One of the biggest changes that occurred with the 1960 Cadillac
was the new toned down look. Founding car stylist Harley Earl retired as chief designer and Bill Mitchell succeeded his long quest of Cadillac styling. Bill Mitchell wanted to tone down the excess look. He opted to go for the more traditional look of Cadillac’s in the past.
The tail fins from the year before was shaved down to a more conservative look, however, it all reality it was a gradual change. The tail fin still made an appearance on all Cadillac’s until 1964. A more graceful and less
excessive look was now being manufactured for all Cadillac’s. Not many changes were made to the overall mechanical or engineering of the 1960 Cadillac, this year was all about downplaying the excesses of the fifties.
Downplaying the excess of the year before was quiet challenging to the designers at Cadillac, although the tail fins were still used, they were clipped for a more refined look. As well, the taillights were changed to a strip design
that blended well into the rear end. Each side of the exhaust port housed a second red lens tail light, as well the first year for this exclusive look. A newer and less complicated grille was also installed on all 1960 Cadillac
models. The horizontal divider bar that once was there was now a thing of the past, a less choppy look with fewer lines was used. The entire front bumper also
was toned down quiet a bit.
Gone were the days of the excessive bulky chrome, instead a fine stream lined appearance was being manufactured. The interior of the 1960 Cadillac was also played down, a more refined and prestigious look was developed. Prices for the
1960 Cadillac remained around the same $5,000 to $7,500 dollars, and as a result, Car Life Magazine selected the 1960 Cadillac as its “Best buy in the luxury field”.
Although the look of the Cadillac may have been refined, the amount of Cadillac’s sold that year remained similar to the year before. According to research found, a total of 142,184 1960 Cadillac models were produced this year. As well, the engines used in the
1959 Cadillac were still used in this year’s models.
Although still incorporating the great style of Cadillac, the new designer for the division wanted to downplay the overall look of the 1960 Cadillac, after all times were changing and so were the wants and needs of the American public. And luckily for Cadillac, it was a gradual change, the wide white wall tires were still a Cadillac icon, and the tail fin was still there, just a little less rocket like.
Read this story about a 1960 convertible.