Finned Beauty: 1961 Cadillac Series 62

To paraphrase the famous marketing campaign. The Series 62 was Cadillac’s “entry-level” model since the 1940s, surviving seven generations, ending in 1964. Cadillac has consistently been the top-tier brand in General Motors’ repertoire, and this model was made back when Cadillac was still identifying itself, accurately, as “the standard of the world.” Cadillac beat Rolls-Royce to the market in basic luxuries such as air conditioning, power accessories, and automatic transmissions, and climate control. That last one made its world debut, shockingly, all the way back in 1964…in a Cadillac. You can bid on this seventh generation model here on eBay, where the current bid at time of writing is $5,900.

This ‘61 62 (haha–I haven’t been able to make a joke like that since I got rid of my ‘99 Eighty-Eight), is a handsome hardtop two-door model finished in white over a gray cloth and white leather interior. The famous Cadillac is the ‘59 model because of its unique tailfins, but in this writer’s opinion the ‘61’s fins are better. They’re less ostentatious, but still an obvious styling characteristic. Underneath, the frame looks flawless. The exterior objectively isn’t perfect but is fabulous considering its sixty years old this year. There’s a crack in the window, and some trim pieces seem to be less than attached, but the seller states that replacements are included with the sale.

Inside, the two bench seats look positively cushy and are free of rips and stains. You’d be livin’ large with no less than four ashtrays standard, and you’d never forget what you’re driving because “Cadillac” is emblazoned on the dashboard in an appropriately midcentury font. The seller says this is an A/C car but doesn’t say if it needs a recharge or not. Even if it does, that’s not really that big of a deal. Honestly for less than $6,000, getting into a classic Cadillac with a clean, straight frame and body…some tinkering wouldn’t be too difficult, or unexpected.

This colossal coupe is wafted down the road by a truly massive 6.4 liter, 390 cubic inch V8 with an Edelbrock four-barrel, making 325 horsepower; still a respectable number today. Of course, mated to an automatic transmission; you wouldn’t shift your own gears in a Cadillac. How dare you even suggest such a thing. The seller says they’ll help with shipping logistically, but not financially. Not that that matters; if I were buying this car, I would do whatever I could to drive this cross-country. Cars like this are designed for uniquely American interstate driving.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    You’re right Ben but the problem with driving this Cad cross country would be all the extra time you’d spend being stopped by any law enforcement officer-the ones with any kind of appreciation for a cruiser like this one anyway!
    Pack you tools, fix the HVAC and hit Route 66.
    A perfect summer.

    Like 13
  2. Bob C.

    I always loved the 1961 and 62 Cadillacs. The 59 and 60s were too massive and the 1963 on models were nice, but they didn’t quite have the uniqueness of this year.

    Like 8
  3. christopher swift

    When I was little and just noticing cars, this was my favorite, although my imagination built a custom model that was a tad fancier. It had extra antennas, lights, and I think it was purple.
    It’s probably better I never saw that version in real life.

    Like 3
  4. On and On On and On Member

    What’s going on under the dash? I am seeing it wrong? It looks tattered.

    Like 5
    • Pete Phillips

      The carpet doesn’t come up far enough, exposing the insulation blanket underneath.

      Like 1
  5. Steve Clinton

    Put some wheel covers on this Caddy…or at the very least, paint the steel wheels white!

    Like 8
  6. Malcolm Boyes

    A very nice coupe indeed..IMHO Cadillac started losing it soon after this stylewise. I had a lovely 1956 Coupe De Ville that I used for serious long distance driving. I was heading south on Ca. 101 with my parents and future wife in the car and a surfboard stashed between us. This was when we had the 55 limit. I was cruising at 85 and “Maybelline” wasn’t even breathing hard. That’s when I spotted the CHP pulling level with me on the passenger side. The officer looked at me and grinned and held up 5 fingers twice. I got the message..and no ticket. Cops love these cars!!

    Like 3
  7. Dale S

    Add new carpeting, an air filter, and some full sized stainless hubcaps, recharge the AC, and hopefully you’re good to go.

    Like 2
  8. fran

    My father bought on just like it new! Same bat color, same bat doors, same bat interior, same bat everything! Except he was too cheap to get air-conditioning.

    Like 2
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    As vintage Cadillacs go, 1961 and 1962 are my least favorite. They shrunk them down so much from the 1960. You could even get a “regular” shrunken Cadillac or even a more shrunk Cadillac with a shorty deck. Yep, as short as these were, you could order one that was about 2 inches shorter.
    Thank God they started to grow again in 1963.
    Both Cadillac and Lincoln were small for ’61 and ’62.

    Like 1
  10. Charles Sawka

    About your parking comment. Those of us that grew up with 50’s and 60’s cars would have no problem with this one.

    Like 2
  11. HC

    With a solid looking frame and body and no visible rust, along with what appears to be an unmolested engine this looks like a good entry level car project. Another great find!

    Like 1
  12. Ted Coombes

    Actually, Packard beat Cadillac by introducing air conditioning in either its 1940 or 1941 models (getting old, memory is slipping).

    Like 1
    • AAAZDAD Member

      I believe the writer’s comment was just making a comparison between Cadillac and Rolls specifically from a competitive point of view, not an inference to Cadillac being the first to offer air conditioning.

      Like 1
  13. 1-Mac

    Strong and sturdy. Last a lifetime with proper care. Noithing beats a real Cadillac.

    Like 1
  14. Euromoto Member

    “The exterior objectively isn’t perfect but is fabulous considering its sixty years old this year.” Not to be a narcissist , but this kind of describes me…

    Like 1
  15. Courtney

    Had a 61 Fleetwood a few years ago. Very nice cars great ride on the highway. Very few bumps you would actually feel. Sounds like a good price to me.

    Like 1
  16. Stoney End

    My dad had one just like this. It was beautiful. I got to drive it with my girl of the day…a great prom car…(Sadly a DUI guy smashed into it later resulting in bodywork/replacement on one side.)

    Yes, the ’59 and ’60 were more radical of the genre, but IMO not as nice looking as this car when it’s “right”. In fact, the ’57-’58s were also nicer. We still have a ’58 coupe that Grandpa bought new.

    Cleaned up, this ’61 would be a very nice ride…(gotta get those hub caps!)

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