Fine Fifty Nine Barn Find: 1959 Cadillac Convertible

Over a century of automobile production in America, there are a number of cars that have earned iconic status.  From the curved dash Oldsmobile to the 1965 Mustang, these cars are known and loved by enthusiasts and the general public.  One of the most iconic is the 1959 Cadillac convertible.  Known for being the ride of choice for both celebrities and royalties, Cadillacs of this era were always the cream of the crop.  Luckilly for us, Russel G. has located for us a very snazzy 1959 Cadillac convertible on craigslist in Toms River, New Jersey.  Jet black with a white and red interior, this finned barn find also has some custom touches.  Is it worth the $50,000 asking price for a rolling piece of Americana?

While the styling of a 1959 Cadillac hardly needs improvement, this car has been modified with a set of chrome spears down the side.  Looking like Buick pieces, the regular chrome along the beltline has been removed to make room for the modification.  While a picture of the car cleaned up and in better light might change our opinion of the modification, the alteration might be for the better aesthetically.

A closer look reveals that the car may be quite useable in its present condition.  There are no signs of rust or body damage, and the paint looks like it might shine up just fine.  The seller tells us that the car has been garaged for over 35 years.  While it may not have been stored in a traditional barn, wherever they did store the car looks like it is dry and free of rodents.

The pictures above and below are the only glimpses we have of the interior of this majestic Cadillac.  From what we can see, the white interior looks intact and free of rips, tears, or other damage.  The mostly red dash also looks to be well preserved and presentable.  One possible problem is the seats themselves.  Maybe I am seeing things, but they look more like early seventies Cadillac seats to me.  However, I defer to the Cadillac experts amongst our readers to make any determination of originality.

A close up of the dash is also testament to the condition of this Cadillac.  While there may be a bit of pitting in the chrome at the center of the steering wheel, it may buff out OK.  The instrument panel is in great shape, as are the controls we can see.  The odometer looks to be at 00414, and the condition matches that of a car that just turned over 100,000 miles.

Under the hood is the silky smooth Cadillac 390 cubic inch engine that helped pull these parade floats down the highway.  Assuming that this is the original engine, whoever bought this car new could count on having 325 horsepower under their pedal and dump trucks full of torque.  One curious item is the white firewall.  Could this car be a repaint?

At one time, 1959 Cadillac convertibles in good condition were trading at six figure prices.  While the market has cooled since then, these are still bucket list cars for a lot of well heeled collectors.  If only to flip it, or to get a good Caddy in your collection, this one may be worth a look.  The chrome modification would be rather easy to undo, or maybe there is a story there that makes the car worth keeping as is.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    This sale is probably the “flip”, in this cars likely condition the money will be made on this sale. They should have put in the work to pull the car out and clean it up, $50,000 is a lot to ask for a car covered in dust, which probably doesn’t run or stop and still buried in the back of a garage.

    Steve R

    Like 29
  2. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Gorgeous car worth restoring…but only if you have phat bank and don’t care about turning a profit.
    You’d better be in love.

    Like 7
  3. art

    What about that yellow Camaro????

    Like 6
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      First thing I thought too. A ’70 maybe?

      For fifty grand you’d better be selling a great running, no apologies, shined and ready car.

      Ask 50, take 15 is maybe the goal here..

      One other thing. Jeff’s comments about “free of rodents” is wishful thinking. Those little suckers get everywhere. I think I spot a nest or residue in a recess of the intake manifold.

      Like 6
      • Eldorado213

        If you think your going to buy a 59 Cadillac convertible in this condition for 15K good luck.

        Like 3
  4. Ralph

    “From what we can see, the white interior looks intact and free of rips, tears, or other damage.”

    Though those seats are not from this car, the headrests should be a giveaway, those look like 1969-1970 Cadillac seats.

    Like 9
  5. Ken Carney

    I can just see Marion and I tooling down
    the road in this car! Sorry folks, but that
    Buick style trim has gotta go! Would either put the original trim back on or
    maybe trim from a same year Fleetwood
    just to be different. Gotta agree with Steve R when he says that $50K is waaay
    too much for this car, Cadillac or not. And what’s up with the white firewall
    anyway? Makes me think this guy’s hiding a lot when it comes to this car.
    Like Mom says, too many unknowns
    here. Besides your fat wallet, you’ll
    need a truckload of patience and
    understanding from your spouse or
    significant other too. Could get Mom
    a couple of nice late model Buicks for the
    same price and fix the central air too!
    Thumbs down on this one folks! I’ll pass!

    Like 9
  6. Bob McK Member

    There is so much “wrong” with this 59. Good luck finding correct side trim and seats. The horn ring alone is $1600 for a reproduction. Under the hood is a mess. The brakes are wrong etc. etc…. Yes, it can all be fixed if you can find the parts. But 50 large is a big number to start with a shell.

    Like 9
  7. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    $50,000 is a lot of money, and for that lofty price we get lousy pictures and a seller too lazy to at least clean it. No info in the CL ad, it has modified trim and maybe not wearing it’s original color. It’s apparently not running either. Why was it parked for so long? Does the engine need a re-build? And the trans, too? Too many unknowns for that price. Definitely wouldn’t buy it without a personal inspection.

    Like 7
  8. Pookie Jamie

    Did they have the sweep speedo in 59? And those seats look 70s. The Buick trim alone says this car has been messed with. IMO

    Like 4
  9. Pete Phillips

    I sold a running, driving one in similar condition earlier this year for $39,000. It needed new upholstery, better paint, and a new top, but it was not modified like this one is, and it had no rust. $50,000 is way too much for this car. For me, the modifications decrease its value considerably.

    Like 6
  10. dyno dan

    I have a hub cap from a 59 Cadillac. great patina, lot’s of history, real time capsule! asking 75K.

    Like 4
  11. Pete Grave

    Seats are wrong no head rests in 59. Think you could buy a nice one with what you would have to put in this one. Long ago bought a red 59 like this one from Reedmans in Langhorne Pa. for $29.00 yes twenty nine dollars and drove it home those were the days.

    Like 3
  12. Marshall

    Not only is it dirty. But a FLAT TIRE?! Non-original front seats and non-original side trim!? Sat for 35 years?! For 50 grand, move on down the line!

    Like 4
    • Marshall

      Forgot to mention, the top has wrinkles in it.

      Like 1
  13. Wayne

    I think the car was originally white, needed some body work and original trim repair. Although painting it black would make any “poor” body work stand out even worse. Yes, newer seats, rodent nest(s) removed from engine bay and probably remove that ThermoQuad and replace it with something more reliable and tunable. Having grown up with a 1959 Caddy in the home “fleet” I have a soft spot in my head for these cars. If I were to own the car, the trim would have to go as would the seats. ( ruins the lines of the car when the top is down ) The carb would get swapped out for a throttle body injection system. ( since the car has already been modified) And several upgrades would be done to enhance the ride ( these had a float on the highway that always bothered me) and braking system.
    Since this car has been modified, I too agree that the price is way out of realistic. IF, a solid car $15,000 to $20,000 tops!

    Like 3
  14. Chebby

    This is the same guy with the woodie. Looks like he has a valuable collection in there if you include the 70-73 Camaro. It would be worth his time to get help cleaning the cars up and writing up accurate descriptions of them.

  15. Del

    Ridiculous.

    Like 2
  16. dp

    Entertainment? Or a waste of our time to look at it!

  17. SeanR

    Having owned a convertible and still owning a coupe, I can attest that it would eat someone’s lunch to put this car back to right, and that’s where it’s value is. I also agree with many of the comments about the car. Someone didn’t take the time to paint the firewall, it was a white car. Based on the modifications, looks like someone was just trying to make it the way they wanted as cheap as possible. Even if you loved the car and were willing to spend all the money on a correct restoration, it’s maybe a $35-40k car if there’s no floor / trunkrust repair. They all have rust(through) unless restored. There are places you don’t see unless the front fenders are removed. That said, it’s a ’59 Cadillac 2 door, what’s not to love? :-)

    Like 1
  18. TimM

    What a ride!! Can you really say anything else????

  19. Bill McCoskey

    While obtaining a correct basic front seat is not that difficult as it’s the same as the 2-door hardtop Cadillacs, and the top of the line Buick & Oldsmobile 2-door cars as well. That’s the easy part.

    Then comes the upholstery. That’s gonna be leather on every surface. That’s very costly today, and of course since the back seat won’t match the new leather up front, ya gotta re-do the back seat too. Figure on the seats & interior panels probably costing about $10,000.

    Like 1

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