1956 Cadillac Eldorado Sat Under Filth for 20 Years, Looks Splendid After Its First Wash

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz 10 photos
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
There is dust on the white paintwork. There is soil. There is the fifth of decades that this 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible spent parked in a barn, away from the eyes of the admirers. It could have lived a life of luxury. But no. It just sat still, gathering layer after layer of dirt.
Randy and the Carhaeology team come across another treasure from the Massive California Car Hoard. This time, it is a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible with quite a story. And quite a layer of dirt on it.

One day, about 20 years ago, the owner's father was approached in a restaurant by a stranger who told him he had a Cadillac that he wanted to get rid of. So, his dad jumped in the car with him and went to see the Cadillac.

It was a splendid 1956 Eldorado Biarritz that he bought on the spot. He just couldn not leave it there. 1956 was the year Cadillac had introduced the two-door convertible, so this one was probably one of the first examples to drive through the factory gate. So, he took it home, parked it in a barn, and just left it there. So, it wasn't quite a rescue for the poor Caddy, which was already almost half a century old.

Parked at the back of the barn, with the trunk close to the wall, the car has beeb covered in a tarp for ages. When Randy and his team try to peel it off, it comes apart. It was almost glued to the body of the Cadillac. But that did not keep the dirt away.

However, rubbing the finger against that layer of dust reveals beautiful paint as the layer of dirt probably preserved it. Blowing the filth away has the same effect. It looks like it is going to be easy to wash off two decades of sitting in the exact same spot.

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
The bad news is that the driver's side window has been down for quite some time, so the cabin is far from immaculate. The owner of the second-generation Eldorado removed some of the components from the engine bay and put them in the passenger's seat in an attempt to protect them. Everything clicks into place like Ikea furniture.

That V8 engine, mated to the Hydra-matic transmission, is alive. It is a true survivor, beating all odds. The moment it gets a little gas, it starts firing, but it stumbles and can't keep running. Until it finally does. It suffocates, it coughs, but once it goes into gear, the car is moving on its own power, which is great news.

Pushing a 5,000-pound (2,268-kilogram) convertible out of a garage would probably make everyone involved skip both arm and leg day for the rest of the year. All they need to do now is wipe the mess off the windshield to give the driver a bit of visibility as he tries to find his way out of the barn.

The brakes of the Eldorado Biarritz seem to work, too, but you can't really count on them. The brake lights light up properly. Surprisingly, after all these years the Cadillac sat parked, there is no smoke coming out the back. The car drives out of the barn for the first time in over two decades. The wind blows part of the dust off, revealing the beautiful ivory color that it rolled off the production line with back in 1956. A water hose will do miracles on that body.

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
The elongated and intimidating silhouette of the Eldorado Biarritz rides on gorgeous multi-spoke gold wheels, matching the gold badging and lettering.

But the cabin, well... That’s a whole different story. The light blue leather on the seats has been cut open as if Edward Scissorhands had his way with this car. It also looks like a surgeon's job, but it’s just the time eating into a car that has been neglected for two decades.

The team that is trying to rescue it from a life of oblivion has several keys but has no idea whatsoever which opens what. So, trying them all is the only way to go. Apparently, none works for the trunk, even though they desperately need it to open it because there are parts to use in there. So, they are trying to unlock it from the inside.

That does not seem to work either. However, there is huge space in the trunk of the convertible. Sebastian could go to sleep in there like in a queen-size bed. But there is not much light in there, so the operation isn't easy. Besides, he just locks the trunk lid better instead of popping it open.

1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
After all the effort, they realize that the lid actually opens with the help of a button, which is located in the glove box. They didn't even think of that possibility. Well, one thing is for sure: they don't like the easy way out. They find tires, body components, and the front registration plate in the trunk.

Reversing the Eldorado with those weak brakes might take the whole barn down, so this time, pushing it is. The car is now ready for the next stage. Randy and his team will make sure that it runs and drives like in the good old times. And brakes without taking down any buildings, too.

The superb 1956 Eldorado is going to be fully restored and will probably end up on the classic market. According to, the average price for such a car can go as high as $400,000, depending on the condition of the example. With that blue leather upholstery fixed and the V8 running properly, "excellent condition" might be a proper label for this good old fellow.

Back in 1956, when this Caddy saw the light of day, the automaker was making efforts to slash prices. The move came right on time and had quite an effect, as sales nearly quadrupled when the model started at $5,738, the equivalent of approximately $65,000 today. Cadillac sold 6,050 units that year.

Right now, the brand's best-seller is the CT5 sedan. There were 18,593 customers who chose one in 2023. The era we live in...

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