No price guide — not Old Cars Report Price Guide, not NADA, not Kelley Blue Book, not Cars That Matter — not one of them has a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville two-door hardtop valued at six figures. In fact, no Cadillac Seville — not even the “Fin King ’59″ — is priced at six figures in most price guides. Yet, Mecum Auctions sold a 1957 Seville for $150,000 at its Kissimmee, Fla., sale in January according to Phil Skinner, who reported on the sale for Old Cars Weekly‘s March 27 issue.
Do I think the car was worth $150,000? Probably. But before I explain why, here’s how our man Phil described the car and his opinion sale:
Two-door hardtop. 365-cid, 325-hp V-8 engine with dual four-barrel carbs, automatic transmission. Finished in Copper Metallic, copper leather seats, copper vinyl top. Beautiful restoration and loaded with all the toys: power steering, brake, windows, antenna, seats, and signal-seeking radio. Brilliant Kelsey-Hayes “Sabre” wheels (standard) set this car off. We noticed a very minor issue with the fuel-filler door, other than that, the body panels lined up perfectly, under the hood spotless, some minor debris and dirt on the undersides. OCRPG condition 2.
Often overshadowed in the Eldorado line by the Biarritz convertible and Brougham four-door hardtop, the Seville two-door hardtop is just as luxurious as the Biarritz and features the same Eldorado fin styling seen on the drop-top models. This was an outstanding example that set the standards for restoration and set a new standard for values.
Any car is worth what one person will pay, and if this car is a truly a No. 2, it was a bargain. Remember, a No. 2 car is a former No. 1 show car after a few show seasons that had been authentically restored to better-than-new condition, and a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado cannot be restored to No. 1 condition for less than $150,000. I have seen the re-chroming bill for a similarly styled 1958 Eldorado Biarritz that had been restored to No. 1 condition, and it was more than $75,000. Add in the additional money required for a show paint job, show interior, mechanical restoration and the simple fact that Cadillac parts are much more expensive than other domestic car parts from this era, and you can bet it cost far more than $150,000 to restore this Seville.
Many of the No. 2 cars we’ve seen could be brought back to No. 1 condition with a thorough detailing, and assuming that is the case on this 1957 Seville, it was bought right and in the right color — if you have to have the perfect 1957 Seville. And what Cadillac connoisseur doesn’t?