Cadillac Sixty Special
The Sixty Special name has been used at Cadillac to denote a special model since the 1938 Bill Mitchell-designed Series 60 derivative. Although the 1938 model began in Cadillac's lowest price range, soon the Sixty Special name would be synonymous for some of Cadillac's most luxurious vehicles.
Nearly every model was redesigned for 1948, including the $3,820 Sixty Special. With all new sheet metal, but still riding an exclusive 133” wheelbase, the luxurious Sixty Special weighed in at 4,370 pounds shipping weight (over 4500 pounds curb weight). Inside, electric window lifts and a two-way power bench seat were standard equipment. A clever rainbow-shaped instrument cluster which put all the gauges directly above the steering column in front of the driver was used for 1948 only, while a new curved dashboard design added to passenger roominess. The roof-mounted decorative chrome louvers and individually framed side door glass (a Sixty Special design element since 1938) were carried over to this latest model as well. With trim inspired by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the new Sixty Special featured simulated side-scoops and curious tail-fins - resembling the P-38’s vertical stabilizers.
1949 brought new power to Cadillac, in the form of the 331 cu in (5.42 L) OHV V-8 engine. This new powerplant featured a short-stroke, high-compression design that provided both quiet, economical operation and smooth, high performance. Although the engine was smaller and shorter than its predecessor, it was 10 hp (7.5 kW) more powerful and 188 pounds lighter. With near-annual improvements, this engine was used through the 1955 model year. In typical Cadillac form, a new grille was in order for ’49 – this one appearing wider and lower than last year. With only a slight price increase, the $3,859 Sixty Special was now advertised as a six-passenger car, and sales reached a record 11,399 units. 1949 was the last year Sixty Special used a two-piece windshield with a vertical divider mounted in the center. Four Cadillacs were custom-made this year for the General Motors Automobile Show in New York. Three of them used the Sixty Special body – including a two-door pillar-less hardtop, built on a 133” Sixty Special wheelbase. The other two were specially outfitted and equipped standard Sixty Special sedans. The fourth car built for the show was a stock ’49 Cadillac Series 62 convertible – but with a custom western motif interior.
Source: Wikipedia, 2011