There’s nothing like assuming the helm of a 1950s Cadillac, a car from an era where General Motors was at the tip top of its game in terms of design, engineering and performance. Unfortunately, top-notch vintage Cadillacs that are ready to drive AND show are becoming increasingly hard to find. The factory perfect cars are locked in padded garages and only allowed to see daylight during concours-level events, and the field dwelling project cars are aging almost as fast as the cost of restoring them is going up. But every once in a while a nice, solid road-ready cruiser like this super cool 1955 Cadillac Series 62 will pull into our showroom and stop everyone dead in their tracks. Combining the best aspects of classic Cadillac style with a skilled and thorough restoration, this substantial blue cruiser is the perfect car for any enthusiast who wants to ooze 50s style!
The beneficiary of a detailed, frame-off restoration, this 1955 Series 62 is a super solid cruiser that was purchased from the garage of its 92 year old original owner. As you can tell from our pictures the car, which wears all-original sheetmetal, was completely stripped; and that time-devouring labor resulted in a slick fuselage which features the kind of show-worthy gaps and solidity found only in ‘golden age’ Detroit luxury cars. Take a close look at its contoured panels and you’ll find exceptionally smooth surfaces with first rate metalwork that’s rendered practically invisible. Those smooth surfaces make for a super clean body which has been laboriously block-sanded and covered in a stunning combination of correct Ruskin Blue and Alpine White basecoat. And, to ensure that basecoat would stay vibrant, a tough layer of clearcoat was allowed to dry and carefully buffed into a trophy winning shine.
We all know trim is what makes 50s cars so cool, and WOW is there a lot of chrome on this Series 62. Put it this way: if you want to look at this vintage hardtop under the lights, be sure to close the shades because the reflection from your garage will probably wake the neighbors! At the front of the car, bright headlights and clear parking lamps visually dissect a cellular chrome grille that’s positioned low enough to emphasize a road-hugging stance. Below that grille, a wraparound gull-wing bumper features prominent chrome bullets. And above that grille, a brilliant hood goddess overlooks a vintage Cadillac crest and slim-line “V” emblem that inspired Cadillac’s current performance moniker. At the top of the car, a stainless-trimmed cowl intake rides between Cadet Visor headlight bezels, a low-profile hood, and bright stainless wipers that clear a panoramic windshield. Behind that windshield, a Florentine roof floats above a chrome driver’s mirror and traditional GM door handles. And below that windshield, canted “Cadillac” emblems are perfectly aligned with straight stainless trim spears, air-slot fender breaks and smooth rocker trim. At the back of the car, a rolled trunk hangs a second Cadillac crest above a second slim-line “V”. At the sides of that trunk, squared off fins feature modern-looking tail lights. And at the base of that trunk, a second wraparound bumper hangs cleanly integrated exhaust tips below decorative chrome moldings.
Powering this spectacular cruiser is an original 331 cubic inch overhead valve V8 that wears a correct 556262936 VIN stamp, creates a stout 230 horsepower and cranks out a stellar 330 ft./lb. of torque. That’s plenty of chutzpah to move this Caddy down the boulevard with authority, and the big mill is buttery smooth with a distinctive rumble that insists its parent division wasn’t interested in hiding their world class power. Remember: Cadillac engines were the hot ticket for performance cars like the Allard J2, and it’s hard to deny their eager performance, even in a chassis this large. At the top of the navy blue block, a familiar Cadillac air cleaner swirls wind though a big 4-barrel carburetor. In front of that carburetor, a tagged Delco-Remy generator spins fresh V-belts around pliable hoses and new screw clamps. And behind that carburetor, a correct points distributor shoots spark through correct manifolds via high quality Belden plug wires. Nothing has been overlooked in this top notch engine bay, and the professionally finished powerplant is complemented by a full assortment of well-planned and well-executed details. Cadillac’s open runner cooling system is present and accounted for. Fire is provided by a slim, application-specific battery. A glass washer reservoir hangs behind the engine’s old school oil cartridge. And the car’s solid inner fenders, fully finished hood and factory firewall are covered in a smooth coat of Ruskin Blue paint.
Throw this Caddy on a lift and you’ll find a road-ready undercarriage that’s no less spectacular. The car’s beefy X-frame, which could’ve lived a past life as railroad trestling, has been stripped and completely powder coated. The blue V8 throws torque through an original Hydra-Matic transmission and comfy 3.07 gears. Ahead of that stellar drivetrain, you’ll find an independent front half that’s been painstakingly restored to factory specifications. Behind that stellar drivetrain, you’ll find a rebuilt rear end that’s centered on semi-elliptic springs. Braking is handled by four big drums that bring the car to a power-assisted stop with surprisingly little effort. A factory power steering system, which has been fitted with a rebuilt gearbox, mixes vintage feel with parade-style turns. And a fresh stainless exhaust system sounds muscular yet luxurious. Above those fully sorted mechanicals, solid, over-restored floors provide an excellent backdrop for fresh stainless hardware and new stainless fluid lines. At the corners of those floors, standard steel wheels spin meaty L78-15 Goodyear Power Belt Polyglas rubber around classy stainless discs. And all the small details like leak-free shocks, a big stainless fuel tank and a correct starter have been painstakingly located and professionally installed.
Clean and ready for hours of cruising, this classic Series 62''s color correct Light and Dark Blue interior features a perfect mix of outrageous style and traditional American luxury. The front rear bench seats are stuffed with firm padding, decked in striking two-tone covers, and trimmed in subtle stainless brightwork. In front of those seats, a leather-topped dash hangs a correct AM radio between a contoured instrument panel, a small “Cadillac” script and a stylish electric clock. At the base of those seats, fade-free carpet is anchored by silver stainless sill plates, protected by thick rubber mats and flanked by chrome-trimmed kick panels. At the sides of those seats, two-tone door panels hang new chrome handles and sculpted armrests between body-matched frames, small Cadillac crests and bright stainless trim. In front of the driver, a two-tone steering wheel spins a chrome horn ring around a color-keyed gear selector and a translucent centerpiece. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk anchors a correct jack next to a full-size spare tire. GM designers definitely knew what they were doing back in 1955. And all of this car’s unique detail was restored, right down to its cool “Power Brake” pedal and historically significant Fisher Body/Fleetwood Interior trim tag.
The sale of this stylish Caddy includes an original owner’s manual, a small stack of restoration receipts, a CD of restoration photos and a variety of pamphlets and parts catalogs.
The old world produces some very nice cars, but there’s no piece that says “you’ve made it” better than an old school Cadillac. This Series 62’s factory solidity had a crowd of us standing around simply marveling at its style and pondering its clean history. If you’re looking for a classic that you can drive AND enjoy, this car is spectacular in every way. Don’t miss the chance to park it in your garage!