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Survivor or Restored? 1959 Cadillac Convertible

The 1959 Cadillac marked the literal “height” of jet-age design for American automobiles. The rear fins were the tallest they would ever be and the dual bullet taillights are still considered by many to be the best of the era. The 1959 Cadillac convertible is one of the most sought-after cars from the decade with prices routinely in the six figures. The seller of this one says it has 32,000 original miles! It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $100,000 and a buy-it-now of $159,000. Located in Plano, Texas, the ad says it recently came out of a prominent Cadillac collection. Have a look at this silver beauty.

The ad says the interior is all original and it is beautiful. I’m sure the black leather gets very hot in the Texas sun, but it is a great look with the silver exterior. Even back in the 1950s, Cadillac offered several power options including windows and seats.

The engine is a 390 cubic inch V8, which isn’t going to win any races, but it powers a heavy car like this remarkably well. Cruising is made easy with a 4-speed automatic transmission. If you’ve never driven a vintage Cadillac, they seem to float over the road like they are on a cloud.

This photo gives a great perspective of the awesome design of these cars. They almost look like a land-speed racer with sleek lines and tall fins. These cars seem to be more common in red or white, but the silver paint looks awesome on this one. What do you think of these cars?


  1. Alan R Church Member

    That’s what I would call a dream car. There was never a more beautiful automobile made. Since I am now in the twilight of my life, rounding third and heading home, it has sadly occurred to me that this life will never accommodate that dream ☮️♥️🎸

    Like 23
  2. Anonymous1

    The newest Cadillacs (and pretty much any modern car) are remarkable in their engineering and development. Fine handling, refined, and have luxuries in another league from this one.

    And yet, somehow I’d really rather have the ‘59. Amazing how a 60+ year old car can still elicit such a response.

    This particular one is a beautiful example and yes, looks amazing in silver and black.

    Like 22
    • John

      I drive an XTS now, and it’s got all the bells and whistles and engineering my 59 may not have ( 59 does have power windows,seats, antenna, and AC ) but doesn’t have any of the style and individuality. No comparison and I love driving the 59. The XTS, probably the most meh Caddy I ever had, and I miss my 56, 70, 75, and 79 coupes, and 88 and 94 Fleetwoods. The DTSs I’ve had were bland too by comparison. After loving and loyally going Cadillac for decades, don’t know that I’d by another new one—probably go in reverse and look for another Brougham.

      Like 1
      • ACZ

        Not the worst choice. Take a 90 or 91 Brougham add an LS with a 4L80E and you have the best of all worlds.

        Like 0
  3. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Dream car indeed. Just last night I dreamed I owned a ’59 Cadillac. Other nights it’s Jennifer Garner.

    Like 10
    • Dale W. Barnhard

      I parked my 59 pink Coupe de ville in front of my family home in the mid 70’s and left town overseas for 9 months, my late mother (bless her soul) had it towed never to be seen again. The car had superb lines, a floaty ride and best of all a rocket shaped ( Flash Gordonesque rocket shaped) electric eye on the dash board to automatically dim the lights.
      Cars too me were always more than transportation but dreams incarnate. If I want to get from A to B I’ll take.a.bus.

      Like 5
  4. Bill

    Being born in 1959. I know a true classic when I see 1. I certainly can’t afford a wonderful car like that. However I did buy a Texas car that is a true classic as well. It’s not original but it looks good to me. 1965 GTO with a 72 455 and a 4 speed. Had to have 1 last muscle car. It was outside during Ian, but still looking pretty good. Burgundy with a black interior.

    Like 4
  5. TheOldRanger

    I thought the 59 Caddy was perfect until you got back to the tail fins… I hated those. I was a senior in high school when this came out and all I could say was “what were they thinking with those fins?” I also lived in Plano (moved there in 1980 and then moved to Parker in 2002). I remembered Plano in 1959 being around 3,000 people… today it is almost 300,000 which is too big for me, but it was a good place to live and to have a family. Back to the Caddy, beautiful car but the fins??

    Like 1
    • Poppy

      I prefer the similar 1960 model with more subdued fins

      Like 1
  6. Sam61

    I’m digging all the “59 gm writeups lately. BF needs a “59 Chevy and “59 Pontiac writeup to round things out. Love the Cadillac but am leaning towards the “59 Buick.

    Like 4
  7. Dale Barnhard

    Everything but the fins?! Gotta have the fins, guess I’m from Finland & enjoy artic surfing.
    Stylistically the fins are gloriously over the top & nothing is understated about this car.

    Like 6
  8. Tony

    I have to admit, the color scheme of this example is not a common one; I think I remember having colored a model of that car in that color scheme many years ago, actually, because pink and red and white were just overused. I have not replaced that model with one of the same year and don’t really think I will; I’m content with the’60 Fleetwood model I have, a slightly more-refined facelift of the overstyled ’59.

    This year has almost consistently been the year of choice for vintage Caddys, so it really doesn’t excite like one would think, except among vintage-Caddy lovers. With Detroit committed to the befinned-behemoth theme even after the fad fizzled out overnight, they really did not know what else to do…which has to be at least one reason why fins have developed the same esteemed status as smallpox. Granted, this year of Caddy looks more streamlined than the Lincolns of the same year (smaller, too, the Lincoln being the largest car in production that year…yes, even bigger than Imperial, though not by much), but those fins just look so Batman; at certain angles one may say to oneself, “Self, do you really want people to see you at that angle?!” And they served no real purpose, either, save for looks (though Chrysler did serious research in aerodynamics with their fins). The bullets, I suspect, may have been rip-offs of Imperial’s target-sight taillights, which had been one of Chrysler’s styling cues for that make for several years already; too bad they didn’t think of ripping off the curved side glass Imperial sported as well, which would have really helped the look. Sorry, bit hard to hold esteem for this period of cars now, except in occasional nostalgic mentality. But, to really trigger that nostalgic feeling, the example of car has to look different from the common examples; and this particular car does that well.

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      Is what you’re saying that art has no purpose?

      Like 2
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        If he is, then you said it a little more succinctly.

        Like 0
      • Dale Williams Barnhard

        Indeed, no purpose but to serve beauty or truth or both. Oscar Wilde would argue that art necessarily has no purpose.

        Like 0
  9. Boo Radley

    I’d dearly love to own a 59 Eldorado convertible, I agree that the fins are over the top, but that’s the point! In high school I had a 64 Eldorado convertible, perfect body but it needed a paint job. I shouldn’t have ever let that car go. Soon after, I was given a 64 Fleetwood 60 Special, which I drove all over Northern Kentucky for a year, but I abandoned it due to bad ball joints, when I moved north to Columbus. It was at the same time that I foolishly gave away my 69 Thunderbird. The years 78-80 were great for me car-wise, with the two Cadillacs and the Thunderbird, and I doubt I’ll ever again own such cool cars. But I haven’t given up, when I find the right 69 or 70 Deville convertible, I’m gonna jump on it and keep it for the rest of my life! In the meantime, I’m shopping for a yellow Toyota 86, which will be my last midlife crisis vehicle.

    Like 0
    • Tim

      Get choice for a midlife crisis vehicle, Boo. Bought my white ’15 BRZ new at age 55. 7 years later it brings me nothing but happiness.

      Like 0
      • Tim

        “Great choice”

        Like 0
  10. Tim

    “Great choice”

    Like 0
  11. JimA

    I was 16 in 1968 and I learned to drive in a 59 Cadillac like this. I somehow passed my driver exam even after taking three tries to parallel park. I think the examiner felt sorry for me having to drive this beast. Wish I had it now.

    Like 2

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