Author Topic: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)  (Read 2399 times)

Offline m-mman

  • Posts: 342
  • Name: Jim Crabtree
Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« on: April 04, 2016, 10:54:58 PM »
We all know how iconic a 1959 Cadillac is but what did people think when they FIRST saw one??

The following article is from the October 13, 1958 issue of Automotive News. (an industry newspaper) AN always have neat articles that never appeared in the mainstream press.

This one describes a St Louis parking lot (garage?) that banned the new Cadillac from their facility. I guess the attendants saw them and became frightened.
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

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Offline D.Smith

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  • Name: Dave Smith
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 07:36:41 AM »
Can you repost larger so we can read it?

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7038
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 09:08:11 AM »
A lot of other cars were just as big as the '59 Cadillac - but of course in the public mind, the Cadillac is always bigger.

Case in point: Yesterday, I just sold a 2002 DeVille to a customer to replace his 1999 Continental. His wife expressed concerns the Cadillac would not fit in the garage - that is until I pointed out the fact that the Lincoln was slightly over an inch longer than the Cadillac! I cannot count how many times this had occurred over the years.

Interesting point in the article is that the editors chose the Series 75 (complete with body dimensions no less) as a shining example of Cadillac's excessive proportions.  A model that accounted for less than 2 per cent of total production, with a tiny fraction of that seeing duty outside of commercial purposes. 

Can anybody spell A-G-E-N-D-A?   ::)
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline 76eldo

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  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 09:10:14 AM »
I think Lincoln got a lot of customer complaints in either 59 or 60 because their cars would not fit in many customers garages.

Interesting to note that the 1959/60 Cadillacs and the 1970 Cadillacs are the same length, 225 inches.  The 59/60's look longer but they are the same.

A mere 15 inches less than most residential garages which most were 20 feet long.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
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1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline D.Smith

  • Posts: 1546
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  • Name: Dave Smith
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 09:13:26 AM »
People say my 2009 Chrysler 300 is too big compared to most new cars.

Ironically it is the same exact length as the 1987 front drive Sedan Devilles that everyone still says are too small.

Offline D.Smith

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  • Name: Dave Smith
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 09:14:45 AM »
I think Lincoln got a lot of customer complaints in either 59 or 60 because their cars would not fit in many customers garages.

Interesting to note that the 1959/60 Cadillacs and the 1970 Cadillacs are the same length, 225 inches.  The 59/60's look longer but they are the same.

A mere 15 inches less than most residential garages which most were 20 feet long.

Brian

and yet when Cadillac offered the Town Sedan and Park Avenues in 61-62 & 63 that were 7 inches shorter for smaller garages nobody wanted them.

Offline Jon S

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  • Name: J. Schapiro
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 11:39:54 AM »
People were afraid of being pierced by the tail fin; not the physical size of the car.  Ralph Nader made some comments back then about the risk of being injured by a 1959 Cadillac backing up.

Cadillacs, Lincolns and the like fit in standard 10 x 20 garages.  Many houses built pre-1950 had sub-sized 18 foot garages.  My Lincoln is 231" long and the Cadillac is "only" 225" long, but both fit easily in my garage.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline Gene Beaird

  • Posts: 1069
  • Name: Gene Beaird
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 02:06:10 PM »
And in an effort to fit more profit$ into smaller spaces, builders are shrinking garages again.  Several years ago, I had a friend in our Impala SS club who couldn't park his 1995 Impala SS in the garage of his then-new home.  We, on the other hand, were parking our SS beside our race car loaded on it's open trailer in our garage, which happened to be the same garage our 68 Calais used to be parked in when my Grandparents owned the home.   ;D
Gene Beaird,
1968 Calais
1979 Seville
Pearland, Texas
CLC Member No. 29873

Online David Greenburg

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  • Name: David Greenburg
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 05:39:52 PM »
I thought at 225" the '59-'60s were somewhat shorter than the late '60's- early '70's models. I used to have a '76 Buick Estate Wagon that was 7" longer than my '59 60S.   The '59's certainly shocked people back in the day.  I remember hearing an account from a friend's grandfather, who was one of those "new one every year" guys.  Apparently each year the dealer would bring him a new one and take the old one on the appointed day. Grandpa opened the garage, saw the '59 and immediately called to get his "more restrained" '58 back.
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 06:16:26 PM »
Technically, the '58 60 Special had a longer wheelbase at 133" but was the same overall length as the '59 sedan at 225".  BUT the preceding year Series 62 sedans were only 222".  The '58 SDV and extended deck (people complained the '57 sedans looked too short) were also 225".

Technically, ALL Cadillacs grew in 1959--same wheelbase and length on all coupes and sedans.
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

  • Posts: 2324
  • CLC Number: 28373
  • Name: Jeff Rose
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 09:41:44 PM »
Still wonder how those little old blue haired ladies drove and parked them.
Jeff
Jeff Rosansky
CLC #28373
1970 Coupe DeVille (Big Red)
1955 Series 62 (Baby Blue)
Dad's new 1979 Coupe DeVille

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

  • Posts: 798
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 12:58:43 AM »
My 94 Cadillac Fleetwood is 2 inches longer than my 64 Sedan Deville, yet the 64 looks much longer overall than the 94, and has more room inside as well, so it's seems. So a 59 would look even bigger because of their heavier shapes in the grill area, and huge tail fins.

I think proportions and how a car is shaped can make a big difference in how a car is perceived. You can have the same exact sized cars next 2 each other, and one of them will most likely look bigger or smaller due to the way the car is styled.

Also the modern Chrysler 300's look big because they have tall doors with a short roof and windows that gives the car more sheetmetal rather than glass. But have no trunk to speak of and so so hood, but what makes them have presence is how they are designed. They are not as aerodynamic and bubbly like most cars today, they actually have nice angles, with just the right curves to give them a nice upright look.

Their downfall is their smallish interiors for the size of the car. It isn't that spacious, nor is the interior wide enough to comfortably fit 3 average sized adults in the back seat.

I'm curious to know why Cadillac stuck with the 129-130 inch wheelbase for so many years? The Fleetwoods got an extra 3 inches, but it's sorta strange that the wheelbases never changed to increase legroom even more. To some respects, if you sit in a 50's, 60's and 70's Cadillacs, you'll notice by the 70's, the legroom grew a lot even though the wheelbases stayed the same. I am sure overall design changes and seating positions made that happen, but from what I have seen just by sitting in new cars at local car shows, just because a car has a long wheelbase, it doesn't automatically mean that you will have a huge interior or a ton of legroom because if you guys ever sat in the latest Nissan Altima or Honda Accord, they have a lot of legroom for being a midsize car, more so than some of our older Cadillacs.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:00:58 AM by 64CaddieLacky »
1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Offline m-mman

  • Posts: 342
  • Name: Jim Crabtree
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 01:03:57 AM »
I am sorry to have posted a too small version of the article.  :-[
Hopefully this one might be easier to read.  ;)

What I thought was very interesting was that the parking lot owner was worried about the "headlights" in the bumper and the fancy 'glass' work. Today we know they are parking lights and they are plastic but in the fall of 1958 a typical adult would have had lots of experience with older (prewar) cars where all lenses were real glass.

The fact that the local Cad dealer brought a demonstrator over to prove that they would fit in his garage was cute, but then IT scraped a post(!)  Obviously there were clearance concerns that might not have been a problem with a 1952, or even a 1958 model.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:38:26 AM by m-mman »
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 01:22:53 AM »
I like it when they mentioned that car makers should contact the "parking lot owners" to allow their cars to be capable of parking in their tight spaces.

Our Ferry terminal for the ferry to the mainland has a sign that states, large vehicles keep left.   What it should read is cars with poor turning circles keep left. (It is a two-lane access to the entrance terminal)   I stay right as my cars all have good turning circles.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline Jon S

  • Posts: 2555
  • Name: J. Schapiro
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2016, 08:20:52 AM »
. . . The '59's certainly shocked people back in the day.  I remember hearing an account from a friend's grandfather, who was one of those "new one every year" guys.  Apparently each year the dealer would bring him a new one and take the old one on the appointed day. Grandpa opened the garage, saw the '59 and immediately called to get his "more restrained" '58 back.

My dad bought his 1958 in August of 1958 and when he went back for his 1,000 mile service his salesman said "you should have waited a month for the 1959's."  My dad's reply "I'm glad I didn't."  Not saying the 1959's were bad, but my dad much preferred the classic lines of the 1958.
Jon

1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville
1973 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1981 Corvette
2004 Mustang GT

Offline Coupe Deville

  • Posts: 652
  • Name: Gavin William Myers
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 05:25:59 AM »
Still wonder how those little old blue haired ladies drove and parked them.
Jeff

Jeff, I know! One of the worlds greatest mysteries. Not to hijack the thread, but when I got my car in 2012 the original owner was 97 years old! She bought the car new in 1972 and stopped driving in 1992. All those years and not even as much as a scratch. I'm a tall kid, but sometimes I can't see over that long hood when going up a steep hill.

-Gavin
-Gavin Myers CLC Member #27431
"The 59' Cadillac says more about America than a whole trunk full of history books, It was the American Dream"

Offline jwjohnson86

  • Posts: 215
  • Jason Johnson CLC 29583
  • Name: Jason Johnson
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2016, 07:17:15 AM »
I am fortunate that my house was built in 1963 and the garage is long enough to accommodate vehicles of that era - lots of moms were driving station wagons as long as our Cadillacs.  With my 1970 completely pulled in (I use the headlights turned on as a parking aid), there is about a foot of room behind it when the garage door closes.  I have suspected that if I ever had to move that modern homes (maybe built in the last 10-15 years) would not have a garage able to accommodate it.
1970 DeVille Convertible 472 cid

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Offline Big Apple Caddy

  • Posts: 1332
  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 09:14:42 AM »
"Modern" house garages are typically at least 20' long/deep.

INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 09:31:54 PM »
Still wonder how those little old blue haired ladies drove and parked them.
Jeff

By smashing into stuff. My car is a good example of this  ;D

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: Parking Lots ban 1959 Cadillacs(!)
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 09:46:53 PM »
My Aunt Camille was all of 5 foot 2, eyes of blue...  she drove Sedans deVille from 1968 to 1978 vintage and a '76 Town Car.  Never had an accident or so much as a door ding.

I remember going to Scranton Christmas shopping in the snow with her.  The big stores in town had parking garages with circular driveways and you couldn't see the pavement driving around them in those cars. 

My mother worked in the loan office of one of the local banks back in the '50's when The Globe Store was building their garage and she worked on the loan application.  The garage was built in the late '50's and all the big cars were accommodated.  There was a certain parking percentage to make the garage profitable.  I doubt an Escalade or any tall suv would clear the ceilings today.

CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

 

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