Quick Look: 1957 Cadillac Series 62

As you know, my friend down in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Jayson Coombes, attends many, many car shows around those environs. Several posts I’ve written on this fine site have come from his camera.

It helps that we like the same kinds of vintage rolling stock! Namely, 1930s-1990s big American cars. So today, here’s a nice example of 1957 Cadillac he spotted last month. For further reading, you may want to check out my post on a 1957 Coupe de Ville. Which, coincidentally, was also photographed by Jayson!

Today’s example is one of 32,342 Series 62 four-door hardtops. Base price was $4,713.

The next level up was the Sedan de Ville four-door hardtop, with a more glitzy interior and a $5,188 sticker.

Top of the heap was the all-new Eldorado Brougham sedan with center-opening doors and a heart-stopping $13,074 sticker. 400 of those were built. My friend in Chicago, Ron Schweitzer, owns one.

Which reminds me, I need to write up his car too. It’s overdue! Fortunately I’ll be seeing him this Saturday at the Shirey Cadillac All-GM car show.

But really, any 1957 Cadillac was a fine car.

Even the Series 62 was undeniably a Cadillac from any angle, with fins, chrome, a smooth ride, powerful V8, and plush interiors.

Most ’57 Cadillacs featured a double shark fin hood ornament-or is it ornaments?

V is for V8.

That’s all for now folks. Keep calm and Brougham on.

25 Replies to “Quick Look: 1957 Cadillac Series 62”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Many of out European friends were somewhat put off by all the space age detailing of cars like this. Remember how the MB people resent their own fintails. It wasn’t them going to space was it? I wonder if the old folks back then felt the same way, that it was too much fallowing fads. The idea that you could aim a luxury car at a younger clientele is perhaps another indication of a more optimistic time.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      You have to try something. You can’t ride your current clientele until they die and then you decide you need to do something. Unfortunately car companies tend to go overboard. After catering to the needs of their current buyers for years they drop them like they never existed. Then the car company wonders what happened.

      Caddy lost it with “The car that zigs” in 1997 with the Catera. Inside of boiling a frog with the frog getting used to the heat, they stuck the frog in a microwave and set it on high for 15 minutes.

      Acura and Infiniti are also 2 that went in wholesale different directions and then wondered what happened.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        You see it all around. MB gets seen as an old person car in China and then goes whole hog coping Chris Bangle’s playbook of flame surfaced douche canoe SAVs fit more for reliving “Less Than Zero” with a crazy rich Asian cast than taking on a Spen King designed Range Rover off road. How is a German burgher supposed to ignore all that when he is ready for his next S class.

        Cadillac problems predate putting their name on that Opel. That was the logical next step after what happened in 1992 when the preferences of the Cadillac buyer were dispensed with and Chuck Jordan made the Seville a me too foreign style car and then in 1994 turned the Deville into an austere/ traditional trim group of the same. That to me was far more damaging than delivering a traditional Cadillac experience in a modern, smaller package as was done in 85-86. Those were jarring but at least overcame dramatic obstacles of packaging and noise control.

        The Japanese stories are less dramatic as they started with their only real competencies being manual transmission shift feel and less than 2 liter four cylinder engines. Chassis tuning and coming up with larger more complex packages took decades and only went uncritically commented upon because to do so was heresy.
        Notice for example how many of their new luxury V8s in the 90s were just two of their cheap car fours put together with an outsourced automatic. Why? Well maybe they stink and are helpless without someone filling their Kanban for them

        Reply
        • AvatarCarmine

          You continued knocking of the gorgeous 1992 Seville is laughable……

          Among all of the crazy shit you spew, it might be the craziest of all, and thats saying a lot

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            Bruno Sacco, the Italian Mercedes hired to put the glass ceiling in over their own people, sure loved the 92 Seville. It even had all that silly rubber on the sides just the way he liked them. What genius? what originality? What a bunch of losers!

          • AvatarCarmine

            Wow, a foreigner liked it, it must be bad.

            You’re so hilariously sad and jingoistic it’s really not even funny.

            I seldom waste my time replying to you anymore, reading your posts on this site are a chore, you make it actually unpleasant to visit this site and I don’t deal with people not grounded in any form of reality.

          • Tom KlockauTom Klockau Post author

            John, sometimes I don’t know what the heck to think with some of your comments. I always thought the ’92 Seville was clean and an all-American design, with its chrome trim, soothing leather seats and roofline as a nod to the bustle-back 1980-85 Seville. I love them. Am planning to write one up soon. But I guess, for some folks, it’s easier to see conspiracy everywhere.

            Perhaps some Boomers bought imports to spite their parents. Perhaps some bought them because they tried them out and liked them. I don’t care. I prefer domestic rolling stock, but if one likes some other kind of car, heck, I don’t care. More power to them.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            Obviously my view on the 92 Seville is one mans opinion and as with any car, others and perhaps even most others are free to like it. My basic issue with it is that it was designed to appeal to German car fans more than car fans. Sacco era MB derived styling. Zebrano wood on the interior. The extra weight and size with no extra room that compromised the previous heights reached in efficient design. Who ever thought Cadillac could be a leader there? The engine switch. The 4.9 V8 had achieved ratios of torque to weight unseen since Cadillacs had 500 cubic inches and just unseen on any imports, even those with 12 cylinders that cost double. Remember the innovation of the transverse V8. This was such an advantage when so many of the competitors among the domestics and for that matter Audi and Acura FWDs had 90 degree V6s. Then despite being a fairly new engine it is tossed aside for the NorthStar which had to scream along at 5000 rpm just like all the imports to find any advantage. Imagine if the 425 was replaced in 79 with the L82 350. It had more high end horsepower in exchange for it’s loud exhaust and much less low end torque. No serious Cadillac person would have suggested that in 79 but this would have been less extreme than what was done in 93. Why, well if imports do it that way, we must as well because we now believe ourselves inferior. What a comedown for the standard of the world that as far as I can see they never recovered from.

        • Avatarstingray65

          The problem for GM in the 1980s and 90s was they never used their divisions effectively to segment the market. Cadillac was right to target the Europeans with more austere styling, more emphasis on performance and technology, and higher price tags, but Buick, Olds, and Pontiac did largely the same thing, and none did it very convincingly. Buick could have been the traditional American luxury brand to target Lincoln, with relatively low tech, mild lazy performance, living room sofa seating and comfort, and bargain by the pound pricing, while Olds might have targeted near luxury Acura and low end Lexus with FWD and sporty/luxury at a moderate price, and Cadillac went full bore after the top end Germans with modern rear-drive platforms and Northstar.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            I think one thing the 90s and the 2000s proved was that discounted Oldsmobiles targeting cheap would be Acura buyers or Cadillacs targeting cheap would be BMW buyers just did not work. Even where they built a better one for less, those buyers just did not want them from America. Better for their own self worth to make what they actually believed in. I suspect that any actual Germans that somehow still work for Mercedes are embarrassed about what they build now.

            The only time that worked was Hyundai selling discounted Hyundais targeting Toyota and Kia targeting Honda. Low labor cost helped and the Japanese not being particularly good at driving dynamics set a low bar. I suspect the Asian name was the real key

          • AvatarCarmine

            What you describe as the ideal was pretty much what the divisions were doing or at least trying to do in the 90’s, I don’t know how you would call the chromed up, baggy leather, plastywood Park Avenues, LeSabres, Regals and especially the BOF, wood sided and vinyl top slathered opera lamp rocking Roadmaster as anything but “traditional American Luxury”, I think that was even Buicks tag line for a few years in the 90’s(Premium American Motorcars was the tag line really)

            low tech? mild lazy performance? living room sofa seating and comfort? and bargain by the pound pricing-check? check, check check and check……..There is a reason the best selling luxury sedan in America in the mid 90’s wasn’t the Town Car or the DeVille, but the Park Avenue.

            The 1995 Aurora was 1000% Oldsmobiles move at the near luxury market that Lexus and Acura were in, ditching the 98 which had just become a weirder looking Park Avenue by that point and going with a full mostly unique to Oldsmobile product that looked like nothing else in the GM line up or anything else on the road, followed up by the Intrigue in 1997, and yeah a lot of it was too little too late for Oldsmobile but it was the clearest vision Oldsmobile had had in 30 years. Olds image enhancements were hurt by still carrying and or not updating Ciera and the bland Malibu Cutlass, but you can see at least where they intended to land by the layout of the debris field……..

            Pontiac had been building a niche since the 80;s, realizing that it couldn’t just sell Oldsmobiles with red dash lights, they built(Excitement!) up the reputation as the “mid westerners BMW” and by the early 90’s has a pretty cool line up with cars like the SSE Bonnevilles and GTP Grand Prix pushing aggressive styling and futuristic racy interiors not found in their division counterparts.

            Cadillac had finally moved out of the styling doldrums of the 1985-1988 era with the beautiful new Seville and Eldorado, plus the re-styled Fleetwood Brougham and introduction of the new Northstar engines put Cadillac back on the performance map after a decade of 120-140hp V8’s.

            In my opinion, GM’s divisions in the 90’s had clearer and more defined images than they had probably had since the mid 1960.s, though Chevrolet was suffering during this period, which hurt GM overall, they were never really able to get a real Taurus fighter going, the Cavalier remained a strong seller to follow up the panned but highly successful Celebrity, but their mid size cars suffered with the 1990 Lumina first and the 1995 restyle of the Lumina, both groundballs when they really needed to be home runs.

          • Avatarstingray65

            I don’t disagree with your analysis Carmine, but I think GM still screwed it up in the details. Cadillac should have gotten the rear drive platforms that Olds used on the Aurora, and Olds should have done the sporty fwd Seville STS. Cadillac should have done what Ford did with Aston Martin and cobbled together a V-12 out of two 60 degree V-6s to really create a premium image. Buick did indeed do much of what I suggested, but they still looked a lot like other GM division offerings (but in an ugly sort of way), which didn’t create the distinct living room luxury image that Buick enjoyed in the 1950s and 60s.

          • AvatarCarmine

            The Auroras were FWD too, the shared the G platform with the Riviera. Cadillac should have had a RWD follow up to the Fleetwood Broughams that was more like todays CT6, something above Seville and Eldorado. I think that Cadillac gave up on the Allante too soon to, it should have had a 2nd gen

        • AvatarGreg Hamilton

          I disagree with your opinion on Japanese competencies being manual transmission shift feel and engines less than 2 liter engines. In spite of their so called insularity the Japanese car makers Toyota in particular embraced W. Edward Deming’s quality is built in philosophy and decimated the U.S. domestic car industry. I was working at IBM Development Labs where we were re-introducing Deming’s methods in the early 80s. Although he was an American, Deming’s methods because they were embraced by the Japanese where thought of as foreign and as a result physicists with PhD’s were ridiculing the Japanese and W. Edward Deming’s philosophy. “We don’t need to follow the Japanese don’t you remember what happened to them after Pearl Harbor.” That was pretty shocking to me. I don’t work in the car industry, but I have worked in other hi tech manufacturing industries and I believe that if GM had used Deming’s methods in the eighties Toyota and GM would be in very different places than they are today.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            What was coming out of early 80s Japanese labs that so embraced Deming that was so superior to what was coming out of early 80s IBM labs? Do you really think theirs were better than ours?

  2. Avatarstingray65

    One interesting aspect of these cars is how large the steering wheels were. In the days of manual steering, a large wheel was necessary to gain the leverage needed to turn the big heavy car, but by 1957 I don’t imagine any Cadillacs were sold without pinky light power steering, and yet they kept the same large steering wheel (and slow steering ratios) until at least 1958. The Europeans also had huge wheels until at least the mid-1960 to mid 70s, but even their large cars made power steering optional (and seldom chosen in many European markets) until a much later time than the US, so they had some excuse to keep the big wheel.

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      With no tilt or adjustment either, I’ve driven a 54 and 55 Buick before with these giant ships tiller wheels, its funny to see photos from the era with little old ladys clasping their giant Cadillac and Buick steering wheels with little gloved hands.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        and looking out in the slit between the top of the dashboard and the upper steering wheel rim.

        Reply
  3. Avatarjcain

    How was the pricing/segment of something like the Sedan de Ville perceived at the time? Running $4,713 in 1957 dollars through an inflation calculator gets you ~$43K today, which is sticker on a reasonably basic A4/3-series/etc. Were these Cadillacs considered “entry-luxury” as well?

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      This would fall under the “entry level” category within the Cadillac line up, the more expensive cars were still pretty much the same car with the same engine, but with more trim and nicer interiors, the very top of the range Eldorado Seville and Biarritz having dual quads, as did the $13,000 flagship Brougham.

      In this era Buick would probably cover more of what could be called the “entry luxury” market from this period.

      Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      jcain – people just didn’t have the money in those days, especially with 90% marginal tax rates. You also need to consider that A/C was approximately a $500 option in those days, and of course other “standard” features today were not even available or were also expensive/rare options (alloy wheels, cruise control, fancy stereo, ABS, fuel injection, leather seats), and if you add up the inflation adjusted prices of those things the price would get you much further into today’s luxury car price strata.

      Reply
  4. Avatarrambo furum

    John’s animosity toward rubber door guards made me look up the rubber tips on the Dagmar bumpers. According to the Wikipedia the “black rubber tips they gained on the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and other models were known as pasties.”

    Reply
  5. Avatarbluebarchetta

    Cadillac was still the Standard of the Word in 1957, no question. Regarding “V is for V8”: in 1979, you could get an Eldorado with a 4.1L Buick V6, and my grandfather was offended by such heresy. Tom, here’s a trivia question for you. Prior to that 1979 Eldo, what would have been the last Cadillac with fewer than 8 cylinders? A quick Google search indicates it may have been the 1914 Model Thirty with a 4-cyl engine. Amirite (as the kids say)?

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      You couldn’t get a V6 in 1979 either, that option wouldn’t appear until 1981. I was only a 2 year option from what I recall, by 1982 you could get a Cadillac with a 4 cylinder too.

      The V6 was an option on all Cadillacs except for the limousine and commercial chassis, it was a 4bbl 4.1 liter version of the Buick 3.8 V6.

      Reply

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