(Found In) The Tenderloin (San Francisco, California): 1959 Cadillac Series 62 4 Window Hardtop Sedan

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Whether you consider the 1959 Cadillac a zeitgeist or stereotype on wheels; you’re right. No other car sums up the last theatrical breath of the middle decade of the last century to so many eyes like the cream crop cars from General Motors that paraded their proud feathers worldwide starting in the fall of 1958.

What they held, what they hid, was confidence and charisma in the absolutely ordinary. Beyond the wildness that might have been expected, they didn’t take as much of a risk as rivals that survived the decade did.

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(Found In) Downtown Oakland (Oakland, California): 1964 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

13840661_10153649486877201_544268345_oFinned and Fancy, Cadillac seemingly could do little wrong in the early 1960’s. Recognizing continuity as a cash cow and cementing a legacy, Cadillac style and substance found itself setting in stone a luxury legacy that still stands 50 years later.

Improvements under the skin, the best that General Motors would offer buyers, gave many luxury buyers possibly the best bargain on the globe. Effortless, peerless performance, seductive silence and still swanky style kept these jewel boxes on 4 wheels interstate royalty envied globally.

 

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(Found In) Temescal (Oakland, California): 1957 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 88 Holiday Hardtop Four Door Sedan

image (22)Rockets start to fall back to the earth after they pierce their way into outer space. That’s pretty much the legacy of Oldsmobile during the second half of the 50’s. As the Overhead Valve V8 performance revolution Oldsmobile inspired in 1949 spread to all popular priced cars in the middle of the decade, the laurel brand of Lansing found itself in a dilemma.

Where was the athlete to go when so many challengers to the crown were on the track and field? Was it mission impossible to attempt to maintain the performance crown? Was adding luxury and maintaining consistency the key to longevity, success and praise?

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(Found In) Bayview-Hunters Point (San Francisco, California): 1960 Cadillac Series 62 Six Window Four Door Hardtop Sedan

12212196_10153135151467201_1693632014_nAll American Automakers were faced with the daunting task of what to do next as the 1950’s gave way to the 1960’s. If one is to take a meter of aggregate automotive flamboyance, 1959 ranks as the equivalent of Liberace, Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly hosting a Christmas party. Befinned and bejeweled, Offerings from Rambler to Imperial maximized access to costume jewelry like no year before or since.

The splurge on baubles pushed Cadillac in particular to have a full Breakfast At Tiffany’s moment for 1959. In the hangover year that was 1960, a lot of those jewels were sent to the pawn shop. With the same basic body shell, a remarkable sense of restraint and modesty was applied to the variety of 1960 Cadillacs, as respectability replaced rambunctious as the value people coveted in their luxury machines.

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(Found In) Bushrod (Oakland, California): 1960 Plymouth Fury Four Door Hardtop Sedan

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Sometimes you get so far ahead of the curve that you’re blind to your own turns. This is precisely the predicament that Highland Park found themselves in with their Forward Look cars at the turn of the decade.

Plymouth in particular had screamed from every stage that Suddenly, It’s 1960! in the fall of 1956. So what were they to do when it actually made it to 1960? Apparently the solution was to offer a brand new Uni-Body shell and soon to be legendary 6 cylinder powerplant in an updated wrapper of what warped the automotive Space-Time continuum 3 seasons earlier.

Bedazzled and befinned, we have the 1960 Plymouth looking to the recent past as it plugged from the Space Age to the Camelot years.

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(Found In) The Excelsior (San Francisco) – 1966 Buick Skylark 4 Door Hardtop Sedan

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From the era of General Motors sitting at the top of the world we have what is one of their most solid citizen efforts from 1966. Perhaps this ordinary Buick is the zenith of the American Sedan. Undeniably charming, exquisitely detailed and pretty well assembled are qualities that were part and parcel of any 1966 Buick Skylark.

Credible cushiness and competence helped make the most luxurious of junior Buicks something to pay attention to as the Senior Buicks continued to pack on pounds and even more padding as the 1960’s drew to a close.

Although the least popular of its corporate relatives, the attention these Buicks generated compared to rivals outside of the GM family was genuinely envy endorsing.

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