Design Classic – Influential and important design
1959 Cadillac Eldorado (Pink)
A Gothic monument to America’s Glory Years
The 1959 Cadillac is more of a temple than an automobile, a Gothic memorial to America’s glory years. It was overly long, low, and overstyled, and it’s the 50s’ final flourish. The 59’s outlandish space-age appearance, weird fins, and lavish 390 cubic inch V8 are fascinating, but the most striking aspect of the car is its blatant arrogance.
The United States was the most powerful nation on the planet in the 1950s. America believed it could reach out and touch the moon because it had plenty of cash, military force, arrow-straight motorways, and Marilyn Monroe. When the 59 Caddy emerged, however, the nationalistic high was fading. The Russians had launched Sputnik, Castro was becoming friendly with Krushev, and there were race riots in the United States. A decade of glamour, glitz, and wealth was drawing to a close. America, and especially her Cadillacs, would never be the same.
The standard lavish fare on the 1959 Convertible with power brakes, power steering and auto transmission, power windows, two-speed windshield wipers and a two-way power seat.
Ultimate Fin Fashion
The wackiest fins of any car ever, the ’59s were elbow high. Cadillac’s fins were a trademark aviation cliche, calculated to lend lifeless steel the allure of speed, modernity and escape.
Willson, Q. (1997). Classic American cars. DK Pub.
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