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1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible Wants Nothing To Do With Today's Gangster Escalades

Remember when Cadillac made cars, not luxo-barges with helipad-sized hoods and football fields instead of trunk lids, with normal wheels, great styling, and superb engineering? Nowadays, the CTs and SUVs with the crest on the grille are the descendants of what used to be the standard of the world in automotive. Look at this ’57 convertible and name one Cadillac from today that can hold a candle to this gem.
1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible 30 photos
Photo: YouTube/Lou Costabile
1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible1957 Cadillac Sixty-Two Convertible
Cadillac established its long-standing reputation as a landmark of automobile manufacturing since its very inception when the precise machining and the quality of materials stood a class above everyone else. That was the early 1900s, but the company kept pushing for higher goals. The V12 motor architecture was presented to the American public in a Cadillac, and the mass-produced V8 also wore the same emblem. Since we are counting pistons, let’s not overlook the Cadillac V16s from a century ago.

After the war, the high-end manufacturer consolidated its foothold on the luxury segment of the American market. The production numbers grew steadily, practically unchallenged by pricey brands from rivals. In the 50s, the GM top division looked down on some of the competitors' mainstream brands.

But despite its resounding success, Cadillac had its feet firmly planted on the ground from which it grew and didn’t boast opulent exclusivity or blue-blooded unreachability. It was still a car – albeit a high-quality one – and didn’t brag with nonsensical traits like obscenely high prices, costly materials, or artisan craftsmanship. The Caddy was a great automobile, not a status quo, first and foremost.

1957 Cadillac Sixty\-Two Convertible
Photo: YouTube/Lou Costabile
That’s why it was so popular – it didn’t stink like snob bloodlines or aristocratic pomp. It could equally haul royalty just as well as it would take a well-off oilman to church and back on Sunday mornings and to a game of poker in the evenings. It was a luxury car like any other European make and model but without the fuss and highbrow, arrogant disdain associated with it.

It was America at its finest self – adaptable, reliable, straightforward, honest, and innovative, always eager to take on a challenge, and never ready to settle for second place. It spewed its allegiance to the star-spangled banner with absolute devotion, and there was nothing better for 1950s America. Cadillac got it perfectly suitable – and the public acknowledged it.

Today, the brand makes oversized SUVs and unimpressive muscle sedans – then again, who doesn’t? But in the 50s, Cadillac had much to offer its buyers. Practically, anything a prospect was looking for in a car was available in the Cadillac catalog back then. Remember, muscle cars weren’t a thing yet, and sportscars had just begun to sprout alongside the personal luxury cars.

1957 Cadillac Sixty\-Two Convertible
Photo: YouTube/Lou Costabile
Traditionally, Cadillac wasn’t into the sporty market segment – believe it or not, back then, the distinction was far easier to understand than today – and the ‘personal luxury’ was right up the GM division’s alley.

Granted, Caddy didn’t offer a two-door, two-seater convertible alternative to the Ford Thunderbird of the mid-50s, but it did come up with drop propositions of its own. The Series Sixty-Two and the Eldorado Biarritz were the Cadillac counteroffer for the roofless-adoring motorists. Granted, the two models would put the Thunderbird in the watch pocket with their sheer size, but that’s not the point.

To be fair, Ford realized that Americans preferred a second row of seats in their cars and quickly scrapped the initial platform of the T-bird in favor of the two-door, six-passenger architecture at the end of 1957. That is precisely what Cadillac was advocating with the aforementioned nameplates. The Sixty-Two was by far the most popular choice among the convertible duo, with 9,000 units sold over the Biarritz’s 1,800.

1957 Cadillac Sixty\-Two Convertible
Photo: YouTube/Lou Costabile
The Sixty-Two featured in the video below is a fine example (restored but accurate) of what the Standard of the World was in 1957. Big V8 upfront (365 cubic inches – 6.0 liters – producing 300 hp was something to behold 67 years ago), plenty of room on either bench and enough cargo space to build a playground.

The tubular-center X-frame was the big news for the year, which allowed a lower stance for the car without compromising ride comfort or performance. Visually, the low-slung cars appeared wider, thanks to their flatter surfaces and even profile between the hood, deck lid, and fenders. The signature Dagmar shells on the front bumper grew to their most majestic proportions ever. From 1958 onward, those giant ornaments began to shrink until they dissipated utterly.

The car featured in the video below (courtesy of Lou Costabile) is a tribute paid to the two owners’ father, who drove one back in its heyday. I can’t think of any reason to say that this big Cadillac - with 74,000 miles / 119k kilometers - isn’t just as at home on the roads of 2024 as it was in 1957.

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About the author: Razvan Calin
Razvan Calin profile photo

After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
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