CAR, CADILLAC LA ESPADA
230 horsepower, overhead valve V-8, fiberglass bodied, two-seat Cadillac convertible
concept car was Cadillacs 1954 stab at "What will cars be like in the
future?" The La Espada (named for the sword) was one of a number of concept cars to
travel with the Parade of Progress. The La Espada had a wheelbase of 115 inches, a body
200.6 inches long, 51.7 inches high and 79.9 inches wide. It sported a recessed cellular
grille air intake in the front, which was guarded by massive and sweeping front bumpers.
The bumpers were capped with resilient white vinyl to cushion shocks and prevent scuffing
of the chrome. Ribbed aluminum on the fender sides were slotted to admit air for the air
On the "gadget" side, it had dual headlights
controlled with an Autronic Eye. Below the trunk compartment in the rear of the car was a
special compartment that housed the spare tire. It was accessed by removing a bright
chrome trimmed door, which also served as a bumperette and license plate mount. The gas
cap was located behind the left rear tail fin which swung forward for access.
The experimental sports convertible has a 115-inch
wheelbase, 200.6 inch overall length and is powered by a 230-horsepower Cadillac V-8
The following is from Parader
Jim Tolley (submitted 2/18/05) with his recollection of the
I remember was the
Cadillac La Espada. My first Parade of Progress lecturing experience
involved this car. It arrived on the show site, somewhere in New
York state, maybe Buffalo, on the day of the Opening Night Preview
Performance in that city. The script for the lecturer to use was in
the glove compartment when it arrived. None of us had seen the car
or the script before or knew what the car was.
As a lecturer trainee, I was helping to set up
exhibits when my boss tapped me on the shoulder, told me to go back
to the hotel with the script, memorize it, and return in time for
the first preview show that night. It was to be my Parade of
The concept cars were set up on the site next to
Old Scout. When people left the tent show, they were directed to Old
Scout. After, Tony Gagliardi, dressed in cap, gauntlets, and
ankle-length duster, cranked up Old Scout and gave his performance,
he directed the crowd to the concept car and, in this case, it was
It was a big crowd; I had never lectured before;
but, fortunately, I knew more about the car than anyone else there.
I remembered enough of the script to get through the show.
The Cadillac La Espada had two chrome
protuberances on the front bumper. I actually laughed when I saw
them. People referred to the car as Marilyn Monroe.
I also recall that it was a "pushmobile."
It had no engine, and we had to push it into place.