Sunday, February 28, 2010

When is a Park Avenue Not a Buick?

Scan (from 30 year old hastily -developed  film contact sheet) of a "resting" '62 Cadillac Park Avenue. This is the same private collection of junked luxury cars I would visit in the early eighties as I've posted elsewhere in this blog. This photo shows off the lower skeg fin really well. Introduced in '61, this lower body sculpting balanced the upper fins beautifully. As had been the custom since 1959's fins were clipped in 1960, '62 fins were slightly lower than those in '61. Click pic to see the patina up close, lol.

C O L L E C T I O N — When is a Park Avenue not a Buick? When it's a 1962 Cadillac Park Avenue, a sub-model in the de Ville lineup. This Park Avenue was a short-deck 4 window sedan to use Caddy's words of the time. The name had also been used before by Caddy, on a concept car from '54,

Caddys for the past several years had come in 4- and 6-window sedans. The '59-'61 4 window bodystyle, was the famous 'flattop' roof, with pencil-thin roof pillars and a massively wrapped rear window with an overhanging roof. For '62, the 4 window grew wide C pillars, in an industry-wide trend towards the contemporary formal Thunderbird/ Galaxie rooflines which had really caught on with the public. Incidentally, the Coupe de Ville adopted the same formal roof style, as opposed to the might lighter and airier 'bubbletops' of the past three years.

The second part of the equation that made a Park Avenue separate from other 4 window Series 62 and de Ville sedans, was the shortened rear deck and overhang. The Park Avenue was a full seven inches shorter than the regular de Ville, on the same 129.5" wheelbase, all of it lopped off behind the rear wheels. This concept had been introduced the year before in the base Series 62 lineup, called the Town Sedan. Caddy execs surmised buyers in the city might prefer a slightly shorter, easier to park version of their new Cadillac. For the next year, a companion short-deck sedan in the slightly posher de Ville series, the Park Avenue was introduced. The short-deck PA was made in 1963 as well, but then was dropped after dismal sales. Apparently, in cities of the Swinging Sixties, size really did matter.

For a good rundown of the '62 Caddy lineup, I found this by googling:

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