1920 Cadillac Model 59

Engine Num: 59-B-658
Sold for $26,400 at 2014 RM Sothebys.
After World War I, sales at Cadillac continued to grow and by the early 1920s, Cadillac production was scattered among 70 different buildings around Detroit. That year, the General Motors division moved to its new Clark Avenue facility on the city's west side. Due to the tremendous logistics involved, the move turned out to be very complex and time consuming. As a result of these challenges, Cadillac carried over most of its 1921 models from 1920 virtually unchanged. The Model 59 Cadillacs of 1920-21 were similar, in many respects, to the car it replaced - the Type 57. Differences included a change from ten spoke wheels to twelve, the speedometer drive was moved to the transmission from the front axle, and the intake manifold was now heated by exhaust gasses. There was a new-style 4-pole motor-generator added, the crankshaft diameter was increased by 2 inches, and the frame was stiffened by lengthening the deep section. Changes occurred throughout the various body-styles as well. The Touring bodystyle now rested on a 132-inch platform, the cowl was lengthened on the Phaeton and Roadsters, and a two passenger coupe was added to the lineup. It, along with the Town Brougham, were later dropped but was brought back with the Type 61. Other changes to bodystyles included hiding the hood hinges, smaller sidelights were installed and moved closer to the windshield, and the headlights and sidelights were optionally available in full nickel.

This Cadillac Type 59 was shipped from the factory on June 10th of 1920 and delivered to Claude Nolan Cadillac, of Jacksonville, Florida, where it went unsold. It was later transferred north to George Blakeslee, a dealer in Hackensack, New Jersey, who sold to L.K. Scudder of Glen Cove, New York, in 1921. Since then, the car has been continuously enjoyed.

The car was driven by the Scudder sisters until the beginning of World War II, at which point the body was removed and the chassis was put into military service as a truck. When War came to a close, it was acquired by William Walker. Mr. Walker re-installed the Victoria body on its original chassis and proceeded to extensively tour with this car for over 40 years. During this time, the engine was rebuilt at least once, and safety glass was installed to suit the safety standards of the day.

Mr. Walker parted with his Cadillac in 1985, selling it to Maureen Jones, who brought it back to Long Island and enjoyed it until her passing in 2004. It was then acquired by Richard Hendrickson, of Bridgehampton, New York, from whom it was acquired by the present owner.

The car is powered by an L-head, 314.5 cubic-inch V-8 engine offering nearly 80 horsepower. There is a three-speed selective sliding-gear manual transmission and rear-wheel mechanical brakes.
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