Spotless Icon: 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Four-Window Hardtop Sedan

People who bought a new 1959 Cadillac Series 62 were making a bold statement. The Caddy was no wallflower but an indication that its owner was a success and they weren’t afraid to let people know it. Times changed, and many of these vehicles fell out of favor as buyers turned their attention towards cars with more restrained styling features. However, they prove that history can turn a full circle because the ’59 Cadillac is once again a highly-sought classic. Our feature car looks to be a real pearl. It is a remarkably well-preserved survivor that is ready to be enjoyed by its lucky new owner. If you feel that you could be that person, you will find this gentle giant located in Jessup, Maryland, and listed for sale here on eBay. Respectable bidding has pushed the price to $25,100, but that figure remains short of the reserve.

It seemed that as American manufacturers unveiled their 1959 model offerings, there was an unofficial competition between Chrysler and Cadillac to see which company could produce the most enormous fins. Nobody else was really in the running, and while Chrysler probably won the height battle with offerings like the Plymouth Fury, Cadillac trumped the lot with those unique bullet taillights. If you talk to enthusiasts from outside the US, it is one of the most instantly recognizable design features to emerge on any 1950s American automobile. That means that even without any text, this photo leaves us in no doubt about the identity of our feature car. It is the 4-Window Hardtop Sedan derivative, and its overall condition is impressive. It wears Beaumont Beige paint with the top finished in Dover White. The seller believes that the paint on the hood, top, and trunk is original, but the sides may have previously received some touch-up work. The overall impression that it makes is enormously positive. The paint shines beautifully, and like the panels it covers, the condition is hard to fault. There are no visible blemishes or flaws and no dings or bruises. The fender skirts are in excellent condition, and they help accentuate the Caddy’s long and low lines. There is no visible rust, and the underside photos reveal little more than a dusting of surface corrosion. The acres of chrome seem to be in excellent order, while the glass looks flawless.

Any car that tips the scales at 4,940lbs will require something pretty special under the hood if it is expected to move beyond walking pace, and Cadillac delivered with the Series 62. Lifting the hood reveals a 390ci V8 that produces 304hp. Rounding out the package is a four-speed Hydramatic transmission, while power steering and power brakes ensure that the driver is unlikely to raise a sweat behind the wheel. This car’s performance belies its appearance, with the ability to storm the ¼ mile in 18.1 seconds. The engine bay presents well for a survivor of this vintage. The owner has recently replaced the fuel pump and rebuilt the generator. He suggests that the buyer consider replacing the tires due to their age, but he believes it needs nothing further. While he doesn’t state it outright, the listing suggests that this Caddy is a turn-key classic that merely awaits its new owner to slide behind the wheel and hit the road.

The exterior styling of the Series 62 might be extroverted, but the dash and wheel are no less so. There are lashings of chrome and bright trim and a two-tone wheel with one of the deepest dishes ever to grace a production car. Once again, the overall impression is positive, with no wear on the wheel and no issues with the dash itself. It isn’t uncommon to find wrinkling in the dash pad, and this car is no exception. However, it isn’t severe, so an upholsterer should be able to stretch it into shape. This luxury car has no air conditioning, but it features power windows, a pushbutton radio, and the fantastic Autronic eye.

Among the vehicles I’ve owned over the years, I count a 1971 Austin 1800 in the tally. A friend of mine used to refer to it as “the flying loungeroom,” but I think that description is better suited to a ’59 Cadillac. The space these cars deliver is enormous, and it would take a pretty tall person to complain about a lack of legroom. The owner claims that the upholstered surfaces are original and that clear covers have always protected the seats. I can’t spot anything to criticize with the upholstery, but the carpet looks wrinkled across the transmission tunnel. It would be worth the effort for the buyer to address this in some way because it is one of the few faults in an otherwise spotless interior.

While cars like the 1959 Cadillac Series 62 fell out of favor during the 1960s and 1970s as vehicle styling changed to a more restrained look, the vehicles began to find a new group of admirers during the 1980s. They have continued to grow in popularity, and spotless examples can command respectable prices. This car looks like a great vehicle, but it isn’t the first time that the owner has offered it for sale recently. In March, it was passed in at auction with the bidding at $20,500, so he is doing better this time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bidding has to nudge beyond $30,000 before surpassing the reserve. However, its overall condition would seem to justify it. If a ’59 Caddy has been on your Wish List, this auction might be worth watching.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Wow! This one is nice! I just watched an episode of FantomWorks, where an owner spent in EXCESS of $100K to restore a family owned Cadillac like this one! Two plus years, metalwork, 2000 labor hours, $66K in parts, $10K in re-chroming, LS /4spd auto conversion. That makes this one a REAL bargain! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 10
  2. Stevieg Member

    Although I prefer the 1960 over this, I still like this style too.
    I am very much a convertible man, along with hearses, but this is my absolute favorite body style for either the 1959 or 1960 Cadillac.
    With this example being in the outstanding condition it is in, I would love to have this cat. So far, the money for it seems very reasonable.

    Like 2
  3. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What a fantastic car! This is the Iconic Cadillac of the era IMHO, and the bidding is climbing faster than a F-104 Starfighter on AB-$45,000 at the time I wrote this (0614 Hrs., 20 Oct.).

    Like 3
  4. Smokey Member

    I wonder f those bullit taillights are still being stolen as much as they were when these “59 Cads first came out. Back then our local Cadillac dealer parts dept. could not keep them I stock. And then just about every modified dragster in town had…………bullit taillights!! Hmmmmmmmmm, eh? Cad owners here started etching their license number on the on the taillight metal but that didn’t help. All over town were Cadillacs with no taillights.

    Like 9
  5. Terrry

    The “flat roof” hardtop style doesn’t work as well with this body design. The two door and Coupe DeVille look much better.

    Like 8
    • Marshall

      I beg to differ, as I owned a 1960 4-door Cadillac flat top back in 1984. Everything else being the same, had it been a 4 door “slope top” or a two door (all were slope tops), I would not have bought it. I have always loved all of those 1959 and 1960 GM flat tops.

  6. Ken

    Sorry I see bondo

    Like 1
  7. A.G.

    Maybe it’s the images but there are number of things which make me question the quality of the restoration. The right fender skirt isn’t fitted properly and the hood alignment could be better. The bottom of the driver’s side passenger door looks funky, especially where the rocker panel, fender skirt, and door meet. Ken may be correct about body filler.

    Like 6
  8. Stevieg Member

    It’s a 60 year old car on the east coast. Of course there is bondo! Maybe because I currently reside in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t bother me…if it is cheap enough. It is getting to be pretty high priced now.

    Like 2
  9. Will Fox

    CORRECTION: This is the second time the writer reported incorrect information regarding the engine. It’s a standard 390 C.I. V8 that produced an ADVERTISED 325 horsepower; not “304”. Where that figure came from is anyone’s guess, but it’s WRONG. (Hope the writer reads this!)

    Like 5
  10. Bob the “Iceman”

    I love the period design, a true “Land Yacht”. Aye Matey, hoist the mainsail, make sure you belay the sheets for the mizzenmast. Helmsman steer a course for the nearest Cadillac Car Club.

    Like 2
  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. I’ve always loved the 1959 Cadillac. Is this the Sedan DeVille? The Fleetwood?

  12. Michael L Gregory

    My knee still hurts from the first time I got into a 1960 Coupe deVille. Those knee knockers were a beautiful design, but quite dangerous until you knew what you were doing. Still a gorgeous car, though.

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