Archive for February, 2017

Wendell’s Unique World of Papercraft

Posted in Editorials, Notoriously Outrageous with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

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I thought I’d switch gears and take a break from the ordinary and focus on the extraordinary. Let’s travel into the world of Wendell Koch. I remember the first time I traveled down his memory lane I had to stop and do a double-take – it looked so real it was surreal! It’s evident that his impetus is a labor of love. Welcome to Wendell’s World. It is a dream with an edge on reality. Who would ever have thought that pieces of paper could come to life in such a remarkable way – he refers to this unique hobby as “Papercraft!” No, the Mercury Grand Marquis above isn’t paper it’s one of Wendell’s favorite cars…this is his tribute. NotoriousLuxury salutes him  for an outstanding contribution to the world of Auto Art – 

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Compare the real Lincoln at the bottom to Wendell’s work above

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Papercraft “Vacation” Family Truckster Ford wagon 

His totally unique craft caught my eye a couple of years ago. These are so fantastic I had to share them with my audience. This is a change from anything you’ve ever seen. Wendell Koch is a good guy who has been dealt a bad hand in the card game of life. He has been a musician and a musical instrument instructor.

A debilitating disease he contracted as a child had been dormant for years now forced him into an early retirement. It attacked his respiratory system and left him with mobility issues because of muscle atrophy. But that didn’t rain on his parade! To interact with Wendell…one would never know the cross he bears because of his enthusiasm and spirit which is due in no small part to his positive mental attitude. I admire his indomitable stamina. He LOVES cars…so does his loving wife!

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Wendell is a lot like me with his love for cars. He too fell in love with cars at an early age. Throughout his early years he was surrounded by cars. (like I was) He said all of his toys were cars. Wendell’s parents supported his hobby avidly. He comes from a “car-loving” family. His dad and two brothers collected real antique cars. Wendell himself collected real cars from the 1930s thru the 1970s with great enthusiasm. Due to his illness he was forced to liquidate his beloved collection which forced him into a deep depression.

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This is one of my favorites! Check out the 1956 Nomad wagon, and 1955 Pontiac Safari wagon in the rear left hand side. The right hand foreground is a 1956 Ford wagon and behind it is a 1956 Plymouth wagon. These are really neat the way they resemble the real life vehicles they represent. Wendell’s work involves vehicles that never made it to plastic or die-cast models, which I think is great. It gives collectors the cars we really want to see replicated in miniature. Wendell has the staunch approval of his wife who supports his talent 100%. He says she is also his biggest critic!

Cars of Yesteryear: The complexity of creating older cars 

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According to Wendell, it’s the older cars which presents the biggest challenge to re-create. The curves of the hoods, fat fenders, and tail fins do not work well replicated on paper brought into 3-D. The pre 1961 vehicles are the hardest he says.

Per Wendell: “I did design and make some 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s cars. They required a lot more time and work. An example of this is my Father’s 1935 Ford wrecker (above) that he had used in his auto repair business. This truck had many separate parts to cut out and keep adding to the truck. There was never a photo taken of my Dad’s wrecker, I had to do it by memory and with the aid of a Ford truck book to help with accuracy. His 1940 repair shop is shown in the background.” Wendell is talented wouldn’t you agree?

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1935 Chevy Hay truck

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1932 Ford Coupe and 1957 Plymouth from the “California Kid”

This illness didn’t stop Wendell! He fine-tuned this art which has become his therapy to take his mind off of his infirmities. It’s interesting how it all began. His father made his first paper vehicle for him in the late 1950s. He took a piece of paper, hand etched the vehicle design – cut it out and taped it together. This tweaked Wendell’s curiosity as it would any kid. His dad’s love for cars rubbed off on him. Wendell experimented through the years on and off.  It was the mid-1990s when Wendell’s talent flourished. He designed and made two paper cars. One was a 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis fashioned after his own real car and the other was a 1977 Buick Electra fashioned after a friend’s car.

It took Wendell a few months to create the templates. He sketched every part of each car ensuring all details were accurate. The computer has since taken Wendell’s art to new heights in his Papercraft art. After experimentation, this man created the brilliant works displayed throughout this article. I tell you, I was incensed the moment I saw them on eBay where you may also purchase these unique works. I have purchased many, and from personal experience…I am amazed! They look just like the real cars. When you cut them out and tape them together they actually come to life. Display them with your 1/24 & 1/25 scale models and they really stand out! They add a realm of realism to your collection.

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1957 Plymouth from the “California Kid” and “Christine” right

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1955 Imperial limousine

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“Other vehicles that are similar to this in complexity were the 1956 Rolls Royce from the movie starring Dudley Moore “Arthur,”  and “The California Kid” with the 1934 Ford coupe along with the 1957 Plymouth police car. So are the blood-thirsty 1958 Plymouth Fury from Stephen King’s “Christine,” “The Addams Family’s” Packard, “Batman’s” Batmobile, and Col. Klink’s Mercedes from the TV sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes.” They all were fun to make but each one took quite a few months to complete. The Batmobile took the longest to make (4 months) and it required the most parts added on to it. The Gotham City police station is a printout and you will see the difference in quality as compared to background settings described later on in this article”

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Batmobile & Gotham City Police Car

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What a combination this is! On the left is Col. Klink’s Mercedes-Benz from Hogan’s Heroes” next to it is “The Addams Family” Packard and “Itts” Messerschmitt! (Of course you remember Itt!) This is absolutely amazing how Wendell brought pieces of paper to life in such a magical way. You really have to look closely to see that they are paper!

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A real custom Ford coupe

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“Back to the future”

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The Ford Anglia from Harry Potter

Wendell adds: “I have since stopped making any foreign vehicles and cars that require a complex build. The demand for one piece paper cut-out 1970’s American vehicles is all I can handle. All years of other American cars now are on permanent hold for the time being. The requests for 1970s American cars which come in every week, is astounding. These are easier for me to create using my established templates and I can get one finished in about a month.”

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Wendell LOVES the real Mercury Grand Marquis

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Background details: From town to auto dealerships

Per Wendell: “I started using a town background found on the internet to showcase the cars. The type of background was nice but got boring because I was using it for all my pics. I had to come up with something else. I then switched to dealerships with actual period correct advertisements. I created the car dealerships to help promote the look of the cars that are displayed for sale. The dealership backgrounds are for sale as well. They are the same size as my vehicles and will also compliment 1/24 & 1/25 scale model kits and promos.

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1975 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser with town background

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1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible with top up

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1975-1978 Ford Country Squire station wagon 

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1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88 4-door hardtop sedan

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I am using real cars to contrast Wendell’s talent

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Papercraft 1975-1978 Mercury Colony Park wagon 

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1975 Pontiac Grandville convertible with top up

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Now this is really, really, interesting here. Look at the detail Wendell has added to these! They are the Papercraft 1972 Dodge Polara Highway Patrol cars! The cars at the back look like they are real don’t they? I had to look when I uploaded the photo to make sure they are paper! You GO Wendell!

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Papercraft 1975 Chevrolet Caprice 4-door sedan

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Now here are the auto dealership backgrounds. This is a Chrysler showroom with the Papercraft Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue. If it weren’t for the cut-out at the bottom, it would be hard to tell if these are photos of a real Chrysler!

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Well if it isn’t “Uncle Buck” outside a Lincoln Mercury dealer!

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Papercraft 1977 Mercury Cougar Villager wagon

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Papercraft 1977 Lincoln Mark V Bill Blass Edition

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Papercraft 1979 Lincoln Continental Town Car sedan

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Wendell’s World includes a 1979 Continental limousine

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Ah, the real 1976 T-Bird…the Papercraft versions would be better than this! These cars were dubbed Ford’s luxury lemons for a reason. Maybe Wendell will give us a 1976 Thunderbird? (The paper version will most likely outlast the original)

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Here’s a GM showroom with the 1976 Olds 98 Regency 4-door

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1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency coupe – don’t they look real?

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Wendell’s rendition of the Imperial is spot-on!

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Now for the trucks…this is the Papercraft 1971-1972 Fargo (Dodge) Tradesman Maxivan…are these real or what?

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Papercraft 1991 Chevrolet Suburban with 2-tone colors

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 Papercraft 1974 International Harvester Travelall Woody Wagon

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Wendell’s dealership backgrounds are very authentic

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Papercraft 1980 GMC Indy Hauler short bed

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Burt Reynolds from the movie “White Lightning”

“The T.V. and movie vehicle background scenery pictures were found on the internet. They are not print outs, I use my computer screen which makes a really clear picture. Sometimes a picture does not print out well and looks much better on the screen. I tried to recreate The California Kid downhill chase from the movie along with actual scenes from the movies. Rambo First Blood and the Burt Reynolds movie White Lightning. My computer screen also supplied the Hawaiian background to the original Hawaii Five-O T.V. show 1968 Mercury Parklane Brougham and the house background from the movie Christmas Vacation.”

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Steve McGarrett & his 1968 Mercury Parklane from the TV Series Hawaii 5-O. Look at the detail Wendell captured in the Mercury!

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The original 1970 Mercury Marquis Brougham

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Rambo First Blood

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“The California Kid” downhill chase…

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“Christmas Vacation” RV with Cousin Eddie!

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Wendell even captured the rust on Uncle Buck’s Mercury!

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Who couldn’t love the whimsical movie “Cars!”

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Check out Smoky & The Bandit

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Buford T. Justice Pontiac Lemans with Smokey & The Bandit 

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As you may clearly see, these paper vehicles take many man hours to complete. They all reflect Wendell Koch’s labor of love. It’s the astonishing detail that grabbed my attention. Look at how each contains intricate detail – and all made from paper!

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The Dukes of Hazzard! “EEEEEHA!”

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Wendell even captured Cooter’s Towing service

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Now it wouldn’t be complete without “The Rockford Files!”

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And lest we forget “The Junkman!”

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1976 Cadillac Sedan deVille

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1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

Talent is contributed to the world of art in many forms. It’s this diverse creativity that offers everyone something to tickle their fancy. Wendell Koch has a unique gift. Who would ever have thought a piece of paper could be brought to life in such a way? His unique talent requires a vivid imagination. Wendell puts a lot of himself into his works of art.

He says that it takes his mind off his health issues. I admire how this man thinks. He’s not sitting around feeling sorry for himself…no, it’s just the opposite. His passion for the automobile is evident. Wendell’s very own anime is a delightful change from the ordinary. NotoriousLuxury is dedicated to take the automotive enthusiast beyond the ordinary straight to the extraordinary. You gotta hand it to Wendell – this is unique! NotoriousLuxury salutes Wendell Koch and his exclusive Papercar Art.

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Here’s a Mercury Grand Marquis for you Wendell! It isn’t “paper” but it is a little something just for you! After all…you’ve given so much of yourself to the world of art – so enjoy! God Bless you Wendell Koch, the entire world loves ya!

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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Thank you Wendell Koch for your gift!

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1979 Lincoln Continental Collector’s Series

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The Mercury was nicknamed “The poor man’s Lincoln”

 

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The Elite 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Posted in Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

The formidable Eldorado legend continues…

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Once upon a time in America there was a thing called the luxury automobile. These fabulous cars are a city block long and half a city block wide. They float along the road like a big ‘ole rollin’ Barco lounger. The elegance and prestige lineages evolved through impeccable craftsmanship, America was renowned for such. The Cadillac motorcar became the most enviable of all automotive legacies. The Cadillac name was a byword for superlative in any field of endeavor…

The Fleetwood division meticulously handcrafted the finest automobiles to motor out of Detroit, Michigan. The most eminent and revered models were Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. They are the last of the hand-built motorcars. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood model hierarchy as the epitome of elegance. They were the most luxurious owner-driven sedans from the brand. The 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham is the last of this distinguished coachbuilt series. NotoriousLuxury presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac motorcars. They were coachbuilt by Fleetwood for the 1957 through the 1958 model years in Detroit. These luxury sedans required countless hours of manpower while in theatre, because of the extensive handcrafting that was involved in order to build them. They slowed the Fleetwood assembly line tremendously. These magnificent Broughams sold for an ostentatious $13,074. Due to the nature of their build, Cadillac didn’t make a profit.

A decision was made to farm out their production to Pininfarina of Italy who are prominent coachbuilders specializing in the world of bespoke craftsmanship. This decision by GM freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the top-selling Fleetwood models such as the Series Sixty-Special. It was more cost efficient for Cadillac. Pininfarina handbuilt the Brougham for the 1959 and 1960 model years.

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Very little has ever been written about the 1960 Eldorado Brougham. Many automotive enthusiasts have never even seen one. They are elegantly exotic in appearance. It takes the eagle eye to discern them from the standard Cadillac models for 1960. These were the most opulent custom crafted models in the Cadillac model range. The Eldorado Brougham was so swank, it was only briefly mentioned in the sales brochure. Interested clients were advised to contact a Cadillac dealer for details because the car was so highly bespoke –

It’s the Cadillac of Cadillacs and the finest expression of the new era in automotive design. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams were totally exclusive from other Cadillac models sharing no sheet metal or trim. The 1959-1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams shared mechanical components, floor platforms, dash panels, wheels, bumpers, fender skirts, and headlamp bezels with other Fleetwood models.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Pininfarina hand-built the custom bodyshells. This added a romantic aura to this ultra-exclusive model…what could be more alluring than an Italian hand-built Cadillac? None of the standard Cadillac sheet metal was integrated into the Brougham. The roofline and glass are totally unique to the glamorous Italian-built Broughams.

The 1960 Brougham is the styling-lead to the 1961 Cadillac model design. This is apparent in the windshield, roof design, and lower overall silhouette. The Brougham’s sleek pillarless design is highlighted by smaller power rear quarter windows that automatically open when the coordinating rear door opens for ease of entry and exit. The Broughams are crafted a tad bit lower than standard Cadillac models. 

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1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

There’s very little to distinguish the Brougham from a head-on view. Many dispute the fact the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t totally unique from the rest of the standard Cadillac and Eldorado models. Due to the fact that the Broughams were not top-selling models, it wasn’t feasible to make them as exclusive as the 1957-1958 Detroit-built models. They had their own separate set of production tooling and dies than the standard 1957-1958 Cadillac models. The proof is in the photos, YOU be the judge.

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The custom crafted 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham has an intriguing rear end design. It has tail lamps that are modified slightly and built into the bumper nacelles elegantly. The upper slim recessed taillamps from the standard models are eliminated. The Brougham’s tail fins are trimmed lower. It introduced lower body fins called “Skegs” which would be featured on all Cadillac models for 1961 and 1962. The Eldorado has always featured styling that would eventually be found on other Cadillac motorcars.

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Cadillac featured a gracious styling continuity when it reigned as the “Standard of the World.” The 1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille shown displays the 1960 Eldorado Brougham inspired roofline and glass.

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The lower fins aka “kegs” balanced the styling theme gracefully

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The Brougham’s expanse of glass influenced the 1961 Cadillacs

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The tail fin design of the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t as radical as the standard Cadillac models. The iconic tail fins were starting to disappear. The Eldorado Brougham has an overall lower profile.

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The Eldorado Brougham is almost verbatim up front

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The Eldorado Brougham has a customized appearance

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1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction. Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame permits a lower body design for improved appearance, and enhanced stability with a lower center of gravity. The majestic Eldorado Brougham has the same dimensions as the Eldorado Biarritz and Eldorado Seville except for its height. It has the luxury length of 225” with a low 55” height and is 79.9” wide. It rides upon a long 130” wheelbase. Model #60-69 body style #6929P 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,075 and only 101 were built.

The 1960 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive American automobile for the day. There was no better symbol of one’s success than to view the world from behind the wheel of an Eldorado Brougham. This was a supreme achievement in motoring. Bigger is better was the premise behind these luxury land yachts. It was all about those “Car wars” – every American automobile manufacturer stretched the limits in design. Luxury was the theme. No one really cared about fuel economy because the cost of a gallon of petrol was insignificant.

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Cadillac was the undisputed luxury leader. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, chief designers for GM, created automotive masterpieces for the 1950s – 1960s. The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand with an eloquence no other motorcar could replicate. These handcrafted beauties command top dollar, many of which fetch at least six figures today. They will never be forgotten. Cadillac at the time, was considered as prolific opulence…the envy of the driveway…the “Standard of the World” was the most desired luxury automobile in the entire world.

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These magnificent motorcars were decadently luxurious. The custom tailored interiors were completely in character with Cadillac. This is eloquence in the grand Cadillac tradition. There were two sumptuous broadcloth styles and all leather trim available. Deep plush nylon or mouton carpets were available to lavishly complete the experience tastefully. As far as appointments and amenities – it was a luxury car complete.

Virtually every comfort and luxury feature was provided in the grand Cadillac manner. Standard equipment includes: a heating and air conditioning system, electric door locks, power trunk release, signal-seeking radio with power antenna, two electric clocks (one for front seat passengers and another for the rear compartment), remote control outside rearview mirror, power windows, power vent windows, cruise control, power 6-way front seat, automatic parking brake release, Guidematic headlamp dimmer, power steering & brakes, and air suspension.

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The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand…

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The Brougham was the most luxurious owner-driven model 

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is powered by the Cadillac 6.4 litre 16-valve 390 CID V8 engine. This naturally aspirated powerplant is equipped with three Rochester 2-bbl carburetors in the formidable Eldorado tradition with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack type air cleaner, overhead valves, hydraulic lifters, intake silencer and automatic choke. The engine is mounted at three points in rubber.

This superb Cadillac V8 cranked 345 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.7 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph ungoverned range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 82 mph in just 17.9 seconds. Remember, this is a 5,420 pound all-iron land yacht with NO aerodynamics. Eldorado models were always tuned to be the most spirited performers of all Cadillacs. 

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The engine is mated to GM’s Jetaway/Flashaway Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter. Hydra-Matic Drive is the step-gear type with controlled fluid coupling on the forward gear-set which delivers nearly imperceptible shifting. These transmissions provided two drive ranges – the left hand position reduces engine speed to increase economy.

For more efficient hill climbing and descending, the right hand position is used to improve acceleration with the first, second, and third gears available. This selection is used to increase the engine braking effort when descending grades. Lo-range is available for driving in deep sand, mud, or snow. This range is also useful for very steep inclines where only first and second gears are required. The famous Hydra-Matic Drive is a highly efficient and reliable transmission…in fact, this was so reliable and efficient that Rolls Royce adapted it into their automobiles back in the day –

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The famous Cadillac Red-Carpet ride was also the envy of the industry. The front suspension uses the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and helical coil springs. The rear suspension is the Cadillac 4-link drive with helical coil springs. The Eldorado Brougham came standard with air suspension. It is set up with individual air springs in rubber bags at each wheel that would automatically maintain the correct ride height for optimum performance and perfect poise regardless of load or road conditions.

The rubber bags were pressurized by an electric motor regulated by leveling valves. It also had manual height control to adjust for steep sloping driveways and inclines. Sadly, this idealistic system was unreliable and prone to fail at embarrassing times forcing the driver to “limp” into the dealership for repairs that did not last. The 1960 model year was the last time Cadillac used air suspensions.

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The Eldorado Broughams were more of an “image car” for General Motors. They are among the few Cadillac models that did not make a profit for the division. They are also the rarest of the rare Cadillac models with 400 built for the 1957 model year, 304 for 1958, 99 built for 1959, and 101 built for 1960. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Eldorado Broughams are certified milestone vehicles by the Milestone Car Society which is dedicated to distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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Special thanks to Jim Hailey & Daniel Schmitt & Bob Adams

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The 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy which made them exotic as well as cost efficient to Cadillac. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the Series Sixty-Special, Eldorado Biarritz, and Eldorado Seville models which outsold the Broughams. The 1959-1960 Italian-built models did not have the superior build quality of the Detroit-built models. They required a lot of extra hand finishing and electrical work by the Fleetwood division once the cars were returned to the USA.

They were more of a liability than an asset at the time. These cars have a charisma among collectors despite the issues they had. Ultra-luxury cars such as these are examples of American extravagance for the day. They epitomized the Cadillac brand with their coachbuilt enigma. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham leaves its indelible impression…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017