Spotting cars from the ’50s while driving around on everyday errands isn’t quite as common as it was in the 1970s and ’80s when I first started doing it. But following my philosophy of “You never know what the new day will bring”, I found this magnificent example parked in front of Target on Route 46 in Parsippany. A mint condition, 68-year-old Cadillac parked at a strip mall in New Jersey? Yup . . .
Today, September 9th, 2022 was a nice day for driving classic cars. I’m cruising eastbound on Rt. 46 in my 1959 Chevrolet, being paced by a blue ’66 Corvette convertible (sorry, no pictures–had to keep driving). Then in the corner of my eye I see the telltale shape of Cadillac rear fenders as I pass the Target parking lot.
Must pull in for a closer look . . .
. . . and there it was in all its glory! A sparkling 1954 Cadillac sedan in a most beautiful shade of green!
At first I thought Biscay Green, but that looks a little turquoise-y, so I’m going with Arlington Green Iridescent.
A blue-and-yellow New Jersey license plate. These date from the early 1980s. Someone has owned this Cadillac for a long time!
Maybe the original owner won it, and the Caddy has been kept by the same family ever since. It’s been known to happen!
That’s an original 1954 New Jersey plate on the front. Compare this front-end styling with what Lincoln, Packard, and Imperial were offering in 1954. I see some of Harley Earl’s Le Sabre dream car influence here.
The interior–luscious! Two-toned green, with buttoned (“tufted”) upholstery, power windows, Autronic Eye, and a steering wheel and dashboard that reflect the “World of Tomorrow has now arrived” spirit of the 1950s. It’s a car, but it’s more than that–it’s a futuristic piece of precision-crafted machinery designed to waft you silently, smoothly, powerfully to your destination!
I pulled my ’59 Chevy alongside. Which is longer?
Ah, the colorful ’50s! Arlington Green Iridescent and Cameo Coral side-by-side. Nearly all the surrounding cars were either black, white, or gray. A splash of vivid colors and imaginative design in a sea of visual mediocrity. Chevy shows how the fin concept has progressed since Cadillac first introduced them in 1948!
A hood ornament that expresses the unexpressable. Created by an artist-employee, mass produced by a giant corporation (but for one year only). Drive it around for a while, then throw it in the scrapper with the rest of them, and buy more new cars. But not this one! It’s still leading the way–boldly, bravely, into the horizons of the future.
So, kids–remember: keep a lookout for mid-20th century automotive survivors, shiny or tarnished, as you drive. America’s roads, parking lots, back alleys still have lots of undiscovered treasures!