Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Light and Airy Cadillac Six-Window Sedan

I may have gone a bit too large with the size of the wreathe-and-crest Cadillac logo on the trunklid, lol. At least there would be no doubt what type of car you were driving!

C H O P — Cadillacs of the Seventies through the present day, have often been very formal, with large 'blind' C pillars, first made popular post-war by Ford's Thunderbirds and Galaxies of the late Fifties. Cadillacs of the time however, often came with very glassy rooflines, with slim and elegant roof pillars. I wanted to see what a current-day DTS might look like with a less formal roofline, so I created the version above. I made the taillights taller and slimmer, more elegant to my eyes, and then added a V-shaped indent on the trunklid, focusing on Cadillac's current wreather-and-crest logo. "Back in the day" only Cadillac's top-shelf models came with this wreathed logo. "Lesser" versions came with a large "V" under the Cadillac crest. I wish this was the case today, I liked the look of the "V" better than the wreathe, but nowaday's Cadillac uses the "V" to denote the more powerful versions of its cars while still using the wreathed crest on its grilles and trunklids. The way I created a "V" in the trunk would be a subliminal nod to those Caddys of the '50s and '60s. I also used my favored 'suicide' doors, perhaps more of a Lincoln styling fillip, but was last used on a Cadillac for its limited production über lux '57-'58 Brougham models, so there is a postwar precedent for their use.

A 1961 Cadillac Six-window sedan showing the light and airy greenhouse. In these years, alternative sedan bodystyles were also available, ranging from a 4 window design with a severely wrapped rear backlight to a more private 4 window sedan for the Fleetwood models.


  1. Casey,

    Those six-window sedans, particularly the 61-64, were so elegant. I think you captured this perfectly. I'm also a huge fant of the Fleetwood 60 Special of those years, with their four-window configuration and small rear window -- the 64 being the most elegant to eye, although all have their strong points! GM was really on a roll and at the top of its form in those years. We may never see the like again!

    And your mention of the original Galaxie (my uncle had a 59 four-door sedan) makes me think about the paucity of body styles these days, a subject I think you've touched on. The 59 Fords had 10 body styles available, all on the same chassis, most available with their whole range of engines and transmissions -- there were 2 and 4 door sedans, 2 and 4 door hardtops, hardtop and soft top convertibles, 2 and 4 door station wagons, sedan delivery and pickup truck! If you count the mid-year addition of the Galaxies, that's an additional four body styles! It's mind-boggling -- we've come so far, but it seems we've also lost a lot.

    Paul, New York City

  2. Paul!
    You've hit on my biggest pet peeve, the lack of bodystyles! You'd think with CAD/CAM computers millions of times more powerful than the computers that got us to the moon and back, robotized assembly lines and the huge explosion of 'niche' markets, that we'd have MORE bodystyles, not fewer. It boggle my mind that we actually settle for 4 door sedans and think we've hit the jackpot when they have a hatch, wagon, coupe OR convertible.

    And about GM: I really think that Ed Welburn has what it takes to be the next Bill MItchell, but I"m not sure the forces at GM will ever really let him loose. As much as I admire Harley Earl, and that's where artandcolour comes from, Bill Mitchell was the best VP of design they ever had. The cars under his tenure were some of the best designed cars ever, imo.

    At Cadillac, besides the 4 and 6 window sedans, they also made short and long deck versions of the Series 62 and Sedan de Vill. The short trunk was named the Park Avenue, I think in '61 through '63 only, but there might have been a '59 and '60.

    We need more bodystyle choices, lol!

  3. Casey,

    The short deck was introduced in 61 as a 6-window sedan de ville called the Town Sedan. In 62 they expanded to have a Town Sedan as a 4-window 62 series and a Park Avenue as a de Ville also as a 4-window sedan. In 63 there was just the de Ville Park Avenue, also as a 4-window sedan. It's odd that they introduced it as a 6-window sedan and then switched to the 4-window style for the next two years -- one of those things that makes you wonder what went on in the meeting where that decision was made!

    And as to Bill Mitchell, just think of all the amazing GM cars of the 60s -- Riviera, Toronado, 67 Eodorado, Sting Ray -- I'm sure you can add many more examples!

    Paul, New York City

  4. Thanks, again(!) for the added information. You're an encylopedia! I've only see those short decks a few times. I have a pic of a muped '62 Park Avenue in this blog, if you click on the Cadillac label on the lower right side, it's from Feb 28th. I just found more photos from that day of the Caddy, complete with a profile clearly showing the shorter trunklid. I'll post those soon. Great info, great comment!