1948 Cadillac Pickup: Genuine Article?


I wish there was more information about this ’48 Cadillac Truck here on craigslist, because it’s likely a great story behind why someone would take a manual-transmission Caddy and carve out a pickup bed in the back. Of course, it also reminds us that history can repeat itself, as poorly-selling examples of luxury pickups like the Lincoln Blackwood and the 2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT prove. This vehicle is part of an auction sale, as noted in the listing – the seller is careful to mention the Cadillac will only sell subject to consignor approval of the high bid – but I’m sure most potential buyers would like to know for sure if the quoted 1-of-11 production numbers can be verified. I’ve found one other photo of a similar truck on the web, but not much else. Does anyone have any insights into this truck’s history or authenticity as being one of 11 made? Thanks to Robert R. for the find.


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  1. Don Andreina

    Different rear to the mint grey 48 pickup (via google). Looks too crude to be a flower car; I wonder whether this was homebaked sometime after 1948. Its on yt


  2. dantheman

    What is the difference between this and a repainted flower car?

    Like 1
  3. RayT Member

    Looks to me as if it had been a flower car at some point. I seem to recall seeing one or two open-air hearses in the past, but am not sure. The mileage might be close to accurate if that’s what it was.

    I wish the seller had provided a few more photos, especially of the cargo bed. I think flower cars were built by some of the big-name companies in the funeral field. If so, it’s probably done pretty well. I wouldn’t want it — not having much use for a pickup of any kind — but would love to see it brought back to life.

  4. don

    once again, not buying to original miles thing, 19k? and only one pic?

  5. Randy

    It’s a squad car used by fire departments for parades and fire fighting competition at fields days. I’m sure it’s not factory built but somewhat coach built by a local builder. I think you can find other squad cars on the web. They made them from all sorts of cars. Usually bigger luxury cars like this because they had powerful engines and a heavier chassis for the gear and riders.

    • Mike D

      I was trying to think of the terminology for what t was called. some cars, but mostly Pick ups in the late 40s into the 50s I don’t recall if they were ” factory” or if they were custom made somewhere They were not an afterthought, you could buy them new .. don, 19K miles is a possibility but you have to keep in mind there was a lot of time idling this would probably make a nice addition to a fire company that was established in ’48 ( restored of course ) I hope the buyer will bring it back to it’s former glory

      • Tim

        I bet you’re thinking of “Ute”.. The Australian half car half pickup hybrid.. But I don’t think this one falls into that category technically

  6. Rich

    The build quality looks well done, however the box seems too crude to be a flower car, especially for 1948. Did you see the size of the rear bumper??? Almost looks like the box of a fire engine was used.

  7. Tim

    Cadillac didn’t build a truck.. Some chassis were built and sold to commercial clients like Superior to be hearses, flower cars and occasionally ambulances, while Hess and Eisenhardt used chassis for some custom jobs like the 1956 broadmoor hotel wagons. This truck looks like a superior flower car, but could easily be a backyard chop job.. The story would be told in the data plate numbers, if they were available. All commercial chassis were given a special number, and are quite rare. Nice car, especially that it features the manual transmission. Good find!

  8. Ben

    Looks like a great vehicle, but I doubt it’s as rare as they think.

    • Ed P

      These firemen rode to the fire in style!!

  9. Lee

    Looks like a Flour car–I wish I had the technology to see the rear bumper like old Rich has-maybe there are still some sacks in the back

  10. Clay Bryant

    This was a strange post to me as I know where a 48 Cadillac Ambulance is that has been sitting for 45 years in a barn.I’ll take Tim’s advice and check the serial numbers.Don’t think it was a flower car due to crudeness and it was to expensive of a car(any time) to cut up for a half ass job.I did look at a Rolls-Royce years ago that had the back half cut off and was used on the Hearst Ranch in Colorado to haul hay.Many years later a friend,Danny Inmann outside Omaha broke the news to me that he had a real interesting Rolls-Royce he was restoring and he found hay in the back of it.Odd coincidence conversations like that help alot of people establish provenance as so much gets lost thru vehicles moving around.Into my 70s and I’ve seen it all.Could write a book on interesting car things that have happened to me.I’ve had a great “auto” life.

  11. David Frank David Member

    This looks to me like an ambulance or hearse that was converted, most likely a hearse because of the lower roof line. The sides look nothing like any parade truck. Usually they cut the car off and used a seperate flat sided bed.

  12. JACKinNWPA Jacob P. Member

    Looks a bit like this late 40’s Plymouth that I found in the woods.. I’m sure the Cadillac was a Fire Co. parade car just by the truck style runningboards.

  13. George


    Here are all the pics for the cars in the auction.

    I’ll go for the Lincoln convertible instead…

  14. Howard A Member

    I’m no Cadillac expert, but this looks like a ’46 or ’47, and the turn signals are still wrong. I think they had square ones. Clearly an old fire dept car. The roof part doesn’t even look like it’s from that car, and spotlights, too.

  15. John h

    George, Thx for the link. But the star of the show is the half track! If it is authentic and correctly restored, I saw one last year and was told they are $300 K.

    Jacob, I’m in lust with that late 40s Plymouth truck. Did you rescue it?

    • George

      I agree. My first choice would be the half-track. “Practicality” dictates the Lincoln :-)

      • Tim

        There is nothing more practical than a half-track. Imagine the possibilities!!


      • George

        Especially since they don’t plow around here until after the snow stops falling. They don’t do anything about the ice either. Halftrack…… The perfect winter beater!

  16. MeToo

    Everyone here has done a great job proving that this vehicle is NOT rare. Here is a link to Barret-Jackson, where this one in the photo provided sold for $7,370.00…….And it is MUCH better shape.

    Like 1
    • Tim

      That’s a completely different vehicle, it’s got a production Chevy bed grafted on.

  17. Mike Ellis

    This 1947 Cadillac Pickup we have in the Lemay Family Collection was either a Hearse or Ambulance built by Superior.

  18. Tim

    Fairly convinced now that it is a fire truck, probably for hauling hose? Of course you need a pimpin caddy to haul around all yo dirty hose

    Like 1
  19. Keith

    While I believe all the proceeding responses are probably correct, one more possibility exists. I have seem a couple similar vehicles coming from Australia, I believe they are called “Utes”.

    The last one I saw was about a 49 or 50 Chevy. It appeared to be from a factory short run or coach builder, as the production work was far too good to be a personal custom.

  20. El-Fez

    I found this same car parked on the street in Pentwater MI (not far from Muskegon) while I was visiting family last week. I posted my pics (none of the bed unfortunately) on a forum http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=586633 looking for information for kicks and giggles and someone found this site.

    It was just parked in front of a house and doesn’t look to be street-able.

  21. Dave

    My experience says Fire Dept vehicle. It may be a 48 but it’s the 41 body style
    Cadillac did not update the body style of the limos or commercial chassis from the 1941 body style until 1950. They skipped 2 body styles inbetween.

    Like 1
  22. Dillon

    This is a unrestored 48 Cadillac pickup truck started out white and gold car. This car was in NY at a fire house and was bought and moved to mi I am the grandson to the owner of of this car and if anyone has any information on or about it I can be emailed at dillonb25@gmail.com

    Like 1

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