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Barn Behemoth: 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Limo


Reader Jake M. came across this 1949 Cadillac Model 7533 Imperial Limo and thought it looked like it had lots of potential. It looks solid to us and for $7,500 seems like a reasonable deal. It is going to need a frame off restoration to achieve its full potential as a high dollar show stopper. As solid as it is though, it could be left rough and restored just enough to make it safe and enjoyable to drive. Find it here on craigslist out of York, Pennsylvania. Thanks go to Jake for the tip!


It is hard to visualize just how large this car really is from the pictures, but to give you an idea of its size it is five inches longer and three inches wider then a modern day Chevy Suburban. By all standards, this was a true limousine with a well appointed interior, glass divider, and jump seats. All these features and size added up to an impressive 5k pound curb weight. Cadillac only built about 600 of these behemoths, so finding parts might be a challenge, but the seller claims all the hard to find pieces are still with it.


In 1949 Cadillac released their new 331 V8. This was a cutting-edge mill that influenced many engine designs for years to come. It had five main bearings and was overbuilt with future size increases in mind. The fact that it was so well-built made it popular among racers and hotrodders alike. Someone would probably like to get their hands on this one for a custom build, but we hope this V8 stays right where it is.


We love the styling of these big Caddys and the patina on this one gives it look all its own. It is going to need lots of work, as the motor isn’t running and the interior is about shot. Nice examples are currently trading hands in the $90k range though, so we are sure it will be a realistic and worthwhile project. We just aren’t sure if we could afford the requisite chauffeur’s salary once we had it back on the road…


  1. Dolphin Member

    Behemoth is the right word—-this limo sure is a big boy.

    ’49 Caddys have a special place in my car world. The first car I ever drove was my father’s ’49 Caddy 4-door. This large and upright limo makes the regular ’49 Caddy 4-door seem almost small and sleek.

    I haven’t seen jump seats like the ones in this car for years. With the width of the car, that would make seating for eight adults, not counting the ample trunk room for stiffs. Just kidding.

    This is old and shabby but amazingly solid and complete, even the wood is solid and in place. And who knew that they had stainless running boards?

    For someone who wants a fairly easy resto of a big vintage Caddy, this is just the ticket. Or just clean it up, service the mechanicals and do some interior work, and you have a vintage Caddy rat-Limo that will get attention all day long at any Show ‘N Shine you ever show up at. And it’s WAY more car than yesterday’s destroyed half-a-’56 Chevy convertible for close to the same money.

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  2. DanaPointJohn

    It would be interesting to know what corporate executive or celebrity was driven around in this car. These were not inexpensive in their day and were a Statement Car, you know, the kind of car that pulls up to a curb and passers-by stop, point and whisper, “Who is that?”

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  3. jean Lecointe

    It’s just a dream for us european cars lovers.
    What about the fans under the seats?

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    • Dolphin Member

      I saw the fans right after I sent my comment in. I can’t find anything about them on the web. Seems a strange place to put fans—where does the air flow from — to?

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    • Josh Staff

      You noticed the fans too, I wasn’t sure if anyone else would notice. This came with heated front seats. How would you like to sit on top of an electric heater with a metal fan right under your butt? I’m sure it did a great job of keeping you warm, but I could see this going terribly wrong!

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    • racer99

      Loved the fans under the seat. For all those who thought heated/cooled seats were something new.

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      • kurt

        The heaters were not electric. We are restoring one right now and it has a traditional heater core mounted under the car in the floors. They were used to heat the compartment in the rear and only small amounts went to the front seats.

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    • Glen

      We have a ’49 Caddy Limo in excellent running condition. The underseat contraptions are full blown heater cores, with hot water lines from the radiator. The fans blow the hot air from these underseat heaters through vents at the back of the front seat.

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  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    I helped a friend of mine restore a ’41 Model 75 Limo. It was an experience to say the least. It’s interesting that not a heck of a lot changed in the 8 years between the two cars. It’s going to be an interesting restoration for sure. I’m curious if it has the radio in one of the rear armrests? That was the hardest thing to find when redoing the ’41.

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  5. twwokc

    Hoping a Cadillac lover grabs this and takes it back to its original glory. This is an impressive find.
    Not a challenge for the faint of heart and pocketbook though.

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  6. paul

    Of course it came out of Penn it wouldn’t fit in any garages in the east or west. This is a sweet Caddy limo.

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  7. twwokc

    When you were seen in one of these it was an impressive sight. You bought these and had a driver.
    Not like today where you rent a mirrored stretch Hummer so you kids can hang out of the sunroof on their way to the prom.

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  8. Gary Fogg

    Always love the Cadillac finds. I still have the remains of my grandfather’s 53 Caddy out back with the 331 4 bbrl 8 to 1 compression engine in it and along with my 52 Fleetwood with 331 8 to 1 2 bbrl equipped project car and my 60 Fleetwood with the 390 4 bbrl 10 to 1 compression version you could say I am fond of these cars to say the least ! I love the old 331 engine but if you have ever driven the expanded bore 390 engine the difference is night and day ! They all run exceptionally smooth compaired to other V8s of that era, and the torque is supurb ! This will make a fine restoration.

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  9. Gary Fogg

    The fans under the front seat are for the REAR heat. There are heater cores under there that the fans push air through. Same set up in my 52 and 53.

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  10. ConservativesDefeated

    Be still my heart…………

    7500 bucks is a lot of samolies for what amounts to a neglected hulk

    Imagine what the cost of the mohair alone to redo the rear compartment would be!

    That said……….I wish I had the bucks for this would be more fun than flying monkeys to play with.

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  11. Michael cornish

    Interior is similar in layout and size to my 1970 English Daimler DS420 limousine which we use as a wedding car http://www.eliteweddingcars.com.au

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  12. Gary Fogg

    Another interesting point of these cars, look at the passenger side of the fire wall under the hood, what looks like a starter is actually a 6v electric driven hydraulic pump for hydraulic power seat and windows ! My 52 has the same set up, hard to repair and find parts for but very cool when working properly.

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  13. john

    This is awesome. I really hope somebody brings it back to its former glory and keeps it 100% original!

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  14. rancho bella

    Naval air Transporters look small next to this……

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  15. Harry

    Jay Leno were are You ? This Caddy would work very well with his collection.

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  16. Don Andreina

    Fantastic no-fin Caddy. Eats hummers for breakfast.

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  17. Jim

    So so cool. I want this thing bad but between the wife, no room left on my property with multiple stackers for the mustangs and faced with the fact that it would be 10 years until it saw day one of it’s restoration treatment, it just is not in the cards. I’m a Ford man but you gotta love a caddy !!

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  18. Charles

    That would be so cool restored to original specs.

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  19. Chris A.

    When restored this is the perfect car to bring 4 couples to a high school junior prom. Leno could put his whole band in this. This is a such a cool car. Great find.

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  20. Steve

    I like the idea of a resto-mod for use as a wedding rental or other similar events. It would cost a fortune to return it to original specifications, and doing so would only get you cred with Cadillac nuts. Nice paint, cleaned up trim and a nice (non-original interior) and 99.9% of folks who saw it would think it was incredibly cool. This thing must be a beast to drive.

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  21. AMCFAN

    A friend found a 56 Fleetwood Limo in a scrap yard two summers ago. It was Black and missing the motor and trans. You could tell by the mimimal patina it had been stored inside for quite along time. Since 1973 when the oil change stickers ended. It was very nice considering. The Mohawk wide whites were even like new. It even had a GM Tech center parking sticker on its rearview. More amazing it had been there several months visable from a busy highway. My friend not having a clue with what to do with it but knew to save it. The deal was made and the Black beauty was rescued. As nice as the car appeared it would still have taken more money then it was worth to secure an original engine and trans. Then freshen up the chrome interior etc. After a few months it was decided to put the Fleetwood back on the road. He obtained a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice. Instead of pulling and installing the motor it was decided to do a frame swap. The complete wiring harness was pulled back through the firewall and body removed. The Caprice frame was rolled under the Cadillac where it was extended and reinforced. Body mounts were made to bolt the body on the frame using the factory locations. The wiring was carefully ran through the firewall. The digital dash was used as the Caprice column. The cool things were when you would leave the keys in the ignition and open the door it would still chime! When done he had a 1956 Fleetwood limo lowered with an LT1 Chevrolet engine and Four speed automatic, Factory working A/C Disc brakes etc. The factory power windows all worked as did the power seat. The only body mod was inside the trunk. The spare tire well had to be removed and new trunk floor made. A door was made to service the Fuel pump. Factory exhaust was extended. Sounds like alot of work but only took about three months. With 20″ chrome wheels and polish of the paint the car looked fantastic! I know many would cringe at the thought but many true Cadillac enthusiasts would be quick to walk away from the car while in the scrap yard other then rob parts off of it. Thanks goes to the yard operator that spared the car and let it leave the yard and to my buddy who stepped up to the plate when everyone else just drove on bye.

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