Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1961 Cadillac Eldorado Calais V12 Sport Coupe

Meant to evoke a vintage PR/Marketing post card, the altered proportions of my 1961 Eldorado Calais V12 Sport Coupe really show off the new-for-'61's tailored sheetmetal and gorgeous lower skeg fins perfectly balancing the upper tail fins. I added a bit of unique front fender trim meant to celebrate the first postwar V12 developed by a domestic automaker.
Quickie 2-hour project tonight . . . 

1961 Cadillac Eldorado Calais V12 Sport Coupe—What if Caddy had entered the personal luxury coupe/Thunderbird market segment a generation earlier than it did? What if Pininfarina's beautiful "Jacqueline" coupe had been a ruse to throw off any actual "coupe rumors" from leaking out of Cadillac?

I propose the '61 Eldorado could have been reborn as a super-exclusive and super-expensive V12 2+2 coupe replacing the previous Pininfarina Brougham sedan as the pinnacle of Cadillac's showroom. A full two-feet shorter than the standard Series 62-based Eldos of recent years, the V12 coupe would have seating for two. The rear compartment could be outfitted with occasional rear seats or  fitted luggage for a truly European Grand Touring experience. 

Although the front clip is extended to house the domestic industry's first postwar V12, at 115" the wheelbase is a full 15 inches shorter than the standard convertible. A shorter rear deck contributes to its overall 24 inch length reduction to approximately 200 inches.The roof is brushed stainless steel and the slightly broader, equilateral rear pillars hint at the new rooflines coming from Cadillac across the board for '62.


  1. Interesting! I love how you always dreate the marketing rationale for your creations. I wonder if Cadillac would ahve been successful with a two-passenger V12 in 1961. The market would have been pretty small, but the power of Cadillac at that time might have created an entirely new market. On Hemmings today was a story about the Chrysler Falcons. Although that was a bit earlier than 1961, I wonder how the market would have accespted that car. It is certainly fabulous looking but given Chrysler's weakening position in the market, it probably was right not to go ahead with it. I think people would accept a two-passenger car from Europeans, even though they sold in infinitessimal numbers compared even to the independents, but Ford, who really were quite successful with the two-seat Thunderbird, dropped it for a four seater. Oh, all the what ifs!!

    Paul, NYC

    1. that's what I like to do, Paul, let my mind wander with "What ifs?" followed by endless "What ifs?" lol.

  2. 1961. My favorite year Cadillac. This is a terrific transition from the Eldorado Brougham of previous years to the much later Eldorados. I have always appreciated the stainless roof but have wondered what that effect would look like elsewhere. The silhouette of this coupe looks slightly stubby to me. What do you think of, instead of the roof, a stainless panel running horizontally from the upper crease (at the door handle height) down to the lower 'skeg' fins - something like the Oldsmobile Starfire to visually lengthen the coupe. I love the V-12 proposal. Delicious fantasy.
    Thanks for our Christmas gift.


    1. great ideas! I thought about some trim between the bumper "grille" and the trim I added behind the front wheels. It could be a ribbed tubular affair. Your trim could be added too!