It seems that pretty much everyone liked the 1955 Cadillac. The 1955 Cadillac was the car of choice for Elvis Presley, his being a pinked colored Fleetwood Series 60. The car had flash. It's styling was superb. It's finned design was favored by just about anyone who could afford one. In 1955 owning a Cadillac was considered a statement of success. This Cadillac delivering 280 horsepower was popular with lawyers, bankers and celebrities.
The models available during the 1955 model year included the Sedan, Hardtop Coupe, Convertible Coupe, El Dorado and the Coupe De Ville.
Eleven station wagons would also be built that year by coach builder Hess & Eisenhardt. This coach builder and customizer was owned starting in 1942 by one of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team co-owners George Strike.
The best seller of the 1955 Cadillacs was the Series 62 four door sedan. The highest priced Cadillacs of 1955 were the Fleetwood Sixty Special Sedans. At the time Cadillac touted it's 1955 models as being the best Cadillacs ever in what would be a very competitive year.
1955 Cadillac Styling
Those familiar with Cadillac styling know about Harley Earl who was with GM from 1927 to 1959. Probably his best known accomplishments occurred with Cadillac during the 1950's. Much of America's car culture is seen in the designs of the mid 1950's among most of the automakers.
Each division of General Motors had a styling studio under the supervision of Harley Earl. The 1955 Cadillac design arguably could be the finest display from Harley Earl and had it's beginnings at both the 1953 and 1954 traveling Motorama auto shows. Harley Earl helped create innovations with Cadillac styling that would change automotive styling forever.
Motorama was not held in 1951 and 1952 due to the Korean War. The "dream cars" from GM were given plenty of exposure beginning with the 1953 shows. One such car in 1953 was the fiberglass Chevy Corvette which was a huge hit and went into production not long after.
The dream car concept was important for future styling because the public's acceptance could be gauged and positive feedback could be implemented in designs.
Lots of Options Available
Air conditioning, four way power seats, power windows and power brakes were some of the options available in 1955.
1955 Cadillac Specifications
The power plant was a 331 cubic inch V-8 with Overhead Valves in a cast iron block delivering 250 horsepower. This engine according to Cadillac would give you about 12.9 MPG. An optional engine available was a 270 horsepower El Dorado model. The 270 horsepower engine featured a dual four barrel carburetor.
Transmission on the 1955 Cadillac was a four speed automatic. This was the Hydramatic that was on all Cadillacs in 1955.
Suspension in 1955 were leaf springs
The vehicle wheelbase was 129.0 inches, two inches longer than the 1954 model, and the overall length came in at 216.3 inches. This obviously was a good size automobile. The 1955 Cadillac was bigger than any of the previous models.
Average vehicle weight was about 4,500 lbs and the fuel tank carried 21.6 U.S. gallons.
Cadillac produced a total of 140,700 vehicles in 1955 and this represented a record. This production total might not seem too surprising considering that Cadillac had been winning the post war styling contest against rival Packard for years. The tail fins were just one styling advantage Cadillac had over Packard even though Packard did come out in 1955 with a new look. Packard produced 55,200 vehicles in 1955.
A few more Cadillacs you may enjoy viewing are on the links below...
1955 Cadillac Collector Car Values
It almost goes without saying that the 1955 Cadillacs are popular collector cars such as the Coupe shown in this article. If you can locate the right model to restore you shouldn't have a difficult time finding parts.
The most sought after Cadillac of this year would be the El Dorado Brougham or Biarritz. This model wasn't even shown to the public until January 1955 and at that to a select audience. In fact the general public wasn't allowed to see the car at the Waldorf Astoria in New York until the next day after the premiere showing. This truly was a show car.
You might find a mint condition show quality El Dorado Biarritz with an asking price of north of $100,000. A mint condition El Dorado may be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. We've seen 1955 Coupe De Villes at $34,000 and $35,000 asking prices.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)