In 1938, Bill Mitchell designed the Model Sixty which represented a transition in automotive design. It represented what was to come, even what still is, in automotive design. It enabled designers, who had been dreaming of such designs, see them in reality.
The 1938 Model Sixty incorporated such design features as a fully-integrated trunk and four, front-hinged doors. Another more obvious, design feature, or, should it be said, 'lacking feature', option offered by Mitchell's Model Sixty was a body design void of running boards.
The '38 Model utilized an X-frame chassis. This provided great rigidity and allowed the car to be lowered further to the ground. The absence of the running boards, and other trim features, made it possible for the car to appear to sit even lower. The '38 featured a tall, heavily rounded, wedge-shaped nose and a wrap-around, horizontally-stacked grille. The headlights were positioned between the tall, protruding nose and the fenders. Many models featured a more-integrated spare tire/fender position. Instead of resting in a channel and strapped down, the Model Sixty for '38 had a space between the fender and the engine cowling to slide the spare tire and its cover into. The lines of the beautifully sculpted, top-lifting integral trunk dropped off down to the low-positioned, straight chrome rear bumper. The rear end also featured very small protruding taillights.
1941's model was merely an aesthetic improvement of the innovative '38 model. The headlights were positioned further out into the fenders. The headlights being repositioned enabled bodywork to join the tall nose and fenders. The grille was then laid down on its side, flowing across the nose of the car. This front-end design would continue to be a Cadillac signature for many years to come. Some of the '38 models still featured running boards. This was entirely done away with for the '41 model as the fender's width at its most rear position was pulled in much tighter to the car. As a result, the spare tire slot was gone. The rear fender lines were less rounded and leveled off on the top. This enabled elegant wheel skirts to be added to the design.
The 1941 Sixty Special offered this year had gone through restorative work by its current owner ever since being purchased back in 1978. It includes a 150 hp, 346 cubic inch, L-head V-8 engine. It has coil sprung, independent front suspension and a semi-floating rear axle.
Its interior includes cloth upholstery and an AM radio. Its exterior features bumper guards, fog lamps and red painted steel wheels with chrome covers. Reportedly, this stately car runs smooth and quiet, and, as it headed to auction, chassis 6341472 was expected to fetch a price between $40,000 and $60,000.
Featuring a two-tone charcoal and grey exterior finish, this '41 Sixty represents proudly what many have considered to be the most beautiful example of Cadillac's Sixty series and of any pre-war era car.
Though offered as a low-cost automobile, the Model Sixty introduced a new standard of luxury in American automobiles. In an era right before America would be shaken from its slumber by the Second World War, the Cadillac Sixty was America's 'dream' machine. It presented to the general public luxurious appointments and innovations that made it possible for the average person to feel as though they were someone of a stately presence as they rode around in such a stately, elegant and comfortable car.
Sources: 'Buy: View Lots (Lot 314: Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r233&fc=0). RM Auctions Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r233&fc=0. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Cadillac Sixty Special', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 November 2010, 02:51 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cadillac_Sixty_Special&oldid=397031630 accessed 13 January 2011