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Matt Harwood

FOR SALE: 1947 Cadillac Series 75 Sedan

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*SOLD*

For affordable entry-level Full Classics, it's hard to beat vintage limousines, and there's probably no more sheetmetal for your dollar than this 1947 Cadillac Series 75 7-passenger sedan. It's massive, no doubt about that, and thanks to spending the past two-and-a-half decades in the service of a funeral home (with a matching restored hearse sibling!), it's in very good condition. I suspect a cosmetic restoration was probably done in the mid-80s, but the owner believes mileage of about 40,000 is authentic (the odometer stopped working about five years ago, although the speedo is functional). The paint and much of the chrome have been refinished and it looks quite good, with massive doors that fit well and a hood is just a bit taller than other passenger cars to keep things in proportion. There are, of course, a few signs of use and a tiny bit of orange peel in the shiny black paint, but it's hard to make a grander entrance than in 18 feet of vintage Cadillac limousine. It was frequently rented to other funeral homes around the Cleveland area, as apparently vintage car funerals were quite popular--who knew? It was retired about three years ago and the owner has decided to let it go simply because it's not getting as much exercise as he thinks it should. Sadly, the fender skirts were removed many years ago and are lost to the sands of time, but I've seen two sets on eBay in the last six months, so I suspect they will not be impossible to replace.

The interior was also nicely refinished in tan fabric that uses original-style stitching and patterns for a period-perfect look. There's minimal wear to the seating surfaces and the carpets remain in very good shape. That's real wood trim in the rear compartment and around the doors, and it's amazingly well preserved, although I think if it were mine, I'd get the linseed oil out and buff up a bit of a soft gloss on it. There are jump seats behind the driver's bench and the woodgrained dash was restored quite recently and looks great. I have to believe that the steering wheel was re-cast at some point because it's just too nice, but the gauges are original and in good shape, save for the temperature gauge which is not functioning and has been supplemented by a modern gauge under the dash. As usual, the clock and radio do not work, but everything else is ready to enjoy, including the power windows which were just serviced by Hydro-E-Lectric at great expense (new pump and all new cylinders in the doors).

Cadillac's 346 cubic inch flathead V8 was the only choice in '47 and with proper gearing the stately old sedan moves rather well. It's not fast by any means, but it has an inevitable feeling on the road, a feeling of power that is akin to a steamship and once it's up to speed, it cruises easily at 60 MPH without complaints and in almost eerie silence. The engine bay is pretty original and the owner does not believe the engine has ever been opened up, but he has maintained it properly over the years he's owned it--obviously reliability was paramount for its duties in funeral processions. It starts and runs very well with maybe a tiny exhaust leak on the manifolds that disappears once it warms up. A recent tune-up puts it in excellent driving condition and it was fitted with a brand new battery moments before I arrived to see it last week. It stayed cool idling for the photo shoot and the Hydra-Matic automatic shifts like it should and doesn't appear to be a major leaker (they all seep a little bit). I believe it has 3.77 gears out back, so it doesn't strain itself on the highway and it has been fitted with recent Diamondback Classic wide whitewall radials that ride and handle superbly.

This is a lot of car for the money and if you have a family, it's an awesome way to tour in first class. It's also quite reasonably priced for what was the second-most-expensive Cadillac in 1947. We're asking $32,900 and we're always open to reasonable offers. Thanks for looking!

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Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)

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