It was love at first sight for Don Horton when he saw his first 1959 Cadillac back in the fall of 1958.
“From that day on I was hooked,” said Horton, who now owns Classic Caddies in Port Sydney, Ontario, Canada. “I was 13 years old and this was my first love, and it would last a lifetime.”
It’s no surprise that Horton picked the ’59 Cadillac as his favorite car.
“The car looked like a rocket ship with its huge fins, rocket-shaped side trim, bullet taillights and rear bumper ends,” he said. “When riding in the ’59 Cadillac, I remember how my father was so impressed with the performance. The car would do over 80 mph in third gear and then shift into fourth and climb up to 120 mph with no effort. The ’59 Cadillac was truly one of the most advanced cars of its time. Now 50 years later, I still love and enjoy building, selling and talking about 1959 Cadillacs.”
His love for these cars is so great that he has made it his specialty.
Though he restores (and owns) all years and models of Cadillacs, customers come to him from all over the world to have him build the famous Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible.
“It’s the world’s most sought-after Cadillac,” said Horton. “It symbolizes American post-war success, confidence and excess. The Eldorado was the pinnacle of automobile technology and luxury.”
Classic Caddies starts each convertible project with a sandblasted and painted frame, a rebuilt motor and a fully detailed transmission and engine compartment. All engine components are either upgraded or rebuilt. Even the full interior restoration is done in-house at Classic Caddies’ upholstery shop. Despite economic hard times, Horton said the demand for his ’59 Caddies continues to increase.
“We have 59 restorations and sales booked for the next three years!” he said.
The 1959 Cadillac is a true "fin" car.
Stat Sheet Car: 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
Location: Port Sydney, Ontario, Canada
Builder: Classic Caddies
Engine: Rebuilt GM Cadillac 390 cu with 345 horsepower. Engine compartment is fully detailed with all components upgraded or rebuilt.
Body & Frame: Rebuilt GM Series 6467
Tires: Firestone Radials (Size 235/75 R15)
Wheels: Aftermarket copy of original Kelsey Hays wheels
Paint: Painted at Classic Caddies using Base Clear and PPG's Victory Red.
Suspension: Rebuilt suspension with coil-over shocks, front and rear
Interior: Florentine & Cardiff pattern leather done at Classic Caddies’ in-house upholstery shop.
Hours to Build: 2,500 hours