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The Magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham by Cadillac

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

A Rhapsody in motion

Series 70 1

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

Series 70 2

Cadillac is the most famous luxury brand of all the classic American Grand Marques. The brand is underrated because there are so many on the highways all over the world. Cadillac introduced so much throughout its tenure that it has been taken for granted by the entire automotive industry. Cadillac has built luxury cars in such high numbers; it makes the competition green with envy. The brand is currently undergoing an existential identity crisis – it is trying to be too many things in too many classes where it should not belong. Cadillac should realize its commercial importance in the luxury car class – and leave it as such.

The brand is an ultra-luxury icon that became a legend…unfortunately; its contemporary plebian approach has diluted its illustrious image tarnishing the heritage its magnificent predecessors set into place. The absolute last word in Cadillac luxury, elegance, and pre-eminence was the fabulous Series 70 Eldorado Brougham. This highly coveted classic was the most expensive domestic automobile during its tenure from 1957 until 1958. NotoriousLuxury takes you down memory lane with the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham introduced a new realm in motoring majesty. These resplendent automobiles are the logical successors to the illustrious Cadillacs that preceded them.  The fabulous Eldorado Brougham has all the virtues that made Cadillac the “Standard of the World.” They satisfied the most discerning luxury car buyers. And…who would have thought such awesome jaw-dropping power would come from a luxury sedan?

The Cadillac…the TRADITIONAL Cadillac didn’t stint on luxury or performance. It is truly a masterpiece from the master craftsmen – a masterpiece that could only come from the undisputed “Standard of the World.” Whatever the occasion, there was no more gracious manner to arrive…than in a Fleetwood crafted Cadillac. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is NotoriousLuxury in every respect.

1957 Series 70 15

1957 Series 70 14

These elegant ultra-luxury four-door hardtop sedans remain popular with fine automobile connoisseurs world-wide. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built versions have become the most desired of all post-war Cadillacs. Prices for these classics demand six figures and there is always a long line of enthusiasts waiting to purchase them.

The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was built at a highly restricted pace which makes the survivors command top dollar on the auction block. A Cadillac Brougham has always retained the attribute of being the most luxurious owner-driven luxury sedan throughout the different model series configurations; with the ultimate versions built as the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham.

1965 Fleetwood Brougham

1965 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1957 Series 70 3

1957 Series 70 1

Model #57-70 style code #7059X 1957 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 400 were built. Model #58P-70 style code #7059X 1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 304 were built.

With a total production of only 704; the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is a highly coveted collectible automobile. Cadillac opulence made the other luxury brands blush from sheer embarrassment. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham gangster-slapped the automotive industry with power, presence, performance, and prestige – This was the counter to Lincoln’s Continental MK II which had a base price of $10,000 built in 1956-1957.

Continental MK II

1956-1957 Continental MK II

Continental MK II 2

1957 Series 70 2

1957 Series 70 12

Arrogance but not conceit…as luxury cars they are complete – they epitomize the Cadillac brand in its most magnificent form. These limited edition Flagships were modern in every aspect for the day. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is highlighted by a sleek pillarless design with elegant forward-opening rear coach doors. The extremely low overall height is just 55.5” high. Its low-slung silhouette is augmented by a brushed stainless-steel roof. They shared sheet metal with no other Cadillac; the design features a customized appearance.

In the Fabulous Fifties…cars were lowered with chopped tops, frenched headlamps, unique tail lamp treatments, and futuristic bumperettes…the 1957-1958 Detroit-built versions had all of these unique styling tricks – and engineering features that were never before incorporated into any automobile at the time. The “Standard of the World” was synonymous with the word “first.” The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham marks one of the most important “firsts” in automotive history. The impeccable custom, hand-crafting by Fleetwood made it the finest luxury automobile in its class. This is one of the last hand-built Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. This is the first luxury sedan with virtually every feature and accessory offered as standard equipment.

1957 Series 70 5

The chic brushed stainless-steel roof was a favorite of Harley Earl

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The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was described as being symbolic of Cadillac’s leadership in the fine automobile segment. There was nothing else on the road like it. Cadillac engineering prowess is what made it exclusively the “Standard of the World.”

The fabulous Series 70 Eldorado Brougham embodies styling features and accessories that had never been offered before in the automotive industry. The Eldorado Brougham’s customized body is designed specifically for this model. The driver may open and close the trunk lid without leaving the seat by a master switch located in the glove box. All doors can be locked and unlocked by controls in the front passenger compartment.

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The six-way power seat has a memory control; the front seat automatically moves forward to aid access to the spacious rear passenger compartment when either rear door is opened – the front seat automatically positions itself down and back for front seat passengers when either front door is opened…when all doors are closed; the front seat automatically returns to the driver’s pre-set favorite position. The antenna automatically rises when the radio is turned on. Beneath the all-new quad headlamp system is a sound wave opening for the triple note horn. The standard air conditioning system includes two rear under seat heaters that can be operated individually by the rear seat passengers.

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The interior is every inch a Cadillac. The Brougham came equipped with distinctive mouton carpets or deep pile Karakul. There was a choice of over 45 interior trim combinations. Upholstery trim was available as glove soft leather or luxurious high-quality broadcloth. The rear armrest has a storage compartment for a note pad, pen, a portable vanity mirror, and perfume atomizer.

The front compartment’s glove compartment contains gold finished magnetized tumblers, an Arpege or Lanvin perfume atomizer, a vanity mirror, powder puff, cigarette case, and tissue dispenser. The Brougham pampered its occupants with luxury that includes an electric clock and polarized sun visors. Everything was power from the windows, seats, to door locks. Automatic transmission, power steering and brakes added to the Brougham’s long list of standard equipment. Exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar is exemplified with the 1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham.

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1957 Series 70 6

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1957 Series 70 4

Another industry first by the “Standard of the World” is the four headlamp lighting system. This headlamp system was pioneered by Cadillac for the Series 70. The low beams provide greater wattage than traditional single beam headlamp systems for the day. The high beams produce an accurately aimed bright spot light. The combined wattage of all four headlamps was greater than the wattage for single high beam headlamps of the traditional incandescent bulbs.

The lights are designed to project light for maximum vision at night without dazzling the eyes of drivers of on-coming vehicles. The four headlamp system was illegal in some states in 1957; they were legalized in 1958. Legislative action passed and it was the last time a law was passed to accommodate an automobile manufacturer. The rest of the automotive industry scrambled to catch up with this ingenious design.

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The most important innovation of the Series 70 is its air suspension leveling system. This is the first time a system such as this was used for automobile adaptation. It uses an individual air spring (air bag) unit at each wheel. This is a primitive version of the independent suspension of later model years. The air is supplied by a compressor through leveling valves to maintain optimum poise under any road or load condition. This not only contributes to a consistently luxurious ride quality but also aids the Brougham’s overall appearance to keep its luxurious poise at all times.

The down side to this technology is the fact that the system was unreliable and the air bags were proned to blow-out at embarrassing moments. This issue led Cadillac engineers to introduce a coil spring override system which most Series 70 owners switched to. Many Eldorado Brougham owners have presently restored their cars’ air suspension regardless of the problems; many of which have been eliminated through modern technology. A Series 70 Eldorado Brougham with an operating air suspension system commands a higher price on the auction block than a converted coil spring version.

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Through consistent research and development, this primitive air suspension evolved into Cadillac’s exclusive Automatic Level Control in 1965 standard on all Fleetwood models, optional at extra cost for the other models. Automatic Level Control evolved into Electronic Level Control for later model years as cars became computerized. The electronic systems weighed less than the hydraulic leveling system with their bulky components. (Poor Lincoln never should have adopted this for their contemporary luxurious Town Cars…as they became “unexpected low-riders” at inopportune moments…)

The 1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged tubular X-frame, one of the results of the car’s extensive research advancements. With this type of construction, the body is married to outrigger mountings as compared to previous designs where the body was mounted to side rails. The X-frame is stronger because its rigid backbone includes “V” type arms fore and aft. The outrigger mounts have brackets that protrude from the box-type beams. This is Cadillac engineering at its finest. The Series 70 rides upon a long 126” wheelbase with the luxury length of 216” and is 78.5” in width…Cadillac-style. It came equipped with an early version of the wide oval low-profile tires with narrow 1” white walls.

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General Motors announced the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham in December of 1956 as a limited edition luxury sedan. It went on sale March 1957. It is based upon the 1953 Orleans and 1954 Park Avenue concept cars introduced at GM’s Motoramas. The Eldorado Brougham concept car was introduced at the 1955 Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It is the first American completely pillarless four-door hardtop sedan.

The brochure that was handed out at the presentation read: “The Eldorado Brougham has been created with the intent of capturing the appeal of those who demand the finest…a compact, personalized automobile, easy to operate, and employing our latest knowledge of styling and engineering. Only 54 inches in height and 210 inches in length, it features low sweeping lines…graceful contours of roof and hood, a unique pillarless design…and great areas of vision. Among its interior innovations are specially designed lounge seats, a distinctive vanity case and a unique instrument panel. Its performance is highlighted by a special high-powered Cadillac engine.”

1953 Orleans at the Waldorf Astoria GM Motorama

1953 Cadillac “Orleans” Show Car with a pillarless hardtop design

1955 Eldorado Brougham concept 1

1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Show Car Concept

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Cadillac was the only luxury brand famous for engines that produced prodigious power. Cadillac was also the master builder of the V8 engine. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is no exception.  Its power is derived from a 5.9 litre 16-valve V8 engine. The engine is equipped with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, intake silencer, overhead valves, modified intake manifold, and automatic choke. The engine is mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter.

For the 1957 model year it was equipped with two Carter (WCFB 2583 & WCFB 2584) 4-bbl carburetors which generates 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 3,300 rpm. Cadillac Eldorados were always the “wild and turbulent ones.” They were renowned for their spirited performance. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 32.6 seconds with a top speed in the 121 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in just 18.3 seconds.

Eldorado Brougham 1

For the 1958 model year the two 4-bbl set-up was replaced by three Rochester #7015801 2-bbl carburetors some refer to as a triple deuce, Pontiac called it Tri-Power. This set-up produced 335 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 3,200 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 31.8 seconds with a top speed in the 122 mph range.

It does the ¼ mile @ 81 mph in just 18.2 seconds. The triple deuce was a tad bit less fuel thirsty than the dual quad carburetor set-up…but who cared about the cost of petrol when it was far less than a buck per gallon? Cadillac had such a formidable reputation among luxury automobiles that just the mere mention of the “Standard of the World” had the competition limping home on one axle!

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1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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The Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams built from 1959 until 1960 were hand-built in Italy by Pininfarina and lacked the Cadillac quality as the Detroit-built Fleetwood hand-crafted 1957-1958 versions. Production was farmed out to Italy to be more cost efficient. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly line. The Series 70 was built completely by hand and slowed the processing of the other Fleetwood models. They could build the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special a lot faster, it outsold the Series 70.

There were issues with the 1959 & 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams which required a lot of post-build hand finishing once they arrived back to Detroit from Italy. The lacquer paint cracked in spots where lead was used as a filler. Their overall styling wasn’t as exquisite as the Detroit-built Broughams. The Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams are Certified Milestone Vehicles. The Milestone Car Society is dedicated to the distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 3

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 4

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The 1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham was really a hodge-podge of remnants from the standard Cadillacs. They were nowhere near as exclusive as the Series 70 Eldorado Broughams. The styling is rather nondescript. It took the eagle-eye to denote the difference between The Broughams and the standard Cadillac models. Only 99 were built for the 1959 model year.

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 6

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 7

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 2

See how hard it is to tell the difference between the 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham and the standard models? There were only 101 sold for the 1960 model year. This was the last year for the Eldorado Brougham.

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 3

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Cadillac Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac models. Either Series 70 or Series 6900 are excellent collectibles; however, the Series 70 Eldorado Broughams being Certified Milestone Vehicles, command top dollar on the auction block and are highly sought among connoisseurs of fine automobiles world-wide.

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 10

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1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 12

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The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham introduced many features and accessories to the industry that had never before been integrated into automobiles. Cadillac was the innovator, the luxury leader in the high-end automobile segment. The competition was not only green with envy but paled by comparison with the “Standard of the World.” The opulent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive domestic automobile for its day at $13,074.

Only 704 were built during its tenure from 1957-1958 which makes it a highly desirable collectible for the Cadillac connoisseur. With all of its “firsts” to the automobile industry, the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham became a Certified Milestone Vehicle. If Cadillac could decide upon a luxury concept; it can shed its existential identity crisis and once again become the pride of the U.S. and the envy of the world. The magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is another highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 1

This is the 1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car. It is a one-off fibre glass bodied concept car that never went into production. Its classic lines and authoritative demeanor epitomized luxury cars from the 1950’s. Will there ever be another “Standard of the World?”

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1990-1992 Brougham 2

1990-1992 Brougham 1The 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham

1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham

The 1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham is the last of the breed…

Cadillac Style

Cadillac Style…

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“As the Standard of the World Turns”

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GM Heritage Center

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Eldorado Brougham 4

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, Sarasota Classic car Museum, Wikipedia, Fav, and the GM Heritage Center for the use of the lovely photographs of these rare and beautiful automobiles.

Eldorado Brougham ad

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The End

NotoriousLuxury is Greg’s World…



Prancing Horse Passion: 599 GTB Fiorano

Posted in Editorials, Exotic Exotics, Ferrari, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

…she’s the fastest V12 berlinetta out of Maranello


The Prancing Horse has an adrenalin rush…the stable will never be the same again. With all of the hallmarks of a thoroughbred, meet the cutest little filly to motor out of Maranello – the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano – it will prance its way into your fancy. It is the highest performance V12 berlinetta ever built at Maranello. This mid-front mounted engine two-seater set a new standard in terms of sport, design, and motoring pleasure. The 599 GTB Fiorano was built from 2006 until 2012.

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was the Flagship model designed in collaboration with Pininfarina. It was introduced at the February 2006 Geneva Motor Show. F140, or Ferrari 599 uses its displacement of 5999 cc as its name. The power output exceeds 100 hp per litre of displacement and is naturally aspirated without the assistance of turbochargers or superchargers.


Virtually prancing…

The engine is a solo concerto of sound that creates a crescendo of performance. Engine sounds are tuned to eliminate mechanical resonance. The intake manifold and exhaust system harmonize to emit the ‘throaty V12 growl’ of authority. The aluminium alloy 6.0 litre 48-valve Tipo F140C V12 engine produces a prodigious 620 hp @7,600 rpm packing a prolific punch with 608 Nm of peak torque @ 5,600 rpm. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a potent performer in every respect. It set a new record for Ferrari’s GT cars as the fastest roadcar of all time.

This ‘lil filly sprints from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 206 mph. It does the ¼ mile @ 127 mph in 11.4 seconds.

The 599 GTB Fiorano was the first to use the new F1 technology “SuperFast” 6-speed gearbox. It cuts overall shift times up to 100 ms. It coordinates gearshifts and the clutch by simultaneously implementing the various stages involved. This technology is integrated with the stability control.




Its intuitive software estimates the maximum available grip in advance comparing the information with vehicle dynamics stored in its control system. This adjusts the vehicle’s reactions optimizing traction by modulating power delivery. The result…it holds the road like a magnet for smooth and predictable handling. It provides maximum grip out of bends with a 20 percent increase in acceleration; compared to traditional traction and stability control systems.

Technically Speaking

Adaptive/semi-active suspension systems are “thinking” suspensions that constantly analyze input from its network. It is monitored by an array of sensors. This sophisticated system is so fast in response time that it can soften the damper of a single wheel over uneven pavement. Magnetorheological damping control allows the shock absorbers to be continually controlled adapting to road conditions. The fluid’s viscosity is modified by applying an electronically magnetized field.



An on-board computer monitors the dampers’ compliance characteristics controlled by electromagnetic fields. Magnetorheological damping is controlled by algorithms specially designed for the purpose. When the fluid is brought into a magnetic field it becomes stiff; therefore, the properties of the damper changes absorbing the shock or vibration.

Algorithms control the yield point shear stress of the fluid, with the electric current provided by the magnetic field. The damper fluid contains metal particles. An increase of current flow into the damper raises the compression/rebound rates, and a decrease softens the effect of the dampers.



Magneto rheological damping, together with contemporary electronics, change the stiffness of all wheels independently. This keeps the tires perpendicular to the road during cornering. The network optimizes traction and overall control which is paramount at speeds attained by this little filly. Semi-active suspension management provides a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. The result is reduced roll and greater control while accelerating, braking, and cornering.

The 21st century supercar

The 599 GTB Fiorano boasts the cabin of a bespoke supercar. The F1 inspired steering wheel manettino vehicle dynamics control switch, was developed for this model exclusively. This convenience coordinates the important functions. This includes the stability and F1-Trac traction control system, the F1 SuperFast sequential gearbox, and the SCM (Magneto rheological suspension control) fluid suspension and engine management controls. The manettino settings can be calibrated to snowy, icy, wet, or low grip traction situations. It also provides Sport and Race settings. There is also a central rev counter with a choice of red or yellow background with solid aluminium passenger controls.




The Prancing Horse is the symbol of luxury, speed…and wealth



This is a 21st century supercar. The “Gran Turismo Berlinetta” is a highly personalized work of automotive art. Its racing options include Carbon Ceramic Material (CCM) brakes, four-point harness & cockpit roll bar, and Enzo Ferrari inspired carbon-fibre steering wheel with LED rev display.

Also available were special carbon-fibre door panel trim, instrument panel, gear stick surround, and door sill kick panels. For added distinction, Scuderia Ferrari shields, Daytona-style seating with perforated inserts, a satellite navigation system with display on instrument panel, and more were available to make this special car even more so…






The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is an aerodynamic envelope of precision. It slices through the atmosphere with a drag coefficient of 0.336. The suction created under the car is far superior to the lift generated by the upper part of the architecture. The Cl coefficient of lift is 0.190. Its shiny bodyshell is designed to deliver maximum downforce. It was refined after lengthy testing in a wind tunnel. Every line, every contour, including its overall shape is designed to battle wind.

A masterwork from the master craftsmen

Pininfarina designers helped to create an automotive masterpiece…the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a formidable supercar in every respect. The Prancing Horse – in svelte aerodynamic architecture – is the highest performance V12 berlinetta ever built at Maranello. This magnificent mid-front engine two-seater set a new standard in terms of sport, design, and motoring pleasure. This high-performance filly slices through the atmosphere with a mere drag coefficient of 0.336.





F1 inspired technology abounds. From its sophisticated Magnetorheological fluid suspension, its 6-speed SuperFast gearbox…to its sure-footed F1-Trac stability system, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a showcase of engineering excellence. Vehicle dynamics coordinate with the driver, to adjust the vehicle’s reaction resulting in smooth, predictable handling with maximum traction and stability. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is yet another supercar to add to the Ferrari Hall of Fame –





Photos courtesy Ferrari Media Club


…”a dream with a little bit of fantasy”  

“Les Légendes de Bugatti”: Ettore Bugatti

Posted in Bugatti, Editorials, Exotic Exotics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is epitomized  once again

Ettore 1

This is the finale to the ultra-exclusive “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part release. This eminent array is a limited edition collector’s series composed of automotive masterworks that will eventually find their way into museums. A mere three cars per release makes them extremely rare and extremely collectible.

The Ettore Bugatti Edition as with the previous five releases, is crafted in the exemplary Bugatti hand-crafted heritage. This elite collection epitomize the men who laid the foundation for today’s Bugatti. Ettore Bugatti was a visionary who thought in terms of “pur sang” or thoroughbred…while he created vehicles of distinction that were years beyond their time.

Ettore Bugatti

Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti (1881-1947) was the founder and proprietor of “Automobiles E. Bugatti.” The company is renowned for some of the fastest…most luxurious, not to mention technically advanced roadcars of the day. His exceptional engineering led to success in early Grand Prix motor racing. A Bugatti was driven to victory in the first Monaco Grand Prix.

Ettore Bugatti is one of the most significant figures of the automotive industry for the entire 20th century. He synthesized his family’s rich artistic heritage with his technical foresight to create a design language that shaped the brand making it unmistakable. “Art, Forme, Technique” define this approach. His ideas and vehicles set the foundation for a brand of distinction. He established this distinction and now remains as the most valuable supercars in the world. His demand was that an automobile be a perfect balance of technology and aesthetics.

Type 13 Brescia

The Type 13 went into production in 1909 right after Ettore leased workspace at a factory in Molsheim founding his own company. The Type 13 grew in production year by year. The lightweight designs of the 1920s such as the Type 13 “Brescia,” and Type 35 which was one of the most successful race cars in motorsport history with 2,000 victories and podium finishes. The Type 35 was introduced in 1925. It won 412 races during the first nine months of its existence. It was during the years of production of these two famous models that earned esteem for the brand. These were the automobiles people associated the Bugatti brand with.

1926 Type 35C

1936 Type 57 Atalante

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Ettore Bugatti’s creations were ahead of their time in design and engineering and remain highly valued collectibles. The Type 41 Royale was the most powerful and luxurious car for its day. It not only epitomized Bugatti but served as the inspiration for the final release in the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part series. Production of the Type 57 SC Atlantic began in 1934. This was one of the best-selling touring cars of which had a body designed by Ettore’s son Jean. The Type 57 SC Atlantic is a milestone vehicle.

Type 57

1938 Type 57 SC Atlantic 1

1932 Type 41

Ettore 3

Once again, the formidable Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse became a blank canvas for the final automotive masterwork. It is rated as the fastest production roadster ever built. Its prodigious power comes from the indomitable 8-litre W16 engine that produces 1,200 hp @ 6,400 rpm packing the prolific punch with an astounding 1,500 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000-5,000 rpm. It redlines @ 6,500 rpm.

The engine’s performance is optimized with four turbochargers, intercooler, and variable valve timing. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with manual shift mode. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5 seconds with a top speed of 254 mph (263 mph without governor). It does the ¼ mile @ 149 mph in a spine-tingling 9.8 seconds!

1932 Type 41 5

Ettore Bugatti dreamed of designing and building the most powerful and luxurious production car in the world. His dream came true in 1926 with the acclaimed Type 41 Royale. Only six of the original goal of 25 vehicles were built and are still in existence. Some have been rebodied many times. The Type 41 is a grand vehicle of imposing stature. Its overall length exceeds 21 feet. It rides upon a long 169.3” wheelbase. This luxury behemoth is one of the largest automobiles ever built. The cast “Roue Royale” wheels are a massive 24” in diameter.

1932 Type 41 2

The Type 41 was built from 1927 until 1933. The car was in a league all by itself in terms of performance, size, comfort, quality, and elegance. The luxury behemoth weighs in at 6,600 pounds. The production version of the Type 41 Royale was equipped with a 12.7 litre engine with three valves per cylinder. Ettore Bugatti’s intent was to sell to various royal families and heads of state.

Its aluminium gearbox was attached to the rear axle while the clutch is attached to the chassis to reduce noise entering the interior. All Royales are custom-bodied bespoke works of art. The car’s base price was $30,000…just as the world went into the Great Depression.

Chassis # 41.111, the Royale Coupe deVille Binder was owned by a French politician. It had been rebodied by French coachbuilder Henri Binder. It had previously been bodied as an avant-garde two-seater with an open body and no headlamps. It was known as the Royale Esders Roadster. This body style was designed by Ettore’s eldest son Jean. It was built for the French clothing manufacturer Armand Esders. As of 1999, Volkswagen AG owns the Type 41 Royale. It was purchased for $20 Million USD. Currently the automobile is used for the brand’s promotional purposes traveling to museums and car shows.

Esders Roadster

Ettore 5

The “Ettore Bugatti” is based upon the 1932 Type 41 Royale with chassis #41.111. It’s finished in a unique finish called “Yin-yang.” Bugatti is the only auto manufacturer to master the polished clear-coated aluminium finishes on production vehicles. This hand-polished aluminium is used for the entire front end, side panels, bonnet, mirror bases and housings, exterior door handles, corners of bumpers, wings, doors, and the regions behind them called “medallions.”

The rear uses a stunning theme of dark blue exposed carbon. It is augmented by a platinum “EB” and famous horseshoe logo. Its wheels are based upon one of the most famous wheel rim designs in automotive history. The polished diamond-cut wheel rims were specially designed for the “Ettore Bugatti.” The eight-spoke wheel was created by Ettore Bugatti who wanted to create a lightweight wheel for his racing cars, like the Type 35. Ettore Bugatti was among the first in the industry to develop the aluminium wheel. The “Ettore Bugatti” Edition features the unique rim design with the name “Ettore Bugatti.”

Ettore 9

Ettore 6

Two types of leather grace the cabin of the “Ettore Bugatti.” Calf’s skin leather in a natural brown is used throughout. The parts of the cabin that come in contact by touch are jacketed in exclusive natural cordovan leather. These areas include the steering wheel rim, gear shift lever, door handles, console armrest, door handle recesses, door trim, and roof module. Bugatti uses a special leather tanning process that takes around six months to accomplish. It is particularly durable and luxurious to the touch. The center console sports the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” nomenclature with a relief of the dancing elephant. The door sill plates bear the portrait and signature of Ettore Bugatti.

Ettore 2

Platinum accents the cabin

Ettore 8

Ettore Bugatti’s dream is still alive and quite well today. Thanks to the VW Group who in 1999 purchased the brand that had been on hiatus since the early 1960s. They went to work on the formidable Veyron 16.4 and the foundation for a successful continuation of the brand were laid.

Ettore 4

The dancing elephant logo was designed by Ettore’s brother Rembrandt

Ettore 10

Ettore 12

Ettore Bugatti and the heritage of the brand are epitomized with this very special finale to the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part series. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is once again a blank canvas for which another potentially priceless example of contemporary automotive art is born. Its potent 1,200 hp 8-litre W16 engine moves this elite roadster with aplomb. Ettore Bugatti would be proud of today’s Veyron, it is a classic example of a thoroughbred…the enigma he intended for all Bugattis. Ettore Bugatti is one of the most significant figures in the automotive industry for the 20th century. The Bugatti legend continues…

Ettore 7


NotoriousLuxury presents “Les Légendes de Bugatti”

Ettore 1

Black Bess 1

Black Bess 3

Black Bess 4

Black Bess 5

Black Bess 7

Rembrandt 1

Rembrandt 2

Rembrandt 8

Rembrandt 5

Rembrandt 4

Rembrandt 3

Meo 1

meo 2

meo 4

meo 3

Jean Bugatti

Jean Bugatti 3

Jean Bugatti 4

Jean Bugatti 6

Jean Bugatti 5

Jean Bugatti 2

Jean Pierre 1

Jean Pierre 2

Jean Pierre 3

Jean Pierre 4

Jean Pierre 5

“Les Légendes de Bugatti” honors the men who made the legend

Avant-garde Open Grand Tourers

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Rolls Royce, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 9, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The Corniche and the Azure are the ultimate…


The last bodyshell RR and Bentley would share as cabrio models


Rolls Royce Corniche


Bentley Azure



The Bentley Azure is one of the world’s most elegant open grand tourers. The Rolls Royce Corniche has the distinction of being the only Rolls Royce model in the brand’s history to be based upon a Bentley platform. Open air motoring has never been more rewarding. They both are potent performers with Bentley being the more spirited of the two.

They also have the exclusivity of being the last Rolls Royce/Bentley models to share a bodyshell. The Rolls Royce Corniche was built from 2000 until 2002. The Bentley Azure was built from 2006 until 2009. A special performance version was available beginning the 2009 model year called the Azure T and was built for one year only ceasing production in 2010. Both are the quintessential Flagship drop head saloons and the epitome of luxury. This precluded 21st century designs.

Azure T 1

The luxurious Azure T

Azure T 2

Bentley end

Both Corniche and Azure are built on the Arnage platform. They are built as convertibles with a lower center of gravity. Rigid steel parts made into the sill section of the body extends into the “A” pillars that frame the windscreen. The entire bodyshell is braced by carbon fibre crossmembers to increase structural integrity.



An advanced roll-over protection system is fitted into their cabins behind the rear seats. Should the system detect a roll-over two roll bar hoops pop up through the rear seat headrests. Combined with the front windscreen frame these automobiles are capable of supporting 2.5 times the entire weight of the over-turned vehicle. As convertibles, they need special attention to safety both active and passive, Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles has always conformed 100% within the mandated set parameters.








Their unique inward folding fabric hoods store themselves in less than 2.5 seconds within their own lockers. The convertible locker doesn’t intrude into the boot. With the hood raised it resembles a hardtop, the inside also mocks the hardtop look with a wool headliner that conceals all convertible hardware. The Corniche and the Azure are large and comfortable open saloons.



The Corniche V is the fifth and final noble automobile to bear this distinction. It is the first and only Rolls Royce to receive its styling cues from a Bentley. Rolls Royce had the Phantom in the works, the Corniche V was built under the VW Group at Crewe. It was more cost efficient to construct the Corniche on the existing Bentley Azure platform.

The Corniche had previously been built offsite at Mulliner Park Ward who now was in-house at the Crewe facility since the mid-1990s. When the last Silver Seraph and the last Corniche rolled off the assembly line in Crewe in 2002, Bentley continued production. Rolls Royce relocated at its brand new HQ in Goodwood, England as Rolls Royce Motor Cars.



It was Rolls Royce’s most expensive model of the day at $359,900…the Corniche only produced 374 vehicles during its production run from 2000 through 2002 which makes it an attractive vehicle to keep an eye out for in the future. The Corniche V was the finale of the legend.

The trusty 6.75 litre turbocharged V8 produces 325 hp with 738 Nm of peak torque @ 2,100 rpm. Its top speed is 135 mph. Performance is rated as 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, don’t scoff, it’s a luxury land yacht not a crotch rocket. Rolls Royce rarely gave out its specifications, when quizzed their response is “adequate.” The engine is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Corniche V was the only new Rolls Royce developed by VW before the sale which makes this vehicle not only ‘odd’ but controversial, therefore it will appreciate positively when it properly ages. The last Rolls Royce Corniche V left the Crewe factory on August 30, 2002.












The 2007 Bentley Azure is twin turbocharged. It is the high performance version of the 6.75 litre 412 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine. Its block and cylinder heads are made from aluminium alloy. It is equipped with a Bosch Motronic ME 7.1 engine management system with two Mitsubishi TD 04 turbochargers and intercooler.

The engine produces 451 hp @ 4,100 rpm with 875 Nm or peak torque @ 1,800 rpm. It is mated to a ZF 6HP Series 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2007 Bentley Azure had a top speed of 170 mph. Performance is rated as 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 14.8 seconds, and it could do the ¼ mile @ 98 mph in 14.3 seconds. High revs at low rpm are Bentley hallmarks.





The new Bentley Azure became the Flagship of the Bentley range. Unveiled on September 12, 2005 at the Frankfort IAA Motor Show. The cabin is highly bespoke with the object of creating an elegant cabrio that would be equally at home in the Hamptons or on the French Riviera. Its bodyshell shares Arnage DNA. The Azure is a production specification model, it had a history book following it throughout its build assuring it met the owner’s requirements. It is powered by “old faithful” the modified 6.75 litre aluminium alloy V8. It was built from 2006 until 2009.






A Bentley Azure is one of the world’s most elegant open grand tourers…the other is the Rolls Royce Corniche V, the last in the impressive series of coachbuilt two-door saloons to come out of Crewe. It is the first and only Rolls Royce in history to be spawn from its Bentley counterpart, it had always been the other way around. The Corniche is built on the Azure platform which is basically the Arnage version.

The Corniche wasn’t as curvy and gracefully sculpted as the Azure. It appeared slab-sided when opposite the Azure, the Corniche V was built from 2000 until 2002 yielding 374 vehicles. It just wasn’t the iconic Corniche the world had fallen in love with…it lacks a somewhat poised dignity and it assumes a generic appearance, almost as if the styling was an afterthought. The Bentley Azure and the Arnage were the best looking models from this era, however…the RR Phantom which came next is a different story…




These are the most elegant open grand tourers in the world

Rolls Royce Wraith

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour




…..”The most potent and technologically advanced Rolls Royce in history….the Wraith is a car for the curious, the confident, and the bold.” That dramatic statement is from Rolls Royce. This is quite an omniscient preface for the all new Rolls Royce Wraith coupe. There’s never been a Rolls Royce quite like this. Giles Taylor, Director of design at Rolls Royce says: “There’s a sense of effortless grace and elegance, but at the same time something more contemporary and daring.”


The Rolls Royce Wraith, a new hyper-luxury class, has raised the bar for success. Its slippery aero dynamic shape combined with the legendary performance and charisma of a Rolls Royce brings new excitement to the ultra luxury motoring world. Its dramatic, stunning appearance shows that Rolls Royce is the true purveyor of the ultra luxury automobile. But then, superlatives are the norm for “The Spirit of Ecstasy.” One word to describe…

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