Monday, December 26, 2016

Cadillac 1954 El Camino and La Espada Show Cars

There were three Cadillac dream cars in General Motors' 1954 Motorama show.  One was a conservatively styled four-door sedan that previewed some features of Cadillac's 1957 redesign.  The other two were minor variations on a two-passenger theme.

They were the El Camino (The Road), a coupé, and the La Espada (The Sword), a convertible, their only significant difference being a top or lack thereof.

One feature they anticipated was quad headlights, something that began appearing on American cars for the 1957 model year and was nearly universal for 1958.  Another was Cadillac's 1958 rear fender design.  Otherwise, these cars were the sort of dream car jazz that was expected at Motoramas.

This is the El Camino.  It has a racy top somewhat suggestive of a jet fighter plane cockpit, the jet theme being reinforced by the tail fins.

I think that the weakest feature is those quad headlights.  But then, I hate most quad headlights.  Regardless, their housings create an awkward shape at the front of the fenders, this being at odds with the rest of the design.

Show cars are supposed to be flashy.  Even so, I would reduce the size of the tail fins and perhaps make them less pointed.  Also, I am never very fond of character features such as we see here that curve around the front of wheel openings and then extend to the rear.

I would have used single headlights in "frenched" housings linked to a character line aligned with the center or lower edge of the headlamp.  The result would be higher on the fender than the one seen here.  A consequence would be that the extruded decorative side panels would have to go -- not a bad thing either.

La Espada with Ronald Reagan at the wheel.

A glimpse of the interior.

1 comment:

emjayay said...

Somehow I never saw the La Espada versions before. A lot more showed up on GM cars later - the long tube shapes ending in taillights or exhaust pipes on the '56 Cadillacs, a version of the roof on 1957 Cadillacs and 1958 Chevy Impalas and Pontiacs and probably more.