1957 Chevrolet El Morocco news, pictures, specifications, and information
Sold for $77,000 at 2007 RM Auctions
It is believed that only ten hardtop sedans were created, two hardtop coupes, and two convertibles bringing the total to sixteen. In modern times, only two from each of these bodystyles are known to exist, bringing this total to six. The primary reason for the low production numbers was the $800 conversion price which moved it too far out of reach for most consumers. It was too close to the base price for a Cadillac, plus it is believed that a profit was never made on the El Morocco.
This example has been part of a museum display for many years. It is an unrestored cars with mostly original paint, trim and upholstery. In 2007 it was brought to the Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $75,000 - $125,000. It was offered without reserve and sold for a high bid of $77,700 including buyer's premium.
The Chevrolet El Morocco are among the rarest Chevrolet's ever built, with only ten created in 1956 and 16 in 1957. They were built in a few different bodystyles including a two and four door hardtops, and convertibles with some created from aluminum and others from steel.
It was the first time an outside contractor had designed and built a customized Chevrolet model which was later sold as a new car with a full factory warranty.
R. Allender and Company, founded by Canadian Reuben Allender, had built a business in the surplus textile industry. The relationship with Chevrolet began with Allender, a wealthy businessman who had a dream of building his own car. He was a long time buyer of Cadillac's with the ambition to build a smaller, lighter car that would be styled in fashion of a Cadillac.
The first cars were created in 1956 on Chevrolet platforms and designed to resemble the 1955 and 1956 Cadillac Eldorado. The name 'El Morocco' was from a popular Manhattan night club and had similarities to the name 'El Dorado'.
The 1956 El Moroco's featured body panels made of fiberglass. A host of trim parts and designed were borrowed from Willys, Dodge and Kaiser-Frazer to complete the package. The result was well received and given a base price of around $3250.
Cadillac introduced their Eldorado Brougham, not in spite or in competition with the El Morocco, but Allender felt the need to create a new El Morocco to emulate the new Brougham. Problems with the fiberglass body production for the 1956 cars led to the use of steel for the 1957 models. This required comprehensive metalwork changes, including removing and filling the 1957's rocket hood spears with steel, and welding on the steel rear tail-fin extensions.
The back of the car featured a special bumper with integral exhaust ports and 1954 Mercury styled chromed 'Dagmars'. It was given a tail and a ribbed rear license plate surround and twin rear taillights. The font featured an Eldorado-style honeycomb grille and a new front bumper with relocated turn signals. The sides were given new chromed lower rear quarter panels and side moldings complete with integrated air scoops.
The taillight lenses and fins in the rear were borrowed from the 1956 Plymouth. It was complemented with Brougham style rear edge moldings. The package was completed with El Morocco badging and a set of custom wheel covers.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
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