1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special
Eloquence…in the continuing saga of
“As the Standard of the World Turns”
The eminent Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was the “Standard of the World” in magnificence and dignity. It was the most distinguished name in motorcars. Every Fleetwood model was truly a masterpiece. A Series Sixty-Special was the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac in the model hierarchy. The 1958 edition was the Flagship sedan placed a notch below the fabulous Eldorado Brougham.
The eloquence of the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special made it “The Cadillac of Cadillacs.” The admiration afforded this supreme achievement in motoring was astonishing. Automotive elegance such as this, that was so captivating, is gone forever. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
This is another jewel that was sold by Bob Adams Classic Cars, aka Classic Auto Brokers out in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona here in the US of A. He only handles the best as exhibited by this pristine example of automotive history.
For the 1958 model year Cadillac created a new inspiration – a luxury automobile of such superb design, such precise hand-craftsmanship, and such universal appeal – one look and it was evident…it’s from the master craftsmen. By any criterion, a Cadillac Fleetwood was in fact the finest automobile ever created in its day. It was unmistakably Cadillac in stature and majesty.
A Fleetwood was the ultimate in exclusivity and supremacy. They were hand-crafted on an exclusive assembly line for quality control. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special – as with all Fleetwood models – was built at a highly restricted pace to retain its exclusivity. Fleetwood hand-tailored all Cadillac interiors to absolute perfection. The Series Sixty-Special was hand-crafted in its entirety by Fleetwood.
The Fleetwoods were the last of the hand-crafted Cadillacs. With their individually longer wheelbase and custom-crafted body shells, the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedans were universally acknowledged as the most aristocratic motorcars in the world. Fleetwood was luxury, spaciousness, and good taste. It was a sumptuous automobile with a subtle aura of distinction.
Fleetwood’s extraordinary grace and charm were complimented by outstanding Cadillac ride qualities and over the road comfort. No car in the world at the time was as renowned for its magnificent motoring luxury as Cadillac. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special made it the epitome of opulence unsurpassed by any motorcar in the world. Driver and passengers enjoyed conveniences, appointments, and sheer elegance that were unique in the fine Fleetwood tradition. It was luxury and comfort on the grand Cadillac scale, in the grand Cadillac manner.
The Series Sixty-Special was young Bill Mitchell’s first design assignment from Harley Earl. It began in 1936 and materialized two years later as a trend-setting luxury sedan. This is a milestone vehicle. The Sixty-Special was an all-new design in luxury motoring. The lack of running boards, fender-mounted headlamps, and faired-in trunk design were copied not only by the rest of General Motors, but the entire automotive industry.
Its design influence could still be seen many years later in the luxurious Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham such as the thin door posts, chrome window bands, and long wheelbase. It was the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special that earned Cadillac the reputation as “Standard of the World.” This eminent series reigned until the 1976 model year. The Series Sixty-Special is still popular among enthusiasts and collectors world-wide.
The 1958 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was designed for those who regard their motorcars as prized possessions. Once one has been behind the wheel of a Fleetwood; it is difficult to find the same satisfaction at the wheel of any other motorcar. With all its refinement, grace, distinction & dignity, The Series Sixty-Special had a completely unique air of authority. It was in a class by itself in luxury and sheer magnificence. However grand the occasion…an arrival in a Cadillac Fleetwood was a notable one. It was an impeccable reflection of achievement. The formidable Cadillac crest was the hallmark of one of the finest possessions an individual may own –
The 1958 Cadillacs were built as body on frame construction. They used Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center “X” frame. This design permits lower body mounting for improved appearance. It also lowered the center of gravity and improved overall stability. The “U” shaped rear section allowed greater trunk capacity. The “X” frame provided greater torsional rigidity with less vertical deflection than conventional frames. Through the use of rubber bushings, there was no metal-to-metal contact. The rubber absorbed road impact, while it cancelled vibration and road noise before it reached the interior.
The 1958 Series Sixty-Special rode upon an individually longer wheelbase of 133” as compared to the standard 129.5” wheelbase of the Series Sixty-Two and DeVille models. The Series Sixty-Special had the luxury length of 225” and was 80” in width. The front suspension used the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints, and helical coil springs.
The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive. Lower control arms fastened to the frame outriggers and to the rear axle housing permit up and down motion of the axle but deters it against fore and aft motion. The helical coil springs mounted between lower control arms and frame cushions vertical motion of the car only. They fully absorb road shocks with minimum upset to the frame and body resulting in a more level ride over uneven surfaces. The shocks are mounted in an inverted “V” fashion to further resist sideways motion to the car.
Also standard for the 1958 model year were Cadillac’s four-wheel power assisted drum brakes and Cadillac’s power steering. Regardless of the model, Cadillac was always a car complete. They offered more features and accessories as standard equipment than the other luxury brands. Cadillac also offered more features and accessories as optional equipment than the competitors. Cadillac was the “Standard of the World” in comfort and convenience.
In all of motordom, there was only one true luxury sedan…the incomparable Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special. The artisans and styling genius of Fleetwood craftsmen built these illustrious long wheelbase sedans with refined techniques and contemporary engineering. These distinctive motorcars bear many distinguishing design features to emphasize their ultra-exclusive character. The most dramatic styling feature of the Sixty-Special’s exterior is its stunning chrome body side ensemble. The lower rear fender incorporates a single flowing panel of ribbed anodized aluminum with a stainless-steel molding. The fender skirts blend into this theme.
The distinctive rear-end design is augmented by a textured chrome molding across the lower deck lid. Twin bullet taillamps with up-swept tail fins are totally in character with Cadillac tradition. Exhaust ports at the end of the bumper caps added an exclusive but detrimental touch. Most people re-route the exhaust tail pipe below the bumper to save the chrome from deterioration.
The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special is endowed with a spacious interior. The appointments and furnishings are luxurious in every respect. Mojave cloth was available in three shades and an additional three selections in broadcloth. Seven beautiful selections of exclusively patterned nylon and metallic leather bolsters were also available.
Standard Fleetwood luxury includes: front and rear center folding arm rests, power windows, power 2-way front seat, power vent windows, left and right outside rear view mirrors with driver’s side remote-controlled, and courtesy lighting. Popular options for the 1958 model year include: air conditioning, air suspension, power door locks, tri-power carburetion, automatic headlamp dimmer, Sabre-Spoke aluminum wheels (set of 5), gold-finish radiator grille, remote control trunk release, radio, and white wall tires.
The 1958 Cadillacs are powered by the Cadillac 6.0 litre 16-valve 365 CID V8 engine. It is equipped with a Carter AFB 2862S 4-bbl downdraft carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, intake silencer, automatic choke, and dry-type air cleaner. The engine block and cylinder heads are made of cast iron. The crankshaft runs in five main bearings.
The engine produces 310 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 549 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 34 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 57.5 seconds. These times are great for a 4,930+ pound automobile with NO aerodynamics. The top speed without governor is 117 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18.3 seconds.
The engine is mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic Drive (Jetaway, Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission. It is the step-gear type with controlled fluid coupling on forward gear set for smoother shifting. It provides two Drive Ranges, Lo Range, and reverse. FYI: Did you know that Rolls Royce used both the Hydra-Matic and Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions in their luxury saloons? Well…guess who taught them how to be a luxury saloon?
Many years ago Cadillac focused on a single goal; and that was to be the “Standard of the World.” Cadillac Fleetwoods were very special. They had their own dedicated assembly lines. Fleetwoods are the last of the hand-crafted Cadillacs. The Series Sixty-Special augmented the model hierarchy for the 1958 model year. It was the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan offered.
A Fleetwood was a luxury automobile of superb design, precise hand-crafting, with universal appeal. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special is unmistakably Cadillac in stature and majesty. It was in a class all by itself in luxury and magnificence. However grand the occasion, the arrival in a Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was a notable one. This is another star performer…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special
"As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials, Luxury Sedans
Great review ! One of the best articles about the 58 cadillac sixty special that ive ever read !