Vintage Friday: The 1959 Cadillac Coup de Ville
After exploring a couple of foreign classics, I was intrigued to learn more about this fin bearing V-8 American coup. It was first built on the '49 Cadillac 60 Special chassis and shown in 1948's Motorama Car show in none other than NYC's Waldorf Astoria. The name plate "Coup de Ville" comes from the French meaning "of the town" as in driving into town in luxury.
The first generation (1958-1960) had a 390 cu in (6.4 L) OHV V8 with a 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. (I'm sure the mpg's were fantastic too!) Gear heads can learn more history and specs here.
What separated the '59's from the rest of the model years aggressive styling of dual fins and bullet rear lights. The '60 De Ville was more restrained in both styling and its use of chrome. As the years went on the fins and the expressive styling were increasingly less visible but always had at least a small presence. It was a time that expressed the optimism and baby boom expression of a great generation that liked to fly with wings of its own.