Designed by William Mitchell
Compared with the tall, rounded, stodgy sedans of its day, the Cadillac 60 Special was lithe, clean, and elegant. Its flat roof and thin, chrome-outlined window frames were influenced by the French Panhard 6CS Panoramic, but shorn of running boards and with an extended, coupelike trunk blended into the body, the 60 Special was far more interesting. When design boss Harley Earl first pitched the radical car to the GM board, they resisted. CEO Alfred Sloan wasn’t in the meeting, but he was known to like the car, according to Michael Lamm and Dave Holls’ A Century of Automotive Style, so an exasperated Earl at last turned to them and said, “What will I tell Mr. Sloan when he asks me?” With that, Earl got the 60 Special approved.