An unforgettable excursion

1957 Cadillac Eldorado BiarritzOn the 23rd of last month I posted that I would be spending a bit of time around a Duesenberg. Well, that event came and went just over a week ago. And, boy, was it a doozy. Puns aside, the day exceeded my expectations.

One surprise led to another

As it turned out, Jack and his brother David (co-owners and restorers of the car that their late father had bought), needed to drive it to a local shop to be color sanded in preparation for its next showing. The shop was under ten miles away so, to my good fortune, they chose to drive rather than trailer it.

I was asked if I would mind following behind, as a sort of spotter. I was delighted to. After all, it would afford me the opportunity to take even more pictures of its near-flawless, almost indescribable beauty.

Then, David asked if I would like to ride in the Duesenberg and he could follow. The keys to my Malibu were mid-flight on a trajectory toward him before he was done asking. Okay, maybe I didn’t reveal my excitement quite so blatantly but the question I was essentially hearing in my head was, “would you like to experience riding in a car, the likes of which you would normally not have the opportunity to touch?”

Yes! Yes, I would! And I did. And all I can think to say about the experience is… well, I don’t want to spoil anything so, if you’re interested, you’ll have to check back for that post.

However, to whet the appetite, I’d like to share some pictures of that day’s next surprise. This gorgeous, 55-year old Caddy that happened to be at our destination.

New fins for fifty-seven

1956 Cadillac Eldorado BiarritzCompared to a 1956, the 1957 Eldorado’s front and mid sections received modest changes. It’s at the rear that the two looked most different.

For comparison, the tail end of the 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz is shown to the right. It is somewhat more standard looking than what Cadillac’s designers presented for the following year’s refresh.

For 1957, a much more rounded shape would grace the model’s backside. The fins weren’t altered substantially, but in contrast to the new smoothed, sloping fenders, they appeared more pronounced. The subsequently more conspicuous appendages didn’t look too far removed from a shark’s dorsal fin. Seductive. Although, I’m perhaps biased, having always loved this design.

The following brief photographic tour will highlight only a handful of the pictures that are provided in the gallery for your enjoyment.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz - rear three-qtr driver sideNot properly conveyed in any of the pictures is the deep richness of the paint. It looked as though it may have already been color sanded itself.

Metallic flecks appeared to float a foot below the paint’s glassy surface.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz - rear three qtr drivers side lowHere’s a better angle to compare the rear’s differences from 1956, above right, and 1957, to the right.

Without exaggeration, the only two items that appeared to be missing from this particular car were the chrome caps for the fins. It looked as though they had been removed for some sort of detailing work.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz drivers side front wheel fenderNothing but the best. In this closeup of the front wheel, you can see these aren’t hub caps. Genuine spokes here.

Notice the rearward-flaring fender well line. A gorgeous design trait of several GM products from that era.

Fluorescent lighting plays havoc with my camera so the paint looks quite different between many of these shots. At least on my screen, the image to the left best conveys how it looks in person.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz hood openYou may see some other impressive cars in the background. There was another, larger room that had at least half a dozen more cars in various states of restoration. (Scattered about, there was an ancient wood-framed car, an old Packard, a 1920s Rolls Royce and a 1959 Eldorado convertible, amongst others.)

Maybe I’ll cobble those miscellaneous shots together for a future post.

Okay, so I’m learning from my experiences. In this case, I didn’t get a single shot of the Eldorado with its hood down.

Continue below.

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