Things about a 1959 Cadillac you may not know.
Due to the fact that I grew up in the Cadillac business, I may be a little impartial. The 1959 Cadillac is one of the most recognized vehicles in the history of cars, given it huge rear quarter fins.
Cadillac invented the tailfin and they reached their peak in 1959 with one of the most recognizable rear ends ever. A lot of cadillac owners believed that the 59 was increased in size from 58, but the fact is that its wheel base was cut 3 inches from the 1958 model. The overall length was also shorter than the 58 by a fractional .03 inches.
The engine used as base equipment in the 59 was a five main bearing V-8 with 390 CI displacement. The Sixty Special which was a pillarless four-door hardtop with front and rear vent windows. It was described as a 6 window hardtop sedan. The car had a base price of $6233.00 and weighed 4890 pounds. A total of 12,250 were built.
Another interesting fact that many haven’t heard is that it was Cadillac that introduced the Cyclone 5 years before Lincoln-Mercury introduced it. Cadillac used the name for an experimental sports car. Unit body construction was used, with all of the body inner panels welded directly to the basic structure. An unusual sliding action resulted when the door was opened. At a touch of the button on either side, the door moved outward for the car three inches. The person entering the car then slides the door back along the side of the car for easy entrance.
A special proximity warning device system was located in the large nose cones that project forward from the front of the fuselage-like fenders. They electronically alerted the drivers with both an audible signal and a warning light of any automobile or other object that was approaching.
This car of the future also had a two-way intercom which allowed passengers to converse with people outside when the canopy was closed. The exhaust was located in front of the from wheels. The front wheels and brake drums were integral aluminum castings with a steel liner for each brake drum. The rear brakes were mounted inboard and were of conventional cast iron. The power brake system an air servo instead of the conventional vacuum servo, with the air supplied from the air suspension system. The steering used a saginaw rotary valve with variable ratio added. The front suspension was from a standard 1959 cadillac air suspension.
This feat of futuristic technology from the 50’s now sits in the collection of the Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan.
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