1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Peak Fins, Peak Cadillac

I’ve always loved Cadillacs. It goes way back to my childhood, when one of my favorite toys was a Pocket Cars ’75 Fleetwood Brougham in metallic blue.

I preferred the bad guys’ Sedan de Villes and Fleetwood limos to Magnum’s Ferrari or Michael Knight’s black Trans Am.

Anyway, that’s how I am. I don’t explain nor apologize for it. And my preferences are well known to friends.

So naturally a pal of mine, Dustin Carpenter,  sent me this link earlier, on a most fantastic 1959 Sixty Special.

I love it. My favorite ’59 Caddys are either the Sixty Special or the Eldorado Seville hardtop coupe. Though I wouldn’t turn away any 1959-60 Cadillac. So I was getting dizzy gawking at this fine example.

Of course, 1959 Cadillacs are one of those classic cars almost everyone recognizes, like a ’63 Corvette, ’57 Chevy or ’60s VW Beetle. All ’59 Caddys had a 325-hp, 390 CID V8 (Eldorados had 345, thanks to dual four barrel carbs), 130″ wheelbase and 225″ overall length. 142,212 1959 Cadillacs were built.

As the seller related: “This survivor is incredible! The 1959 Fleetwood Sixty Special Sedan features all of the extras that you can expect from a Cadillac.”

“This particular car comes with factory power steering and power brakes.”

“This beautiful Cadillac also has factory power windows and a power seat….air conditioning which is really nice with a black car.”

“The black painted exterior and chrome on this car are all original and in incredible condition.”

“The odometer shows a little over 25,000 actual miles. The original blue interior is in stellar condition along with excellent door panels, carpet and headliner.”

The ask is a teensy bit south of fifty grand, but if it’s as nice as it appears in the photos, it may well be worth it. At any rate, it sure is fun to gawk at!

8 Replies to “1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Peak Fins, Peak Cadillac”

  1. Avatardejal

    Hideous. But, opinions are like ….. everyone has one.
    If I was gifted it, it would be for sale within minutes.
    I not a fan of “too much of good thing”.
    I always felt by that time, the designers were hacks and were at a dead end. So, they just did “More” to cover
    up their inadequacies. Not sure how much Bill Mitchell had in this, but I basically liked very little that was output under his tenure save for the Riviera. But, this was probably baked into place by Harley Earl, another hack.

    I’m not a big fan of chrome and doodads.

    Reply
  2. AvatarJohn C.

    It is my understanding the Chuck Jordan, the eventual head of GM design, was responsible for the 59 Cadillac. In retrospect, we are well aware of his European centered sensibilities. One wonders if going over the top as far as the juke box tail fin trend, was his way of actually purposely going too far to end a trend. We can see how much Mercedes fans take deep offense at the fintails, a much more modest nod at the trend.

    Already in 1959, we are bending over and taking it from our European cousins. A unnecessary mistake with lasting consequences.

    Reply
  3. Avatar-Nate

    *JUST* the thing for Elvis to drive to The Burger Pit for chili fries with extra cheese….

    This car is _GLORIOUS_ and really shows the American motto of : if some is good, MORE is better ! .

    =8-) .

    I hope this car goes to an owner who drives and enjoys it .

    -Nate

    Reply
  4. AvatarSobro

    Gotta love the his and hers ashtrays up front. And no skull cracking metal dashboard, it seems. I’m skeptical that the 60-year old paint is all original.

    Had my grandfather lived past 1959 I’m sure he would have been in the market for one of these to replace his ’53 Series 62 4-door.

    Reply
  5. AvatarLynnG

    Interesting rumor about the final 1959 Cadillac design is that when Harvey Earl saw the final clay model it is rumored he told them to lower the fins. However, the fins were not lowered and the 1959 is the most popular overall model with the collectors today. When the redesigned 1960 debuted Mr. Earl and Mr. Mitchell were rumored to agree they finely got it right.. IMHO the model year 1959 was the peak of mid-century design excess as we now can see. As automotive design went into the 1960’s the huge fins, tons of chrome, and outlandish design declined. Many credit the change from the over the top 1960 Lincoln to the sedate slab sided 1961 Lincoln as turning point. However, the late 1950’s to early 1960’s really showed the excesses of cost does not matter automotive design which can occur when the Big 2 controlled 85+/- percent of the market.

    Reply

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