Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan

"The responsibility of leadership is more than an inheritance at Cadillac. It is the day-to-day, practical measure by which every Cadillac advancement and innovation is judged. And in the 1955 Cadillacs you see the dynamic result. Their fresh, new sculptured beauty marks them as inevitable step forward in contemporary motor car design. Lines are lower and longer . . . smarter and more appealing than ever. Inside, fresh new beauty emphasizes the spacious luxury and comfort so characteristic of Cadillac. In every way, this beautiful new motor car provides visual evidence that Cadillac, today as always, sets the standard for the world!"

Prospective car buyers never had a wider choice of new cars than in 1955. Chevrolet just had introduced the famous "Hot One", Chrysler surprised the world with the "Forward Look", and Ford presented its tastefully designed new lineup, based on "Thunderbird Styling". However, if you had made it in 1955, you belonged nowhere else than in a Cadillac. Careful product planning and strategic mistakes at other companies had fortified Cadillac's image as THE american luxury brand by the mid-50s. Of course, you could buy elsewhere and more expensive, but the luxury car market is quite conservative and just few customers did it. In 1955, Cadillac alone produced 140.777 cars, 50% more than all other established luxury car brands together. In this context, Cadillac's extremely self-confident advertisement-talk suddenly doesn't seem to be too exaggerated. For many, Cadillac really was the "Standard of the World".

Cuba, in particular, was Cadillac-country in the 50s. Hence, today many Cadillacs like this glamorous Series 62 Sedan from La Habana still populate cuban roads. The new lineup had been already introduced in 1954, and in typical Cadillac-tradition, it looked rather evolutionary. A wrap-around windscreen and a refined front end were the most apparent news. And, of course, Cadillac's stylists under guidance of chief designer Edward Glowacke had followed Harley Earl's mantra of "longer and lower" for their newest creations.

1955 brought subtle updates to keep the customers just enough intrigued into buying a new Cadillac: the front grille pattern became a little wider spaced, parking lights moved underneath the headlights and the engine hood was sculpted a little softer. While all other Cadillacs still had subtle tailfins, the top-level Eldorado already sported the more excessive fins that should adorn the next generation's lineup in 1957.

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