Gnawed by Horses! 1956 Cadillac Series Sixty

Fans of American “heavy metal” draw near. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw some of the most interesting and excessive automobile designs of the ages. This 1956 Cadillac Series Sixty Special in Snohomish, Washington ranks as Cadillac’s flagship and most luxurious non-limousine sedan model that year. This one sat in a field for some years, during which time horses were known to “sharpen their teeth” on the hood, according to the seller. After being rescued from life as an equestrian chew-toy, the once-fabulous Caddy has received enough mechanical attention to run, though further work is needed before it’s road-worthy. The listing here on craigslist asks $7,500 for the privilege of finishing the refurbishment or restoration. Thanks to reader MattR for spotting this high-zoot sled.

Just before the fin explosion of the late ’50s, these subtle fins rise elegantly from the rear fenders, the latter wearing a stylish spear of trim leading to the bumper exhaust ports, a space-age rocket metaphor. Rear-end this beast at your own risk. Most modern cars could be totaled by leaving mere scratches and paint marks on the 900 lb rear bumper. Luckily more and more techno-nanny cars stop themselves in emergencies, so driving classics like this becomes less risky every day.

Cadillac’s history included a number of storied V8 engines, and the company sold its first V8 automobile in 1914! This updated-for-1956 365 cid (6.0L) version made “a full 285” HP according to lov2xlr8. All Series Sixty Special models utilized GM’s improved-for’56 Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. Power steering and power brakes helped insulate Cadillac pilots from the visceral sensations of the driving experience.

It’s hard to imagine a more sinister snout than this twin bullet, eyebrowed scowl. Fill up someone’s rear-view mirror with this mug and they’ll get the message:  “Move over or I’ll give you a knuckle sandwich.” No interior pictures grace the listing, so assume it’s trashed. The teaser ad accepts in-person deals only, in cash, just like in the ’50s. Put a lid on the funny business, Daddy-O! Are you cool enough to drive this heavy metal bruiser?

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Comments

  1. mackey4cars

    i love old 4dr cadillacs too.

    Like 16
  2. Frank Farrell

    This car exudes cool factor. Upgrade the brakes to something modern and safe, add lap and shoulder belts, and this car would rock.

    Of course, with no pics of the chassis or interior, it could be filled with horse-shot.

    Like 17
  3. Marc

    Had a 56 cab limousine in the seventies. If that car could talk

    Like 5
    • Chris M.

      Big beaver machine eh Marc?

  4. A.G.

    1948 was Cadillac’s first post-war design. Styling cues from the design are evident on this car.

    From a 1948 Cadillac brochure :

    Rear fender is a unique “rodder-style” design in a graceful aircraft style. Its samrt accents, of visual interest, include an upward flare terminated by the tail lamp.

    Like 4
  5. EPO3

    It needs a windshield brow an bag it

    Like 2
    • Skorzeny

      Umm, no, it doesn’t need ‘bags’. Stupid look that’s been way overdone. Return to stock with decent brakes. But if you buy it, it’s yours…

      Like 20
      • EPO3

        had one bagged it put a brow on it made 8 grand on it

      • EPO3

        I could restore that 56 cad and loose a butt load of money but I bought it to make money

  6. Scott

    By bag it,meaning suspension drop? By brow it meaning? Chopped top? Only assuming this because of the windshield being mentioned along with it.Guess am not up on the lingo!

    Like 5
    • Russ Ashley

      Scott, I think he is referring to an external sun visor when he says brow. Pretty common and fashionable on some old cars. I put one on my 57 Chevy pickup. Heaven forbid that you would try to chop the top on that car.

      Like 3
  7. Mike

    For being out in a pasture for years, it looks pretty good.

    Like 9
  8. Steve Clinton

    One horse says to another “This is one tough Cadillac!”

    Like 4
    • Craig

      Just an odd coincidence, I had never heard of horses gnawing on vehicles until yesterday when my parents’ neighbor was telling of a $1000 repair when her horse decided to chew on her truck. Today, I read this story. Ha! Just strange.

      Like 4
  9. Dale Olivier

    Hank Williams had one similar to that one !!!

    Like 3
    • Elrod

      Hank died in a 1952 Convertible

      Like 3
    • Chris M.

      Not really Dale. It was, however a Cadillac.

  10. Ward William

    They sure as hell knew how to do decent chrome work back then. After we are all gone and the world is cold dark barren place, the cockroaches will do their hair in the reflection of 1950s chrome.

    Like 17
  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    When you look at the engine and transmission numbers you can see why the era hot rodders grabbed the package for their builds. I went with the Olds engines and the same transmission for our street drag cars. Lot of powerful stuff to be had in those days. Had to be to haul cars like this one around.

    Like 3
  12. Stephen Miklos

    Now that’s a serious beast!! I wonder how much paint you would use on her! 🤔 Or clean the outside wax it redo the interior and suspension . Clean up engine and go cruising!. 😆🇺🇸

    Like 1
  13. Chuck

    THis is a really cool ride.

  14. Malcolm Boyes

    I had the 1956 Coupe De Ville version of this..terrific engine and trans and lovely looks. I’d love to see this up and running properly..not overly restored..shame we don’t see the interior.Did many long road trips in mine..happily cruising at 85 with five people on board and a trunk full of Christmas presents…

    Like 3
  15. 1-MAC

    56 was a good car. Attractive massive and 100% American made with 100% American parts and labor. Looks pretty good. And all the trim is there. Someone needs to save this beauty. (Who puts a Caddy in a field especially one as good as this?)

    Like 4
  16. 370zpp

    This one even as it is, defines “Presence”.

    Like 1
  17. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Ya’ll have heard this story before. But my love for Cadillacs started with a 56 Coupe de Ville that my aunt and uncle owned in 56. Baby blue, white top, totaled in late 58, replaced with a 59. Those Dagmar bumpers really impressed me as a four year old. As well as the taillights and exhaust through the rear bumper.
    My very very first car at age 13 was a black 56 Cadillac series Sixty Fleetwood with factory a/c. Never could get it running, and my father junked it.

    Like 2
    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Angel, I always wondered what you looked like. Wow.

      Like 1
  18. karl

    Hey , the guy in charge of riveting the body plate missed the hole ! – In the die cast car world that would make it a factory error car and increase the value !

    Like 1
  19. DON

    Looking at the rearward photo, you can see the headliner is shredded and the top of back seat is blown out ; even with the widows shut , the sun and the mice likely did a lot of damage to this car.

    Like 1
  20. JOHN Member

    I have always loved the 48-56 Cadillac rear fender/tail light design, there is just something about it that is so elegant, and so cool to hide the gas filler neck inside the tail light. Elegant and cool!

    Like 2
  21. DV

    This is the same car I “learned” to drive in, in the back yard that is. Loved it! There was a big hole in the floor and the transmission didn’t work very well. Never made it to the street. Loved that gas cap!

  22. robert gardner

    just like my Grandmothers. i was a small kid in the 50’s and had to sit on the back seat arm rest in order to see out he windows ! lol

  23. 3Deuces

    Horse gnawed? Doesn’t surprise me at all, my herd will chew on anything inanimate that’s left out in their corral or pasture such as a shovel handle, a cordless power tool, an ATV, a truck … anything’s fair game! Dang hay burners.

    Nice Caddy!

    Like 1
  24. Edd L. Brock

    “About that time my wife walked out
    And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
    But she opened the door and said, “Honey, take me for a spin””

    Like 1
  25. Andrew Jones

    The Cadillac body was designed after the P-38 fighter plane from WWII. The body style continued until 1957 when Cadillac changed the fins to look more like fins from a fighter jet. The last year for their fins was 1964.

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