Steve W 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special 4dr Sedan

My 5025 pound Family Heirloom

This past May marked the “Golden Anniversary + 2” of my association with this vehicle as it was acquired from my great uncle’s estate by my father on May 1, 1962 for the sum of $1600. As the Secretary-Treasurer of the Bluff City Brewery of Alton Illinois (1882 to 1952), my great uncle Ernest J. Netzhammer (1890 to 1962) needed to drive a car that fit his stature. Unfortunately, until the arrival of the 1938 Sixty Special, Cadillac did not cater to the affluent owner who wished to drive his own vehicle. Due to his conservative nature, it was not until the 1940 version of this car that he purchased his first one for $2,325 which was scribbled in a large color Cadillac Fleetwood brochure. Changing only the color, he bought another in 1946 and then again in 1950 followed by a dark blue 1954 before this last Prestwick Gray Fleetwood Sixty Special arrived on July 10, 1958. Unfortunately, when we first pulled it into our detached 1940’s garage, its nearly nineteen foot length didn’t fit in the allowed eighteen foot space. However, after the heavy sectional door was relocated – my mother got the first Sears automatic garage door opener in the neighborhood. At the 2009 “Motor Muster” held at the Henry Ford Museum, an appropriate backdrop for this un-restored original car was found. It was none other than a restored 1953 GM “Futurliner” which was used in their “Parade of Progress” in the 1950’s. As the iconic 1959 is known for its extravagance, I refer to this 1958 as “conservatively ostentatious”. While I certainly looked strange using this car in High School, I am pleased to say that I am finally “maturing” into it now and enjoy driving it back to my Reunions as well as using it in other events like the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in the Detroit area. Though it is promised to my nephew when I surrender the keys, if I play my cards right – perhaps I too can give it to my great nephew.

12 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Richard Mansfield Pgh. Pa. November 26, 2014 at 14:34
    Lovely car. You are so lucky but I would love to have the "Futurliner" Keep it in the family Great !!
  • 2
    Brad_bb Joliet, IL November 26, 2014 at 15:28
    Nice Cadillac for sure, but I want to know what that is behind the Caddy? That is Art Deco.
  • 3
    Dennis Vieira Auburn, New Hampshire November 26, 2014 at 15:34
    Thanks for sharing the story. I have loved the '58 60 Special since I first saw it in an AMT friction model which I purchased in 1958 (I was 10 years old). I restore cars for a living and love every minute of it, but sadly, I have never been able to purchase a nice one. restoration costs are through the roof due to chrome and high end interior material. Congratulations on keeping one of my icon cars alive and well!
  • 4
    Mike Peach Minneapolis MN November 26, 2014 at 16:26
    What a great car! Wish I could see more of it
  • 5
    Rick Maryland November 26, 2014 at 16:39
    If a bit more research is done, you will find that the 'Parade of Progress' vehicles were initially introduced to the American public in 1939. For the most part, they were rebuilt and re-introduced in the '50s, for another similar GM program.
  • 6
    John Lancaster Co.,PA November 26, 2014 at 16:51
    Would look better with 19" copped off the back end!
  • 7
    John Costello Buffalo, NY November 26, 2014 at 20:53
    Anyone know if that is the Futureliner that they restored on the show "Bitchin' Rides"?
  • 8
    John Zink Tulsa, OK November 26, 2014 at 22:13
    This brings back lots of memories. My parents had a 1958 Fleetwood 60 Special. It was a light green that we never did come to like; we called it "ookie" green. (The car had been ordered from a color chip before the '58 models were introduced.) The interior was brown broadcloth. These days I think I would call it beautiful, not "ookie".
  • 9
    Marc R San Diego, CA November 28, 2014 at 15:58
    Beautiful car. The '58 Fleetwood has been my favorite for many years. I check every issue of Hemmings to see if there is one available I could afford, but you don't see them very often, and if I had one right now it wouldn't fit in my garage either. I'd love the chance to ride in one sometime. Maybe some day.
  • 10
    Bill Wartinbee Rochester Hills, MI November 28, 2014 at 16:35
    Steve, I knew it was your car even before reading it. Seems like we probably go back 50 years ourselves since you've had that car the whole time I've lnown you. Glad to see its still on th road.
  • 11
    Filipczak Detroit November 29, 2014 at 09:20
    Steve's car is an amazing specimen of 50's opulence & he's done a fine job maintaining the originality of it.
  • 12
    Phil St Charles, MO December 11, 2014 at 20:52
    This ride would look great in a photo shoot in front of Fast Eddie's.

Join the Discussion