The fortieth anniversary Cadillac is considered by many to be the greatest American luxury car of its day. The motor company claimed: “In the field above 2000 dollars, approximately two thirds of all motorists make Cadillac their choice”. Design, comfort and engineering features changed radically with the ’41 and ’42 Cadillac 62’s; further progress was curtailed by the war years. Subsequent changes were evolutionary until the 1948 re-design.
This 1942 Cadillac convertible came standard with a 150 hp V-8 engine and a power top. A number of options were added including a green leather interior, Hydra-Matic transmission, special steering wheel, AM radio with aerial, windshield washer, and wheel discs. Little is known about this convertible’s early history. The consignor relates that it was the subject of an eight year comprehensive restoration the quality of which was validated by an AACA Senior award. The car rested in safe storage after the passing of its owner and has since been reconditioned to be readied for the enjoyment of its next keeper.
“In the years just before and after World War II, a Cadillac was one of the best performance cars on the market. By 1950, they were so good that a very lightly modified stock Cadillac finished in 10th place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, humbling many more exotic cars, and deeply impressing the Europeans. Cadillac engines appeared in European performance cars like the Allard. Cadillac cars were advertised as the “Standard Of The World,” a defensible claim.”Martin Swig
The second generation of the 62 Series Cadillac was launched in 1941. Penned by Bill Mitchell under the guidance of VP and Head of GM’s Styling division, Harley Earl, the Cadillac would come to be regarded as a design tour de force. (Mitchell would go on to design the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, the Buick Riviera and the Oldsmobile Toronado.) The hood was lowered ala “Cord”. Headlights were built into contoured fenders which were integral to the design and not obvious appendages. The gas cap was hidden beneath the left tail light. Styling advanced considerably in 1942. The Cadillac’s wheelbase was stretched to 129 inches. The horizontal grill was further widened and signaled the entire industries’ deviation from vertically based frontispieces. The 42 Cadillac featured the first use of the “Dagmar” bumper guards. The breast like protuberances would be adopted by Ford and GM divisions alike and would help characterize Cadillacs until 1959.
This Cadillac has had only modest yet careful use after restoration. The paint is excellent and the extensive amount of chrome displayed in the cockpit and on the car’s exterior is in outstanding condition. The leather has a beautiful and light patina. The transmission was recently removed to repair a leaking seal and a thoughtful and thorough reconditioning of the Hydra-Matic was performed. Engine and carburetor have been freshly tuned. The Cadillac maintains a stock appearance but its utility has been enhanced by a subtly placed electric fuel pump and an eight volt battery. The consignor runs a well known restoration and sales shop and has subjected the car to a thorough road test. Steering is “right on”; the car brakes “great and straight” and cruises effortlessly as 60 mph.
This 1942 Cadillac Convertible checks any number of boxes. The model typically performs and rides better than a multitude of cars a decade newer and is equipped with modern features such as turn signals, power top, radio, windshield washer, etc. It is a favorite for long distance cruising and qualifies as a “Classic” with eligibility for CCCA touring. Only 308 examples of the 1942 Series 62 Convertible were produced. Determinants of value in the collector world include groundbreaking design, utility and reliability, tour eligibility, upscale options, rarity, and an open top. This one has them all!
“A great highway car and a great city car…..the nicest driving old car I have ever owned or driven.”Kevin Cornish 1942 Cadillac Series 62 owner and Executive Director of Arizona Concours D’ Elegance