1957 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Hello, Gorgeous!

Jayson Coombes

Here it was another Sunday, and I had yet to decide what car to write about for my weekly column. As so frequently happens with me, when in doubt, write about another Cadillac. So I decided to go back to the 1950s—again—with this fantastic 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special, yet another fine show car from the CLC Grand National show held on June 25, 2022 at the Westin in Lombard, Illinois.

Jayson Coombes

I’ve already written about several cars from this show, and it’s certain I will write about more in the future. There were so many excellent cars there, and I love Cadillacs. Especially those from the 1950s to the ’70s. They were just so cool. After all, Chuck Berry sang about Maybelline in a Coupe de Ville, not a Henry J … or a Prius.

Jayson Coombes

The 1957 Cadillacs were all-new and much lower and wider than the previous Caddys of 1954–56. Cadillac was king of the road in the 1950s, in status and popularity. As the brochure confided, “Take a new 1957 Cadillac—give it a home with a fine new American family—and, in no time at all, the car will become one of its best-loved members.

Jayson Coombes

“Certainly, a new Cadillac would make a wonderful addition to your family’s happiness—and serve as a revealing tribute to your thoughtfulness.” Regardless of marketing hyperbole, Cadillac had a good year, with 146,841 sold in 1957, ninth in the industry sales rankings. Pretty good for a luxury brand.

Jayson Coombes

The Fleetwood Sixty Special four-door hardtop, as in years past, was the finest “owner-driven” Cadillac you could buy, with a 133-inch wheelbase and overall length of 224.4 inches. MSRP was $5539 ($60,142 today), curb weight 4755 pounds, and exactly 24,000 were built for the year.

Jayson Coombes

Interiors were appropriately sumptuous. There were 10 different fabric and leather-upholstered choices, just for the Fleetwood. Exterior enhancements included the ribbed stainless steel side trim on the lower quarter panels and “Fleetwood” letters on the trunk lid, flanked by inset backup lamps.


And we have to talk about the colors! Oh, they were so much better in 1957. Look at all those choices! You could order your Cadillac and have one like no other in town, depending on the model, color, and fabric selections you made. Indeed, you were totally spoiled for choice.

Jayson Coombes

Our featured car is resplendent in Dusty Rose with a contrasting roof finished in Mountain Laurel. I thought it was just sensational looking, with the black-and-white interior a perfect match.

Jayson Coombes

Under the hood of all new 1957 Cadillacs was a 365-cubic-inch V-8. In all models except the Eldorado, which had a slight horsepower bump compared to the others, the 365 was capable of 300 horsepower at 4800 rpm, breathing through a four-barrel Rochester carburetor. The Eldorados had 325 horses, thanks to twin four-barrel carbs.

Ron Schweitzer’s car at the 2018 Shirey Cadillac show in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Thomas Klockau

And I would be remiss not to at least make a passing mention of the all-new-for-1957 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop. A super-luxury model, it cost more than $13,000 in 1957 ($141,054 today)—more than a Rolls-Royce. Only 400 were built. The one above is a 1958, butit’s  visually identical to the ’57 and owned by my friend Ron Schweitzer. I will definitely do a full column on it one of these days!

Jayson Coombes

Once again, I have my friend and fellow Cadillac fanatic Jayson Coombes to thank for the pictures. This was a fantastic show, and I was on total sensory overload for most (if not all) of the day. I am slightly embarrassed to say I did not get even one picture of this wonderful Sixty Special that day, but I can explain …

Jayson Coombes

You see, an equally magnificent 1960 Eldorado Seville two-door hardtop, finished in Persian Sand, was nearby, and after visiting with Jim Jordan a bit, my radar zoomed in on it, and I immediately scampered over to it, tripping over my tongue. About five minutes and 54 pictures later, it began raining, and I forgot all about the ’57, I am somewhat ashamed to say.

Jayson Coombes

Fortunately Jayson was Johnny-on-the-spot and took all of the fine pictures you see here. So, the next time he visits the Quad Cities, surf and turf at The Cellar is on me!


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    Gorgeous indeed! Damn, but I miss my ’57 SdV.

    One major 1957 design flaw was having the dual exhausts routed through the rear bumper ends. It sure looked cool, but they’d eventually rot. Mine were already rotted when I bought the car, but I was very lucky to find an abandoned ’58 with intact ones, as they re-routed the exhausts in ’58.

    That ’58 Eldorado Brougham is spectacular. You’re right about only 400 being made, but that was for 1957 only — another 302 were made in 1958. Back when I bought my SdV, I found an Eldo Brougham for sale, but it was in pieces, and those cars had truly unique bodies, so you couldn’t use anything from another model.

    By all means, PLEASE do an article on these. Take your time, and maybe make it a two-parter. They are truly incredible cars, and deservedly enjoy their high position in American auto history.

    When you do the 1957 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop story please explain the quad headlight or not? option/discrepancy in online pictures of the model. Maybe a production # breakdown if it was an option?

    https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/5-cars-had-quad-headlights-before-in-vogue/#:~:text=While%20it%E2%80%99s%20possible,And%20those%20fins%21 gives some insight as I was wondering if 57 Cadillac was the first quad headlight car after reading this fleetwood article today.

    Hi. The 1957-’58 Eldorado Brougham was indeed one of the first cars with quad headlights. They were the standard configuration.
    I don’t know that there were ANY options with this car — it even came with silver “shot-glasses”.

    Quad headlights were actually illegal in some states until 1958, so in essence, Cadillac had a sort of special dispensation for the 1957 year.
    I guess with only 400 on the road in ’57, and with the owners being extremely well-heeled, I doubt that any were ticketed.

    I was just 2 years old in 1957, so it took a few years to get up to speed the rest of the Gearheads, but I did. Save for the quad headlights the 57, and 58s were just about the same. My parents had friends that had a 5 silver 4 door hardtop. I seem to remember how popular 57, and 58s were. From 1955, on, the Big Three were at the tops of their games. From then on and up until the 73 oil crisis, Detroit was putting out some really fantastic cars. It seemed the sky was the limit, and why shouldn’t it have been that way. Again, the 73 oil crisis is to blame. Being a realistically, it’s pretty safe to say those beautiful machines are gone and never coming back. So sad. At least we have these websites to keep them alive. Thanks so much for the memories

    Tom, looks like Jayson was alone on the show field as the rain came falling down… man is devoted.
    On a sad note Randy Meisner passed away on July 26th at age 71. What does that have to do with a 57 Cadillac, well not a lot, but almost 50 years ago, i spent many an evening driving my 1970 Green Stardust Metallic Lincoln Town Car through the hills of West Virginia with the Quadphonic AM/FM Radio tuned to WLS from Chicago turned up full volume when this song played on the radio as performed by the composer. Take it Easy Randy and RIP.

    The picture of the black one is a 1958. Note the quad headlights and reverse angle of the tail fins. Also, Cuck Berry also wrote about Nadine in a “coffee colored Cadillac”. Great article about a great auto.

    We had a ’57 pink convertible (black top) when I was a kid in St.Louis. I have fond memories of driving out to the harbor in the summer heat with the top down and the air conditioning on. Sweet sweet car.

    While I admire these land yachts and see the attraction they’re not among my favorites. What’s truly enjoyable is reading someone whose love for their subject flows through the screen in such a palpable way!

    This ‘57 Fleetwood in dusty rose looks identical to the one my dad chauffeured for me and my prom date back in 1987. We borrowed it from a friend in southern Minnesota. There was a long line of limousines at prom that year but the ‘57 got all the accolades.
    I actually went to another prom that same year with different girl in a dusty rose 1986 Cadillac Seville (her mom was a Mary Kay director). It was a good year for proms in Cadillacs!

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