Back in the day, the luxurious 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was more commonly known as “the Frank Sinatra car” because Ol’ Blue Eyes owned two of the Hollywood royalty-inspired cars. Now, the common belief would be that Sinatra shelled out $13,000 a pop for the cars as a status symbol, but I have a good feeling that it was the contents of the glovebox that really motivated his decision.
The Eldorado Brougham was equipped with a number of awesomely random features, but arguably none were quite as awesome as the standard magnetized minibar in the glovebox. Sinatra lived his life as a functioning alcoholic, so I’m sure that when he opened the glovebox for the first time and found his reflection in the set of shiny tin tumblers, his only words were “I’ll take two.”
Along with the traveling minibar, the Eldorado Brougham came with other unique features that included a complete woman’s grooming compact and matching leather notebook, a cigarette case, a comb (total deal maker) and an atomizer filled with “Arpege Extrait de Lanvin” perfume that likely smelled even worse than the fragrances being pumped out of the Fiat 500’s perfume diffuser.
Out of all the Cadillac models on the market at the time, the 1957 Brougham was the most expensive. In fact, it was roughly twice the price of all the other Eldorado trims. The steep price led to low sales numbers, and throwing in the minibar and other various items was Cadillac’s feeble attempt to attract more buyers—because, you know, a whole bunch of random shit crammed into the glovebox is what the people want, and stuff.
It’s kind of unfortunate that today’s cars don’t come with a minibar or anything more than an owner’s manual in the glovebox. These days, the only random additions that come standard in cars are features that serve no practical purpose, such as the dash-mounted patch of shag carpet in the Nissan Cube. To be honest, I’d rather have the Brougham’s comb, or better yet, the perfume atomizer. The perfume may smell absolutely wretched, but unopened atomizer boxes are selling for upwards of $1,000 online.
I’m just going to go ahead and assume that anyone who actually paid that price for a box of ancient perfume—restoration junkie or not—washed away their regrets with a shot of whiskey or six at the glovebox minibar soon after completing the purchase.