Walking the main hall at Detroit’s Cobo Center, I find myself in a sea of new automotive metal. There are a number of interesting cars on display. The one that’s captured my eye, however, is from 1959.

It’s sitting high above the Cadillac display stand. And it’s a stunner. This is a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. It’s an inch longer than a new Suburban. The fins mark the height of Cadillac style at the end of the 1950s. Every inch of this stunning machine evokes strong emotions.

Picture yourself in the driver’s seat. The top is down and you’re driving along the coast. It’s warm out but not too hot. The sun on your face feels good and the wind whips over the top of your hair, but not through it. On the radio, your favorite song plays. Lean deeper into the throttle and let the 6.4-liter V8 surge forward and pull this big Caddy like a freight train.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Modern cars can’t pull off chrome like this. It’s too plastic. Too take. And often, it’s just too much. Here though, it’s perfect. The grille and tail are works of art. If an alien nation made contact and asked us to provide an example of the automobile, this might be the one we hand over. But if they scratch it, we’ll enter an intergalactic war.

And we’ll win… because we’re a planet that once built cars like this 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz