1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille / All Details, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Series 62. An elegantly designed vehicle with relatively small tailfins, especially compared to the types of tailfins Cadillac would come out with during the last few years of the decade.The Series 62 was offered in a variety of two and four door styles that included sedans, coupes, and convertibles.

1954 cadillac coupe deville

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille

New for 1954

For 1954, Cadillac touted it's design as being as distinguished as the Cadillac name itself.

A more contoured front bumper along with a new grille and a new lowered hood were the first thing a Cadillac buyer might notice.

Also, the introduction of a new "V" and crest. The car's fenders had straighter lines both front and back and the tailfins go upward more sharply. Add to this new rounded exhaust ports and a two inch overhang across the windshield which is visor like and helps with sun glare and snow and ice accumulation in that upper portion.

The 54 models also had larger parking and turn signal lights plus new rectangular design of the chrome-framed vent wings. In conjunction with the vertical pillar posts this addition provides exceptionally strong roof support. An Eldorado type wrap around windshield was seen on all models.

The 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille came with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission as standard equipment as well as power steering. Air conditioning, power brakes, fog lamps, radio and electrically operated front seats were among options at an extra cost.

54 cadillac models

Front end changes for the 54 Cadillac

Henry Ford, Cadillac and General Motors

The Cadillac brand came out of dispute between Henry Ford and his investors in 1902. A breakup ensued and the investors were essentially left with the hard assets of the factory. The investors felt they had little choice than to try to sell what assets remained of the now closed plant when a man named Henry Leland, a manufacturer in Detroit entered the picture.

Henry Leland was producing engines for Oldsmobile at the time and was more interested in reopening the factory than keeping it closed. Leland, who just happened to have invented a new engine, convinced the old Ford investors that his new engine was stronger than that of Olds and he could even build them at a lower cost. The auto factory remained open and the new automobile to be produced would be named the Cadillac. The Cadillac name for this new car was the namesake of the explorer and  founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

General Motors, which was acquiring nameplates would purchase Cadillac in 1909. As they say, the rest is history. Cadillac would continue on and become the luxury automobile and SUV division of General Motors Corporation.

Cadillac had always proclaimed that their goal was to make their name "the standard for the world". In a big way they did accomplish this. To be sure, Cadillac had it's competitors along the way and still does. There was Lincoln, Imperial and a host of others during the 20's and 30's (think Auburn, Pierce-Arrow, Cord) but Cadillac always kept their reputation intact as a quality, stylish, well engineered and luxurious automobile. Even at their relatively high prices,

The Cadillac Crest

It's interesting to note that Cadillac had forty four revisions to it's crest during the past century. Of historic importance is the fact that the first emblem was the family crest of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of the city of Detroit. This would make the emblem actually older than Detroit itself.

1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Specifications

The 54 Cadillac Coupe deVille came with a 331 cubic inch V-8 delivering 230 HP.

Transmission was an automatic four speed.

1954 cadillac tail fins

Relatively small tail fins compared to what would come from Cadillac during the late 1950's.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Front suspension were independent coil springs with a longitudinal leaf spring in the rear.

The overall outside length was 223.4 inches, height 61.0 inches, width 79.8 inches with a wheelbase of 129.0 inches. Estimated curb weight was 4,520 lbs.

Total Cadillac Series 62 production for 1954 was 58,024 units which was down about 12,000 from the previous year.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

Reference material for this article and some good reads include...The Cadillac Story: The Post War Years by Thomas Bonsall.....Cadillac: A Century of Excellence by authors Robert Leicester Wagner...Cadillac: The Tailfin Years by Robert J. Headrick Jr.

cadillacs of the 1950's1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille Collector Values

As we have said several times, most 1950's American cars are popular collector cars. Cadillac had some very creative designs during the decade and models from each year of the 50's have a story to tell. Look at any of the models and you just knew it was a Cadillac.

Top 1954 Cadillac models include the Eldorado which depending on condition and restoration factors can be near and well into six figure valuations. The 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille, again based on condition and restoration details, can run from $30,000, $45,000 on up.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

 

 

 

The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible / Specs and History

The beautifully restored automobile featured in this article is the 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. As you can see the car is absolutely stunning inside and out.

1958 cadillac eldorado convertible

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

The Cadillac Motor Company

An interesting piece of automobile history is that Cadillac was formed by the breakup of Henry Ford's company in 1902 due to a dispute between Ford and his investors.

The investors were trying to sell the assets from the closed factory when instead they decided to continue making automobiles by the urging of Henry Leland a Detroit manufacturer who also happened to have built a new engine. Leland convinced the investors that his new engine was stronger than that of Olds and he could produce them cheaper. The Cadillac name chosen for this new venture was the namesake of the explorer and  Detroit's founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

General Motors would go on to purchase Cadillac in 1909 and eventually Cadillac became the luxury automobile and SUV division of General Motors Corporation.

cadillac eldorado convertibleThe Cadillac Eldorado

The Cadillac Eldorado was a top of the line model. The Eldorado was introduced in 1953 and lasted continuously to 2002. The 1953 Eldorado was a limited edition convertible.  The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado shown here is of the third generation models which were built from the 1957 through 1960 model years.

The Cadillacs of the 1950's are remembered by their vast display of chrome.

Harley Earl and the new 1958 Cadillacs

Automobile design historians are well aware of the long tenure at General Motors by design chief Harley Earl. In short, Earl was hired by Alfred Sloan to be in charge of the styling section to design LaSalles. That worked out well and Earl was then put in charge of GM's new "Art and Styling Studio" where he would head design for GM's entire line. Essentially Harley Earl joined General Motors as a head designer and remained so for over thirty years.

Harley Earl was the head designer of the team working on the new 1957 Cadillac designs. These designs would mark the 1957 and 1958 Cadillacs. One of the major changes to these third generation models were the double headlights on each front side. The 1959 models would have much larger tail fins and perhaps the largest ever.

The 1958 Cadillacs received a modest facelift. Cadillacs for 1958 were basically carryover models from 1957 with a facelift on all but the Brougham. There was a new grille with multiple round "cleats" at the joining of horizontal and vertical members. The grille was wider and the bumper guards were set lower to the parking lamps. New quad headlights were seen on all Cadillac lines and small chrome fins were placed on the front fenders. Tailfins were somewhat less pronounced in 58 and trim attachments were revised. The Cadillac name was seen, in block letters, on the tailfins of Series 62 base models. On the sides of these models were five longer horizontal windsplits placedahead of the unskirted rear wheel housings.

The 1958 Recession Automobile Market

Sales were relatively poor in 1958. The reason was not the automobile itself but rather a recession that the country was in. Cadillac produced a total of 121,700 vehicles for the 58 model year.

The 1958 recession brought about the worst car sales year since World War Two. Overall American new car sales decreased 31 percent from 1957 levels. Fortunately, the recession ended during the last half of the year and sales picked up for 1959.

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Specifications

The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado had a 365 cubic inch V-8. The engine delivered 312 HP and was used in all Cadillacs that year. Eldorado performance was substantially improved with the adoption of three two-barrel carburetors, which boosted output to 335 HP.

cadillac tailfins

The 58 Eldorado's distinctive tailfins

Transmission was a 4 speed Hydra-Matic.

Wheelbase was 129.5 inches with an overall length of 221.8 inches.

A total of 7,825 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible Coups were produced for 1958.

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The 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

The 1958 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

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The 1958 Cadillac Collector Car Values

Cadillac has long been a popular collector car. The Cadillac's of the 1920's and 1930's have very distinctive and luxurious styling of that era.

1958 eldorado prices

58 Eldorado dashboard

Cadillac during the 1950's were known for plenty of chrome and some of the most advanced accessories available. Many of these accessories that were optional on most automobiles were standard equipment with Cadillac. Power windows and seats, power antennas were what the 50's Cadillacs offered as standard equipment.

The 1958 Cadillac found itself in the era of tail fins. Some larger than others but the tail fin was a common theme in almost all American cars from 1956 to 1960 and Cadillac was the automaker with some of the biggest tail fins on the road.

Current values for 1958 Cadillacs remain strong, in particular with the convertible models. Top end prices for the restored original Eldorado Biarritz Convertible can be in the $150,000 area. For the Series 62 Eldorado Convertible about half that at $75,000. These prices reflect models in perfect condition inside and out. Series 62 hardtops and coupes may be found in the $25,000 to $38,000 range for top priced models.

Reference material for this article and some good reads include...The Cadillac Story: The Post War Years by Thomas Bonsall.....Cadillac: A Century of Excellence by authors Robert Leicester Wagner...Cadillac: The Tailfin Years by Robert J. Headrick Jr.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

The 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan / Photos, All Details

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan. The 1951 model year was the last for the Cadillac Series 61. The Series 61 was popular in as much as it offered a lower priced Cadillac but still offered the smooth Cadillac ride not to mention carrying the prestigious Cadillac badge.

1951 cadillac series 61

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

Cadillac initially came up with their Series 61 due to the Great Depression which of course put downward pressure on prices. Price point, even to sell Cadillacs, was important. Some of the independent luxury automakers that didn't have the resources of a company like GM simply went out of business.

The New Post War Cadillac Design

New post war Cadillac design was introduced with the 1948 model. Up until that point designs had their roots in the pre war models. The 1948 Cadillac came in a Sixty-One model and a Sixty-Two Model. Among other differences, the Sixty-One Series had less trim than the Sixty-Twos.

The new post war design was spearheaded by Frank Hershey, working under Harley Earl, who is credited for the first tail fins on a Cadillac, and the 1955 Thunderbird.

These automobiles considered some of the most elegant automobiles of that period with smooth flowing lines. The new design also sported a tail fin that housed the tail lights. These new tail fins were reportedly had their origins based on the P-38 military fighter airplane. Fins would become a trademark of Cadillacs for many years thereafter. The 48 model year will always be remembered as the year Cadillac came out with tail fins which hit it's most extravagant design in the 1958 to 1960 period.

In 1949 the most significant engineering change involved the introduction of the new overhead valve 331 cubic inch V8 engine.

cadillac series 61 specificationsThe 1951 Cadillac Series 61

A major design change occurred in 1950. These changes included a longer rear deck, a lower and heavier look and a broken rear fender line. Also, 1950 saw the new one piece windshield. The 1951 model had a minor facelift from the previous year.

As mentioned above, the 1951 Cadillac Series 61 was the lower priced Cadillac. This model also had a shorter wheelbase than the Series 62. (122 inch vs.126 inch)

Cadillac had mixed results catering to middle class buyers. No doubt a strong effort was made to accomplish this but the Series 61 was discontinued in mid-year. The most popular seller in 1951 was Cadillac's Series 62 four door sedan. The Cadillac Series 62 was available as a pillared coupe, convertible or Coupe de Ville.

1951 Cadillac Series 61 Specifications

Standard engine for the 1951 Cadillac 61 Sedan was a 331 cubic inch V-8. Horsepower was rated at 160. Top speed for this model came in at just under 100 MPH.

Gearbox was a three speed manual or a four speed Hydra-Matic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Front suspension were independent coil springs with rear being semi-ellipical leaf springs.

Dimensions and weight include a wheelbase of 122.0 inches, an overall length of 211.5 inches, width 80.123 inches, height 61.69 inches and a curb weight of about of 4,000 lbs. The Hydra-Matic model about 4,100 lbs. New car price for the 51 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan was about $2,700.

Total 1951 production of the Cadillac Series 6

was about 4,700 vehicles. Out of this total 2,300 Series 61 Sedans were built.

You may also enjoy the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

The Classic 1955 Cadillac Coupe deVille

The 1958 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1950 car fins

Distinctive tail fin with enclosed taillight

Reference material for this article included, GM Archives, The Book of Collector Cars, American Automobile History, NADA.

1951 Cadillac Collector Cars and Values

We believe that basically all Cadillacs from the early 1900's through the 1950's make good collector cars. The 1948 Cadillac can be considered a milestone car in as much as it represents the new post war design.

Cadillacs from 1950 through 1956 are especially popular starting with the significant design change of 1950. Cadillacs had the distinction of looking unique. During this period when you saw a Cadillac you knew beyond doubt that it was a Cadillac. The 1955 classic Coupe deVille is an excellent example.

1951 cadillac design

Taillight in fin styling

In general, values for very good conditioned and better 1951 Cadillac Series 61 range from about $11,000 to $25,000. The top price in this category is a professionally restored model. Interestingly enough, the Two Door Coupe appears to garner $5,000 to $10,000 more than the sedans. For the 1951 model year the Cadillac Series 62 Convertible comes in at the highest valuation in a range of $50,000 to $90,000. Again, this range goes from very good to excellent. The higher prices are not considered daily drivers.

An excellent website for Cadillac enthusiasts is ...http://www.cadillaccountryclub.com/   Here you will find information ranging from classics to the new Cadillac Escalade. For a list of Cadillac Car Clubs see website...http://www.carclubsworldwide.com/cadillac-car-clubs.php

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)