Classic Car Spotlight: The 1959 Cadillac

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The Cadillac, also known as a Caddy, evokes images of a gadget-laden, chromed and finned “Fabulous Fifties” vehicle model. This car brand symbolizes many things, including the following:

  • A status of achievement and wealth (Elvis Presley and many other celebrities owned a Cadillac)
  • The promised better life of a convenience-filled and modern home
  • A new technological marvel
  • A four-wheeled tribute to the jet age
  • The United States’ postwar prosperity

This Classic Car Spotlight issue focuses on a particular Caddy model: the 1959 Cadillac.

An Overview of the 1959 Caddy

The 1959 Cadillac is General Motors’ answer to Chrysler’s hit 1957 Imperial motor cars. | Photo by GPS 56 via Flickr Creative Commons

The 1958 Cadillac was flamboyant for sure, but another styling frontier entered the scene. General Motors (GM) came up with the design for an eye-catching 1959 Caddy. What made this specific model unique is its curvaceous body. The 1959 Cadillac served as GM’s rushed reply to Chrysler’s resurgent 1957 Imperials.

1959 Cadillac Specs

The stylish appearance isn’t the only thing that’s noteworthy about this model. This classic Caddy comes with the following vehicle specifications:

  • Hydra-Matic Drive – This offers a smooth and eager response as the Cadillac automatically shifts gears for the driver.
  • Power Brakes – This safety driving feature will help keep you safe on the road. It allows the motorist to bring the Caddy to a safe and quick stop using gentle pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Power Steering – This makes maneuvering in traffic and highway travel effortless and easy.
  • Engine – The 1959 Caddy features an overhead eight-cylinder V-type engine mounted in rubber. A three, dual-barrel carburetor engine is available on certain models, including Brougham and Seville. This offers economical, reliable and responsive motoring for Cadillac owners.
  • Pistons – These consist of a slipper-type aluminum alloy, which minimizes friction surfaces and allows nesting between crankshaft counterweights.
  • Gasoline Tank Capacity – This vehicle can hold up to 21 gallons of fuel.

1959 Cadillac Accessories

The classic 1959 Caddy has a range of accessories that enhanced driver comfort, convenience and safety.

Some of them are the following:

  • Power Windows – These convenience accessories allow you to lower or raise your Caddy’s windows by pressing a switch.
  • Fog Lamps – They offer illumination close to the road surface. If you’re going to drive in adverse weather, you’ll want to have this accessory installed in your 1959 Cadillac.
  • Air Suspension – Pioneered by Cadillac, this offers riding quality that you can’t obtain with traditional air springs. This accessory also levels the vehicle to normal height under a maximum or minimum complement of luggage and passengers.
  • Heating System – Thanks to this accessory, you can stay warm and frosty when driving during wintertime. The vehicle releases heated air to both rear and front compartments. It also aids in defrosting by releasing warm air to the windshield.
  • Air Conditioning – Going on a summer family vacation? You and your passengers can enjoy the road in cool comfort by turning on the vehicle’s AC. The 1959 Caddy’s air conditioning system has special features that dehumidify the air, as well as get rid of pollen and dust.
  • Cruise Control – This lets you maintain a constant speed while you’re on the road. It keeps you safe on the highway and minimizes fatigue.
  • Autronic Eye – This automatic headlamp control dims your Caddy’s headlights as you enter a brightly lit area. The autronic eye’s beam control also keeps you safe when you’re driving at night.
  • E-Z-Eye Glass – Say goodbye to eye strain and annoying glare by installing this Cadillac accessory. It keeps out radiant heat to help keep the vehicle cool.
  • Electric Door Locks – Automatically lock and unlock all doors at the flip of a switch.

Some accessories are only available on certain models. Get in touch with your 1959 Caddy dealer to find out if the accessory you want is available on your preferred model.

A Look at the Different 1959 Cadillac Models

Photo by Staffan Vilcans via Flickr Creative Commons

GM introduced several 1959 Caddy models, allowing motorists to enjoy the manufacturer’s line of automotive goodness.

Some of the models produced by the company are the following:

Sixty-Two Coupe

This was one of the modestly priced models released by GM. It features richly appointed interiors elegantly combined with modern and fine-looking car upholstery. The interior of the sixty-two coupe comes in a range of color schemes, including green-black with metallic green, rose-black with metallic rose and gray Mojave cloth.

Sixty-Two Sedan

A safety plate glass surrounds the driver area of this 1959 Cadillac model, delivering improved motoring safety and pleasure. Its single rear window completely curves around the vehicle’s rear quarter panels. It also features a sweeping roofline that extends rearward to form a protective visor.

Coupe De Ville

This model comes with beautiful interior fabrics made using Camden cloth and in hues of fawn, gray and blue. You can choose from a selection of matching leather color schemes, including rose Coronado with rose metallic leather and silver-black Coronado with white leather.

Fleetwood Sixty Special Sedan

This model features subtle accents of chrome and the ethereal beauty of silhouette. A few fabric and leather combinations available for this model include gray, blue and green Concord and Clarion cloth and solid fawn or blue Concord cloth.

Eldorado Biarritz

The 1959 Eldorado Biarritz delivers exceptional driving performance and handling ease. A few of the standard equipment and accessories you’ll find in this classic car model include power steering and braking, air suspension, 345-horsepower engine, window regulators and electric door locks. Interior colors come in deep-grained Florentine and Cardiff leathers in tones of blue metallic, bronze metallic, slate green metallic and other hues.

Fleetwood Seventy-Five Sedan and Limousine

This impressive vehicle model showcases a massive grille along with a distinctive rear deck and roof design. GM tailored the passenger compartments in fawn wool or gray broadcloth, as well as in gray or fawn wool Bedford cord and broadcloth.

How Much is a 1959 Cadillac?

Photo by Alden Jewell via Flickr Creative Commons

The price of a 1959 Caddy would depend on a few factors, such as your preferred model, the vehicle’s current condition and the number of optional accessories you want on that motor car.

Valuation data from Conceptcarz reveals the following median or average sale values for a few of the 1959 Cadillac models:

  • Eldorado Biarritz – $140,400
  • Series Sixty Special Fleetwood – $35,362
  • Series 62 – $55,000
  • DeVille – $24,200

Elvis Presley’s ’59 Cadillac

Because Elvis was the king at the time, it made sense for music’s “royalty” to drive around in a car befitting his stature and image. Hence, the famous pink Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Elvis owned several Cadillacs,  the first of which burned: a pink and white 1954 Series 60 Special.

The King’s next purchase was a 1954 Fleetwood Limousine, followed by a 1958 black Cadillac Limousine. The Fleetwood couldn’t be salvaged after it took on so much bird droppings since it was used to haul livestock in Graceland. Then Elvis had a gold 1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado.

Elvis Presley’s Cadillac collection is impressive, with  convertibles and limousines. And much like the car itself, or the star driving them, always catching attention.

Tips When Buying a Classic Cadillac

Buying a classic 1959 Caddy? You can go online or head to car shows. | Photo by Mustang Joe via Flickr Creative Commons

Some classic 1959 Cadillac models for sale have a devout following due to their proven reliability, innovative designs and premium quality over the past century. Given that some of the most sought-after classic Caddy vehicles are more than 50 years old, they’re in short supply and high demand. If you’re fortunate enough to stumble upon one for sale, you’ll likely fork up a premium to get your hands on one of these vehicles.

If you’re genuinely interested in adding a 1959 Caddy to your car collection, take note of these tips:

Look for a Classic 1959 Cadillac for Sale

This one’s easy: simply determine the Cadillac model you want to purchase, then search through classic car classifieds and community online. Websites, such as OldRide and Hemmings, will help you find the classic vehicle you want.

Alternatively, you can inquire at car shows in your local area. During summertime, classic car owners gather for shows or swap meets and showcase their vehicles with pride.

Check the Classic Caddy’s Condition

If you’re serious about getting a particular 1959 Cadillac model, ask the owner for more photos and request to take the vehicle for a spin. Also, remember to inspect the Caddy mechanically to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Find the Classic Car’s Appraised Value

You have the determine how much you’re willing to pay for the 1959 Cadillac model you want. You can either request an appraisal from the current car owner or obtain an online valuation from a car valuation tool.

Once you get the price information, see if you could negotiate the cost. If the value of the 1959 Caddy is too high and the owner refuses to drop the price, you’ll need to decide if the extra money you have to shell out for the purchase is worth it.

Indeed, the 1959 Cadillac is one of the most evocative motor car vehicles of the 20th century. What the iconic automobile conjured up specifically is completely open to interpretation — and this is part of the Caddy’s magic.

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