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1940 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible


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There are many in this hobby who say that the best car to buy and own is an older restoration with a good history, and I'm inclined to agree. I'm not much for trailer queens and I've already got projects, so a car that you can get in and drive without worries, a car that's powerful and comfortable but not fussy, and a car that can get dirty or wet without stress is something of a joy to own. As I mature into the hobby, my tastes have changed, and cars like this handsome 1940 Cadillac have become my favorites for all of those reasons. It has never been fully apart, so it has that solid, all-of-a-piece feeling that you only get from good original stock, but it's been properly maintained and upgraded over the years to make it a first-rate tour car that looks good enough to show with pride. But if you're looking for trophies and 100-point CCCA wins, this ain't it.

 

We have receipts for restoration work dating back to the 1970s, along with plenty of photos, and it appears that Beaver Brown is this car's original color. Now it doesn't sound exciting, but more than a few people have come into our shop and remarked about what an attractive color it is--the photos just don't quite do it justice. It might be a little lighter and a little deeper than the original, and it has a wonderful glow to it in the sunlight that I bet the factory enamel couldn't match, but it does look quite authentic on the big Cadillac's sheetmetal. There are areas of original paint, including the firewall and dashboard, and you can see that it was just a bit different, but nobody's going to complain. The metal underneath is in great shape and the doors, trunk, and hood all fit very well. Much of the chrome has been refinished and is in excellent condition, save for the door handles, which might be original and show some light pitting as you'd expect. But the bumpers, grille, hood ornament, and taillight housings are quite nice. And make no mistake, this is a BIG car. It doesn't look it in photos, but I'm consistently amazed by how much presence this sucker has sitting in the showroom. It's on a 129-inch wheelbase, and dwarfs my '41 60 Special sitting next to it...

 

The brown interior is definitely a product of that 1970s restoration. It's in very good condition and it's comfortable, but yes, it's a little dated. Personally, I don't care--it works with the Beaver Brown bodywork and the vinyl wears like iron so this is a no-worries tour car if you've got kids. I might change out the carpets, which are a mustard color, with something a little more towards the tan side, but that's a very inexpensive change that will pay big dividends. The gauges are original and in excellent shape and all of them appear to be fully functional. The clock does not work and the radio pulls in static, but I haven't been able to find a station--perhaps the antenna isn't connected? The steering wheel has one or two cracks, but again, it's just too nice to restore and the shifter has a tight, precise feeling that I miss in, say, my 1941 Buick, which feels like a wooden spoon stirring a pot. The tan canvas top is older but in very good condition and folds easily using the original vacuum pistons that work rather well. There's a matching boot, too. The trunk wears original burlap-style upholstery and includes a full tool kit, jack, and a matching fifth wheel and tire (brand new Diamondback radials, by the way).

 

Mechanically, these Cadillacs are some of my favorites. Yes, there are some who deride the 3-main-bearing Cadillac flathead V8, but I defy you to find a pre-war machine that does everything as well. Smooth, powerful, relatively efficient, and bulletproof reliable, with plentiful parts supply, these are my favorite cars to use when there's lots of driving to be done. It starts almost instantly if you use the electric pump to prime the carburetor (no need to use it once the engine is running) and idles smoothly right off the bat, so it's the opposite of cranky. It pulls with genuine enthusiasm on the open road and is so smooth and silent, that on two separate occasions, my passengers thought the engine had stalled at a red light. Nice, right? As I said, the 3-speed manual transmission is a joy to shift and the suspension is buttoned-down, tight, firm, and very competent. No rattles, no squeaks, no untoward noises coming from underneath, even over big bumps. This car is very tight. Brakes are firm and it sits on a fresh set of 16-inch Diamondback radials that the owner reports "eliminated half the bumps and half the noise." The car really does drive beautifully and has zero vices.

 

I sold a similar car in 98-point condition for $110,000 two years ago. This one isn't a trophy hound, but if you want a big-time Full Classic convertible for tours, a car that's big enough for adults in the back seat, and has enough space for a week's worth of touring and runs all day at 65 MPH, you can scarcely do better than this. I keep telling everyone how much I like Packards, but I keep falling in love with Cadillacs, which I have to admit, are consistently the very best cars I have. This one is available for $64,900 and I'm always open to reasonable offers.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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