The 1960 Cadillac / A Graceful and Toned Down Automobile

The year 1960 ushered in a period where the Cadillac automobile had a more graceful and cleaner design.  The automobile featured in this article is the 1960 Cadillac DeVille two door. The DeVille actually started out as a trim level and was moved up to become a full model.

1960 cadillac coupe deville

1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

The 1960 Cadillac

The 1959 DeVille's were best known for their big fins.  In fact, the 1959 Cadillac tail fins represented the height of the tail fin era. Take a look at the 1959 Dodge Coronet and you'll also see some huge tail fins. The space age and space race had a lot to do with 1950's automobile styling.

The 1960 models certainly had fins, albeit smaller than those on the 59 models, but they were also known for smooth looking styling. The car overall had a toned down look. In fact, you could say that the new design for 1960 was made primarily to change from the excesses of the late 1950's.

The 60 Cadillac's had a full length grille and no front bumper guards. Standard equipment on the 1960 Cadillacs included power steering and power brakes, power windows and seats and two speed windshield wipers. The automobile had X-Frame construction.

cadillac coupe deville

60 Coupe DeVille

Cadillac X-Frames

The first X-Frames came out with the 1957 Cadillacs. These were with the C-Body cars. The X-Frame allowed for a lower automobile and with it deeper floor wells. General Motors boasted that the X-Frame also offers greater structural rigidity and resistance to twisting. GM built millions of full size automobiles on the X-Frame from 1957 to 1970.

1960 Cadillac Styling

The head designer for Cadillac in 1960 was Bill Mitchell. Mitchell had been an advertising illustrator prior to being hired at GM by Harley Earl in 1935. He worked for GM until 1977 and during his long tenure there was responsible for influencing the design of over 72 million vehicles.

1960 cadillac tail fins

1960 Cadillac's recessed tail lights on the end of the fins

As mentioned above, the 1960 Cadillac was toned down from the previous year's design. The 1960 Cadillac DeVille featured in this article has smaller fins than the previous year. Also gone in 1960 was the large and excessive chrome. The fender skirts were plain looking and special script nameplates were on the rear fender. The tail lights on the 1960 model were a thin strip of red plastic blended into the end of the tail fins. Compare this to the jet pod tail lights of the 59 Cadillacs and you'll see the significant and toned down difference.

Included in the toned down look were changes to the interiors. Interior colors for 1960 included fawn, blue or gray Cortina cord or turquoise, Persian sand, green, black Caspian cloth with Florentine vinyl bolsters.

1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Specifications

The 1960 Cadillac had the same engine as used during the 1959 model year. This was a 390 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 325 horsepower with a four barrel carburetor. In 1960 all Cadillac buyers had the option of choosing an Eldorado engine with three 2 barrel carburetors which pushed the horsepower to 345.

The 1960 Cadillac DeVille came with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

Front suspension was independent coil springs and rear suspension coil springs.

Brakes were hydraulic power and as mentioned above, both the power brakes and power steering were standard equipment.

The DeVille's wheelbase measured 130.0 inches. Overall outside length was 225.0 inches, it's width 79.9 inches, it's height 54.1 inches, and the car's weight came in at  4,670 lbs.

The new car price for a 1960 Cadillac averaged around $6,000. The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe DeVille cost in the range of $5,000. The Eldorado models were the highest price passenger cars at about $7,500 plus.

1960 cadillac deville

Rear view of the 1960 Cadillac

To give you an idea of options that could be purchased for your 1960 Cadillac, they included air conditioning at $474, power vent windows at $75, a remote control trunk lock at $59, the 345 horsepower engine as mentioned above for $135 extra, a "six way" power seat for about $100 (more or less depending on exact model), and cruise control for about $100.

Total Cadillac models produced in 1960 141,000, just about the same number as in 1959. About 20,000 Coupe DeVille models were built in 1960.

You may also enjoy the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below...

The Classic 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

A Restored 1951 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine

1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk

A 1961 Chevy Impala / Photos , Specs, History

A good book for those wanting to learn more about the performance of the 1960's Cadillacs is...Cadillac Automobiles, 1960-69 (Brooklands Books Road Tests Series), edited by R.M. Clarke.

The 1960 Cadillac as a Collector Car

The 1960 Cadillac as well as other models from the early 1960's are popular collector cars. These automobiles, even restored, are priced reasonably and make good starter cars for a collection.

1960 cadillac dashboard

Dashboard on the 60 Coupe DeVille

As of this writing we see "original" equipped 1960 Coupe DeVilles in the low to mid $20,000 range. We see additional Series 62's in a range from $28,000 to $40,000. As always the degree of restoration, both cosmetic and mechanical, original miles and exact model will determine the asking price.

One of the most valuable 1960 Cadillac collector car would be the Eldorado Brougham. Only 101 of these models were built in 1959/1960. Asking prices and auction results would likely place the value in the $45,000 to $70,000 range. Again, mileage, condition and restoration will drive the price. The highest priced 1960 model would likely be the Eldorado Biarritz with a possible asking price (depending on originality and condition) of $70,000 or higher.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)

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