1959 Cadillac Cyclone


Front Left 1959 Cadillac Cyclone Concept Car Picture

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The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone Concept car featured two prominent nose cones and flip-up head lights along with two very pronounced tail fins. The tail fins became a Cadillac chacteristic over the next few years. The car looked as if it could be powered by one or two jet engines instead of a Cadillac 390 engine giving 325 horsepower.

The car had 4 retractable headlights; front cones masked radar devices allowing the car to steer itself thanks to a tracking sensor placed under the front of the car that could follow a signal from a wire imbedded in the road; a test loop was set up at proving grounds to show the effectiveness of the system.

A proximity warning device was supposed to prevent collisions but it was never tested in practice. The car had small openings cut in the doors for passing various materials in and out; there was a sound system to the outside world, through speakers located behind grilles in the front fenders, for use when the canopy was raised. This was a fair-weather car, not really designed for use with the top up, which made entry and egress very difficult. Its principal features were a bubbly top canopy and doors that popped out at the touch of a button, then could be slid back (a system popularized by Volkswagen on its minibus series around the same time).

Built on a 104" chassis, the Cyclone is 197" long and stands only 44" tall; the body is made of steel (not fiberglass, like some experimental models); power is provided by the standard 325 HP engine fitted with a low-profile carburetor, a cross-flow aluminum radiator and two fans. The initial white pearlescent paint was replaced later with silver; at the same time, the GM Air Transport logo disappeared from the tall fins, to be replaced by an oblong, vertical Cyclone name badge placed at the extremity of each rear fender. The seats are silver leather.

Resource: The Classic Car-Nection

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