In the early Sixties, Cadillac Motor Division received a bit of flack from some of their customers as to the growing girth of their offerings. Said irritated customers, living like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons in their Victorian era mansions in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, were finding that their new Cadillacs were too big for their garages. So Cadillac decided to offer a new model. A shorter Cadillac.
And so, for the 1961 model year, there was a new model, the short deck Series Sixty-Two sedan. (UPDATE: The ’61 was actually in the de Ville series, the brochure showing it as a Sixty-Two series is incorrect. Thanks Dave Smith for the info!). Its primary difference was a shrunken rear deck, all the better to fit in 1920s-era garages and to assist in parallel parking in Manhattan or on Boylston Street in Boston. Standard equipment and interior trim were just as elegant and luxurious as the regular, long-tailed model. That ought to show those moneyed East coast swells, right?
Unfortunately, no. As it turns out, despite the irritated letters sent out to Detroit on bonded, 24-lb. stationery, sales were not good. At $5,498, it was priced exactly the same as the long deck Sedan de Villes. But it seems that what people want, or claim to want, and what they actually buy, are two different things. Sales of the short-deck model were 3,756, compared to 26,216 Series 62 six window hardtops and 26,415 Sedan de Ville six window hardtops.
Despite the unencouraging sales, however, the model returned for 1962, rechristened Park Avenue. There was also a new, less-expensive Sixty-Two Town Sedan that had the short rear quarters. Yes, the Park Avenue was a Cadillac years before it became a Buick!
Model 6289D, the Park Avenue Sedan de Ville, was priced the same as the standard length four-window 1962 Sedan de Ville, at $5,631. As in 1961, standard features and interior trim were identical, it was strictly the reduced rear quarters that differentiated it.
And as in 1961, sales were poor. Only 2600 ’62 Park Avenues were built, compared to 27,378 full-length Sedan de Villes.
It was an interesting idea, but it seemed those well-heeled city folk, when push came to shove, were more interested in a full-sized Cadillac, and never mind if their fins and rear deck stuck out two feet beyond their 3/4 closed garage door!
Cadillac gave the model one more chance in 1963. The base Sixty-Two town sedan was dropped, leaving only the more highly-trimmed Park Avenue version. After 1,575 of the $5633 1963 Park Avenues were built, Cadillac wisely said forget it, and discontinued the model. No Park Avenue would be on the 1964 roster, and there would be no more junior edition Caddys until the 1976 Seville appeared in early ’75.
Naturally, any of these slim-caboosed are a rarity in 2018. But as luck would have it, my friend, Dave Smith, of the American Brougham Society Facebook group, found this very nice ’62 model last week at the amazing, always interesting annual show in Hershey, PA. Let’s all give him a nice round of applause for finding such a rare Cadillac! And remember friends, keep calm and Brougham on.