When it came to '50s 'dream cars', GM set the standard for design creativity. Their 'Motorama' show was a travelling circus of avant-garde automobilia. The Cadillac El Camino was a 'space-age' case in point. El Camino Real - The Royal Highway - was a sobriquet for Highway 101. But though the El Camino may have sounded Spanish, it was actually as American as apple pie! It was also one of the most influential concept cars ever created. Certainly, many of the features the El Camino pointed to could be seen on production Cadillacs, by the end of the Fifties.
Show-car though it was, a V8 was duly dropped into the Camino's engine bay. 5,422cc - and 230bhp - were therefore technically available. Had the GM boffins wanted it to go touring, they could no doubt have 'persuaded' it to do so.
But the Camino was all about styling. Its pearlescent paint-job was a cinch to turn heads. Silver had never looked so good! And the car's radical roof-line was equally engaging. The curvaceous windows - and deftly-drawn pillars - were topped off by brilliant brushed aluminium. The front bumpers incorporated 'bullets'! And the front arches were wrought so as to expose the wheels in all their intricate glory. At the rear, the tail-fins were a metallurgical delight. The Camino blended easily into the Motorama mix. Cadillac's 'class of '54' also comprised the 'Espada', and the 'Park Avenue'. But, the Camino, in particular, was the blueprint for many a Cadillac to come.