The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

Lot 134

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Sold for $253,000

  • Chassis no. 577036954
  • Body no. 312


Series 70. 325 bhp, 365 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • The ultimate Cadillac
  • One of only 704 built in two years
  • Texas car since new, with 43,000 miles


It is hard to imagine an American automaker today building a four-door sedan that would be priced higher than a new Ferrari or Rolls-Royce. In the 1950s, it was a different time. Glitter was good, bigger was better, and too many accessories was just right in the age of neon, and Ford had upped the ante with the introduction of its Continental Mark II, a two-door coupe so elite that the Blue Oval didn’t even bother calling it a Lincoln. It was an era ripe for the ultimate Cadillac: a car heaped with everything that General Motors’ engineering and styling gurus could throw at it.

Harley Earl’s styling team contributed multiple new ideas, including four-door hardtop sedan bodywork, with side windows that disappeared completely, frames and all; rear-hinged rear doors, a throwback to the 1930s; and a broad expanse of sparkling brushed stainless steel roof. Quad headlights were exclusive to the model—and still illegal in most states. The engineering staff worked out a litany of power accessories, so numerous that “power everything” wasn’t just a convenient phrase, it was a reality. The trunk lid and rear doors not only opened with the push of a button, but they closed with one too, and the doors would lock automatically when the transmission was put in gear. A memory front seat was a first for a production car, as were the forged aluminum wheels. Naturally, there was air conditioning.

The car was so fully-equipped that the glove box even came filled. Cadillac thoughtfully provided a lady’s vanity case with compact, powder puff, comb and holder, lipstick, and coin holders, as well as six drink tumblers, a tissue dispenser, and a cigarette case. The rear seat armrest opened to reveal a notepad and pencil, a mirror, and a perfumer atomizer, which came with a complimentary ounce of Arpège by Lanvin.

All of this high living came at a cost of $13,974, which was twice the cost of the Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. In fact, one had to look long and hard to find a production car anywhere in the world that was as expensive as an Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac reportedly lost $10,000 on every car built, which was why the original “Eldo Bro” lasted for only two years and 704 examples.

Don Davis’ example was the 312th built, and it was reportedly one of two identical cars purchased new by a pair of brothers from Texas. Having remained in the Lone Star State since new, it was acquired from the family by well-known Texas collector Wayne Davis, and it underwent a cosmetic restoration in its original Copper with beige “Parisienne” cloth and leather interior and mouton carpets. Then, Mr. Don Davis acquired the car from the previous Mr. Davis several years ago. Like most Eldorado Broughams, it has long since lost its original vanities and has been converted from the original air suspension to conventional springs, for durability’s sake, but retains the very rare original aluminum wheels, which have been swapped out for wire wheels on most surviving cars. It represents as an honest, largely original car in outstanding overall condition, with excellent chrome, beautiful deep paint, and a perfect stainless steel top, and it has only 43,000 actual miles.

This beautiful Eldorado Brougham would be ideal for drifting majestically through the Texas prairie, just as it has for its entire life, or venturing onward to new, appropriately glamorous adventures.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, based out of New York,... read more

Peter Giddings

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+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more