Of all the inter-continental automotive collaborations we’ve seen over the years, few have captured our attention and imaginations quite like Italian coachbuilt American motors.
Forget for a moment all the vehicles Fiat Chrysler has made since its modern amalgamation under the late Sergio Marchionne. We’re referring to Ford-powered DeTomasos, Ghia-bodied Chryslers, and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Ford’s Vignales and Pininfarina’s Cadillac Allanté – or the thoroughly Italian-American 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham.
Exquisitely crafted by Pininfarina, the Eldorado Brougham was the automotive equivalent of Frank Sinatra in a Brioni suit, Borsalino fedora, and Gucci loafers. It was as long and sleek as they came.
Just look at those distinctly American tailfins, the rakishly swept-back windshield (one of the largest ever put on an automobile), and a trunk big enough to fit a dead snitch or two.
Only 99 examples were made, of which the one you see here is coming up for auction. It’s in entirely original condition, never restored or taken apart – right down to the giant 6.4-liter V8 and the cloth upholstery pinstriped like a mobster’s jacket.
It has been repainted to its original Ebony Black, though, using the same single-stage lacquer as original. And though the original compressor is still on board, the rear air suspension has been replaced with a more conventional coil-spring setup.
It was one of the most expensive cars money could buy in its time, and with just over 50,000 miles on the odometer, RM Sotheby’s expects it will sell for a good $75,000 – $100,000 when the gavel drops (with no reserve price) in Auburn, Indiana, in late August/early September.
That’d be enough to put you in a nicely equipped Escalade these days, but that’d be more Tony Soprano, where this Brougham is more Michael Corleone. You tell us which fictional mob boss had the better style.