Fin’tastic Fleetwood: 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood

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Here’s a beauty, it’s a 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood and it’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It looks pretty nice, no? It’s listed on eBay with a price of $6,900 and nine full days left to get your shipper, and your spouse, on board.

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We all know the 1959 models with the famous/infamous tailfins. The 1960 is a more refined, tamer, toned-down, and I would say, sleeker and more tailored-looking design. The ’59s were without question one of the most iconic cars of all time in any genre from any country by any maker. But, for me, I prefer the crisper 1960 model, which is the exact opposite of what most of you would think about my vehicle tastes, which usually run 180 degrees in the other direction from most normal folks. I was almost positive that the 1960 Fleetwoods all came with a body-colored vinyl top but this car doesn’t have one, maybe one of you will know why. Could a buyer opt out of that standard feature? Or, maybe it was taken off later?

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The 1960 tailfins were only one-inch lower than they were on the 1959 models, believe it or not, but, without the bullet tail lamps on them they are just less out there, literally. The seller says that this is “A True Barn Find” and they have a “clean North Carolina title in hand.” Power steering and brakes were standard on the 1960 models, but none of the standard items that we’ve come to expect in even our economy cars, let alone our top-of-the-line luxury cars today were standard in that era. Are we lazier now? Or maybe we’ve just become accustomed to not having the horribly laborious task of having to roll up our own windows.. A few of the 9 metal vertical louvers are missing on the rear on both sides, hopefully those are somewhere, but it looks pretty complete otherwise. It may be a missing badge or two, as well.

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This car appears to be loaded, which for 1960 usually included a body, wheels, and an engine. I’m kidding, of course, but today’s “loaded” cars can steer, brake, and park for you, not to mention give you the temperature, sports scores, and your destination right in front of you. 1960 was a different era, it was rare to have power windows or AC on even luxury cars like Lincolns, Chryslers, or Cadillacs. This one has it all, well, as far as 1960 luxury and technology goes. The floors look a little scary here, but the body looks fantastic on this car so hopefully there’s just a bit of surface rust and maybe rodent damage on the interior. The back seat is loaded with perfect wheel covers and.. something else in that box. It looks like the owner picked out some fabric to redo the seats, although it’s not an exact match and I would want to look a little further before redoing the seats in an incorrect pattern, but that’s just me.

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Two four-barrel carburetors were available on this car and that would be a real find, this one has just one four-barrel. Not that over 300 hp is anything to sneeze at, even on a 5,000 pound car. Since there is no mention of the engine particulars, I’m assuming it has the base engine, which is a rubber-burning 6.4L 390 V8 with 304 hp. The horsepower went up to 325 and 345 depending on how a person optioned it. This car looks really solid and would make a great starting point for a restoration. Or, just get the interior cleaned up or redone, and clean up that dirty engine compartment and get the rest of the mechanicals working like new, and drive it as it looks here. How would you restore this car?

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Comments

  1. Marty Member

    If someone had verbally described this to me, I never would have guessed it would pull off this color as well as it does. But then, it’s a ’60 Cadillac. It can pull off almost any color.

    I’m old enough to remember seeing these in demolition derbies when I was a kid in the early 70s. I had a love/hate relationship with seeing that happen to them even then.

  2. Fred W.

    Measure your garage before buying this one! As Marty said, these were the ultimate derby car and I’ll bet some were even coupes. Derby contenders liked ’em because a crash could crush the car a couple of feet before getting near the engine or fuel tank.

    • jaygryph

      You ain’t kidding.

      I had a pair of 60 cadillac hearses (one of them became the Thundertaker SEMA show car), and they were one foot too long for a 20ft car shelter.

      I had to put foam cubes on the tail fins because otherwise it kept poking holes in the canvas doors when I would stretch it around the car.

      Smoothest riding, and also probably heaviest, car I’ve ever driven was those two hearses.

      Frankly I like the 60’s better than the 59’s, they’re a sleeker design without that god awful (but iconic) 59 front bumper.

      • Miguel

        They were also the first year for the turn signals to be on the front fenders. I love that on the old cars.

  3. grant

    I always thought the line of the A pillars looked awkward. They compete with the lines of the windshield. Still though, nice find.

  4. Mark S Member

    Even though these are enormous I still think that they have some of the nicest lines that there is on any caddy. It just to bad that GM didn’t scale them down a little. This car even though it has extra door is still very nice and I’m glad to see that it survived and didn’t get wrecked on a crash up derby track it isn’t perfect but does have potential. Nice car to have if you have 30′ garage.

  5. Prowler

    2 too many doors for me

  6. George

    My baby is a light pink and white 1960 Coupe Deville which I bought in Bend, OR in 1999. It is rust free and is not restored, but had had 18K worth of mechanical work and the paint looks pretty good.The fabric seat inserts are the stock brocade which looks to have been replaced. The leather was good until last summer when the stitching split the leather right on the seam. I am going to take it down and have that repaired. I had thoughts of restoring it, but then I would feel goosey about just driving it around as I do today. It is a boat, but is easier to park than my other cars because I can see everything: The hood is the size of a mattress so no easy to forget budging side pieces to scrap or dent when pulling it out after a winter in the garage. The fins tell me just exactly where the end of the car is and the huge power steering wheel will whip the car in and out of parking places quicker than my other cars. The car accelerates like stink and gets about 14-15 straight town and mid-upper teens on highway, is exceeding comfortable and a blast to drive and all the high school girls screech and wave as I drive buy.(but curiously, pay almost no attention to my 36 Ford 5 window Street Rod.) I am going to try to use the Cadillac exclusively this summer–if such season ever shows up–to keep my spirits up. Its a great car, so I am going to leave it as it is.

  7. Roselandpete

    No bids and 8 hours left.

  8. brad

    This Caddy will need some restoration. I’m skeptical if this is the correct color. Too bad the ad doesn’t indicate any mention of the mechanicals.

  9. Don O

    I will someday have me one them or 60’s buick,Oldsmobile, Lincoln. ..love the style and size if these land yachts

  10. David

    >> 1960 was a different era, it was rare to have power windows or AC on even luxury cars like Lincolns, Chryslers, or Cadillacs

    Um, no. Power windows were standard on all 1960 Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs (except for the entry level Series 62). Two-thirds of 1960 Cadillacs were equipped with air conditioning.

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