1957 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Hello, Gorgeous!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 …
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.
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!