These days, automakers routinely unveil concept cars and new models at major auto shows. Back in its heyday, General Motors played by a different set of rules. It organized its own car shows under the Motorama banner.
Running throughout the 1950s, Motoramas were GM's opportunity to showcase its products to the public and whet consumers' appetites. Few Motorama cars were as showy as the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Town Car concept. Unveiled at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan for the 1956 "Highway of Tomorrow" Motorama, the Brougham Town Car was a concept for a chauffeur-driven version of the production Cadillac Brougham that hit the market the following year.
The Town Car featured a half roof that left the driver, in classical style, exposed to the elements, and created a split cabin. Up front, the chauffeur sat in the open air surrounded by black leather and chrome. In back, the pampered occupants were coddled in beige leather, deep-pile Wilton carpeting and gold trim covering everything from the tissue dispenser and decanter to the bulkhead-mounted phone used to speak to the driver.
After the New York Motorama, the Eldorado Brougham Town Car went on the road to Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, but was then retired to GM's Warhoops salvage yard. The staff there, according to the story, didn't have the heart to rip the Brougham apart, so it stayed under a tarp for thirty years. It then passed through the hands of several prominent collectors before RM gave it a thorough restoration, including the installation of a detailed 365 cu. in. OHV V8 engine with four-speed Hydramatic transmission, suitable for driving the car off the trailer and over the concours judging stand.
Consigned to RM Auctions, the car is set to cross the auction block on March 12 at Amelia Island, where it's expected to fetch between $500,000 and $750,000. Follow the link to the auction site for full details of the lot and event, and check out the high-res images in the gallery below.