[ last update: 07.25.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Photo Pages
Cadillac

1956


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year

 

Unless otherwise specified all photos and illustrations are from Yann Saunders'
collection of Cadillac photos, advertisements and product catalogs,
reproduced courtesy of the Cadillac Motor Car Division and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club

 

 

56audito.JPG (14704 bytes)
The full range of 1956 models on display in the Auditorium
at GM's Technical Center in Warren, MI

56garge.jpg (6207 bytes)
New model awaiting delivery at the Clark Street facility

     
1956 Models at annual Auto Shows
(Left) the center display features the 1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham show car/prototype
(Right) Visible at far left of the photo is the 1956 Eldorado Brougham pre-production car, fresh from the Paris salon



Promotional photo showing 1956 and 1905 Cadillac models


The millionth post-war Cadillac built was this Eldorado Biarritz model


Here is an interesting custom (?) interior  for what I would assume (from the
seat pattern) is a "gold"-colored  Coupe de Ville or Sedan de Ville; it has
a custom, padded dash-board and out-of-place "Thunderbird" floor mats!

 

                                          

The 1956 models were, according to the copy writers that year, the most inspiring motor cars the world has ever seen. The de luxe product catalog for 1956 is in fact a desirable collector's item. The stiff,  off-white front cover is embossed with the Cadillac "V" and crest and marked 56 Cadillac in gold and black script. In my opinion, the artist's views of the cars and of its principal features are among the finest ever  published by the company.  In those days, artistic license allowed the auto manufacturers to stretch, widen and lower their cars; that would change in the late sixties when manufacturers were obliged to use photography to advertise their products. The wide-angle lens then became a popular accessory with the advertisers!

This year's increased range of models was presented in this order: the Sixty Special sedan, Sixty-Two coupe, Sixty-Two Coupe de Ville, Sixty-Two Sedan de Ville, Sixty-two sedan, Sixty-two convertible, Eldorado Biarritz convertible, Eldorado Seville coupe (new for 1956) and the Series  Seventy-Five. That is also the sequence in which I have presented the illustrations below. There were also a large fold-out and a few mailing catalogs.

The artist's drawings from the prestige catalog, below, are mixed in with color photographs published in the dealer "mailer" catalogs that year.   There is no publication date on the prestige catalog.

The styling of the 1956 models was quite similar to that of the previous year's models, with only minor detailing changes.  Principally, the grille took on a fine-mesh appearance and a fine chrome molding was added to the top surface of the rear fenders.  Gone was the Cadillac script on the front fenders; it was replaced with an elongated and gilded Cadillac crest; some models got their name in script in addition to that crest.

The distinguishing mark of the 1956 Cadillacs is without any doubt the gilded Cadillac script set diagonally across the top half of the grille, on the LH side.  In addition, the 1956 models are the only Cadillacs to have the date (Nineteen Fifty-Six) written in script on the RH side of the instrument panel.

 

56grl.jpg (4604 bytes)    56frtcl2.JPG (10299 bytes)
Front clip and detail of new, "gold" Cadillac script

 

Additional information on the 1956 models and the related sales literature may be found  in The (New) Cadillac Database© sections entitled "Descriptions and Specifications of Cadillac Cars 1956 - 1965",  "Cadillac and La Salle Sales Literature 1955 - 1959" and "Dream cars of 1956-1957".  Further recommended reading includes:

(a)   "Automobile Heritage's Illustrated Guide to 1950 Through 1959 Cadillac" by Roy Schneider, © 1978,  published by Automobile Heritage Publishing Co., Post Office Box 7, Temple City, CA 91780 [ISBN #0-917104-02-1] and

(b)  The "Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000" edited by James T. Lenzke, © 2000, published by Krause Publications, Inc., 700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990 [ISBN #0-87341-925-1, Library of Congress #91-61301].

 

The Series Sixty Special

 

 5660s2.jpg (8868 bytes)

56_60S2.jpg (18365 bytes)    5660sad2.jpg (12117 bytes)    56_60S.jpg (21922 bytes)
These three illustrations are from period ads
[ Z. Taylor Vinson collection ]

5660s3.jpg (9815 bytes)    5660sad.jpg (9320 bytes)

5660sc.JPG (9770 bytes)


Illustration (cropped) from 1956 merchandising brochure

5660sd.JPG (12850 bytes)

  5660si.jpg (5388 bytes)    5660scrp.JPG (4492 bytes)
Left:  interiors came in a wide selection of patterned nylons, broadcloths, metallic
nylons and fine leathers in matching shades gray, blue, beige or green (seen here)

Right: in addition to the Cadillac crest, the Sixty Special carried its name in gilded script


A fine survivor in the Cadillac & LaSalle Club

 

 

The Sixty-Two Series


The Sedan

5662sdc.JPG (9730 bytes)

5662sdb.JPG (9406 bytes)    5662sdi.jpg (6208 bytes)
Interiors of the "62" sedan came in four selections of Heather-pattern nylon and wool gabardine
in blue, green, beige or gray; there were also three choices of Frost-pattern nylon in green,
blue or gray, combined with white Elascofab bolsters gray (as seen here)


This lovely survivor lives in Germany ... sehr schön !

 

 

 

The Coupe

 5662cp.JPG (9174 bytes)

5662cpa.JPG (8919 bytes)

5662cpb.JPG (11884 bytes)    56cp3.jpg (11256 bytes)

 5662cp1a.jpg (5071 bytes)    5662cpib.JPG (4962 bytes)
Interiors of the "62" sedan came in four selections of Heather-pattern nylon and wool gabardine
in blue, green, beige or gray; there were also three choices of Frost-pattern nylon in green,
gray or blue, combined with white Elascofab bolsters (as seen here)

 

 

 

The Coupe de Ville

 56cdvf.JPG (8706 bytes)

56cdvg.JPG (8626 bytes)    56CdVaa.jpg (20763 bytes)
The illustration at right is from a period ad
[ Z. Taylor Vinson collection ]


Illustration (cropped) from 1956 merchandising brochure

56cdvad.jpg (10115 bytes)

56cdvd.JPG (12650 bytes)   

   56cdvi.JPG (11872 bytes)

56cdvia.jpg (6542 bytes)
The Coupe de Ville and Sedan de Ville interiors came in five selections of lustrous Stardust Black
nylon combined with top-grain leathers in blue, white, yellow, green and mountain laurel, as well as
five additional choices of metallic nylons, combined again with leather, in gold, gray, red, green and blue

56CdVB&W.jpg (13278 bytes)
[ Factory promotional photo - cropped for Cadillac Database ]

56CdV1.JPG (15907 bytes)    56cdv2.jpg (7533 bytes)
This fine survivor waqs sent in by its owner, Forrest Ward
[ Photos: © 2007, Forrest Ward ]

56CdVAstor.jpg (7745 bytes)
This fine survivor was for many years part of
the Astor collection that was auctioned off in July 2008


A superb survivor in an unusual, desirable color scheme
[ Photo: Glenmoor Concours d'Elégance ]

    
Yet another "peachy" survivor .... whose home is in Georgia
 

 

 

 

The Sedan de Ville

56_SdV.jpg (19330 bytes)    56Sdv2.jpg (20368 bytes)
These illustrations are from  period ads; car at right has the optional gold-anodized grille;
the theme was "European fashions" with background names like Jacques Fath, Balmain, etc.
[ Z. Taylor Vinson collection ]

56sdv6.JPG (8159 bytes)    56sdva.JPG (7289 bytes) 

56sdvb.JPG (11262 bytes)


Illustration (cropped) from 1956 merchandising brochure

  56sdvia.jpg (6239 bytes)    56sdvi.JPG (9387 bytes)
The Coupe de Ville and Sedan de Ville interiors came in five selections of lustrous Stardust Black
nylon combined with top-grain leathers in blue, white, yellow, green and mountain laurel (seen here), as well as
five additional choices of metallic nylons, combined again with leather, in gold, gray, red, green and blue

56sdvib.jpg (13470 bytes)
Here is the Sedan de Ville in metallic taupe with gold
metallic nylon combined with white leather upholstery

56sdvGM.jpg (13510 bytes)
Factory promotional photo

56sdvSv.jpg (14958 bytes)    56sdvSv2.jpg (18753 bytes)
A survivor in France [ photos, ACCF, Americaines clasiques]


Mine was black with the regular wheel discs

 

 

 

The Convertible

56cva.jpg (10026 bytes)

5662cvad.jpg (8087 bytes)    56mlrunk.jpg (10025 bytes)

5662cv2.jpg (12235 bytes)

    5662cve.JPG (9747 bytes)

      56cvc.jpg (9508 bytes)       

 5662cvia.jpg (12714 bytes)     5662cvi.JPG (6170 bytes)
The Series 62 convertible durable leather interiors came in black and white (shown above, left),
all black, light blue and white, aquamarine and black (shown above, right), all   beige, light green and white,
red and white or all red.  Tops were available in white, black, light blue, beige and light green


This excerpt from a Cadillac service training loop film
shows satisfied couple leaving the service bay after regular car maintenance

 

 

The Eldorado


The Seville coupe
[new for 1956]

56els.JPG (8690 bytes)

56elsa.JPG (8977 bytes)

56elsb.JPG (12958 bytes)

56elsi.JPG (6386 bytes)    56elsi2.JPG (5067 bytes)    56elsib.JPG (7565 bytes)
Eldorado Seville interiors came either in full leather or in a combination of Florentine pattern metallic nylon with
leather bolsters and trim;  available shades of leather were black, blue, green or red with white leather bolsters
and trim; Florentine pattern metallic nylons were available in shades of black, blue, green and red with white
leather bolsters and trim. Vicodec roof coverings came in white, black, light blue, beige and light green

56elscrp.JPG (4542 bytes)    56bwingb.JPG (6939 bytes)
(Left) Early factory photos and one prestige catalog illustration show the Seville coupe
with only the Eldorado script; others show the car with the script Eldorado Seville;
it is believed that all the production cars had the full Eldorado Seville script.
(Right)  Exclusive to the Eldorado models were a new 305HP motor
with the "bat-wing" air cleaner and two 4-bbl carbs

 

 


The Biarritz convertible

           56elb.JPG (10261 bytes)

56elba.JPG (8343 bytes)    56elbb.JPG (8252 bytes)
Standard on Eldorado models for 1956 were the cast, polished aluminum sabre-spoke wheels (available
at extra cost on all other models); they were optionally available on the Eldorado models in gold finish at no
extra cost with a matching gold-finished grille (above, right), These were available at extra cost on the
other models in the range (although I've never seen a 1956 Fleetwood 75 with gold grill and cast wheels!)

whl56el2.JPG (6570 bytes)    Whl5658.jpg (7141 bytes)
Left: cast wheel in polished aluminum;  right: gold finish [center cap removed]

56elbi.JPG (8752 bytes)
Eldorado Seville interiors came either in full leather or in a combination of Florentine pattern metallic nylon with
leather bolsters and trim;  available shades of leather were black, blue, green or red with white leather bolsters
and trim; Florentine pattern metallic nylons were available in shades of black, blue, green and red with white

       crs56el.JPG (3874 bytes)     56bwinga.JPG (6536 bytes)
Exclusive to the Eldorado models were a new "winged" hood mascot (left) , Eldorado script nameplate
on the front fenders and  a 305HP motor with the "bat-wing" air cleaner and two 4-bbl carbs (right)

 

 

The Seventy-Five Series
sedan and limousine

 

5675.jpg (9820 bytes)

5675a.JPG (8720 bytes)

5675b.jpg (14376 bytes)    5675e.jpg (12653 bytes) 

5675ia.JPG (6268 bytes)    5675ib.JPG (8217 bytes)
The sedan was upholstered in ultra-smart Bedford cord with all wool broadcloth bolsters and trim, in shades
of light blue, light gray, beige, dark gray, or brown (left).  Broadcloth throughout was also available in
light gray, light blue or beige.  The limousine front seat was upholstered in black or blue leather
(blue being used only when  blue upholstery was selected for the rear compartment - right).

5675sv2.JPG (14243 bytes)    5675sv1.jpg (13123 bytes)
I photographed this survivor in Charleston, SC, in February 2001

5675srv1.jpg (7820 bytes)    5675srv2.jpg (3547 bytes)    5675srv3.jpg (4344 bytes)
Here's another in even better shape

 


Details

                

56engn.JPG (6685 bytes)

56grila.JPG (5603 bytes)    56rear.JPG (8967 bytes)
Front and rear clips

56fin.JPG (6580 bytes)    56finb.JPG (3612 bytes)
This would be the last year for the small, fish-tail fin introduced in 1948

56dash.JPG (11524 bytes)    56dash2.jpg (6565 bytes)
Not legible in the small, low-resolution image (left) is the special
nameplate at far right that reads Nineteen Fifty-Six

       crst56.JPG (4990 bytes)
All 1956 cars got this front fender mounted Cadillac crest.
Some models got in addition their name spelled out in script

 

           

Survivors       

        

 56cdv.jpg (11550 bytes)    56cdv2fr.jpg (11480 bytes)

       56conti.jpg (7072 bytes)    56SDVsv.jpg (8256 bytes)
Left:  survivor  with custom continental kit (cast, gold-finish aluminum wheel)
Right: nice surviving Coupe de Ville

 

   

To view more 1956 Cadillac photos, click here

 

Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year

 

© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image:  1956 Cadillac front clip ]