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Model year 1959 brought another complete restyle for the entire Cadillac
line and -- except for the Eldorado Brougham -- the wildest tailfins Detroit
would ever produce. Cadillac historian Walter McCall described these
appendages as "flamboyant," "ludicrous, " and "of questionable taste."
Other critics have said harsher things, but the public seemed to go along
with the excess. The economy had picked up somewhat and, as elsewhere
in the industry, Cadillac sales improved a bit. Air suspension, pioneered by
the Brougham two years earlier, was now standard for Biarritz and Seville.
Though it offered a cloud-like ride and the convenience of automatic
self-levelling in response to changes in load, the airbag setup was
leak-prone and troublesome. Cadillac would abandon it after 1960 as
Detroit's fascination with such gimmicks waned in proportion to a growing
number of customer complaints.
Eldorado horses again numbered 20 more than on other Cadillacs. Thanks
to a longer 3.88-inch stroke and another compression tweak, the figure was
now 345 for the newly enlarged 390-cid V-8, which would prove to be the
all-time power peak for a rear-drive Eldo. Echoing 1954, the Biarritz and
Seville lost much of their previous styling distinction this year. Their only
differences from comparable Series 62s were a chrome swath along the
upper rear fender contour and the Eldorado name in neat block letters
along the lower edge of the front fenders. (The Brougham was another
matter entirely. Now bearing coachwork built and styled by Pinin Farina of
Italy, it was far different in character than the 1957-58 design and actually
predicted a number of styling features that would be adopted for the
regular 1961-62 production models.)
As if to cause confusion, the 6400 Eldorado sub-series included two 6400 models: the Seville and Biarritz, and
one 6900 model, the Brougham. (Whoever said automakers are logical?) All were characterized by a three-deck
jeweled rear grille insert, but other trim and equipment features varied. The Seville and Biarritz had the Eldorado
model name spelled out behind the front wheel opening and featured broad, full-length body sill moldings which
curved over the rear fender profile and back along the upper beltline region. Standard equipment included all
items found on DeVilles plus heater; fog lamps; 345 horsepower V-8; remote control deck lid; radio with
antenna and rear speaker; power vent windows; Six-Way power seat; air suspension; electric door locks and
license frames. The Brougham was now incorporated into the line as an Italian-bodied, limited production car. A
vertical crest medallion with Brougham script plate appeared on the front fenders and a single, thin molding ran
from front to rear along the mid sides of the body. Styling on this car was not as radical as in the past and
predicted the 1960 themes used on other Cadillacs. The standard equipment list was pared down to match those
of other Eldorados plus Cruise Control, Autronic Eye, air conditioning, and E-Z-Eye glass.
|Model Number||Body Style||Doors||Model||Seating||Factory
Price||Shipping Weight||Production Total|
- V-8 Overhead valves
- Cast iron block
- Displacement: 390 cubic inches
- Bore and stroke: 4.00 x 3.875 inches
- Compression ratio: 10.5:1
- Brake horsepower: 345 at 4800 rpm
- Five main bearings
- Hydraulic valve lifters
- Carburetion: Three (3) Rochester two-barrel Model 7015901
- Wheelbase: 130"
- Overall Length: 225"
- Tires: 8.20 x 15
- Dual exhausts standard
- Rear axle ratios: 2.94:1 standard; 3.21:1 optional or mandatory with air conditioning
- Radio with rear speaker ($165)
- Radio with rear speaker and remote control ($247)
- Automatic heating system on Series 75 ($179); on other models ($129)
- Six-Way power seat on 6200s except convertible ($189)
- Six-Way power seat on 60-6306-6400 and 6200 convertible ($89)
- Power window regulators ($73)
- Power vent regulators ($73)
- Air conditioning on Series 75 ($624); on other models ($474)
- Air suspension ($215)
- Autronic Eye ($55)
- Cruise Control ($97)
- Electric door locks on two-doors ($46); on four doors ($70)
- E-Z-Eye glass ($52)
- Fog lamps ($46)
- White sidewall tires 8.20 x 15 four-ply ($57 exchange)
- 8.20 x 15 six-ply ($65 exchange).
- Door guards on four doors ($7)
- Door guards on two doors ($4)
- Remote control trunk lock ($59)
- License Plate frame ($8)
- Local options
- Utility kit ($15)
- Monogram ($12)
- Acryllic Lustre finish ($20)
- Undercoating ($25)
- Radio foot switch($10)
- Gas cap lock ($4)
- Pair of rugs for front ($8)
- Pair of rugs for rear ($5)
- Note: Bucket seats were a no-cost option on the Biarritz convertible
- Assembly of 142,272 units was counted for the 1959 model year.
- This was the next to last season for selling the Brougham.
- Flat-top roof styling was used on four-window sedans
- Six-window jobs had sloping rooflines with rear vent panes.
- Power steering and shock absorbers were improved this year.
May 12/00; March 8/03
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