Cadillac Sixty Special Fifth Generation
|1954 to 1956|
|Assembly||Detroit, Michigan, USA|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Engine||331 cu in (5.4 L) OHV V8 365 cu in (6.0 L) OHV V8|
|Transmission||4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic|
|Wheelbase||133.0 in (3,378 mm)|
|Length||1954: 227.4 in (5,776 mm)1955: 227.3 in (5,773 mm) 1956: 225.9 in (5,738 mm)|
|Width||1954: 79.6 in (2,022 mm) 1955: 79.8 in (2,027 mm)1956: 80.1 in (2,035 mm)|
|Height||1954–55: 62.1 in (1,577 mm) 1956: 62.0 in (1,575 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,700–5,000 lb (2,100–2,300 kg)|
All 1954 Cadillacs wore new sheet metal, but unfortunately the $4,683 Sixty Special still looked too much like its lower-priced sibling, the Series 62. Wheelbase for Sixty Special was back up to 133 in (3,400 mm) – where it had been in 1949. Refined power steering, from Saginaw, became standard equipment, along with electric windshield washers. New options included a four-way electrically power bench seat, and power brakes from Bendix. As they had been doing since its introduction in 1949, Cadillac was able to pull more power out of its 331 cu in (5.42 L) engine, and now it was rated at 230. The eight chrome trim louvers moved lower onto the rear doors, back where they were in 1952. Sales dropped to 16,200 this year – down from 20,000 in 1953.
Sixty Special arrived with revised trim and more power (250 hp (190 kW), to be exact) for 1955, and while the $4,342 price was lower than last year, production rose slightly to 18,300 units. The eight chrome louvers – mounted on the lower rear doors since 1950, were replaced by 12 louvers mounted just ahead of the bumper on the rear fenders. Chrome rocker panel moldings – taller than the ones used on Series 62s - stretched from the back of the rear wheel well to the rear bumper. A new grille held a bold eggcrate design, while the rear roof support fashioned a delicate Florentine curve – this design was also shared with the lower-rung Series 62. In back, six vertical chrome louvers were mounted on the panel below the trunk lid – three spaced on each side of the license plate mounting. The tinted band across the windshield header changed from green to gray this year. A new option, the remote control trunk release, debuted this year.
1956 was the last year for the knobby, P-38 inspired tail fins on the rear of most Cadillacs, including the $4,587 Sixty Special. While the Cadillac division broke records by surpassing 150,000 units, Sixty Special slipped to an even 17,000 this year. Revamped trim included Cadillac crests on the front fenders, and a new grille (with a finer eggcrate design from last year) bearing a Cadillac script emblem, mounted at an angle, on the driver's side. Sixty Special script appeared on the front fenders below the Cadillac crest for the first time in the series history. Rear fenders held a chrome bead running along the top, while massive chrome spears with hash marks replaced the 1955's delicate chrome louvers on the rear sides. This chrome side trim morphed into the oval exhaust ports in the redesigned rear bumper. An anodized gold grille was optionally available on Sixty Special, while power brakes became standard equipment. New for 1956 was a larger 365 cu in (5.98 L) powerplant producing 285 horsepower (213 kW) combined with a revamped automatic transmission. Sabre Spoke wheels - standard on Eldorado - became available for Sixty Special, while inside, passenger seatbelts appeared on the option list.
1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special in Driving Miss Daisy, film from 1989