St. John's

27 July 2013

From the Richard and Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 131

1948 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe

  • Chassis no. 486219814

Sold for $55,000

150 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126 in.

  • From the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • An open-air example of the first Cadillac with tailfins
  • An ideal summer driver

The inspiration for Cadillac’s iconic tailfins dates back to September 1939, when GM Design Chief Harley Earl—always one to pay attention to the future of transportation, road going or otherwise—sent the Cadillac design team to nearby Selfridge Field to study the new and aerodynamically advanced Lockheed P-38. Shortly thereafter, a number of design studies and 3/8-scale models, known as the “Interceptor” series, were created, but further development was abruptly halted by America’s full-scale involvement in World War II.

Following war’s end, development of the first all-new post-war Cadillac models began. Unveiled for 1948, the new Series 61 and 62 Cadillacs featured a new and sleekly modern, pronounced horizontal styling theme with a pair of subdued, kicked-up tailfins, reminiscent of the twin tails of the P-38. The upscale Series 62 featured interior and exterior fittings and trim upgraded over the entry-level 61, and it was instantly recognizable by its stone shields and lack of chrome rocker moldings. These 1948 models were the last to receive Cadillac’s stout 346-cubic inch flathead V-8 engine, noted for its exceptional smoothness and durability.

The 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible offered here appears to be a largely original car that was cosmetically restored some time ago. It was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Kughn from its long-time owner, a prominent Midwestern collector, in whose care it had been fitted with a new, tan Haartz cloth top. Fitted with dual rearview mirrors, Cadillac’s now iconic “sombrero” wheel covers, and a set of period-style wide whitewall tires, it boasts a period-correct interior that is quite impressive, with full leather upholstery and such amenities as power window lifts, an AM radio with a power antenna, and an electric clock. Underneath the hood is a correctly finished engine bay, housing the traditional V-8 mated to its modern Hydra-Matic transmission, ideal for easy cruising.

As elegant today as when it was originally unveiled in 1948, this Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe is an example of one of the finest expressions of Harley Earl’s design theme, “Go all the way…then back down.” Well-maintained and ideal for comfortable cruising in the highest of style, it is ready to be driven and enjoyed.


The engine is in fact a 150 bhp, 346 cu. in. V-8, as is correct for this year and model, not the 331 cu. in. V-8 listed in the technical specifications for this car in the catalogue.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more