Poking around the little back streets and alleys of Springfield, Eugene’s sister city, I stumbled into a rather surprising find, which you see here as I first saw it: a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine sporting a rather unexpected paint job. But then it was 1958, a time when folks were snapping up pink, green, blue and yellow kitchens and bathrooms. So while it may look a bit odd to our gray and stainless steel trained sensibilities, this was probably very chic in 1958. In some circles, anyway.
To create the proper atmosphere, here’s a few kitchens featuring GE appliances from 1958. One is even two-tone, pink over blue.
That’s not to say that Cadillac was quite showing off green, blue and yellow Fleetwood 75 limos in their brochure. Realistically, back in the day gray or black or possibly white were undoubtedly the most commonly colors selected for these, which were used quite differently than stretch limos are today. Quite.
The only green shown in the ’58 brochure is this low-end Series 62 sedan.
Of course vivid colors alone can’t quite do justice to the excess of the Fleetwood 60 Special that year, which featured not only a longer wheelbase (133″) but the “extended deck”, which was available as an option on the 62, designed especially for hit men who needed to carry multiple corpses, even in rigor mortis.
As it’s quite apparent, the Fleetwood 75 limo did not have the extended deck. No suggestion of it being optional. I wonder if one could get it if one asked very persuasively? Maybe not, since that would have presumably required another huge quarter panel different than the sedan’s. But it would have made for an impressively long limo.
The really distinctive feature about these are the way the doors extend into the roof. A bit like an airplane door. And with their own rain gutters, which somewhat spoils the sleekness of them.
The 1959-up version omitted the gutters, presumably because there was some kind of built in rain diverter. or one hopes so.
The raised roof means that the windshield was unique to these. It was almost certainly the biggest windshield at the time.
Let’s take a look inside. Hmm; the many decades have not been kind to the either beige broadcloth or beige wool cord and broadcloth. From what’s left, I’m guessing the former. Light gray, gray or brown versions of the same two fabric combinations were also available. The folding jump seats are in different positions.
A look through the open glass divider into the front compartment. To the club, James! But swing by Miss Jones’ house first.
The brochure states that the limousine front compartment is upholstered in black leather. This looks like more of the same. I assume that’s what would have been the case in the seven-passenger sedan, which had no division. A special order, likely. But then I doubt they stocked green-over-green limos anyway.
A Caddy limo with genuine patina. How many are there like that?
That headlight bezel needs to be pushed back into place, but other than that, it looks ready to roll.
The 310 hp 365 cubic inch V8 looks like it should start right up. That gas in that filter/separator does look a bit dark. Theoretically the tri-carb 335 hp version was optional for a mere $134, but it’s a bit hard to imagine anyone buying a limo springing for that. Much more likely the air conditioning, which seems to be missing here. The good old days; a limo without air. Maybe it was bought in Seattle.
It does have a trailer hitch. These old Caddies make good two trucks, and this is the Escalade of its day.
A study in patinated elegance.
Or something like that.