1939 Cadillac 60 Special Sedan / Specs, Photos, Styling

cadillac sixty special styling detailsFeatured here is a very nice 1939 Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan. The Cadillac 60 Series was replaced in 1939 by the Sixty Special which was really a derivative of the Series Sixty..

The Cadillac Series Sixty had been introduced in 1936 as a mid priced Cadillac. The Series Sixty fit in between the Cadillac Series Seventy and the LaSalle, also produced by Cadillac. The Series Sixty originally in 1936 had a 121 inch wheelbase that was moved up to 124 inches for 1937 and 1938.  The Sixty Special would go on from 1938 and be produced by Cadillac, with the exception of the war years, through the 1993 model year.

1939 cadillac sixty special
1939 Cadillac Sixty Special

The 1939 Cadillac Sixty Special is an exceptional luxury car from the late 30’s where Cadillac was the leader in technological advancements.

A Time of Transition for Automakers

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, a good number of luxury automakers went out of business. The luxury independents were hit hard such as Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, Pierce-Arrow, and Studebaker as examples. Few merged and others closed shop.

The rough ten years of the 1930’s did bring forth permanent changes to the automotive industry. The automakers that did survive saw a change in taste from many buyers. There were considerably less buyers wanting those very expensive coachbuilt bodies. Instead they preferred factory ready completed vehicles that they could buy right off the dealer showroom floor. There was also a need for entry level luxury vehicles as well and the Cadillac Series 60 was created for these entry level buyers. Cadillac’s competitor Packard saw the same need.

The Cadillac Sixty Special

1939 Cadillac 60 Special Sedan was one of the first automobiles designed in collaboration between Harley Earl and his young protégé, Bill Mitchell. The model was.  Series 60 derivative. The 60 Special showcased a new convertible-style notchback roof design and smoothed body panels.

Introduced in 1938, Bill Mitchell’s Cadillac “60 Special” with it’s 127 inch wheelbase was a game changer. Designed to be a smaller, more personal Cadillac.The 60 Special’s styling was different for Cadillac in several respects. The car had a smart, ultra-modern silhouette and it was three inches lower than any other Cadillac produced. By the same token the Sixty Special had no less inside headroom.

The Sixty Specials were well received by the luxury car buyers and the 1939 model was mostly unchanged from the 38’s Sixty Specials. The design was a winner and GM knew it. There was no need to significantly change the 1938 model. Changes that were made for all Cadillac 1939 models included rubber rear fender guards, a newly designed dashboard layout, a rear axle change that was to permit a smoother ride and an optional vacuum operated radio antenna.

1939 Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan Specifications

The engine for the 39 Cadillac Sixty Special was a 346 cubic inch Flathead V-8 with /135 HP.

Standard was a 3-speed manual transmission.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Front suspension was independent coil springs with rear suspension live axle and semi-elliptical leaf springs.

Overall length 207.8 inches, height 65.0 inches, width 75.4 inches and wheelbase 127.0 inches. Weight was about 4,150 lbs.

cadillac sixty special photosTotal 1939 production of the Cadillac Sixty Special was 5,513 vehicles.

New car price for the 1939 Sixty Special Sedan was about $2,200.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below



1931 Cadillac 452A V-12

1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

Reference material for this article includes…The Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-1980, by Richard M. Langworlh and the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide…Cadillac at 100: Legacy of LeadershipStandard Catalog of Cadillac 1903-2005 by John Gunnell.

1939 Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan Collector Valuation

cadillac sixty special specsCadiilac’s from this era that have been restored and are in excellent condition are popular with collectors. In the case of the 1938 and 1939 Sixty Special you have a vintage automobile which represented the styling works of both Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, two icons from the design world.

The 1939 Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan currently has a valuation between about $28,000 and $49,000. The asking prices will reflect overall consition and degree of restoration.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)