• Striking color combination and iconic Harley Earl design
• Well-equipped, including air-conditioning, leather, and power windows
• The ultimate expression of flamboyant 1950s styling
• First year for Cadillac’s enlarged 325 HP, 390 cid V-8 engine
• Continuing to benefit from a comprehensive, frame-off restoration
390 cid V-8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, 325 HP, Hydra-Matic Drive four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, four-link rear suspension with semi-floating rear axle and coil springs, and power-assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 130"
By the late 1950s, Cadillac ruled the American luxury-car market with a succession of exciting models steeped in formidable engineering, equipped with lavish amenities, and featuring the cutting-edge styling of Harley Earl, GM’s visionary styling chief, and his talented designers. While aircraft-inspired tailfins were a Cadillac hallmark since they were first used in 1948, Chrysler’s renowned stylist, Virgil Exner, took the concept to new heights in 1957. According to former GM design director, Dave Holls, who was a member of Cadillac’s 1950s design team, the iconic fins on the 1959 Cadillac models were in fact conceived in response to a GM management directive that Cadillac must never be outdone.
Today, no other car captures the essence of the “jet age” quite like the 1959 Cadillac, with many styling elements that could have been copied from Cold War-era fighter aircraft. However, some of these futuristic design cues – including tail fins – actually date back to GM’s 3/8-scale “Interceptor” design studies of the early 1940s led by Harley Earl’s assistant, Julio Andrade. Interestingly, the “Interceptor” project was inspired by a field trip to a U.S. Army Air Corps base, where GM designers conducted visual inspections of an early example of the radical and top-secret Lockheed P-38 “Lightning” fighter aircraft that was initially an interceptor but would quickly become legendary for its effectiveness in all combat theaters during World War II.
In addition to their all-new and incomparable styling, all 1959 Cadillac models featured impeccable build quality in keeping with their premium market stature. All were powered by the GM Division’s proprietary V-8 engine, now displacing 390 cubic-inches and developing 325 horsepower in basic tune, with the 345 horsepower Eldorado V-8 optional across the board for an extra $134.30. Measuring nearly 19 feet in length and riding a 130-inch wheelbase, they delivered a commanding presence in all respects. Priced from $5,455, the Series 62 convertible was particularly popular among Cadillac’s upscale buyers and equipped with standard power windows and two-way power seats.
Finished in arresting red paint over a two-tone red and white leather interior and riding on chrome wire wheels wrapped in period style whitewall tires, this 1959 Cadillac is simply a gorgeous example of an unqualified American design icon. Continuing to benefit handsomely from a comprehensive, body-off-frame restoration performed to a high standard, it has been sparingly enjoyed and very well preserved. Upon inspection, the Cadillac’s impressive body is straight and features excellent panel fit and alignment, accented by abundant chrome and polished stainless trim that is similarly excellent. The inviting passenger cabin is trimmed in button-tufted red leather with white accents, with the two-tone theme extending to the door panels and dash. Both the upholstery and carpeting remain excellent and display only light use.
Features and options include air-conditioning, radio, and power brakes, power steering, a power-operated convertible top, and power windows. The powerful 390 cubic-inch V-8 engine is original to the car and the engine and underhood compartment are beautifully detailed with proper colors, finishes and components in place, including the original-style air-conditioning compressor, converted to modern R134 refrigerant, and a correct glass windshield-washer bottle. The engine is reported by the Consignor to run strongly, propelling the big Cadillac with authority and delivering an outstanding classic drive that simply must be experienced first-hand to fully appreciate.
1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
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