Thehorsepower ratings were 300/325 for 1957, when compression went from 9.75:1 to 10:1. The line was again rebodied, emerging with blockier but still evolutionary styling inspired by the Orleans, Eldorado Brougham, and Park Avenue show cars of 1954-55. Reaching into the luxury stratosphere, Cadillac unveiled a production Eldorado Brougham priced at a princely $13,074. Like its Motorama namesake, it was a surprisingly compact, low-slung pillarless sedan with a special 3200mm-wheelbase chassis, center-opening doors, and a brushed stainless-steel roof (one of Harley Earl’s favorite touches). Standard quad headlights were an industry first shared that year with Lincoln, Nash, and some Chrysler Corporation cars.
1957 Cadillac Fin
The Brougham’s most intriguing mechanical feature was its unique air suspension, the work of engineers Lester Milliken and Fred Cowin. Based on systems used for commercial vehicles since 1952, it employed an air “spring” at each wheel comprising a domed air chamber, rubber diaphragm, and pistons. Fed by a central air compressor, the domes were continually adjusted for load and road conditions via valves and solenoids for a smooth, level ride. Cadillac’s system differed from “air ride” options at other GM divisions in being “open” (taking in air from outside) rather than “closed.” Unhappily, cost and complexity were too high relative to benefits. The air domes leaked, and dealer replacements were frequent, leading many owners to junk the system in favor of conventional coil springs. Four years later, Cadillac and GM abandoned air suspension altogether.
After two years and 704 units, the Brougham was fully restyled and its final assembly farmed out to Pininfarina in Italy. Only 99 were built for ’59, another 101 of the near-identical ’60s. Though clean-looking (lines actually previewed Cadillac’s 1961 styling), these were larger (3302mm wheelbase) and heavier cars that weren’t put together very well (bodies contained lots of lead filler). They’re collector’s items now, but restoring one is a chore.
I. D. NUMBERS
Serial numbers and engine numbers were the same again.
on a boss on the front right-hand face of the engine block;
on the lubrication plate on the left front door pillar (1953-1957)
and on the right frame side member behind the motor support.
The first pair of symbols were “57” to designate the model year.
The next two symbols indicated series as follows:
“62” = Series 62 including Eldorado Specials
“60” = Series 60 Fleetwood
“70” = Series 70 Eldorado Brougham
“75” = Series 75 Fleetwood
The immediately following numbers, beginning at 00000 for each series, indicated the production sequence in consecutive order.
Ending numbers were the same for all series since the engines were installed in mixed production fashion.
1957 Cadillac Notes
The 1957 Eldorado Brougham was designed to compete with the Lincoln-Continental Mark II.
The new dual quad headlamps seen on the Brougham were illegal in some states during 1957.
The Brougham air suspension system proved unreliable and Cadillac later released a kit to convert cars to rear coil spring type suspension.
This makes Broughams with the feature rarer and more valuable today.
The Brougham is a certified Milestone Car.
Series 62 sedans were short-deck models with trunks five inches shorter than 60S sedans.
Ball joint suspension was a new technical feature adopted this year.
Model year sales amounted to 146,841 deliveries earning Cadillac Division ninth industry ranking for two years in a row.
James M. Roche was general manager
Charles F. Arnold was chief engineer
Charles Jordan was chief designer (Cadillac Studio)
Fred H. Murray was general sales manager
Cadillac production figures
Series 6266,847 (increased 5,213)
Sedan de Ville23,808 (decreased 17,924)
Coupe de Ville23,813 (decreased 273)
Eldorado3,900 (decreased 2,150)
Series 6024,000 (increased 7,000)
Series 70 Eldorado Brougham400
Series 754,069 (decreased 6)
1957 Automotive Notes
Harlow H. Curtice was president of GM
Albert Bradley was chairman of the board at GM
The AMA bans factory-sponsored racing in order to eliminate speed from auto advertising
The five-mile Mackinac Bridge links Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas
The names Nash and Hudson are dropped in favor of Rambler
Chrysler cars replace the front coil springs with torsion-bar suspension
Fuel injection is available on some Chevrolet and Pontiac cars
Some American cars begin the switch to quad headlights, but they are considered illegal in some states
Eldorado Brougham features brushed aluminum roof, air suspension, and quad headlights
Chevrolet offers optional triple-turbine Turboglide automatic transmission
Ford introduces Skyliner retractable hardtop convertible
Ford introduces the Ranchero car-pickup
Mercury Turnpike features a retractable backlight (i.e., rear window) and 49-position driver’s seat
Oldsmobile re-introduces the station wagon to their lineup, absent since 1950
Oldsmobile has a triple-carb option to boost horsepower to 300
Packard Clipper re-introduces the station wagon to their lineup, absent since 1950
Pontiac Bonneville convertible comes with fuel injection or triple-carb (Tri-Power)
Studebaker introduces the basic Scotsman model
Studebaker Golden Hawk exchanges the Packard V-8 with a Studebaker V-8 with a Paxton supercharger
Most American cars have 14-inch wheels
Options: six-way power seats, electric door locks, speedometer buzzer which sounds when preset speed is reached, and limited-slip differential