Sunday, December 27, 2015

1959 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Convertible

"Cadillac's magnificently new design and craftsmanship are dramatically displayed in the Sixty-Two Convertible. Behind a new windshield of epic proportions, the driver surveys the world about him over a remarkable, low, broad expanse of hood and fenders . . . flowing together in one smooth, rhythmic line."

To many, the 1959 Cadillac is the epitome of 1950s automotive excess. Nowhere else did tailfins rise higher, nowhere else did pink paint look more natural on a luxury car and nowhere else did a single automobile exude more jet-age craze. Certainly not short of self confidence, Cadillac's copywriters proclaimed, in capital letters, "THE NEW STANDARD OF THE WORLD IN SUPREMACY!"

Of the all-new models that the various GM divisions had developed in response to the low-slung "Flight-Sweep" Chryslers of 1957, the Cadillac was supposed to be one of the leaner and less exuberant designs. And if you look past the glitzy detailing, interesting styling details show through: the clean, tapered fuselage body, for instance, or the extremely wide looking bonnet, achieved by a simple horizontal cut above the headlights that extends far into the front fenders, all show an extremely well-executed design.

The tailfins and the bumper with its four simulated engine pods make it not hard to imagine that this spaceship on wheels might even fly. Which it couldn't, obviously: the hefty 5,030 pounds (2,280 kg) of curb weight would sure keep the Caddy grounded.

Upon their presentation in late 1958, the Cadillac models were well received among the customers. Considering that Cadillac changed its appearance completely within just four years, it is quite amazing that the conservative Cadillac clientele didn't get alienated by these rapid styling changes. Their outlandish design made the Cadillacs quickly become one of the most publicized cars ever, and thus a veritable icon of 1950s car styling. Because the public interest in these cars didn't really vanish, our pictured Cadillac, just like some other –less genuine– convertibles, is today exploited as a cash cow by "Grancar", a state owned company, juggling nostalgic tourists around the vacation spots of the tropical island.

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