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- 5 June 2013
Tag Archives: Eldorado
The First Personal Luxury Car: Ford’s Thunderbird
The ultimate American personal luxury car of the heyday of the Big Three had to be the Cadillac Eldorado, but the very first of the breed was the Ford Thunderbird. The car went into development in 1953 as competition for the new Chevy Corvette as a sporty two-seat convertible, and by 1954 the first prototype was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, in February; by September of ’54 the T-Bird went into production. The first 1955 Ford Thunderbird models were offered to the public by the end of October that same year.
Personal Luxury Cars 101
Caught between a luxury car and a sport sedan, the personal luxury car was a favorite in the post-war era. The personal luxury car is typically a two-door sedan loaded with gadgets and goodies. It’s less expensive than the luxury cars typically made by manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, and Bentley. Most of the personal luxury cars were made by American car manufacturers, although the luxurious Lincolns and Cadillacs were considered luxury cars.
Presidential Cars: So Many Cadillacs
The most powerful man in the world needs to have access to an amazing car. It is no surprise that the Cadillac has become the car of choice for men who have become the President of the United States. Here are a few of the iconic Cadillacs that have been used for presidents:
Goodfellas and the Cadillac
Martin Scorsese knows how to make movies. He also knows what cars to add to them. The Gen-X viewers who love his films from the 1980s and 1990s, like Casino, Clockers, The Grifters, Goodfellas, The Color of Money, and Cape Fear, are now buying the cars that were often featured in his films. Interestingly, the prices of the 1970s and 1980s Cadillacs, like the Cadillac Eldorado are increasing in value as Scorsese fans want to emulate the style of their favorite characters like Ace Rothstein, Lester Diamond, and Frankie Carbone.
In the 50s and 60s the selection was smaller than it is right now, and this was certainly a good thing for the Detroit Big Three. When it came to luxury, Cadillac and Lincoln occupied a particular spot above the rest, but you had to decide if you were looking for sporty pizzazz or luxurious comfort.
This could be a difficult decision, but one thing that you find when you look into the history of automotive marketing is that the manufacturers were more than willing to develop new niches.
People who were coming of age in the latter part of the 1960s and 1970s will remember how head-turning the razor sharp, sporty, classy and sexy Cadillac Eldorado was. This was a time when the “personal luxury car” was taking off after the niche was carved out by the Ford Thunderbird that made its debut for the 1955 model year.
The Eldorado was first introduced a couple of years earlier, in 1953, but it was offered as a specialty vehicle, a two-door convertible that would in fact be a great find today. There were just 532 specimens of the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado produced, carrying a price tag of $7,750. General Motors design wizard Harley Earl, the creator of the Corvette, was said to be especially fond of the stylistic effect of the Eldo’s wraparound windshield.