Friday, April 29, 2016

Shiny 62 from 62

Flashy Wrapper Got His Eye Knocked Out
For those of you who haven't seen it, that is my wine shop with the burgundy awning on the corner behind this ride. After seeing this shiny beast parked a mile away for the past year it showed up one day while I was looking out the window! Time for a tune up I suppose as that's no body shop.
What we have here is a 1962 Cadillac Series 62, otherwise known as the Sedan De Ville. The entire body is wrapped in a chrome-look advertisement for vehicle wraps, but I remember a time when it was what I believe to be Newport Blue.
This poor Caddy took one hell of a knock to the front, and I think it happened where it's been parked for the past year. When I first saw this car it was blue and for sale for under $3,000. Before I could talk myself into trouble it was sold and repurposed as a billboard. Since then it has been parked on busy 4th Avenue in front of a gas station. It's hard to tell which direction this damage came from.
I will be inadvertently plugging their company even though it's a damn shame this sweet ride was taken out of circulation. This is a true hardtop sedan, meaning that when the front and rear windows are down there's no pillar in between.
Cadillacs were spectacular spaceships from around '57 through the end of the '60s, with each year sporting some design change. Grills, taillights, and fin treatments all evolved annually.
I was only able to get a faded glimpse of the interior due to the limo tint. Seats remarkably intact, dash and gauges all present, coat hangers and wire cutters in the house.
The fins would remain on the rear ends of Caddys long after their competition forfeited. The one thing I've always loved about the '62 (and '61) Cadillac is that there was a lower set of fins to match the uppers! I was surprised to learn that those lower fins have a name; they are called steegs.
This is ready to launch into outer space!
I believe the brakes light up both the top and bottom lights on these (with red bulbs behind clear lenses below). The turn signals may only be on the top.
Before getting smashed up this car was in fine shape. 
At this point in history Cadillac was at the top of the luxury car market with few peers (the Imperial and Rolls Royce being a couple). This beast has 3 ashtrays in it, each with its own lighter! One in each rear door armrest, and a large center unit in the from with the lighter in between 2 individual receptacles, all in one pull-out drawer. Each would also have a small metal tab for extinguishing your smoke, and the lighters were cigar sized (of course).
I suppose we'd better get the trunk portion of the conversation out of the way. It starts somewhere between the rear wheel and window, going all the way back to the bumper. Massive and deep, this thing carries a full size spare tire on the rim without getting in the way of whatever it is you need to haul around. 8 adults, a bank safe, dining room table, etc.
This poor old girl is still wearing her original hubcaps and fat white walls. I'm hopeful that someone will actually fix it up before rust creeps along the damaged parts.
That lens between the bumper and fender is not a turn signal, but rather a cornering lamp. When the turn signal was used the corresponding cornering lamp would light up the area where you were turning, something very handy in a massive ride. Probably saved a lot of garage corners.
My guess is that the pieces of wrapping material they were using weren't quite vast enough to cover the hood and trunk in an unbroken stretch, so they used these black edges. Likewise the stripes on the hood make me wonder if they're covering up a seam.
A 390 V8 lurks behind this grill, along with enough sound deadening insulation to make you forget you're driving. Likewise the suspension for these cruisers is akin to a ship on moderate swells; speed bumps can be seen but barely felt. Power steering was famously so sensitive that you could drive with a single finger on the wheel.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; the streets of Brooklyn are littered with old Cadillacs. However this is the first '62 I've seen so after ignoring it for a couple years I figured it needed its due.

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