Meet the Classic Cadillac With a Whale of a Tail Fin

Todd Stephen Bell, a retired instructor dwelling in San Diego, on his 1959 Cadillac Collection 62 Coupe, as informed to A.J. Baime.

Who is aware of why a younger child will get inquisitive about something? Way back to I can bear in mind, the Cadillacs of the Fifties and ’60s captivated me. I significantly preferred the 1959. I had learn that it had the very best tail fins of any normal manufacturing automotive ever constructed. It was an icon, sort of just like the 1957 Chevy amongst Chevrolets. It’s that one yr that will get extra consideration than the others.


The Cadillac mannequin owned by Todd Stephen Bell is almost 19 toes lengthy.

For a time, I assumed I’d ultimately purchase considered one of these automobiles. As I bought older, as a substitute of changing into outdated used automobiles, these Cadillacs turned classics. So I assumed, nicely, that’s out of attain.

Then sooner or later I noticed an commercial for a 1959 Cadillac on-line, on the market in Texas. I known as the man who was promoting it and requested if he would maintain on to it for per week so I may get down there. He lived close to the place my brother lived, so I went out to Texas, and my brother and I went to see it.

There it was, all 225 inches of it [nearly 19 feet long]. It was the identical age as I used to be. One of many issues that attracted me was that every one the components had been on it. A variety of instances, with outdated automobiles, there are items lacking. However not on this Cadillac. A lot of the automotive was appropriate, together with the unique paint shade, which is known as Vegas turquoise. Amongst individuals who love outdated automobiles, many love customized cars. I’m of the opposite camp. I like automobiles which might be as near what they regarded like as attainable after they first rolled out of the manufacturing unit.


A lot of American automotive design of the Fifties was impressed by the brand new jet age, a transparent affect on the 1959 Cadillac.


What do you want most about outdated Cadillacs? Be part of the dialog beneath.

The worth was a lot decrease than I assumed it will be for a Collection 62 Coupe—about what it will value to purchase a fundamental new Toyota. My brother mentioned to me, “Todd, if not now, then when?” And he was proper. I purchased the automotive and had it shipped it again to California.

Since then, I’ve had the tires changed, the automated transmission rebuilt, the brakes rebuilt, the carburetors rebuilt, and I put new mufflers on. A few of the material of the inside was crumbling. I solely changed what I needed to, so a great deal of the inside is unique. I really like driving it and I really like exhibiting it, however there’s all the time a tiny little bit of apprehension after I climb into it. With a automotive this outdated, something can occur at any time.


Mr. Bell’s Cadillac, in Escondido, Calif., its license plate studying: 59 CAD. Its shade is known as Vegas turquoise.


A have a look at the Cadillac’s inside. Mr. Bell typically takes his experience to Cruisin’ Grand Escondido, a weekly automotive occasion.


In response to Cadillac’s official handbook, this 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine may pump out 325 horsepower.

Each Friday night time for a lot of the yr within the city of Escondido, there’s an occasion known as Cruisin’ Grand Escondido. Grand Avenue is a fundamental thoroughfare by city. Individuals carry out their scorching rods and customs, and the entire city will get stuffed with traditional automobiles. That is the primary place I like to indicate my 1959 Cadillac. Surprisingly, I get extra feedback concerning the Vegas turquoise paint than concerning the outrageous styling.

So many individuals specific their appreciation to me for sharing this automotive with the general public. To me, that’s a blessing.


The tail fin reached its zenith on the 1959 Cadillac. The next yr, smaller fins appeared, marking the start of the top of an period.

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