27 July 2013
From the Richard and Linda Kughn Collection
1948 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
- Chassis no. 486219814
Sold for $55,000
- 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.
AddendumThe 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.
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