Cadillac hit its post-World War II stride in 1949 with a new overhead-valve V8 engine an advertisement called 'its greatest engineering achievement in 45 years.' The new V8, which was in production for 14 years, powered nearly two million Cadillac's and greatly improved performance. The 1949 pillar-less Coupe DeVille was, along with the companion Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Holiday, the first mass-produced American hardtop. This term describes a modern automobile styled to resemble a convertible, but with a rigid top. This example is a 'one-off' custom creation built by Coachcraft in 1949. The wheelbase is shortened approximately 12 inches, and a formal roofline is adapted to the coupe body. The trademark 'tailfins' have been shaved to give the car a completely different personality.