Open to Trades: 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan

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It is no secret that we are all big fans of Cadillacs here at Barn Finds.  While our usual write-ups center around Cadillacs made in the sixties and seventies, every once in a while, we get the treat of showcasing one of these beauties from a different decade.  The car you see above is a 1955 Cadillac Series 62 sedan for sale on Craigslist in Detroit, Michigan.  Showcasing those fabulous fifties styling cues from the Dagmar bumpers to the gas cap cleverly hidden in the flip-up tailfin on the driver’s side, this Cadillac is a neat example of the excess of that legendary era.  It is not without its warts, however.  There is rust in the body and the interior needs some attention.  Despite the imperfections, this is a running and driving car still ready to hit the road with its new owner.  Could that be you?  Does the asking price of $8,950 seem reasonable?  If not, the seller is open to trades!  Thanks to Mitchell G. for this classic Cadillac find!

With a car this cool there has to be some history, and the ad helps us understand a mere scintilla about this Cadillac’s past.  The seller apparently inherited this green leviathan from an uncle last year.  How long the uncle owned it isn’t mentioned, nor is much beyond that.  We do know that it was painted 25 years ago.  While it is marginally presentable still, some corrosion issues will need to be addressed.  The seller remarks that the body can be rated at a 5 or 6 out of 10.  As you can see from the pictures, the rust remediation work to be done around the rear wheel openings is likely a pressing issue.

On the plus side, the car is propelled by a rebuilt 331 cubic inch V-8 that is said to propel the car down the road with little issue.  The seller states that they drove the car on the expressway at 70 MPH with no shaking or funny noises rearing their ugly heads.  As for the transmission, 1955 Cadillacs were equipped with four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions in 1955.  We have no reason to believe that this car is equipped with anything else.  The transmission is surely in good working order given the 70 MPH jaunt that took place.

The pictures above and below back up what the seller said about the interior needing attention.  While the space-age dash still looks like something out of a Martian spaceship in its chromed splendor, the decaying door panel manages to draw your eyes away.  The floor is covered with what appears to be a piece of white carpet from a house, and one cannot help but wonder what lies under the seat cover.

A look in the rear reveals even more rot in the rear door panels.  The carpet in the back seems to be factory-installed and in useable shape.  Looking at the seats makes you wonder if a thorough cleaning of the car would have yielded better results.  On an original car like this one, it is good to keep all of the factory material if you can.  However, the door panels are going to need to be recovered to make this car presentable.  Perhaps a good time would be when one of the rear door panels is pulled off to diagnose why a power window in the back is not working.  Amazingly, the rest of the windows work just fine after all of these years.

Above is a decent picture of the headliner.  As you can see, this will need to be replaced as well.  What is interesting is the clear plastic tube between the back glass and the rear pillar.  This is part of the ductwork for the air conditioning system.  The idea of climate control in an automobile was in its infancy in 1955.  Heat was fairly common, but air conditioning was almost unheard of.  The units that Cadillac used in 1955 were made by Frigidaire and were partially housed in the trunk.  The seller tells us that the car is factory-equipped with air conditioning, but it doesn’t work.  A compressor and some air conditioning lines will accompany the car with the sale.

A look under this Cadillac reveals surface rust and grime.  However, nothing alarming jumped out in the photographs.  It would be nice to have a good understanding of the condition of the floor pans.  Cadillacs of this era were well-built, but rust seems to have taken more of them out of circulation than any other factor.

In all, this is a nice Cadillac if you just want an old car to drive around and tinker with.  Getting the air conditioning and the power window to work would be a good challenge, and the rust doesn’t look to have become a structural issue yet.  Hopefully, this neat old Cadillac will end up with someone who likes to drive a vintage car with a few warts and can handle the upkeep and repairs.

What would you do with this Cadillac if it fell into your hands?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Andy Frobig

    The ’54-56s are my favorite postwar Cadillacs, followed by the ’65-66s. I would make this car as close to new as I could for $15k above the sale price, hopefully including adding front disc brakes. It’s not quite as nice as my ’65 Calais was when I bought it, and I drove that daily for almost four years. This ’55, to me, is as good as it gets for a ’50s American car; maybe a Continental Mark II or a ’56 Caribbean would be close, or a ’57-58 Imperial.

    Like 12
    • RICK W

      Good taste! 👍. NY ultimate favorite Cadillacs are 58 Sixty Special and MY 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance. Imperial? 61 LEBARON. Who wouldn’t love a PACKARD Caribbean?

      Like 6
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Can i assume those green pods/bumps on top of the rear quarters by the rear window are part of the a/c system?

    Like 8
    • RICK W

      I believe so. On the photo or headliner, notice the plastic tube inside rear windshield. That was part of air conditioning system. But, does the system work?

      Like 6
    • Norman McGill

      Yes they are. They took in air for the unit to cool that was locted in the trunk. Then the air was blown through clear plastic tubes into the cabin from the rear.

      Like 5
    • Karl

      Those are intake vent, to the trunk mounted A/C.

      Like 2
  3. "Edsel" Al leonardMember

    Hmmmmm..listing expired.

    Like 4
  4. Norman McGill

    My Dad bought one of these 55’s brand new in robins egg blue. It was beautiful and the first I had seen of power windows and seats. Even the radio antenna went up an down when you turned the key off and on.I was too young to drive so the power steering and brakes meant nothing to me. What a sled. I once wore the battery down running the windows up and down and the seat forward and back.I never did that again. No AC because we lived in Massachusetts at the time and usually we used the heater which worked like a charm. What a great car that was.I still love these cars today and I’m sorry I never bought one when I could have. When they were two or three years old you could get one in nice shape for a couple hundred bucks.

    Like 4
    • Harrison Reed

      I would LOVE a car like this, but with the interior surviving a bit better. I loved the Series 62 Cadillac — as luxurious and comfortable as they came, without the ostentatiousness of the Fleetwood. My favourite was the ’54. Air-conditioning was more the rule than the exception in these higher-end Cadillacs, even vack then. Someone in my area had a ’54 Chevy 210 four-door sedan with factory air-condtioning: bet THAT was a rare bird! Big chromey blow-vents under the dash. IF I could find the 1954 version of this Cadillac in near-mint condition, my sole concern would be, if I could afford its THIRST! But what a way to ride! I’d let the drum brakes be, but I would get hardened valve-seats, so as to survive unleaded fuel. I absolutely LOVE a fine long distance A.M. radio — and it was hard to beat a Packard or a Cadillac, for that! I like the Patrician or 400 better than the Caribbean, and I prefer the 1955 Packard to the 1956. It was conservative and dignified, and those tail-lamps were about PERFECT. But the minor 1956 face-lift cheapened things, especially with those overly-hooded head-lamps and looser “egg-crate” grille. The 1955 Packard, a drastic face-lift on the venerable “high pockets”1951 body, was an absolute timeless classic, looking aristocratic in any age. The changes made in 1956 incorporated styling cues which quickly became dated and tied to that specific time. My only problem with these Packards is, forward visibility! I am short from the waist to the shoulders, and I needed to sit on the old Manhattan telephone-directory, to see out over the hood! For this same reason, sun-visers are always too short for me — I can’t find any long enough when fully down to prevent my being blinded by a rising or setting sun! I am barely larger than a child, to begin with, and most of what little height that I have, is in the length of my legs. Cars seemed to be designed for long-torsoed and taller people. My 1946 Ford was no problem in this regard, and a number of pre-war designs seemed to work well with my physicality. But I test-drove a 1953 Ford Customline once, and could not see out the windshield to the road! — when I saw over the top of the dashboard, I was looking at the sky! Great for waiting for red lights to change — but not so good for watching traffic! Many cars, I simply could not drive, without some serious modifications to the height of the front seat. Anyone else have this problem?? It seemed to begin in 1949, and persist until the lowered profiles and taller window-cages of the post “fins” era. Most mid-1960s cars have good visibility. I am short enough, so that cops have pulled me over because they could not see a driver in the car. Maybe I should look for an American Bantam or a Crosley!

      Like 3
    • ClassicP

      I’m not being argumentative but for other readers I want to clarify something, there’s no way on God’s green earth that you could have bought a 3 year old Cadillac in nice shape for a couple hundred bucks.

      Like 3
      • Norman McGill

        Well actually there is. Back in those days you could only finance a new car for three years After that the cars were only worth what you could get for them mostly because the people who could afford them wanted new models so the used ones drifted on down the value scale until some body could afford it. By that time you had to pay cash for the car or use something else besides the car for collateral for a loan.Remember these cars only sold for $4to$7 thousand bucks in the first place. A “couple hundred” may be a bit optimistic but the value of the car dropped a lot after the first three years.

        Like 0
  5. Mike Fullerton

    My grandfather’s 1957 Packard had the same a/c set-up.

    Like 1
  6. Boyce Miller

    My first car was identical to this one. Of course that was over 50 years ago. Air conditioning is a necessity down south and this one worked great. Great for dates. I subsequently had 4 other ‘55s but none was as striking as the green one.
    Thanks for the memories.

    Like 1
  7. JImmyinTEXAS

    Listing has expired. Maybe a repost will occur if it hasn’t sold.

    Like 1

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