1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Ride Of The Week: 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

No single automotive design better char­acterizes the American automobile industry's late-1950s flamboyance than the iconic 1959 Ca­dillac.


No single automotive design better char­acterizes the American automobile industry’s late-1950s flamboyance than the iconic 1959 Ca­dillac. All Cadillac models made that year incorporated totally new styling with large tail fins, twin bullet taillights, a choice of two distinctive roof lines and roof-pillar configu­rations, new jewel-like radiator grille patterns and matching deck-latch-lid beauty panels were trademark visual elements of these cars.


A total of 13 models were offered including the Coupe DeVille seen here. The 1959 Cadillacs were longer and lower than 1958 models. The increase in length was about a half-inch for most body types. The Coupe DeVille had a 130-inch wheelbase. All Cadillacs were more than three inches lower than in 1958.


Cadillac stroked its famous overhead-valve V8 engine and increased its displacement to 390 cubic inches. Other Cadillac selling points included standard Hydra-Matic Drive, a tubular-center X-frame, helical-coil front and rear springs, aluminum alloy pistons, full-pressure lubrication and Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer finish. The DeVille models had script nameplates on the rear fenders. This eliminated the Cadillac crest me­dallions on the front fenders.


Otherwise, the DeVilles were trimmed like Series 62 models. Standard equipment included power brakes, power steer­ing, automatic transmission, dual back-up lights, windshield washers, two-speed electric windshield wipers, full wheel discs, an outside rearview mir­ror, a vanity mirror, an oil filter, power windows and two-way power seats.


The Coupe DeVille had a suggested retail price of $5,252. This giant car weighed in at 4,720 lbs. and had a production run of 21,924 units. The overhead valve V8 had a cast iron block. With a 4.00 x 3.875 bore and stroke it displaced 390 cubic inches. Cadillac engineers used a 10.5:1 compression ratio. Brake horsepower was 325 at 4800 rpm. Torque was 430 lbs.-ft. at 3100 rpm. Dual exhausts and a Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor was standard.


Cadillac chassis specifications included a 139-in. wheelbase and 225-in. overall length. The DeVille was 80.2 inches wide and 54.3 inches high. Front and rear tread widths were 61 inches. Huge 8.00 x 15 tires carried the big car over the road. Today, these cars are considered an iconic representation of the flamboyance and reach-for-the-sky attitude of a unique decade in history.


Article courtesy Speedville.

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