1941 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan DL


• Only 2,200 approximate miles since it has been in the UK
• A complete and solid example
• Over 11K spent on its upkeep over the last 6 years
• Comes with several manuals and hard to find guides

The Background

Cadillac, one of the first automotive brands in the world, quickly established itself as a premier luxury car maker. With its innovative use of interchangeable components and innovation in integrated electrical systems, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that the company was a pioneer in mass production standards in the automotive industry. 

The 1940 Series 62 was the first generation of cars to be designated as such and in layman’s terms, the car was essentially the forerunner to the later De Ville and Eldorado models. 

The Series 62’s roots actually go back to the mid-'30s, as the company emerged out of the great-depression era with a new and more inclusive marketing plan to open up the brand to new customers. 

The 5.7-litre V8 range of cars was an immediate success and accounted for over 1/3 of Cadillac’s total sales. As a significant step forward in car styling, the car was notable for its torpedo style streamlined bodies and its logical use of its interior space gave it a significant head start above its rivals, but it was the use of the Hydra-Matic, automatic gearbox coupled with an astonishingly smooth ride that set the standards for luxury motoring.

This Harley Earl designed machine is believed to have spent much of its life in California, having been bought from a museum in Sacramento. This Deluxe sedan was built in 1941 and is thought to have started its life in the mild climates of Santa Cruz. 

Since being shipped over to the UK in 2014, the car has seen a considerable amount of maintenance, parts and renewal. It has been subject to climate-controlled storage and regular maintenance and should be considered as an excellent example of an unusual but sought after pre-war classic.

The History

The car, thanks to the research and tenacity of each of its UK owners, comes with a little more history than the average pre-war American import. Imported into the country in October 2014, this LHD car is fully registered for use in the UK. The previous owner obtained the car via the California Auto museum of Sacramento with evidence that it spent its formative years in Santa Cruz. 

According to a Cadillac identification card that has been retained inside the car, it was registered on 1st of January 1941, and first owned by HL Farrar of Santa Cruz, California who is thought to have been the president of a local utilities company.

What happened between then and the car ending up in the museum could be something for the next owner to investigate, but the condition and finishing of the car suggest it has received a high level of care with the distinct probability that it has remained on the West coast of the States throughout its life. 

While the car has been in the UK, it also has made a fleeting appearance on the silver screen having been used in the Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’.

The current owner bought the car in 2015 and has since put in a lot of effort to get it in better shape, which he currently says is the best it's ever been during his ownership. Over the 6 years of ownership the car has appeared at numerous shows and been well received.

The sale of the car comes as a part of a collection consolidation, as it's not really being used, despite its regular monthly health check courtesy of the dehumidified storage facility at Browns Classics, near Newbury. 

Another valid reason for the sale is the purchase of an early Ford Mustang, which provides a little more balance in terms of usability and offers the owner the opportunity to get his teeth into another adventure of the American classic car experience.

The Paperwork

The car comes with an up to date MOT, V5 as well as its Californian title, shipping paperwork and the name of its last American owner. During its time in the UK, it has covered not much more than 2,200 miles, and has been subjected to a considerable amount of expenditure, with the owner stating a figure of around £11K.

Numerous improvements have been made to the car by the current owner including overhauling the engine and automatic transmission, fitting new carpets, fitting windscreen washers (an MOT requirement), powder coating the wheels, renewing brake hoses, and carrying out sundry electrical works

Improvements made by the previous owner included fitting new whitewall tyres, fitting new battery and Pertronix electronic ignition, as well as having the starter motor and dynamo rebuilt.

The previous owner also provided plenty of notes, parts advice and pointers to keep the car running but most impressively are the selection of technical manuals and guides as well as its original handbook. 

The car has a valid MOT until October 2021, however it is only tested because of the owner's mechanical sympathy. 

The Interior

The interior is a treat to behold, created during an era dominated by design aesthetics, the dashboard is furnished by lashings of chrome, wood, bakelite and metal. 

Firstly, we’ll look at the bench seats, as they are all in excellent condition with very little signs of use. They’ve clearly been refurbished and as result look new. The car could easily accommodate six, perhaps seven people at a squeeze. 

The carpets have been recently obtained and fitted at a considerable cost. The headlining is very good, with no damage or rips. The interior door designs are beautifully crafted, with ornate chrome features and wooden cappings. 

All are in good condition with a little patina observed on the wood. The fabric on the door cards are plush and in good condition. The boot has also been subject to new carpeting, with the overall condition of the luggage area in good shape. 

The dashboard has a wood effect paint finish on the metal, which is now peeling off revealing a not unpleasant patina. The owner has wisely left it as it is, as it really has become part of the interior’s appeal. The imposing Bakelite steering wheel is in a decent state, with no significant issues or cracks. 

The centrepiece of the dashboard is the glorious radio. The chrome is in physically good condition, with no issues with its presentation but it has not been functional for many years. The new owner can make that call to investigate a repair or perhaps upgrade the inner workings to accommodate digital components. 

The other minus point on the dashboard is that the heater and dashboard lights are currently not functioning and would require some delving but along with the radio overhaul, it could make all the difference to enhance the already unique cabin experience. Two additional gauges have been added, measuring the battery voltage and water temperature - a wise precaution to ensure mechanical durability. 

The rest of the dials are magnificently original and the instrument bezels, switches and dials have worn their years well. 

The Exterior 

A walk around the car suggests that it is in very good shape, with the tastefully designed panels uninterrupted by any form of damage. As a result, the metalwork is free from any signs of dents or distracting damage. The styling relies upon the gentle curvatures of the body which is flanked by the large wings. They are well attached to the body with no signs of poor repair or corrosion.  

These cars were seam-leaded and grounded by workers at the Fisher Body Fleetwood plant and may have seen more recent repair work, so there should be some allowance for minor imperfections. The panel gaps are good and the doors open freely with no resistance and close well without force. The door frames and apertures are solid. 

There are minor signs of age noted under the body, with the off-side inner front wing box section showing minor corrosion. The chassis itself is good and the rails and frame look solid. The front footwells and boot spare wheel well have seen recent renovation and have been undersealed and waxoyled accordingly. 

The engine bay is looking in very good structural health. The front bulkhead is good, with just a little wear noted on the top. The underside of the running boards also shows a little age. 

The paint has been well looked after and the finish is very good with a deep gloss throughout with very little in terms of imperfection or blemishes noted. The car is free from stone chips, with the door edges looking pleasingly clean, with no issues other than light swirling on the roof which could be resolved easily.

There are a few signs that we are looking at an 80-year-old car, with some minor wear noted on the lower extremities of the car, for example, minor paint damage noted on the rear nearside door, but this should not be considered as a pressing issue. 

The chrome trim is good, with no signs of significant pitting. Each model year differed on these cars, so it’s good news to see that all of the chrome detailing on this 1941 example is said to be period correct, as it is one of the last models made before manufacturing was temporarily halted due to the factory's war effort.

The only negative aspect of the trim is a piece of snapped bonnet edge chrome trim. The piece has been retained and could be glued back. The bumpers and egg-crate front grill simply look magnificent and are free from dents or road damage. 

The glass has no cracks or chips to impede the appearance, although the ageing process has caught up with the edges of the passenger windows. The rear and front screens are in excellent shape with a little light scratching observed on one of the rear items. The door and window seals look good. 

The tyres are in good order offering a good level of tread. The wheels have seen a refurb in recent years and are in excellent unmarked condition. The hubcaps are in good shape, although the nearside front item sports a slightly different centre cap design to the other three. The rear wheel spats are included with the sale.

The Mechanics 

The car drives beautifully and has been subject to regular fettling and most issues have been addressed on the go, with any problems flagged up by the numerous specialists that have helped to maintain the car. 

The engine has seen a substantial overhaul, with the gearbox having seen a rebuild in 2016. As a result, it is said that the car runs well with no pressing issues in regards to its mechanical performance. It starts up instantly, idling well with no issues in regards to its flexible and low-stressed 5.7-litre V8. As part of the car's storage conditions, it is started once a month and fluids are checked over. 

The brake components appear to be in good condition, with upkeep and maintenance on those items evident in the paperwork. The steering looks to be in good order too but worth remembering this is a car from a bygone era and requires a different approach to drive. 

The Appeal

Thanks to its popularity in its native country, it has a loyal and dedicated following, which is a boon for parts and advice. It could be considered as rather good value for money if you tally up the car's weight to sterling ratio and as a passing thought, the new owner could potentially press the car into a private service to help earn its keep. 

The Cadillac Series 62 is widely regarded as one of the best-looking Cadillacs, as well as one of the most enduring pre-war American automobile designs. These well-built cars offer a smooth power delivery and comfort that would shame a modern car, in a style and presence that cannot fail to turn heads.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1941
  • Make Cadillac
  • Model Series 62 Sedan DL
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 4,036 Miles
  • Engine size 5670
  • Location Berkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
10 bids from 9 bidders
  • huayraa•••• £21,000 27/09/21
  • Marco A•••• £20,000 27/09/21
  • cobramk•••• £15,000 27/09/21
  • brown.g•••• £14,000 27/09/21
  • Wombat £13,000 27/09/21
  • Wombat £12,000 27/09/21
  • patflem•••• £11,250 27/09/21
  • 6371pas•••• £11,000 22/09/21
  • damon-l•••• £10,000 21/09/21
  • goldens•••• £1,000 21/09/21

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