20 August 2000
This Lot has no reserve
Browning family ownership from new
1956 CADILLAC SERIES 60 SPECIAL FLEETWOOD
Chassis No. 56 60 026933
Engine No. 56 60 026933
Dusty Rose with a cream top and two-tone blue cloth and leather interior
Engine: V8, 331ci., 250bhp at 4,600rpm; Gearbox: three-speed column shift automatic; Suspension: independent front with rear live axle; Brakes: four wheel drums. Left hand drive.
Cadillac's evolutionary styling and mechanical format of 1955 aptly demonstrate the cautionary maxim, 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'. The luxury division of General Motors was highly successful; its customer base was loyal and affluent; its sales were growing at a satisfying rate as well. Production of 1954 Cadillacs had been delayed as a result of the fire that completely destroyed the Hydra-Matic factory in 1953. In 1955, to meet its growing eager customer base, Cadillac set record production figures and rolled out over 140,000 cars, nearly five times the number of Lincolns produced that year.
Cadillac had introduced Harley Earl's little fins in 1948 (tradition says Earl was captivated by the twin tail fins of the P-38 Lightning fighter) and they continued to be identified with Cadillacs through 1956. 1955 also saw earlier GM Motorama show cars' influence manifest itself in the jet age fins of the Eldorado Biarritz that were shortly to supplant the propeller age in Cadillac's styling lexicon. The 1956 Cadillac displayed a major facelift. The car had a new grille with a finer textured insert and the repositioning of the parking lights in the bumper below the wing guard. Buyers were also given the option of the standard satin script or the more opulent gold trimmed scripted Fleetwood cars.
Befitting its status, and the expectations of the its owners, Cadillac's standard equipment and its options list were comprehensive and opulent; interiors were luxurious. Cadillac's intended market was professionals and businessmen who worked hard in the 1950s, appreciated the innovative style and expected to be pampered. Record sales in 1956 clearly substantiated Cadillac's success in catering to this market.
The Cadillac Fleetwood on offer here was purchased new by the Browning family in 1956. It has remained in the family through the generations. Finished in the classic Cadillac Dusty Rose paint scheme, the car also features a painted cream roof. The paint is quite presentable and may have been repainted quite recently. The two-tone blue cloth and leather interior appears to have been fully redone as well and is in excellent overall condition. The underbody shows some wear, as do the engine compartment and motor, both of which appear to be in original condition. The odometer shows a mileage of 74,486, which is believed to be original from new. As this is a Fleetwood model, the Cadillac is equipped with many of the desirable options including the Autronic Eye (which dims the headlamps for oncoming traffic), clock, power radio, power windows and triple stripe whitewall tires. With its single owner provenance and overall presentable condition, this modestly priced Cadillac Fleetwood makes for an ideal stepping stone into the world of classic cars.
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This lot has no reserve.
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