The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1941 Cadillac Convertible Series 62 Coupe. The car is a real head turner and sports classic lines starting with the chrome grille and domed hood. The entire Cadillac model line for 1941 really had terrific styling.
1941 Cadillac Styling
Styling was all new for Cadillac in 1941 and the automaker also offered their Hydra-Matic automatic transmission for the first time that model year. This was also the first year that air conditioning was offered.
Designing for the 1941 Cadillacs was led by Bill Mitchell who became Cadillac's chief designer at the age of 24. Mitchell's designs helped Cadillac make it's way through the Great Depression with it's distinctive look. If you had the money to purchase a Cadillac during the Depression, the car stood out in any neighborhood.
If you look for the designs that set Bill Mitchell apart from the others it would most likely be the 1938 and 1941 Cadillacs. The 1938 Cadillac Sixty Special caught everyone's attention with it's crisp new look. He followed that up with his all new 1941 Sixty Special which some might say is the best looking Cadillac design ever.
Looking back, you might say that master designers like Bill Mitchell would have a tough time plying their trade with all the regulations we have today. These regulations would have put too many handcuffs on a designer that wanted nothing less than being highly creative. This could be one of the main reasons why so many of today's automobiles look alike. Mitchell had the opportunity to design automobiles for General Motors during the heyday of creative innovation.
1941 Cadillac Convertible Specifications
There was one engine available for the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe and that was a 346 cubic inch L-head V-8 that was rated at 150 horsepower.
Standard transmission was a three speed manual but a Hydra-Matic automatic was available for the first time in 1941. The automatic transmission option cost a bit over $100.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.
The 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible weighed 4,250 lbs. The dimensions for this vehicle included an overall length of 216.0 inches. Wheelbase was 126.0 inches.
Like with prior year models, Cadillac was known for it's outstanding and up to date engineering. The 1941 Cadillac was no exception with a Deluxe heating system, day / night rear view mirror, clock, rear seat dome light and more. Options included a factory radio and vacuum operated power antenna, fog lights and a spotlight just to name a few.
The new car price for the 41 Cadillac Convertible was about $2,000 which was a costly auto price in 1941.
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An excellent book for Cadillac enthusiasts is...Cadillac: 100 Years of Innovation by Angelo Van Bogart. Long before the BMW, Lexus, Infinity, etc., the Cadillac was considered the standard. After surpassing Packard, it was the preferred luxury car for more than 50 years, reigning supreme among American brands. This book presents a light history capturing important names and dates in Cadillac genealogy.
The 1941 Cadillac Convertible Collector Cars
All of the 1941 Cadillacs are popular collector cars. The Convertible Coupe is especially coveted for being one of the last convertibles produced prior to World War Two. It's estimated that there were approximately 3,100 1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupes built.
When war broke out and civilian auto production was halted in February 1942, the two leading luxury car brands were Cadillac and Packard. An interesting side note is that the Cadillac 346 cubic inch L-head V-8 was used in some army tanks during the war.
1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupes have seen solid prices at auction. As of this writing, restored and mint condition models have sold in the $70,000 plus price range. We have seen one great looking Convertible Coupe with an asking price of $83,000 and another with a $139,000 price tag. The 41 Cadillac Hardtop Coupes we have seen have had asking prices in the mid $40,000 range. With all of these cars, originality will mean a higher valuation.
As mentioned above, the 1941 model year saw a very short production run due to the war and most of these vehicles are quite rare.
(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)