The end of World War II signaled a dramatic shift in the American auto industry. Car production had halted suddenly in 1942 as factories were retooled for the war effort. Now that the conflict was over, auto production could resume, but the problem was that design and development of new models had all but halted during the war as well. So most manufacturers had to make do with hastily refreshed versions of their existing pre-war models. In the case of Cadillac, that meant resuming the brilliant Series 62. The front end design was subtly reworked with a new grille and fender profile with beautiful effect. The proud grille and beautifully contoured body would serve as the basis for Cadillac’s design language through the rest of the 1940s and into the early 50s. The car was available in a number of body styles and trim packages, with the Fleetwood 60 Special topping the sedan range, and the Series 62 Convertible the ultimate of the two-door models. Cadillac still considered itself “The Standard of the World” in this era, and the cars were lavishly equipped with automatic transmissions, V8 engines, leather upholstery, power accessories and so forth. The model proved very popular with buyers, remaining essentially unchanged through 1947, with nearly 40,000 units of the Series 62 sold.
This beautiful 1946 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible is a CCCA Premier and 2009 AACA National 1st Prize winning example, carefully restored to an extremely high standard in 2007 and beautifully maintained since. The Fisher built body is finished in its original and attractive shade of Madiera Maroon, which coincides with the code number 9 on the trim tag. The paint quality is very good, laid down on straight panels with very good alignment. The doors shut with a satisfyingly solid feel that is the unmistakable mark of Cadillac quality. Hailing from the early days of the chrome era in American design, this Series 62 wears its extensive brightwork well. The large chrome grille, chrome bumpers and polished stainless body trim are in excellent order, straight and free of dings, pitting or blemishes. Among the optional extras is a pair of factory reversing lamps. Body color steel wheels are fitted with chrome beauty rings and chrome Cadillac center caps as original. Combined with wide whitewall tires, the look is striking and elegant.
Opening the substantial door reveals a cleverly integrated running board where the fender sweeps into the door. The interior, designed by Fleetwood, is elegant and beautifully detailed, trimmed in supple red leather to a very high standard. Door and quarter panels are equally beautiful, trimmed in correct original patterns. This car was delivered very well-equipped from the factory, with power windows, a power front seat and power operated tan canvas top. Other features include an original radio, heater/defroster (an option for 1946), anti-glare mirror, windscreen washer and Hydramatic transmission. As with the exterior, the interior trim and brightwork have been very well maintained since the restoration and present in excellent condition. The leather seats show only the slightest creasing from use, appearing quite fresh yet inviting. The rear seat appears to have barely been used and remains excellent. Maroon carpeting is executed in the correct material and patterns. These early post-war Cadillacs are marvelous cars to drive, and the lush interior of this example only enhances the experience.
In 1946, Cadillac was still three years away from unveiling its revolutionary OHV V8 engine. So beneath the hood lays venerable and proven flathead “monoblock” V8 displacing 346 cubic inches (“monoblock”, referring to the fact that the cylinder block and crankcase were now one casting). Particularly when mated with the four-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission, these Cadillacs were capable of near 100mph performance with the exceptional smoothness that is the signature of a flathead engine. On this example, the engine is well detailed, finished in correct Cadillac green with black porcelain manifolds and correct gloss black accessories. An optional windscreen washer jar is affixed to the firewall and the presentation is very good, with correct hoses and clamps, lacquered ignition wires, and correct braided wiring loom. The engine show some signs of regular running, though it also appears to have been well maintained in the process.
The undercarriage and trunk are likewise well detailed and tidy, with original jack, tools and spare wheel in place. A top boot is included to ensure a lovely finished look when the top is down. The comprehensive restoration by Art Voss was extensively documented, with photo albums included in the sale. The Series 62 is the last Cadillac model to be approved as a CCCA full classic (through 1947), and is a popular choice for touring thanks to its excellent performance and road manners. This car’s quality presentation as well as its proven show and tour record make it the ideal candidate for a collector who wishes to truly enjoy one of the finest American cars of the era as it was originally intended – for top down cruising in impeccable style.