Long and Low: 1969 Cadillac Series 62 Hardtop Coupe

Probably no car better encapsulates the late-1950s buying public’s love of fins than the 1959 Cadillac. The enormous fins and bullet taillights remain as instantly recognizable today as when these classics were new. After falling out of favor during the 1960s when the buying public turned their backs on fins, they have emerged as a desirable classic that continues to experience growth in today’s market. This 1959 Series 62 2-door Hardtop Coupe is a tidy example that would seem to need nothing. The Coupe might not load it with luxury features, but its overall condition is guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes. Where it is set to go now is to a new home. Located in Carroll, Iowa, you will find the Hardtop listed for sale here on eBay. The desirability of these cars can be easily gauged when you look at the bidding history. Eager buyers have already submitted forty bids at the time of writing. This has pushed the price to $41,200, which is beyond the seller’s reserve.

This Coupe is a clean car that seems to hold no nasty surprises for potential buyers. The owner admits that it has undergone a color change at some point because the Trim Tag indicates that it rolled off the line wearing Dover White paint. I don’t mind this new color because it looks classy when draped over the distinctive 1959 panels. The color seems consistent, with no evidence of fading or patchiness. There are no apparent dings or dents, and the owner claims that the vehicle is rust-free. The tinted glass looks flawless, while the chrome appears to be in good order. The owner admits that there is some pitting on the top of the front bumper, but as the lower edge of the grille covers this section, it is difficult to spot. From a styling perspective, one of this car’s defining characteristics is the bullet taillights. The ones on this Caddy look crisp and clean, with no fading or cracks. You will often hear people refer to an older product, and they will say, “they don’t build them like they used to.” This is often the case, but with the ’59 Cadillac, I doubt that any manufacturer would be allowed to. Those fins and lights would be deemed significant hazards, and the designers would be sent back to their drawing boards to start again. At least a reasonable number of these cars still exist, allowing us a glimpse into an era when automotive designers could be bold and daring with their styling.

Passing years and UV rays can exact a high toll on ’59 Cadillac interiors, and it isn’t uncommon to find examples with interiors that look tired and dog-eared. That isn’t the case here because there’s not much of which to be critical. The original Turquoise upholstered surfaces appear to be in good condition, with no significant wear or physical damage. The carpet has some dirty marks that I think could be removed by deep cleaning, while the headliner is in excellent order. However, it is the dash that is the star of the show here. The light streaming in through the windshield can inflict horrendous damage on the padding and cover, and finding these with the pad lumpy and bumpy is a common sight. This pad hasn’t suffered that fate and appears to be in close to as-new condition. The original owner didn’t load this interior with optional extras, so potential buyers shouldn’t go hunting for features like power windows, power seats, or air conditioning. However, the original radio is intact and is said to work correctly.

At 4,940lbs, the Series 62 Coupe was a long way from being a light car. This meant that if progress were going to be anything beyond glacial, it would require something special under the hood. Cadillac delivered on this because the engine bay is occupied by a 390ci V8 that produces 325hp. The standard transmission is a 4-speed Hydramatic, while power steering should take the physical effort out of the driving experience. When you consider its size, weight, and luxury leanings, there’s no question that the Series 62 could never be considered a muscle car. However, its 17.5-second ¼-mile ET remains impressive from a car that is only marginally smaller than some suburbs! For potential buyers searching for a turn-key classic, this Caddy could be a hot prospect. The owner recently replaced the fuel tank, fuel lines, and pump. He has bolted on a new exhaust and fitted radial tires. He says that it starts easily the moment he turns the key and that it runs and drives perfectly. It seems that some comfortable cruising is mere days away for this classic’s next owner.

The 1959 Cadillac was a bold and daring car when it was new, but it was one that fell from favor very quickly. When the buying public turned its back on cars with enormous fins, owning one of these luxury cruisers could be a source of embarrassment. Many were sold for a pittance and suffered the fate of being driven into the ground before being sold for scrap. Today, it isn’t uncommon to see them changing hands for figures beyond $40,000, and this car demonstrates that. If it nudged $50,000, I wouldn’t be surprised. This is an auction that could be worth watching closely.

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Comments

  1. Ramone Member

    Headline says 1969. May want to fix that.

    Like 26
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    What?! No LS swap, no Cragars, no bluetooth, no bags, no gaudy interior??!?!?! Thank God.

    Like 25
  3. Stevieg Member

    If it’s a color change, someone did a great job. I see no signs of white anywhere.
    Nice car. Kinda plain for a Cadillac, buy I don’t mind that.

    Like 4
    • John S

      I agree. Makes me wonder if it was ever white.

      Like 1
  4. Big_Fun Member

    As a contrast to the ’59 Fleetwood and Eldorado Biarritz, the lack of chrome and stainless on this Series 62 makes me appreciate the design. The whitewall stripe is not too thin or too wide. Like in the past, a hose, 000 steel wool, and some Comet Cleanser to make ’em even whiter. Tuck in the exhaust, as they are a distraction to that marvelous rear grill, and then just drive.
    In this case, less IS more…

    Like 9
    • A.G.

      Copper or brass wool is preferable to steel wool. Any slivers of metal which get embedded into the whitewall’s surface won’t show up as tiny but noticeable rust spots.

      Like 4
    • Ted-M

      SOS soap pads work great on whitewall tires!

      Like 8
      • Dwcisme

        A brass or fibre bbq brush and vinyl cleaner does a great job and puts the knuckles out of harms way. After scrubbing thousands of rental fleet whitewalls back in the 80s, I think I have a touch of insight.

        Like 3
      • Steve Courchense

        Fantastic cleaner and a brushfollowed my Windex is very quick.

        Like 1
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      I always used Westley’s Bleach White for whitewall/white raised letter tires. Probably not the best for the environment, but it did a great job on whitewall’s.

      Like 2
      • Stevieg Member

        Great stuff, that Westley’s Bleech White! I used to use it on the white leather in my ’72 Eldo convertible. It’ll choke you, but it works great!

        Like 2
  5. Terry Melvin

    They were an eyesore then and they’re an eyesore now. The 50s saw many beautiful automobiles built, but this was grotesque. This thing looked more like a missile launcher than a car.

    • BuickNut

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      Like 5
  6. MKG

    This year Cad and the later Quasimodo Seville have to be the ugliest cars ever made. However, I love ugly cars and would drive this one with no problem. BTW In now own a 1949 Nash Airflyte 600. You either love the shape or hate it.

    Like 2
    • Sedoy

      I also love unusual cars. 59 Cadillac is the most beautiful of all Cadillacs.
      49-50 Nash is probably one of the ugliest cars. Strange, but because of its unusual shape, I like the 49-50 Nash 2-door. Unfortunately, the 4-door Nash doesn’t have such a slippery design.

      Like 1
      • MKG

        I should have mentioned that it is a 2 door. Quite correct, the 2 dr flows better. It is an unusual polarizing design. LOL

        Like 1
  7. Robert White

    This car needs dingle-balls and a Cheech & Chong chain-link steering wheel IMHO.

    And furry dice is a must too.

    Fins?

    Meh.

    Bob

    Like 4
    • Taco

      Don’t forget some hydraulics to impress the cholitas!

      Like 5
  8. John Taggart Member

    Classic amazing design of the times. Max fins of the era. I was 12 when these came out. Loved them then love them now. Surely good times the

    Like 3
  9. its1969ok

    Another victim of “Ugly Tailpipe Syndrome.”

    Like 6
    • Cristi

      I know! Why do people DO that??? And chromed, so they stand out even more! Tailpipes are meant to be heard and not seen.

  10. Dwcisme

    As a few mentioned, it’s unfortunate that whoever installed the exhaust didn’t tuck the tailpipes out of view. Detracts from the overall aesthetics of the design. I imagine the new owner will take care of that.

    Like 1
  11. Steve Clinton
  12. Phil G

    Ugly, but beautiful. if that’s possible.
    Incredibly tacky, but today we can’t stop looking at it, because it’s so over-the-top styling-wise, and so different from anything currently on the road.

    Like 3
  13. Pauld

    Recall when Japan and the Yen were riding high? This 59 was a sought after car for shipping back to Japan. Wonder how many are over there?

    Like 1
  14. Bob Mck Member

    I am amazed at how many haters there are here. I own 2 59’s now and have owned 2 others in the past. I love the design and the way they drive. Hopefully I will own a 59 as long as I live.

    Like 4
  15. Michael L Gregory

    My first ride in a Cadillac was in a car just like this, except in metallic green. Our next-door neighbors apparently wanted a BIG car for their newly-driving daughter to keep her safe. She drove me home from school one day and it started a love affair with Cadillacs that carried me through owning five of them once I was able to start buying my own.

    Like 1
  16. winesmith

    It does look a bit more like a ’59 than a ’69 as the caption says, yes?

  17. JoeNYWF64

    Caddy bubbletop – not much privacy in back seat.
    Looks like it could take off.

  18. Donald Trautman

    I think the author of the article meant a 59 Caddy, not 69.

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