More Info Please! 1959 Cadillac

Writing articles about cars that are for sale is an interesting endeavor.  We often rely on sellers to provide us the information we need for an article, while interjecting our opinions or point of view.  Personally, I scour countless ads in pursuit of one that has decent pictures and enough information to make the article interesting or thought provoking.  However, once in a while (as is the case here), there is a car that has decent pictures but very limited information that I still feel is article-worthy.  This 1959 Cadillac is for sale in California, here on Craigslist, with an asking price of $40,000.

1959 Cadillacs have always fascinated me.  They have been featured in several movies and television shows.  The design features are outrageous and over the top, yet classy.  They are very heavy cars and ride like they are floating on clouds.  1959 was the peak for the height of the Cadillac rear fins and scream space-age.  The bullet shaped tail lights have been used to customize almost every kind of vehicle.  From being frenched into the curved quarter panels of a ’50 Merc to custom motorcycles, you can see the tail lights from a ’59 Caddy everywhere in the custom culture.

As stated above, this ad contains very little information…One long sentence to be exact.  When you state that the car is a “barn find” what exactly does that mean?  The ad also states “100% rust free.”  Must have been a dry barn!  The engine bay looks pretty clean for a barn find also.

The interior certainly looks really good for being a “barn find.”  While the asking price is a solid $40,000, these cars routinely sell above $100,000 for convertible models.  What is your opinion of this car?  It looks really good for a barn find, but may have had some restoration work done.  Would you drive it as-is or repaint it?

Fast Finds


  1. jcs

    The CL listing states “runs and drives” but based on the brick in front of the passenger rear tire, it either doesn’t stop or it doesn’t stay stopped. Seriously, the brick tells me that “Park” is out as is the emergency brake. An emergency brake problem for a barn find is not that unusual and an easy fix. The transmission is a different story.

  2. redwagon

    “Car will come with free shipping to your front door.”

    And I think it may be from the wildfire zone in LA.

    Either really poor timing or a scam?

  3. Dave

    Had to share.
    1960 Edsel Ranger restomod.
    Look at this on eBay

  4. jdjonesdr

    Please tell me that red paint isn’t red oxide.

    • Ed P

      I think GM used lacquer paint at that time. Lacquer would glaze over like this. So I’m thinking this may be original paint.

  5. Fred W.

    Could be a barn find, an old amateur restoration in primer. Looks un touched in the engine compartment, a good thing. A lot would depend on how dent and rust free those huge panels are. If a dry area car and accident free, the asking price may not be that far off, as you would save the excess in the body shop.

  6. sparkster

    Have you noticed that there are no driver’s side pictures ? Roof is a different color than the rest of the car. Perfect color of primer to hide any rusted areas. Perhaps the car is $4000 and the brick is soild gold and painted to match the car which is included with the purchase.? ? ?

  7. Mountainwoodie

    Ratrod Cadillac. I used to buy these for a grand in better shape than this. But hey what do you expect from a Craigslist ad. Too bad as it could be a beautiful auto

  8. sparkster

    I emailed the seller and the brick is NOT included. So that’s a deal breaker for me.

  9. Phil Harris

    Buy the brick, not the car.

  10. Wrong Way

    I love this car! I love my money more! That seems like to much for it to me,

  11. S. Brodie

    If this was in nice original condition, which it is not, the cost to make it reliable, have the proper ride stance and look pretty is formidable. Large low production cars require many trim, rubber parts, and suspension upgrades. This is not an Eldorado just a plain 2 drhtp and not particularly well optioned. To start at 40k and spend another 30k would leave the buyer in the hole by about 30k. I’ve certainly seen worse and better for a lot less cash.

  12. Mr.B

    My father owned a 1959 Coupe deVille, but our family owned a funeral home, so just about every odd year vint the men bought cars, and on the even years the women bought cars. Always, Cadillac. I remember the beauty and ride of the ’59 Coupe. When I was in high school, a friend bought a convertible and it held five across the front seat.
    The engines, did, for some reason, pop main seals. I recall the radiators always in need of being boiled out. Window alignment and electric components kept it in the shop about three times a year. Rusting depended on who, maintained the car regarding washing and Simonizing – yes, the yellow can, and a whole lot of sweat. Builds strong muscular arms. The brake lines, as I recall, on the Cadis, swelled and did split. The biggest issue, laughingly, were the double white wall tires. Fender skirts were always difficult to remove, seized, so you clean a bit of tire, the roll forward and clean a bit more, and roll forward to clean the remaining balance. Heaven forbid those white walls were improperly cleaned. I looked after three flower cars, six hearses, and eight limousines. Plenty of wax, plenty of chrome polish. The white walls are an art. Ajax powdered cleaner, no other brand works as well. Soft nylon or bristle brush. Wet brush, tap Ajax onto the bristles, then wet the whole tire and scrub the blue cleanser adding more as you go along. Then flush with a hose but, the secret continues, because you must use your fingertips to rub the cleanser to remove it while flushing with water. Also, the Cadis, to maintain the ride, needed the shock absorbers replaced every third year, and the front end bushings changed around that same time. Ball joints took a beating with the heavy weight and all Cadi drivers/owners, will have the same habit of avoiding, and driving around potholes and other imperfections. Washboard and poorly maintained roads, you saw Cadis slowed down, and cautiously being driven.
    I remember no Cadi reached the five year mark without carburetor varnishing of some sort and fuel tank needed to be boiled out. As time continued, it was the 1975 vint that was a major improvement and needed less of the maintenance the older ones, from 1947 that I owned, through 1974. The 1938 Packard Super-8 that I owned was another good one. The 1936 Packard hearse drank a quart of oil a day with one hundred miles. The Cadis, had better GM engines. I’m partial to the 472 mill, but the 429 mill was sweet, but not a hotrod by any means. The boats got up to speed, but the flipped cars on the highways we passed, had suspension issues and no rear sway bars. A lot of yaw from 40 mph and beyond.

  13. TR

    $40,000 is $30,000 too much. There’s a heck of a spread between a needs a lot 62 or Coupe De Ville and and Concours Eldo convert for $100K plus

  14. Adam T45 Staff

    We saw very few of these Down Under, which is a shame because I actually kinda like them for their unashamed excess. These days you would be a pretty game sort of person to drive one though. With our wonderfully litigious society, all you’d need is for a cyclist to accidentally run into the fins or tail lights and your next stop would be a courtroom. Still, a bloke can dream!

    • Tony C. Adelaide

      Adam, on the Zippel Cruises in Adelaide during the warmer months we get heaps of 59’s and 60’s Caddies plus most others, we’ve got a ‘perfect’ 1950 2 door in our club that people would kill for, it’s for sale if you’ve got $120,000 plus.

  15. Dave

    My Dad had a 1959 Coupe De’Ville in yellow. I remember the trips to the lake for vacation time. It was a beast and a cruiser. You could live in the trunk.

  16. Rex Kahrs Member

    Well said, Montana. The description is bad, and the grammar and sentence structure are just laughable.

    Where did these people go to school that they can’t write logical sentences, and put together actual paragraphs?. This whole rambling sentence style with no punctuation or capital letters wasn’t the way I learned to write, and I went to a very small school in rural Ohio. How about throw in a comma or a capital letter once in a while?

    If America keeps on this path, there’s no telling what kind of idiot we might elect for President.

  17. Lee

    remember when there were real Barn Finds

  18. Joe Haska

    I read the comment and I wonder if we are all looking at the same car? Too bad its a 4-Door? Where are the extra 2- doors?, and the Edsel, not too mention is that really primer, I hope not!
    I do think 40K is a little high, I bought one a few years ago (12 or 13 years ago) for 13 K, a nice driving running car, and it just doesn’t seem like it could appreciate that much (Maybe?)
    I do know when I brought it home and put it in the garage, I was crushed, I thought I had a big garage!

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