COAL: 1958 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan – Owning Someone Else’s Car

Everyone seemed to like the photo that was recently posted of the 1958 Cadillac Sixty Special at the Edsel Ford mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.   I selected that photo because the featured car is in some ways similar to a Cadillac that I purchased on eBay in 2018, and Paul suggested that I do a post on my recent acquisition.

Look–there’s another one! Ebay and Craigslist allow you to scan this entire country of ours for hidden automotive treasures–from dilapidated barns in New England to used car lots in Los Angeles–and everything in between!  And you’ll be amazed by what’s out there!


If you saw my last two CC posts, you know that I do a lot of “fantasy shopping” on eBay and Craigslist–that is, searching for car models of interest and imagining how I would fix them up and get them looking and driving great.  Like Paul, I’m big on originality and patina.  I want to make a car look and run as well as possible, but without “over-restoring” or spending a whole lot of money.  I especially like one-family owned, unmolested, what I call “honest” cars from the mid-’50s to the early ’60s.  What I (and writer John Jerome) call the “Golden Era”.

The car in the warehouse before I bought it.


Well, two years ago the fantasy became reality and I bought a car–for real!  This 1958 Cadillac 62 sedan was listed on eBay for a couple of months.  It kept getting re-listed and the price kept dropping–from $24,000 to $16,500 to $12,900.   Also, it was located in Bloomfield, New Jersey, which is only 25 miles from where I live.  So I had to go take a look . . .

Looks good here, but photography hides a lot of flaws.


It was in better condition and drove nicer than the black ’58 Cadillac I’ve had since 1995.  And my Caddy had 133,000 miles while this two-toned gray one had only 79,000!   I purchased the car, and sold my black one for $10,000.  So the upgrade only cost me three grand.

Having the correct tires makes a big difference!


Now I don’t know where this car has been for the last six decades, but whoever has been taking care of it did a very good job!  This Caddy also has a lot of original characteristics that have been lost on most cars of this vintage:

Seat upholstery and steering wheel–almost flawless!



One of the best dashboards of the ’50s! This shot is from the black Cadillac, but the dash in the new car looks virtually identical.  The radio and the clock are working!


It also has the correct dual exhaust system with two mufflers and two resonators (most people don’t bother replacing resonators).  And there’s this:

“Owner’s Identification Card.”


Yes, under the hood of every new ’58 Cadillac was a place to insert this special card:  the name of the dealer and the original owner were typed out on a manual typewriter–and the card’s still there!

So of course I had to Google the address:

315 Parklawn Drive, Rocky River, Ohio.  Source:  Zillow


But who was (or is) Mrs. Helen R. Fisher?  From what I’ve been able to find out, she was from the family that owned Fisher Foods, a large grocery chain in Ohio.  That’s all I know at this point.

These chips look a little darker than the actual colors in real life.


Or do I know more?  A vintage car from this period can tell us something about the original owner who purchased it from the dealer.  These were the days when buyers custom-ordered their cars, choosing from a variety of models, colors, and options.  So something of the buyer’s needs, wants, and personality shines through.

Shown in front of Alnwick Hall, Convent Station, New Jersey.


Cheviot Gray over Prestwick Gray . . . that’s an interesting choice.  A solid gray–  that might be too severe.  But the light, silvery Cheviot over Prestwick?  Hmmm . . .  Artistic, but still very conservative.  Mrs. Fisher also selected power windows, power seats, and the Autronic Eye.

How I picture Mrs. Fisher.


I want to finish by talking about the driving experience, because I think that many readers who have not driven a car like this are curious about what it’s like.  Well, it’s very smooth, quiet, and has decent power.  It has bias ply tires, so I have to do a little more steering correction on the interstate than I’d like, but on the “blue highways” and local roads it does just fine.  The 4-speed Hydra-Matic shifts almost imperceptibly.  This is a car that wants to cruuuuuise.  A 129.5″ wheelbase and 4800 lbs. of weight give you real stability.  Cornering is good, but you don’t dart around in it;  you feel the ideal speed it wants to go and enjoy the ride.  On smooth or almost-smooth roads, it glides.

You can also feel the “Cadillac quality” in the way the doors close with a solid click, and the fine workmanship of the dashboard and interior fittings.  Visibility through the wrap-around windshield is outstanding.  That “Body by Fisher” advertising slogan promoted by GM I think really had some meaning.

Even has the pale gold genuine Cadillac accessory rear license plate frame.


So, Mrs. Helen R. Fisher, wherever you are, I want to assure you that the Cadillac you knew so well is still snugly garaged and cruising the highways and byways, in of all places, New Jersey!