Beautiful With Low Mileage: 1954 Cadillac Series 62

Now we are stylin’! From the era when a Cadillac was a Cadillac, we find this beautiful 1954 Cadillac Series 62 four-door sedan. Located in Kent, Washington, this luxury cruiser is available here on craigslist for $5,000. Thanks to Ikey H. for the tip!

Cadillac had an extensive model line-up in 1954 including the Series 60 Special, Series 62 (including the Coupe de Ville), Series 75 and the Eldorado. While styling cues and mechanicals are all very similar among the different models, the leading difference is the wheelbase. Series 62s, like this example, ride on a 129” wheelbase compared to the series 60 at 133” and the Series 75 (the limousine base) at 149.8″.

All three series used the same engine, a 331 CI V8, generating 230 HP and driving through a four-speed Hydramatic, automatic transmission. Our seller tells us that this Series 62, “runs good” and only has 42,000 miles on its odometer. Air Conditioning claims a lot of space in the ’54 Cadillac sales brochure; unfortunately this example does without. The seller further adds that this Caddy will need to be towed because the transmission bands need to be adjusted. He says he is certain of this and hasn’t had time to correct it. Seems to me that it would be well worth the effort to make the time.

While this sedan only has 42,000 miles, it is not all original and was restored about ten to fifteen years ago by a friend of the seller. The interior looks pretty good but it does have a split in the driver’s side of the front seat and the carpet in the driver’s side foot-well is quite worn. It seems these items may be original and were not addressed in the restoration. The seller does state that the floor pans and trunk bottom are in great condition. Since there is no documentation of the underside we’ll have to take his word for it but I see no obvious reason to consider otherwise.  I’m wondering what the purpose of the beach towel draped across the front seat backrest is.

The curvaceous sheet-metal does look straight and well aligned, it shows really well by virtue of the period correct, ’50s aqua paint finish. There are only three images of the exterior but all show clean lines, a deep finish and bright chrome. For all of this ’50s nostalgia, the seller tells us that he will not go any lower than $5,000 – that seems like a reasonable price to me. I guess he feels that he has priced this American icon appropriately so that’s the reason for sticking to his guns. If I were in the market for this vintage Cadillac or some other similar era luxury cruiser, this Caddy would be on my list. My only concern is the transmission matter referenced; Hydramatic transmissions have been gone from the automotive landscape for a very long time so that may be a bone of contention for some potential buyers. How about you, would the inability to immediately drive this otherwise very complete Cadillac sedan keep you away?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    The fact that a car like this is still available, sure makes me wonder. $5g’s for this magnificent car? Even with no transmission. The lack of interest here should trouble many.

    Like 7
  2. RayT Member

    Since the rest of the photos are straightforward, it seems pretty clear to me that the beach towel is covering up some kind of substantial damage to the driver’s seat. Would that be a deal-breaker for me? No, but I have to admit the “band adjustment” for the Hydro would be, simply because it should be an easy (and quick) fix for a transmission shop, and getting it done would conceivably raise the car’s value by more than the cost of the repair. So, IMO, the seller is either cheap, lazy, or has something to hide regarding the Cad’s mechanicals.

    As Howard A says, these are magnificent. It wouldn’t do for the narrow roads of my town, but in the Wide-Open Spaces it would be a great cruiser. I’d rate it as at least worthy of an inspection trip, and have no real beef about the price if it’s as good as it looks.

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      I don’t know, Ray, remember in 1954, these cars traveled gravel roads mostly. And city travel was pretty cushy in a ’54 Caddy. So many vintage vehicles far horribly short out here in the wide open spaces of Colorado, this is one car that would give those new police Chargers a run for your money.

      Like 2
      • RayT Member

        Howard A, where I live a Smart Car would be none too compact! In fact, I’d really like to see side-by-side ATVs declared legal for road use….

        I’ve driven a ’54 Cad and quite enjoyed it. I will admit it seemed much larger than my ’53 Kaiser — which it really wasn’t — but what I’d really like is a ’50 Cadillac coupe. If it was good enough for Briggs Cunnigham, it’s good enough for me!

        Like 1
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    This is really perplexing….Hagerty has a #4 “fair” car at $10,400. I know photos always make the cars look better, but still the 5K price seems like a steal, even considering the transmission issues.

    Like 6
  4. Spanky

    Seller said he won’t go below 5K. He didn’t say he’d sell it for that right off.

    Like 1
    • grant

      The ad says “the car is $5000.”

  5. Gaspumpchas

    Lot of beauty for 5 large. Howard is correct, the lack of interest iis troubling. if its as stated this should have sold right away. if the band adjustment is so simple why didn’t he do it? I’d bet the tranny is shot. could be a few grand to fix, there are parts and some good tranny guys out there to make it good again. Fill this beauty with family and kids, and go for ice cream! Good luck to the new owner.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  6. JimmyinTEXAS

    This is a good example of a one-sided car. Since there are no pictures of the passenger’s side there must not be one. The pictures of the interior that show a passenger’s seat is obviously photoshopped. lol
    Nice car, I wish it were closer.

    Like 1
  7. Andrew Franks

    Very sharp bunch of Barn Finders above. Well done. They are great cruisers and I remember them when they were new. One also sits up high in the car, a position I’ve always liked as opposed to sitting in a hole a la Camaro and several Fords.

    Like 3
  8. Mike

    Holy crap! I can literally walk to this guy’s place. $5k seems super low for what you get.

    Like 6
  9. John

    My memory is not what it used to be, but I do not remember these having “bands” in their gearboxes. I thought these used a version of the Buick Dynaflow or an early version of the turbo-hydro that became the standard for most GM cars.

    Any Cadillac experts out there (I DO remember that the AC was a wonderful thing on my Dad’s car). We didn’t have AC in the house, and, as a result, we took many long and meandering drives through the Blackhawk valley. Simpler times.

    Like 3
  10. JOHN Member

    My favorite Cadillac body style, the rear fender treatment with the tail lights is just plain sexy… elegant, curvaceous… and the hidden fuel filler. Would love to have a two-door.

  11. Bob McK Member

    If I had one more space in the shop I would buy this today and ship it home. The transmission can be fixed.

    Like 1
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      I hear ya, Bob. Transmissions are easily fixed no matter what is wrong with then, even missing is resolved for a few dollars.

      Like 1
  12. Al

    I’m curious if the owner knows for sure it’s a Hydro-matic or if he’s going by what it says in a brochure. If I recall right in the summer of ’53, GM’s Livonia plant that specifically made these trannys, went up in flames totally. There was a shortage of trannies for the end of the ’53 lineup & not sure if they had them avail for ’54. Otherwise I believe they were using Buick Dynaflow trannys maybe.

  13. Paolo

    I owned one of these in dark blue. A very classy ride and extremely well built. It also had the Autronic Eye.
    If I didn’t already have three projects I would like to have this Cadillac

    • al

      Your either single or got one hell of a good wife. I’m catching hell for just dreaming of 1 project.

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Sorry to hear that Al. My wife loves the old cars. She gets unhappy if I sell one, which I just did. Looks like I gotta find another one to keep her happy. Hey wait…maybe she’s just trying to keep me out in the garage and out of her hair!!

        Like 1
  14. Rattlehead

    no bands in g.m. automatic transmissions the dude dont know what he is talking about. run from this turd.

  15. Paolo

    From what I’ve read Hydramatics have at least 2 bands, front and rear. This description of poor 2-3 shifts resulting in simultaneous 2-3 engagement and bad things happening.
    “Many Hydramatics did not execute the 2-3 shift very well, as the shift involved the simultaneous operation of two bands and two clutches. Accurate coordination of these components was difficult to achieve, even in new transmissions. As the transmission’s seals and other elastomers aged, the hydraulic control characteristics changed and the 2-3 shift would either cause a momentary flare (sudden increase in engine speed) or tie-up (a short period where the transmission is in two gears simultaneously), the latter often contributing to failure of the front band. Much of the difficulty in staging a “clean” 2-3 or 3-2 shift in any cast iron Hydramatic was the changing elasticity of the governing springs in the valve bodies. Even ambient temperature would affect this variable, so that a Hydramatic that would shift perfectly on a summers day would usually exhibit 2-3 “flare” when cold. Another long-standing driver complaint would be “flare” when trying to get a “3-2″ downshift when going around a corner, which usually resulted in a neck snapping jolt upon band application.”
    Same source says all 54s had Hydramatics. Dyna-Flo was 53 only.

    Like 2
    • On and On On and On Member

      That was a great description. I never really had more than a rudimentary understanding of automatic transmission shifting other than fluid connection and torque conversion. It’s amazing engineering. What do you think of Powerglides Paolo?

  16. Paolo

    I would interpret the sellers description of “just a band adjustment and I’m just too busy to bother with such a trifling nuisance” as “the fargin’ thing won’t shift worth tinker’s cus and I’ll be damned if I’m going open up this can of worms and then be on the hook to fix it. It’s time for someone new to know the real joy of ownership.”

    Like 3

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