There’s nothing like assuming the helm of a mid-century Cadillac, a car from an era when 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, road-ready cruiser like this super cool 1947 Cadillac Series 62 will pull into our showroom and stop everyone dead in their tracks. Combining the best aspects of classic motor city style with a skilled and thorough restoration, this substantial black custom is the perfect car for any enthusiast who wants to ooze old school swagger!
An exceptionally solid survivor, this stunning convertible was completely disassembled, carefully modified and professionally restored by Malone Enterprises in Elkmont, Alabama. As you can tell from our documentation photos, the car was purchased in flat black and only required repairs to its hood and trunk to present a better-than-new appearance. Once those panels were patched, and sufficiently shaved, six coats of primer were alternated between six episodes of block-sanding, subjected to two installments of wet-sanding and covered in six layers of blue paint. And when that paint dried, a thick clearcoat shell was sanded and buffed two more times to complete a three year, $181K restoration. Two years later, when the car’s current owner came into the mix, he spent an additional $58K on slick black paint and a fresh leather interior. And the result is one spectacular classic with no filler, no questionable seams, no bulges, and nothing else that would be any kind of demerit to its excellent restoration.
Just about all of Detroit’s late 40s and early 50s steel featured a couple hundred pounds of built in chrome. But very few automakers applied that chrome with the same charisma as Cadillac. And this Series 62, which ushered in the end of GM’s ‘pontoon era’, displays its re-plated jewelry with real charisma! At the front of the car, chrome-ringed headlights and custom parking lamps frame a cellular grille that’s seated behind a wraparound bumper and prominent guards. Above that grille, a liquid-smooth hood, which hangs a brilliant goddess over a shaved Cadillac crest, leads the eye to bright wipers that clear a smoked and stainless-trimmed windshield. At the sides of those wipers, shaved doors ride between classy chrome mirrors and dramatic fenders that are dotted with classic “Cadillac” scripts, minimalist trim and prerequisite skirts. At the back of those fenders, a wood-framed Electron roof folds into a shaved, power operated trunk. And at the base of that trunk, chrome-trimmed tail lights hide the car’s fuel filler while a second wraparound bumper balances two more guards with integrated exhaust tips.
Cadillac, once the world’s leading proprietor of fine, 16-cylinder motor coaches, knows a thing or two about performance. For example, this convertible’s 500 cubic inch monster motor, which is one of the largest castings ever produced, does a fine job of turning stout compression into impressive, all-American torque. And while GM Powertrain has provided engines that generate more power, this mill was designed to idle silently, create instantaneous thrust and emit merely a whisper from its tailpipe. Restored by Mitchell’s Racing Engines, and seated in a custom, body-matched bay, this luxurious V8 benefits from a full-scale detailing. At the top of its sinister black block, a silver-hued goddess rides a polished air cleaner that funnels wind into a coated Edelbrock 850 carburetor. That carburetor feeds a familiar Edelbrock Performer intake that’s seated between big, “Cadillac” branded valve covers. At the front of those valve covers, a modern HEI distributor sequences fire through 8mm High Energy Wires. Those wires snake around ceramic coated, long-tube headers that dump charred gas into aluminized, true-dual pipes. In front of those headers, a custom fabricated Malone radiator sends coolant around a quick-spinning puller fan via bright, billet pulleys. Many of the motor’s original ancillary items have been replaced by flashier hardware, including a chrome alternator, stainless fluid lines, a braided throttle linkage and a chrome dip stick. And everything, from the car’s modern power steering to its flashy chrome hood latch, displays an overall excellent appearance.
Take a look under this super solid cruiser and you’ll find a fully sorted chassis that, despite its road-ready mechanicals, is exceptionally clean and displays very few signs of wear. The car’s sturdy X-frame, treated to the same comprehensive makeover as its body, is the correct shade of satin black; and given its railroad trestle engineering, is probably one of the reasons old Cadillacs are known for their smooth ride. The front suspension was completely rebuilt using a ’73 Firebird sub-frame and, like the modified Cadillac rear suspension, is currently fitted with adjustable air bags. The original four wheel drum brakes have been booted in favor of GM-style discs at every corner. Likewise, old school manual turns have been exchanged for a Trans Am steering box and modern power steering. Behind the big engine, a proven GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed makes good use of a sturdy, 10-bolt rear end. At the sides of that driveline, aluminized exhaust pipes shuttle spent gases through great sounding FLO-PRO mufflers. And at the corners of the car, traditional steel wheels spin 235/75R15 BF Goodrich whitewalls around dreamy Fleetwood hub caps. We can’t find any signs of floor repairs anywhere, and since it’s very hard to find replacement pans for vintage Cadillacs, the fully finished steel you see here is likely OEM throughout. Naturally, new lines, hoses, and a custom stainless fuel tank were installed during this convertible’s re-assembly. And everything, from the car’s fresh shocks to its fresh American Autowire wiring, looks set to provide years of trouble free ownership.
Clean, tailored and ready to cruise, this Series 62''s fresh leather interior features a perfect mix of outrageous style and traditional American luxury. The plush bucket seats are stuffed with firm padding and decked in striking, two-tone patterns. In front of those seats, a leather-trimmed dash hangs clean Classic Instruments gauges above billet components for Vintage Air climate control. Below that dash, a custom, full-length console centers buttons for the car’s power top and air ride suspension under a modern Clarion sound system. At the base of that console, premium carpet props color-keyed floor mats next to Lokar foot pedals and mirrored sill plates. At the sides of that carpet, custom door panels hang billet handles and sculpted armrests above custom speakers, hidden power windows and single-side courtesy lamps. In front of the driver, a polished Budnik steering wheel spins a color-keyed rim around a polished Ididit steering column. And behind the passengers, a custom upholstered trunk utilizes an attractive suitcase motif to cleverly mask the aforementioned air ride system.
The sale of this swanky drop-top includes a copy of its original dealer invoice, an itemized list of its $181K restoration, a pile of restoration receipts, a roster of restoration photos, a detailed specs sheet and a few component manuals.
The old world produces some very nice cars, but there’s no piece that says “you’ve made it” better than a mid-century Cadillac. This Series 62’s stellar restoration had a crowd of us standing around simply marveling at its style and admiring its clean lines. If you’re looking for a spectacular custom that you can drive AND enjoy, don’t miss the chance to park this classy Caddy in your garage!