The Cadillac Model 62 such as the one shown here replaced the Model 61 in 1940 as the lowest model on Cadillac's list of offerings. Many believed the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 first embodied the ulltimate in style.
Standard V-8 Engines
The 1941 Cadillac Model 62 was a good seller. For the 1941 model year, Cadillac put it's efforts into one line of V-8 engines. This move replaced the V-16 engine which would never be produced again. Sales of V-16's had been lagging for some time and it made more sense to concentrate on one engine.
All 1941 Cadillac's produced were powered by a 346 cubic inch V8 engine. In fact, all Cadillacs were built with V-8's through 1948. When the new V-8's came out in 1941 Cadillac pointed out the many improvements over the 1940 engine which included a claim of more efficiency delivering 15 percent better fuel mileage than it's predecessor.
The 1941 Cadillac Model 62 had a low sleek body, a more slanted windshield and a curved rear window. The car had a C Body which was also used on the Buick Roadmaster. Of special note was the grille. The grille bars were heavier and there were fewer of them. In 1941 the one piece hood came down lower in the front and included side panels that extended sideways to the fenders. The grille would become even larger on the 1942 model.
Cadillac was always considered General Motor's prestige line of automobiles.The line stayed intact during the Great Depression years of the 1930's when some luxury automakers folded. Cadillac solidified it's image as America's luxury automobile by the end of the 1930's. General Motors did everything possible to promote Cadillac's image for engineering perfection and reliability.
This first generation of Cadillac Series 62 were only built from 1941 to 1942 due to the start of World War Two and the banning of civilian automobile production.
The 1941 models were available in a two door club coupe, a four door sedan and a four door convertible. Coachwork was performed by Fisher Body. The Series 62 offered Cadillac's only convertible sedan.
1941 Sales figures for Cadillac were excellent. The automaker built over 66,000 vehicles. It was a record year. This was just under Packard's numbers and about 10,000 less than Mercury. The 66,000 units built were much above 1940's figures of 43,000 cars.
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Specs
As mentioned above, the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 was built with a V-8 346 cubic inch engine delivering 150 horsepower and a top speed of 100 MPH.
Transmission options were a 3 speed Manual Selective Synchromesh or a 4 speed Automatic Hydra-Matic. Hydra-Matic was first introduced by General Motors in 1940. The 1941 Cadillac was the first model with a fully automatic transmission which first appeared in 1940 with Oldsmobile.
Vehicle weight came in at just over 4,000 lbs and the wheelbase was 126.0 inches. It's interesting to note that Cadillac built a Series Sixty-Seven with a 139.0 wheelbase. This was for buyers who really wanted luxury and size.
The new car price averaged around $1,700 which was quite reasonable for a Cadillac product. The Series 61 had sold for a few hundred dollars less. The Series 62 was the lowest priced Cadillac and not too much above the cost of a Buick Roadmaster. The Cadillac line was the next above the Buick offerings.
Links to additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy include:
The Five Generations of Series 62
The Cadillac Model 62 Series first introduced in 1941 are sought after collector's cars. Cadillac built the 62 series until 1964. The second generation of the Series 62 was produced from 1946 until 1947 and the third generation from 1948 until 1953.
The fourth generation of the Series 62 was produced from 1954 until 1958 and the fifth generation from 1959 until 1964. At the end of it's run in 1964, the original Series 62 came with a 429 inch engine that provided 340 horsepower. This was one big advance from the series 62 first production car in 1941.
During it's lifetime, the Cadillac Model 62 went through several name changes including the Series 6200 and the Cadillac Calais names.
See our article on Antique and Classic Car Serial Numbers
(Photos from author's collection)