: Is There Anything More Iconoclastic Than a '59 Caddy?



Frost
07-30-06, 03:26 PM
Or anything more instantly recognizable to the world at large? This car defined an entire generation and was the epitome of the mood of the '50s, after the war. The fact that they only made that style for one year is testament to the uniqueness of the time, when annual full body makeovers were the norm, but retaining the same frame.

How many styling cues is this car is known for, all over the world? The Fins. Those dual bullet tailights. That massive, Hyundai-eating chromed behemoth of a front grille. The two-toned gaudy interiors, complementing exterior colours that could never be duplicated in nature. In short, the 1959 Cadillac - a car for it's time.

Just came back from a car show today (pics later) and there was a stunning example of this homage to excess. Done in a bright red, with red/white interior - a convertible, no less! And it was done right with a great paint job and all the shiny bits had been rechromed - must have cost the owner 15,000 bucks right there, just for the time in the dipping tanks.

As I was taking a few snaps, this PINHEAD strides up, wifey in tow and proclaims in a loud, obnoxious voice "Yup, I knew it! A '63 Caddy! My Daddy had one just like it! Bought it new in '63. I remember when he brought it home from the dealer!" Etc., etc., etc. And good old wifey was hanging on his every word, as if it was gospel.

I almost puked.

Where do these people come from?

Jesda
07-30-06, 03:31 PM
Just as recognizable: '53 Eldo! A favorite of mine.

JCM1
07-30-06, 03:41 PM
The 1957 Eldorado is also recognizable but, damn near everyone knows the 59.

77CDV
07-30-06, 03:46 PM
Frost,

I have to agree (though I think you meant to say the car is "iconic" rather than "iconoclastic", though it's that, too). The 1960 is the better design IMO though. Just flows better.

Then again, judging by the pontifications of your learned observer, maybe it's not so iconic. ;)

Craig

Blown Z
07-30-06, 10:15 PM
Check this out: http://www.1959cadillac.com/

Quite a story behind it too.

Elvis
07-30-06, 10:37 PM
Yeah, that is a great story. I remember spending an hour one night reading up on that car and looking for more pics.

I'll bet there are a dozen caddys like that out there sitting in warehouses around the country waiting to be claimed and restored.

There's a story about a yellow '65 Coupe de Ville convertible that has been in a warehouse in St. Louis for 40 years.

There are blood stains all over the front seat and carpet. Over the years the stains have turned black, so whoever ends up with this beauty is going to have to replace all that.

On the passenger's side there is one man's shoe. A Florsheim Imperial wing tip. Black. It's sort of a mystery, but those "in the know" can fill you in.

The car belonged to a mobster's mistress. He suspected she was fooling around on him, so he had her tailed.

One night the "surveillance team" caught up with her and her new boyfriend "in the act."

---In the car THE BOSS gave her.

They were instructed to kill them both if they witnessed anything explicit. Pictures weren't necessary, so they did.

A few days later the police found two bodies, each with a single bullet through the head. The woman's head was face down in the man's lap. The man's pants were around his knees.

No questions asked. Private business. Case closed.

That was 40 years ago this week, now that I think about it.
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Of course I made all that up. :histeric:

Benzilla
07-30-06, 11:33 PM
As I was taking a few snaps, this PINHEAD strides up, wifey in tow and proclaims in a loud, obnoxious voice "Yup, I knew it! A '63 Caddy! My Daddy had one just like it! Bought it new in '63. I remember when he brought it home from the dealer!" Etc., etc., etc. And good old wifey was hanging on his every word, as if it was gospel.

I almost puked.

Where do these people come from?

I know what you mean! When I was at a car show a few weeks ago some old guy asked me if I would put the top on my Phaeton down....

A couple of people have looked at my '83 Coupe Deville and said "nice '78" or "sweet Eldorado"

Now the best one, up north there was this place called the Eldorado grill, it was a massive place with a glass front room with '59 and '60 matching red Eldorado convertibles, gorgeous cars, one time I was in there looking at the cars, and this redneck and his "clan" were coming out or the grill, then one of them looked over at the '59 and whispered "what is that, and old Oldsmobile or somethin'?

I'm not shitting you.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-31-06, 01:27 AM
"what is that, and old Oldsmobile or somethin'?

Your responce: "No, It's a Honda, yeah back in the '50s, the Civics were MASSIVE!" ;)

Benzilla
07-31-06, 02:12 AM
LMFAO! At the time, I ws so shocked, all I could do was sort of throw out this sound that was something like running over a bicycle horn with a tank.

Frost
07-31-06, 04:03 AM
That was probably your best bet, Ben - if you'd said what was on your mind, they could have had you arrested for verbal assault!

RedGalant2k1
07-31-06, 09:55 PM
57' Chevy.

64' Mustang.

Benzilla
07-31-06, 10:55 PM
I wouldn't say they are any more Iconoclastic than a '59 caddy, I mean, ever see the back end of a mustang sticking out of a cafe? didn't think so.

And yes '57 chevys are right up there too, but I think the caddy sort of expresses the pure, over the top, bigger is better idea of the '50s. The '57 chevy was sort of a "people's caddy".

Frost
08-01-06, 04:10 AM
Well put re: the '57 Chevy, Ben - that is exactly how I view it as well - a people's Caddy especially with all the options you could get for those '57 chevs. A fully optioned Chev from that period would almost rival a Cad for convenience/opulence, ride, etc.

And yes, the '64 Mustang grabbed a generation by the cajones, as well. It was just another generation, that's all. The '59 Cad pretty well stand on it's own for it's time.

Elvis
08-01-06, 09:47 PM
I'd put the '57 T-Bird up there too.

'64 Stingray is pretty special.

But for most car enthusiasts, the '59 Cadillac tailfin is the most "over the top" thing that was ever accomplished in automotive design. There really is no parallel.