Here are those fabulous fins again!
The iconic Cadillac tail fin was the tallest in the industry
The Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac ruled
Cadillac introduced an icon that the world would never forget for the 1959 model year. Those fabulous tail fins took the world by storm. They were the tallest in the industry. Cadillac for 1959 presented a new realm of motoring majesty with the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special. It was the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan. The 1959 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was the only non-limousine made by Fleetwood. A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac was an exclusive episode in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
Seldom has a manufactured product been bestowed with such world acclaim as this great motorcar. The formidable Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedan was known world-wide for elegance, opulence, and that poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. It was the “Cadillac of Cadillacs.” No other automobile captured the respect and admiration as the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special.
This was the Cadillac that stood out among other Cadillacs. The superb Fleetwood coachcraft spoke eloquently of its owner’s taste. Its completely new profile and interior elegance marked it as one of the most dramatic motorcars of all time. The distinctive new rear fender design, the tasteful use of chrome trim, and the luxury of its appointments made it an exceptionally beautiful motorcar.
A Cadillac Fleetwood was a culmination of the expertise and design genius of Fleetwood craftsmen. These illustrious sedans featured signature styling features to emphasize their exclusive character. For the 1959 model year, a chrome side spear design with dummy air scoops at the rear doors augmented the six-window sweep of the roofline. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special looked even longer with its new design complimented by those fabulous fins.
The 1959 Cadillacs had a bold and daring concept of motorcar design, flamboyant, yet unmistakably Cadillac. The 1959 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was most definitely a motoring dream come true. Because of their exclusive Fleetwood-bodied character, they were built at a restricted pace. The 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was the “Standard of the World” in executive style luxury.
The luxurious interiors by Fleetwood were created and crafted by talented artisans who knew one way….the right way. A wide selection of fabrics and leather included Colony Cloth with leather, Clarion Cloth and Concord Cloth combinations, and solid color trim were available to add further distinction to the 1959 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special.
Power windows and seat, power steering, and power brakes were standard equipment for the eloquent Series Sixty-Special. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was historically the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan. The 1959 model year reinforced this image.
The 1959 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was powered by Cadillac’s all-new 390 CID 16-valve OHV V8. The engine was equipped with a Carter AFB2814S 4-bbl carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack air cleaner, intake silencer, and automatic choke. An optional Rochester triple deuce was optional. The engine produced 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 583 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm.
Equipped with the Rochester triple deuce hp went to 345 @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10.8 seconds, 0-100 rpm in 30.4 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph. Performance was similar with the triple deuce set-up by just a few seconds. It could do the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in 17.8 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway) 4-speed automatic transmission.
The 1959 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was built as body on frame construction. They rode on a long 130” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 225” and was 81.1” wide. The 1959 Cadillacs were built on Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame which permitted a lower body design improving appearance and greater stability.
New dignity, refinement, and craftsmanship were immediately evident throughout this masterful motorcar. The 1959 Cadillacs advanced the tradition of excellence to an extraordinary degree. Historically, the Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was the model that brought the Cadillac brand name into world-wide recognition as the “Standard of the World.” The 1959 Cadillac had a classic new profile highlighted by the iconic tail fins. Cadillac threw all caution to the wind with this design. It won the entire world’s affection overnight; it is the single most immediately identified Cadillac in the history of the brand.
New power included the 390 CID 325 hp V8 engine combined with the refined Hydra-Matic Drive. Those fabulous fins made an indelible impression upon the automotive world. The 1959 Cadillac Eldorados in unmolested condition sell for six-figures easily. The other 1959 Cadillac models are appreciating equally as positive. The 1959 Cadillacs will always have a place in history as having the tallest tail fins in the industry and its outlandish styling. The 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was one of life’s supreme pleasures…..and another milestone in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
The 1959 Cadillacs will always be famous for the tail fins
Photos courtesy of Bob Adams Classic Cars