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The auto industry has seen a remarkable transformation, with advancing technology revolutionizing the driving experience. From the humble beginnings of mechanical engineering to the present era of cutting-edge electronics, the disparity between old and new car tech is vast. As with all technological advancements, some features had to be abandoned. The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a perfect example of a novel idea gone wrong.

Here, we’ll discuss details about the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, what was considered “luxury” in some classic cars, and the quirky feature that was amusing yet unsafe.

The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham redefined luxury

A smiling woman stands beside a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham | Bettmann via Getty Images

Cadillac left an indelible mark on automotive history with the Eldorado Brougham. Its exquisite design, advanced features, and unique brand of luxury solidified its position as an automotive icon of the 1950s. Today, it continues to capture car enthusiasts’ attention and stands as a testament to the timeless allure of classic automobiles.

In the mid-’50s, Cadillac wanted to create a car that would stand alone in opulence and innovation. As a result, the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham debuted as the ultimate luxury sedan in 1957. All that luxury came at a steep price. It was one of the most expensive cars on the market, with a sticker price exceeding $13,000 — equivalent to over $120,000 when adjusted for inflation.

1 bizarre feature in the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was dangerous

Automakers today use the term “luxury” to describe amenities such as massage seats, leather upholstery, and ambient lighting. What we consider luxury today is far different from the luxury of yesteryear.

For example, one feature considered extravagant was a shoebox-sized freezer in the 1984 Toyota Van. More recently, Fiat offered an espresso machine in its 2013 500L. 

But perhaps one of the most bizarre features appeared in the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. The car had premium amenities like power windows, automatic locks, power seats, an electronic trunk opener, and air suspension. However, it also boasted six stainless-steel tumblers held down by magnets in the glove compartment.

Including them was not only bizarre but also potentially unsafe. The tumblers seemingly invited drivers to serve alcoholic beverages while operating the car.

Reddit user Moremayhem jokes, “Only 6? What will the other 2 people in the car sip their bourbon from?” 

Other so-called luxury amenities in this classic Caddy

Other 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham features considered luxurious at the time were a leather-trimmed cigarette case and a vanity kit. The latter contained a lipstick holder, powder puff with powder, comb, beveled mirror, coin holder, matching leather notebook, gold mechanical pencil, and atomizer filled with Arpège Extrait de Lanvin perfume.

Buyers could also choose from 44 leather interior and trim combinations and select Mouton, Karakul, or lambskin carpeting.

Cadillac produced only 400 Eldorado Brougham examples in 1957, and all were hand-built. They had brushed stainless-steel roofs, suicide doors, quad headlamps, cruise control, “Autoronic eyes” (headlamp dimmers), forged aluminum wheels, transistorized radios, and air conditioning,

The 1957 Eldorado Brougham oozed luxury. But despite the $13,000 base price — higher than some Italian sports cars — Cadillac still lost $10,000 on every unit.


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