Given 60 years of hindsight, the argument that the '58 Cadillac looked "hardly distinguishable from the rest of the General Motors line" doesn't hold up real well. Still, Lincoln was rolling out the big guns in the ever-escalating chrome-and-gingerbread arms race of late-1950s Detroit with their cars' design. Thanks to SOS10 for the tip!
wow. i am disheartened at the response here. the fifties were a time when styling was everything, but more than that - cars themselves were important to people.
dealerships had huge parties to introduce each model year, with near-carnival atmosphere. showrooms were downtown, with huge picture windows and people would make a day out of just looking.
cars were symbols, not just appliances.
and i certainly don't agree with the off the cuff assessment of the cars of these times having no "stylistically redeeming value". the exuberance of the post-war years was just that: a celebration of progress and an optimism about what could be achieved through commerce and science.