Monterey | Lot 121
1953 Cadillac Series Sixty Special Fleetwood Sedan
The Paul Andrews Estate Collection
$106,400 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
12 August 2021
- A long-term part of the Andrews collection for nearly 15 years
- Exceptional original and unrestored condition
- Formerly owned by noted collector Charles Cawley
- Accompanied by a copy of its build sheet
- Undoubtedly one of the very best-preserved examples extant
The Series Sixty Special represents Cadillac’s costliest and cushiest non-limousine sedan of 1953. It was an automobile that one would see being driven by a successful man of business, or perhaps by his chauffeur. Over the years, the majority of these faded away, but those that survive demonstrate, as well as any more “common” convertible or hardtop, just why the marque remained “The Standard of the World” in the early postwar era.
The Andrews Series Sixty Special was, according to its build sheet, equipped with power windows and originally sent to the distributor in Bridgeport, Connecticut—then the Steele Cadillac-Oldsmobile Company. A copy of the original bill of sale, included in a book published for later owner Charles Cawley, notes the buyer as James King, a Bridgeport barber. As the tale is told, the Cadillac was shortly acquired by the local Packard dealership, which kept this car and a very similar Packard sedan together in one of its buildings. The two cars would occasionally be pulled out and used for comparison tests before potential buyers. It is safe to assume that given who was putting on the tests, despite its impressive build quality, smooth V-8 performance, and abundant creature comforts, the Cadillac somehow always lost.
If this particular sedan lost the sales battle, Cadillac did, of course, win the war; the Packard dealer closed not long thereafter, as that manufacturer began its retreat into history. The 1953 Series Sixty Special was put into long-term storage and there it remained until its retrieval decades later. It eventually became part of the renowned collection of MBNA founder Charles Cawley, known for his keen appreciation and avid acquisition of 1950s and 1960s American automobiles. While he owned an example of virtually every marque and body style produced by a U.S. manufacturer in this era, Mr. Cawley had his preferences: he liked very original cars, and he liked black sedans. This Cadillac nicely checked both boxes, and it remained in his collection in Maine until 2008.
At that time the Cadillac was sold to Paul Andrews, a man who appreciated it, as well, and, in fact, held on to it for the rest of his life. Mr. Andrews’s regard for the Series Sixty Special is evident from a telling fact: As multiple extraordinary V-16s and superbly restored Eldorados came and went, this sedan stayed. In many ways it was reflective of the humbler GM-oriented roots of his collecting; yet it was also an excellent representation of his appreciation for originality and, simply, for any car that was “the best of its kind.” The paint still shone; the interior, as today, remains in remarkable condition under its clear plastic covers, themselves reminiscent of a bygone age. The engine compartment is well and thoroughly detailed, and immaculate albeit still original in most of its finishes. The original General spare and jack are in the trunk; an oil change sticker from Fairfield’s Kohlenberg Cadillac-Olds is still within the door jamb.
The Cadillac has received the same careful maintenance as the collection’s grandest machines, as documented by invoices on file; and it remains equally turn-key. It has been driven 8,735 miles, about 1,700 of those accumulated in the Andrews ownership—reflective of Paul Andrews’ credo, that every car is something to use and enjoy, however carefully.
This is a superb Cadillac which invites happy comparison against any 1953 Packard...this time, on an even playing field.