Flashback: 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe
“As the Standard of the World Turns”
Long, low, and sleek…with an elegance all their own – the formidable “Standard of the World” ruled the road. Cadillac had them all running scared by introducing technology and advanced automotive design. As a luxury car, it was complete; its poised dignity was not an afterthought. Power, performance, and presence were the true hallmarks of the brand. Whatever one sought in a luxury car…Cadillac could provide. Luxury and elegance makes another cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
A brilliant example of such is the iconic 1959 Cadillac. Its outrageous styling created a cult following. The Series Sixty-Two coupe provided an eloquent introduction to Cadillac ownership. The 1959 Cadillacs advanced the tradition of excellence to an extraordinary degree. Here they are…the “fins” – cars like this presented the “feel-good factor” that was a high priority. Driving a Cadillac was a good feeling that no other motorcar could match. The 1959 Cadillacs were the “Standard of the World” in elegance.
The 1959 Cadillacs wore the tallest tail fins in the industry. They make this model year the most memorable and identifiable Cadillac in history. I love to write about them. This was a Harley Earl design; he was the master of the motorcar. All of his designs were breathtaking. It is the two-door models that best showcase the fins…this made the car appear even longer, lower, and wider. The silhouette is unmistakably Cadillac. The 1959 Cadillacs were the most flamboyant in the history of the brand.
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The Cadillac body-beautiful surrounded its passengers with a ring of steel. The passenger cell was designed as a cage with double box-girder rocker panels. The all-steel turret roof has double-ribbed steel bows and box-girder rails. Box-girder reinforced cowl and dash, with integral rear quarter panels and rear fenders complete its sturdy framework protecting the occupants. Polished Safety Plate glass was in every window.
The Series Sixty-Two was the easiest step to driving “Standard of the World” luxury. Available body styles for this series include a coupe, four-door six-window hardtop sedan, the popular four-door four-window “Flattop” (vista roof), and a luxury convertible. The Series Sixty-Two was a step below the DeVille series. The DeVille started out as an exclusive trim option for the Series Sixty-Two as Cadillac’s first pillar less hardtop coupe in 1949. It is one of Cadillac’s best-selling models built from 1953 until the 1964 model year. It was replaced by the Calais series in 1965.
Series Sixty-Two coupe
Series Sixty-Two six-window four-door hardtop sedan
Series Sixty-Two four-window four-door hardtop sedan
The “Flattop” aka “Vista Roof” was the most popular body style
Series Sixty-Two luxury convertible
The flamboyant styling of the 1959 Series Sixty-Two coupe made it highly desirable. It is a Cadillac in every respect. They featured richly appointed interiors. Beautifully tailored Carlisle and Mojave cloth with Elascofab side bolsters as a pleasing contrast were the choices for its interior. They were available in a broad selection of standard and optional color schemes. This was a time when Cadillac was THE FINEST LUXURY CAR IN THE ENTIRE WORLD…it was the formidable “Standard of the World” in automotive excellence – and the envy of the world –
The new Cadillac chassis for the 1959 model year featured improved braking, steering, driving ease, and riding comfort. They were built on Cadillac’s rugged tubular “X” frame. It was not only more rigid than previous chassis versions, it permitted lower body mounts for improved overall appearance and greatly improved stability. Body on frame construction was the trend for the day. The 1959 Series Sixty-Two coupe was an extremely large front-engine rear-wheel drive luxury coupe. It has the luxury length of 225”, rides upon a long 130” wheelbase, and is 80” in width.
The suspension was the core of the legendary “Magic Carpet Ride.” The front suspension used the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints, helical coil springs, hydraulic direct-acting shock absorbers, and torsion rod stabilizer. The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, helical coil springs, rubber bushings to absorb road impact and isolate road noise, and hydraulic direct-acting inverted “V” mounted shock absorbers. This was the secret to the famous Cadillac ride…tis a shame it is no more – The 1959 Cadillacs had an optional air suspension available…which was unreliable and prone to fail at embarrassing moments. This was the option from hell. Cadillac made a kit to convert those horrid air shocks back to the conventional type.
The Series Sixty-Two is powered by the same exclusive new V8 as all Cadillacs. Each engine built was run before being installed into the car’s engine bay. The newly designed 390 CID 16-valve V8 is constructed from cast iron (the block and cylinder heads,) with hydraulic valve lifters.
The crankshaft runs in five main bearings. It came standard with a Carter 4-bbl downdraft carburetor with equalized manifold. An optional Rochester “Triple Deuce” (three 2-bbls) kicked it from 325 hp to 345 hp output. It was equipped with a mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack air cleaner, intake silencer, and automatic choke. Cadillac hand-built these magnificent powerplants to superlative standards.
This all-new engine, with its larger displacement had a new intake manifold with larger passages, new fuel filters, automatic choke control, lighter pistons and connecting rods, tapered exhaust valves, new crankshaft, new automatic temperature compensator for improved idle and a higher capacity fuel pump.
An engine with adequate power is necessary to move a big car through its paces with effortless operation and flexibility to handle road situations without hesitation and perform for hours on end with no audible sign of its presence. The 390 CID V8 produces 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 583 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. The engine is mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission.
Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.4 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 42.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 122 mph ungoverned. It could do the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in just 17.8 seconds. That is great for an automobile of this magnitude. This type of power is torque-thrust and not the fake power to weight ratio. These cars are not aerodynamically designed like today’s wedges. Standard on every Cadillac was power steering, power brakes, and Hydra-Matic Drive.
Without a slashing array of rhetoric, Cadillac for 1959 presented a new realm of motoring majesty. The Series Sixty-Two coupe is a sparkling example of Cadillac style. From its bold front jewel-like ensemble to the tallest tail fins in the industry, the Series Sixty-Two coupe provided an eloquent introduction to Cadillac ownership. It was the most modestly priced Cadillac that reflected the same extraordinary craftsmanship as the most expensive model.
The exterior shared the same styling continuity as the DeVille. The only difference to the exterior is the badging. The Series Sixty-Two was equipped with the all-new 390 CID V8 and GM’s Hydra-Matic Drive. Cadillac was foremost in all the world. It was the most desired automobile in the entire world. The 1959 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two coupe makes a cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
“As the Standard of the World Turns”
Hi do you have any idea what color the metallic pink cadallic is in this article? I cant seem to find it in 1959 paint chips. Is it factory? Thanks Dennis
This may be a “restored” color. Some of the cars on this site were altered per their owners, so it is really hard to tell. For the 1959 model year colors close to this one are: #49 Wood Rose, PPG #70913 Dusk Pink, #48 Persian Sand (this is the most popular shade close to the one you are asking about), it could also be PPG #21748 Tampico Tan, and to add to the madness…AMC had #P16 Cotillion Mauve, Chrysler had Persian Pink, DeSoto offered Flamingo Pink, Dodge had Rose Quartz, and a similar shade called Coral, Ford had a shade called Flamingo…so it is really hard to tell. To make matters even more complex, the colors shown could be altered by the amount of light and how many times the photo had been copied. This is why one can never rely on published photos, the actual paint chips have to be viewed. Then, to scramble your brains further…the person who restored the car could have mixed a custom color for the client.