesting to see the narrow whitewall tires on Sabre wheels. The rest of the exterior is standard. Interior description below,
Click on all pictures to enlarge     
GALA INTERIOR - A strikingly beautiful combination of silver and white sets the decor for this Series 62 Sedan de Ville Cadillac interior. The armrests in the doors contain short umbrellas with silver and rhinestone enriched handles. The interior contains pearl white leather, imported ribbed satin, silver pattern white nylon and white mouton fur. These materials combined with the bright silver chrome hardware complete the impression of bridal festivity. 
The Castilian
This Eldorado Seville was painted in Starlight Silver with a white top. The only modification to the exterior is the long horn emblem on the front door saddle moldings. The tooling work done on the interior metal work is fantastic. Please be sure to enlarge these pictures to really appreciate the workmanship. Even the front seat moldings are engraved! Interior description below,

Click on all pictures to enlarge
CASTILIAN INTERIOR- The interior of this series 62 Eldorado Seville Cadillac is styled in black and white calfskin, black leather and tooled silver. These materials are all complemented by the use of silver nylon cloth. A headlining of square perforated white vinyl with silver Mylar backing showing through the perforations produces a star-like effect. 

The Palomino 
This Series 62 convertible was painted in a beige metallic to complement the western styled interior. In the close up pictures you can get a good look at the details of this mood car. You can also tell what time it is on the watch of the pretty lady :) Interior description below, 

PALOMINO INTERIOR - Soft natural Palomino hides cover the Palomino's upper door panels which are separated from the natural basket weave leather of the lower panels by a wide, gold-riveted horizontal belt. The seat backs of this series 62 Cadillac convertible are individually bolstered with natural Palomino hide within wide tapered bands of natural Buffalo grain leather. Pale gold hardware and seat finish moldings spaced with gold rivets add a touch of jingle. Palomino hide floor mats complete the impression. The Palomino is one of the four "Mood" cars being displayed by the Cadillac Motor Car Division in the 1956 General Motors Motorama. 

The Maharani 

MAHARANI- A specially styled roll-top cabinet occupies the right front compartment of the Maharani. The locker contains such appropriate touring conveniences as a folding table, a hot plate, a recessed toaster, a cutlery tray, cooling unit, coffee and water dispensers which are supplied from tanks installed under the hood. A build-in combination safe and ladies vanity case are also included. 

This car still exists. I had the pleasure of seeing it and sitting in it at the 2008 CLC Grand National. A lot has been said about this car so I will spare you the basics. Below are pictures that I took of the business end of this special car. 

First up is the data tag to the Maharani. This car was a fully assembled Sixty Special loaded with every option. No "SO" on the data tag for the paint or trim but notice the Shop order tag dated 1-12-56. From the body number on the data tag I can estimate that the car itself was built mid November, 1955. So it took the designers in the styling department roughly 60 days to complete this car.  

Here is a picture from the underside of sink console area of the Maharani. You can see the crude custom work. Not too shabby considering the time constraints. 

A couple of shots of the rest of the interior. Notice the gold trim and mouton fur on the door panels. 

We'll finish up with a picture of the refrigeration unit in the trunk for the small refrigerator or "cooling unit" as Cadillac called it. 

Well thats all folks.  Don't forget to be on the lookout for the three missing cars. They can be hiding in plain sight. Just like this picture of the Maharani. One could walk right past this car and easily assume it's a standard Sixty Special. 
Learn more about these cars here, 


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