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 Cadillac Series Sixty photo

1940 Cadillac Series Sixty

The Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell designed Sixty Special, introduced in 1938, solidified Cadillac's place at the top of the luxury market with more power, lower cost, better quality, and groundbreaking styling. The rakish styling was revolutionary yet tasteful, devoid of running boards, no longer necessary due to the lowered double dropped frame that lowered the floor to running board height. The design carefully blended the chrome and brightwork, and the trunk was not merely an add-on but part of the overall styling. The svelte hood concealed the 345 cubic-inch monobloc Flathead V8 originally introduced in 1937, producing 140 horsepower and offering a zero-to-sixty mph time of 14 seconds, with a top speed of approximately 100 mph. The Cadillac easily out-performed the comparable Packard due to its less weight and more powerful engine.

The first Series 60 Special of 1938 wore bodies by Fleetwood. The 1939 and 1940 models, which used essentially the same design with updated front-end sheet metal and headlights, were built to the Fleetwood design by Fisher Body. The 1940 through 1942 design successfully transformed the 1930s-era classic Cadillac design cues into a more modern context. The all-new body and chassis designs were introduced in 1948, and 1949 brought a modern, high-performance overhead-valve V8, the first all-new Cadillac powerplant in many years.

The 1940 Cadillac Series 60 Special rested on a 127-inch wheelbase, slightly smaller than the 129-inch platform of the Fisher Series 62 (40-62), the Fleetwood Series 72 (40-72) on a 138-inch wheelbase, and the Fleetwood Series 75's 141-inch wheelbase. The Series 62 was the least expensive Cadillac for 1940, priced from $1,745 to $2,200, while the Series 60 Special Sedan was priced at $2,090 and the Town Car at $3,465. The engine was a ninety-degree L-head eight-cylinder unit with 6.25:1 compression and 135 horsepower, and the transmission was a three-speed selective synchromesh unit with a single disc clutch. Hydraulic brakes were on all four-wheels along with slotted disc wheels that measured 16-inches. The suspension included an independent setup with coil springs and a Hotchkiss semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs.

Production
The Sixty Special was among the most popular Cadillac model for 1940 with 4,600 examples built. The Series 62 was the most popular with 5,903 built, followed by 1,525 of the Series 72 and 956 of the Series 75. 1940 was the final year for the V-16 Cadillac and a mere 61 examples were built. This would be the final year a Cadillac would be powered by an engine other than the V-8 for over four decades.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2021

Related Reading : Cadillac Series 60 History

The Cadillac Series 60 was produced from 1936 through 1940 when it was replaced by the Series 61. The Cadillac Series 60 was their mid-price offering a vehicle outfitted with a potent 322 cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine and stylish bodies. The exterior was designed by the Legendary Harley Earl with their sleek grille and split vee-shaped windshields. The body rode atop of a newly introduced....
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Related Reading : Cadillac 60 / Sixty History

The designation Sixty Special has denoted a specific model since 1938. At first, the name was saved for Cadillacs lowest price range but eventually, the Sixty Special name would be reserved for Cadillacs most luxurious automobiles. 1941 was the final year of Bill Mitchells original Sixty Special design and a brand new 1942 model was in the cards. Nearly 17,900 Sixty Specials were produced from....
Continue Reading >>

1940 Vehicle Profiles

1940 Cadillac Series Sixty vehicle information

Special Sedan
Coachwork: Fisher

Chassis Num: 6323368

The Cadillac Series Sixty Special was introduced in 1938 and brought many styling concepts that would be used in the Cadillac lineup in the years to come. The body featured a convertible-style steel top with a thin roof section and a notched back. Th....[continue reading]

1940 Cadillac Series Sixty vehicle information

Special Sedan
Coachwork: Fisher

Chassis Num: 6323234

The Cadillac Series 60 Specials of 1938 were bodied by Fleetwood. The 1939 and 1940 use essentially the same design but were clothed by Fisher. The Series 60 Special was the first car completely styled for GM by William Mitchell, the protégé and even....[continue reading]

1940 Cadillac Series Sixty vehicle information

Special Sedan
Coachwork: Fisher

Chassis Num: 6322448
Engine Num: Unit no. 6E 2512

The Cadillac Series 60 was the first car completely styled for GM by William Mitchell. Mitchell was the eventual successor of the legendary Harley Earl. Mitchell made the first 'owner-driver' Cadillac, a car for individual who preferred not to use a ....[continue reading]

1940 Cadillac Series Sixty vehicle information

Special Sedan
Coachwork: Fisher

The first Series 60 Specials of 1938 were clothed by Fleetwood. The 1939 and 1940 models, which had essentially the same design with updated front-end sheet metal and headlights, were built to the Fleetwood design by Fisher Body. This particular Spec....[continue reading]

Special Sedan by Fisher
Chassis #: 6323368 
Special Sedan by Fisher
Chassis #: 6323234 
Special Sedan by Fisher
Chassis #: 6322448 
Special Sedan by Fisher
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$399-$2,095
1940 Cadillac Series Sixty
$3,825-$6,300
1940 Cadillac Series Sixty Price Range: $2,095 - $3,825

Other 1940 Cadillac Models

Series 60

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
6,712
121.00 in.
8 cyl., 322.00 CID., 125.00hp
$1,645 - $1,725
7,003
124.00 in.
8 cyl., 346.00 CID., 135.00hp
$1,445 - $1,885
2,052
124.00 in.
8 cyl., 346.00 CID., 135.00hp
$1,695 - $2,215
4,600
127.00 in.
8 cyl., 346.00 CID., 135.00hp
$2,095 - $3,825

Industry Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
1945Volkswagen (12,852)
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)16,511
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)66,169
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)12,984
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)9,458
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)14,164
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)12,913
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)

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