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Low Mileage 95% Original: 1949 Cadillac Series 62

Here on craigslist is a trendsetting car, a 1949 Cadillac Series 62 four-door sedan, with an asking price of $15,000. This model, with predecessors back to 1940, was styled with a tail fin starting in 1948. The tail fin was conceived in Harley Earl’s design studio by Frank Hershey, and it set off a frenzy of styling excess that did not conclude until the early 1960s. This beautiful Cadillac, aside from its station as one of the most glamorous cars ever, is largely original. Located in Cumberland, Rhode Island, it has never been repainted and the seller indicates that the odometer reading of 35,000 miles is true and correct. Barn Finder Mitchell G sent us this tip – thanks!

The Series 62 was born fin-less in 1940, as an upgraded Series 61 with a longer wheelbase and more trim.  Cadillac’s beefy 346 cu. in. flathead V8 powered both the 61 and 62 until 1949. But as if the tail fin were not enough, this third-generation Cadillac received a brand new V8. Configured with overhead valves and displacing 331 cu. in, this engine was 200 lbs lighter than the mill it replaced. Meanwhile, horsepower rose from 135 to 160. As in prior years, the customer could choose a three-speed manual or the popular Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic. This car has the automatic and is said to run and drive well, aided by new plugs and wires. The car has a 6-volt generator but the seller indicates its charging system is “twinned six volts”. The extra juice probably helps run its CD player – part of the 5% of the car that is not original.

The interior is very clean. This photo of the dash shows that CD player; in another nod to modernity and safety, seat belts have been installed. All lights work, no word on the gauges. Hydraulic lift windows were an option; this one has window winders. Partial leather upholstery was available for the sedan, while full leather was reserved for the convertible. Most owners opted for one of the many cord or broadcloth seating choices.

The long hood line of the Cadillac was inspired by ocean liners designed to ferry passengers to exotic places – the Queen Elizabeth, the SS America, the SS Normandie – all christened in the 30s and 40s. The “Flying Goddess” hood ornament originally adorned only Cadillac’s V16-engined cars, but by 1949 it was found on a number of its models. It disappeared after 1956. Meanwhile, that fin was a nod to the rising popularity of aerospace cues reminding drivers of their secret flight fantasies – back when air travel was rare. Asking prices are strongest for the desirable two-door body styles including the sedanette and convertible. If you love the styling and don’t mind a four-door, this price is very reasonable.


  1. Ricardo Ventura

    For me, the brand’s most beautiful year.

    Like 13
  2. MW

    👍 Agreed.

    Like 7
  3. Michael Smith

    My grandfather had this same car in dark green. He was so proud of it, and the new V-8 with 160 hp. Strong V-8 for those days. My father had a ‘51 Ford flathead with 100 hp or so. The Cadillac motor was an OHV V-8. I remember the steering wheel was white, bone I guess? This is a great looking car. Needs a better steering wheel wrapper that it has. It would be interesting to see what it looks like under the wrap. Probably all yellow, brown and cracked. I might like it better like that.

    Like 5
    • madlad

      The picture of the engine looks like an OHV valve covers not a flathead.
      I don’t remember much on the older Caddys, but I played with ’60 s and ’70s with OHV’s. Which is right?

      Like 2
      • Ed P

        49 was the first year for the ohv engine

        Like 6
      • jwaltb

        Read the writeup more carefully.

        Like 2
  4. David Smith

    My second car was a 49 Cadillac 4 door. My Dad spent a ton of money fixing it up. He liked it far more than I did. It died when I hit a school bus head on. I split my lip. It was one tough car as the school bus had to be towed.

    Like 5
  5. George Haskell

    The car used to have skirts on rear wheel openings, maybe in trunk? Just a thought. Nice example of 1949,

    Like 5
  6. David C

    This was my dad’s favorite car. We actually restored two of them back in the 70’s. A four door sedan like this one and a two-door coupe. Both of those cars were dark green. He always wanted a fastback, but we never got one. He had a black 49 convertible when I was born in 1954.

    Like 3
  7. David Frank David Member

    We have a similar ‘49 in yellow we use at the museum where I volunteer for events and “Sunday Drives”. Folks love the smooth and quiet ride and the comfy seats.

    Like 4

    I was 17 years old an just joined the navy and had become only the 2nd black UDTFROG, and headed for Inchon Korea. when this beauty came out . I’m asking my wife if she would help me buy this outstanding CADDY… LOVE those fins.

    Like 7
  9. CalMotor Member

    Upholstery is not original. Based on the photos/description, can’t tell if anything is original…

    Like 0
  10. Geoff C

    Like the flat-head before it, the 49 OHV V8 is pretty much silent and smooth running… no need for hearing the carburetor roaring on this old classic, so I would prefer the original air filter set up (also, the double-decker air filter LOOKS ridiculous on there).

    Like 2
  11. Gary C

    I remember Franklin talking about the fins originality. I spent the last 3 years with him living with dementia in Hemet, Ca. He started studying @ Occidental College, & then went to work for Murphy Coach Works, creating one off’s for the wealthy. He went to work for Harley in the Pontiac studio, & in ’36 & created the Silver Streak hood treatment, & then on to Ford to create the ’55 Thunderbird, the 2 seater through ’57. In ’58, however Joe Oros was widely hated by Franklin, because he made his golf clubbing two seat coupe a 4 seater.

    Like 1

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