Cadillac Models & History (1920-21 )


Type59 was similar to the 1919 Type 57, with the following exceptions:


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1920-21 Cadillac Victoria Model 59 V-8


  • The general lines were slightly straighter and fuller.
  • The cowl was lengthened on the Phaeton and Roadster.
  • The windshield on the Limousine and Town Brougham were tilted slightly.
  • The lower section of windshield was fixed; ventilation to the lower part of the front compartment was provided by a vent in the top of the cowl.
  • The hood hinge was concealed.
  • Narrow beading was added on the cowl at the joint with the hood.
  • They also featured smaller sidelights which were placed closer to the windshield.
  • The shield shaped pattern on the headlight doors changed to a narrow bead with curved sides; the detachable emblem was at the top.
  • The headlights and sidelights were optionally available in full nickel.
  • The touring model was mounted on a 3353mm wheelbase.
  • The two passenger was Coupe new.
  • However, the Coupe and the Town Brougham were dropped in mid run but picked up again as Type 61 for 1922-23


  • The front wheels were changed from ten to twelve spoke.
  • The frame was stiffened by lengthening the deep section.
  • The radiator water condenser moved to the outside of the frame.
  • The extra length chassis was not available.

Drive line:

  • The speedometer drive moved from the front axle to the transmission.


  • The intake manifold was heated by exhaust gasses.
  • The timing chains were adjustable from the outside crankcase.
  • The crankshaft diameter increased to 51mm.
  • A new-style 4-pole motor-generator used.



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1920-21 Cadillac

Serial numbers were not used.

Engine numbers were stamped on the crankcase just back of the right hand bank of cylinders, and on a plate on the dash.

Engine No.: 59-A-1 through 59-Z-1000 and 59-AA-1 through 59-BB-12.


First Design
Style No. Body Type Seating Price
4-door Touring 7 $3740
4-dr. Phaeton 4 $3590
2-dr. Roadster 2/4 $3590
4000 2-dr. Victoria 4 $4340
2-dr. Coupe 2 $4290
4010 4-dr. Sedan 5 $4750
4020 4-dr. Suburban 7 $4990
4030 4-dr. Limousine 7 $5090
4050 4-dr. Imperial Limousine 7 $5190
4040 4-dr. Town Brougham 7 $5090
Second Design
Style No. Body Type Seating Price
4-dr. Touring 7 $3940
4-dr. Phaeton 4 $3790
2-dr. Roadster 2/4 $3790
4130 2-dr. Victoria 4 $4540
2-dr. Coupe 2
4140 4-dr. Sedan 5 $4950
4120 4-dr. Suburban 7 $5190
4150 4-dr. Limousine 7 $5290
4170 4-dr. Imperial Limousine 7 $5390
4160 4-dr. Town Brougham 7 $5290
Third Design
Style No. Body Type Seating Price
4-dr. Touring 7 $3940
4-dr. Phaeton 4 $3790
2-dr. Roadster 2/4 $3790
4290 2-dr. Victoria 4 $4540
2-dr. Coupe 2P
4270 4-dr. Sedan 5 $4950
4300 4-dr. Suburban 7 $5190
4360 4-dr. Limousine 7 $5290
4350 4-dr. Imperial Limousine 7 $5390
4-dr. Town Brougham 7 $5690

Note 1: Some Fisher references designate 1st, 2nd, 3rd designs as 59-A, 59-B. 59-C. These designs differ only in detail and are not significant styling changes. The -A, -B, -C’s refer only to bodies, not “Type” — there was no Type 59-A, Type 59-B, or Type 59-C Cadillac.

Note 2: The two-passenger Coupe appeared only in early Type 59 catalogs. If produced at all as a Type 59 body style, this Coupe was dropped by April, 1920 but was picked up as a 1922 Type 61 style.

Note 3: The April 1, 1920 price list advanced all prices by $200 (two-passenger Coupe was not listed). The only price change on May 1, 1920 was an advance to $5690 for the Town Brougham. This body style was not shown in the later (1921) catalogs, but was picked up as a 1922 Type 61 style.

Note 4: Job (Body) number is stamped on right front door sill.



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1920-21 Cadillac

Engine Type Ninety degree V-8. L-Head. Cast iron blocks of four on Aluminum crankcase.
Bore and Stroke 79.4mm x 130.2mm
Displacement 5.153 Liters
S.A.E./N.A.C.C. H.P. 31.25.
Main bearings Three.
Valve lifters Rockers with roller cam follower acting on mechanical lifters
Carburetor float feed, auxiliary air control; manufactured by Cadillac under C. F. Johnson patents.


Item Type 59 Phae., Rds., Vict., Cpe., Sed. Others
Wheelbase 3175mm 3353mm
Front/Rear Tread 1422mm 1422mm
Tires 34 x 4-1/2 35 x 5


Transmission Selective sliding gear transmission. Case in unit with engine
Speeds 3 Forward and 1 Reverse
Controls Left drive, center control (right hand drive optional)
Clutch Multiple disc, dry plate clutch
Drive Shaft drive
Axle Spiral bevel, full floating rear axle
Overall ratio 4.44:1, 5.07:1
Brakes Mechanical brakes on two wheels, one external, one internal.
Wheels Wood artillery wheels, demountable rims, 12 spoke
Wheel size 25 in.
Optional Drive ratio 3.94:1


All nickel headlamps, sidelamps, and hubcaps. R-W wire wheels.


1920-21 Cadillac Notes

  • Introduced January, 1920.
  • Model year sales: 24878.
  • Model year production: 24878.
  • Richard H. Collins was president and general manager
  • Herbert H. Rice became president and general manager on May 1921.
  • Benjamin H. Anibal was chief engineer
  • Lynn McNaughton was general sales manager
  • The general state of the post war economy, shortages of materials, railway strikes, and the completion and occupation of a new factory resulted in a production slump at Cadillac during 1920-1921. With the outstanding war record of the Type 57; with long waiting lists of eager customers; and with reconstruction pressures in the nation and in the company — Cadillac built the new Type 59 for two years without significant styling or mechanical changes.

1920 Automotive Notes

  • Industry production increases to 1,905,560 cars and 321,789 trucks
  • William C. Durant was president of GM until November when Pierre S. du Pont became president and chairman of the board
  • Duesenberg Model A introduced
  • William C. Durant loses control of GM and is replaced by Pierre S. duPont
  • Walter P. Chrysler takes charge of Willys-Overland
  • John and Horace Dodge die
  • Elmer Apperson dies
  • Charles F. Kettering directs newly formed General Motors Research Corporation
  • Bankers take over stuggling Maxwell
  • Ford Model T prices drop to $148
  • Top model year production for 1920

1921 Automotive Notes

  • Industry production decrease to 1,468,067 cars and 148,052 trucks because of a recession
  • Pierre S. du Pont was president and chairman of the board of GM
  • Henry M. Leland’s new Lincoln Model L goes on sale for $4600
  • William C. Durant creates Durant Motors
  • Checker Cab goes into production
  • Cadillac carburetors get thermostatic control
  • William S. Knudsen leaves Ford and joins Chevrolet
  • The first drive-in restaurant opens in Dallas Texas
  • Dr. Thomas Midgley, Jr. promotes tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive
  • Top model year production for 1921