1949 Cadillac Series 62

General Motors and its top-level Cadillac Motor Division outlasted the majority of its competitors by the late 1930s, many of whom were the victims of the Great Depression. During the early postwar era, GM offered the car-starved public mildly updated pre-war designs while perfecting its first new postwar models. The new Cadillac models for 1948 rested on a new chassis-frame design and body designs inspired by prewar studies of Lockheed's twin-boom, twin-engine P-38 fighter plane. Many clay models and prototypes were built, with this design work headed by Julio Andrade, assistant to GM design chief, Harley Earl. Despite the vast amount of resources and work invested into the early concepts, only the upward-flowing tailfins would grace the 1948 models. Many of the design features, however, were introduced over the following years, fist on Cadillacs, then filtered down to the rest of the GM product hierarchy.

After the new-for-1948 models, Cadillac styling for 1949 continued essentially unchanged. Detail refinements included the replacement of the prior 'rainbow' cluster-style dash design with a more conventional layout featuring a horizontal speedometer. The biggest change was the introduction of a new overhead valve V8 engine which offered an impressive 160 horsepower. With the then-high compression, the new V-8 delivered strong peak torque at just 1,800 engine revolutions. This would become the basis for many generations of Cadillac's to follow. It would also be used successfully by many legendary racers such as Allard and Cunningham. The V8 'valve-in-head' engine was light, smooth, economical to maintain, and offered much performance potential.

For 1949, Cadillac offered four models, including the Series 61 and 62 which were both sales successes and similar, identifiable by minor trim variations. The Series 62 was higher priced, had a distinctive Cadillac grille, and the front fender stone shields and rocker panel moldings were grooved. It was low, had a stretched hood line, and a wide stance. The interior was completely revamped and featured a new instrumentation panel, door moldings, trim and a stylish line of fabrics.

Motor Trend magazine named its very first 'Car of the Year' in November of 1949. Ford was quickly eliminated, leaving Cadillac and Buick as contenders. Since the Cadillac V-8 developed nearly 20 percent more horsepower and weighed less than the Buick engine, it was the obvious choice.


by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2019

Related Reading : Cadillac Series 62 History

The Harley Earl designed Cadillac Series 62 was a very large vehicle that featured a large, 6,390 cc (390 cubic inch) V-8 engine. The back had large fins that did little for performance and handling but was all about the style of the vehicle. The design of the vehicle was inspired by the space program and the era of jet engines. The large, 4400 lb car was fitted with drum brakes. These often wore....
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1949 Vehicle Profiles

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Club Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

A styling tour de force of General Motors Design, the Model 62 Club Coupe handsomely predated the Bentley continental 'R' Fastback Coupe. More importantly, it introduced Cadillac's new modern lightweight OHV 160-bhp V8, which amazingly would serve t....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Club Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 496 279 904

This car was purchased in 2005 by its previous owner and then entered in the Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance the following September. It was purchased in early 2008 by its present owner and commissioned RM classic Cars for a total mechanical and saf....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 496255635

In 1949, Cadillac introduced its new overhead valve V8 engine that was more compact and lighter than its predecessor. This basic engine would power Cadillac models through the late 1970s. ....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 496233721

The overhead valve V8 engine displaces 331 cubic-inches and produces 160 horsepower. This Convertible Coupe has won a first place award at the Greenwich Concours. This award was bestowed upon this car thanks, in part, to its body-off restoration wh....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

The Cadillac Series 62 was built on General Motors 'C' Body platform which had a wheelbase that measured 129-inchs and an overall length of 214 inches. 1948 was the first year for the P38 aircraft-inspired tailfins which first appeared on Cadillac a....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 496207708

This Cadillac Series 62 features elegant details such a chrome wheel discs, kickplates, and spear trim that adorns the fenders. This Convertible Coupe came standard with power windows, a power top, an all-leather interior, and a color-matched painted....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 49628189

Cadillac replaced their flathead with a brand-new 331 CID overhead valve V-8 for 1949. The new 'valve-in-head' V8 was smoother, quieter, better performing, more economical, and offered 160 horsepower. It had 10-percent higher displacement and nearly ....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Convertible Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

Chassis Num: 496268896

The early history of this Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe is not known. By the 1970s, it had come into the possession of a Hollywood, California, Cadillac enthusiast. In 1978 it was acquired by Southern California collector Myron Reichert and dr....[continue reading]

1949 Cadillac Series 62 vehicle information

Club Coupe
Designer: Harley Earl

70 years have passed since the first tailfin graced the hind quarters of the then-new, 1948 Cadillac. Cadillacs of the era were instantly recognizable from any angle, especially from the rear. Stylist Harley Earl gained his inspiration from World War....[continue reading]

Club Coupe
 
Club Coupe
Chassis #: 496 279 904 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 496255635 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 496233721 
Convertible Coupe
 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 496207708 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 49628189 
Convertible Coupe
Chassis #: 496268896 
Club Coupe
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$470-$2,965
1949 Series 62
$3,496-$15,195
1949 Cadillac Series 62 Price Range: $2,965 - $3,496

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)96,680
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)109,651
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)90,259
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)110,340
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)103,857
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)92,554
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)52,706
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)61,926
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)29,214

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