1955 Cadillac Series 75

1955 Cadillac Series 75 1955 Cadillac Series 75 1955 Cadillac Series 75
Imperial Sedan
Chassis #: 557555865
Engine #: 5662014695
Registration #: Special Order No. 2597
High bid of $160,000 at 2011 Auctions America - Auburn Fall Auction. (did not sell)
High bid of $105,000 at 2013 RM Auctions - Arizona. (did not sell)
American Presidents, in similar fashion to important, dignitaries and 'royalty' throughout the world, have unique needs when it comes to transportation. Along with mandatory criteria, presidents and their families have their own preferences and needs for transportation, both official and informal. In the case of Mamie Doud Eisenhower, First Lady of the 34th President of the United States, desired a car that could be used as a formal and parade vehicle when needed.

An order was placed in March of 1955 with Cadillac for an eight-passenger Imperial sedan, body style 7533X. The car was painted in basic black with dark grey, plain broadcloth upholstery, power brakes, E-Z Eye tinted glass, a rear compartment radio, a heater, and air conditioning. The car was sent from the factory to Hess & Eisenhardt, professional car conversion specialists in Rossmoyne, Ohio. Most of the rearmost part of the roof was replaced with a section and rear window from a Series 62 Coupe de Ville. This transformed the basic Imperial Sedan into a pillarless 'hardtop' limousine, allowing the occupants an excellent viewpoint for press photographers. The car was given a sliding sunroof, along with a grab rail for balance while standing in the moving car. The driver's compartment was upholstered in blue leather and given a black padded dashboard. The rear compartment was finished in buttoned grey broadcloth. The work was completed - as evident by the firewall data plate - on May 27th of 1955.

The car remained in the White House garages for the remainder of Eisenhower's term. GM requested in January of 1958 to display the car at the Washington Auto Show. Unfortunately, the government rejected the request. After the Eisenhower's left the White House, the car is believed to have been sold to an American General. In 1988, it was purchased by Olivier Delafon, a French collector of presidential automobiles and cars of state. The current owner, another European collector, purchased the car in 2006.

Currently, the car is in original condition with the original trunk-mounted air conditioner, with clear plastic ducts extending to the roof. At some point during the cars life, the original engine was replaced with a more powerful 1956 unit. The overhead valve V-8 displaces 365 cubic-inches and offers 285 horsepower. There is a four-speed Hydra-Matic gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

In 2013, the car was offered for sale at RM Auction's Scottsdale, Arizona sale. Bidding reached $105,000 but was not enough to satisfy the vehicle's reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
The Cadillac Series 75 was the marque's flagship V8 from 1936 onwards, though the lower priced series easily outsold it. Production of the full-size V8 powered Cadillac's would continue from the 1930s through the 1950s. It served as a replacement for the outgoing 355-D and was introduced around the same time as the less-expensive Series 60 model. Outwardly, the Series 80, including the 85, were similar in appearance with the main difference being underhood. The Series 80/85 featured a V12 engine while the Series 70/75 had a V8. The V8 produced 135 horsepower while the V12's output was 150 hp.

In 1941, the short wheelbase Series 70 was replaced by the Series 62 and the long wheelbase Series 75 was integrated into the Fleetwood line. Cadillac would continue the '75' name until the mid 1960s.

The V8 Series 70 of the mid 1930s were powered by a Monoblock V8 engine that displaced 346 cubic-inches and produced 135 horsepower. A total of 5,248 examples were sold in 1936. There were three body-styles available for the Series 70 from 1936 through 1937 consisting of a 131-inch wheelbase for the 36-70, a 138-inch version of the 36-75 and a large 156-inch platform for the 36-75 Commercial version.

There were a wide variety of body-styles to select from and all wore badges of Cadillac's in-house coachbuilder Fleetwood. The list ranged from two-passenger coupes to seven-passenger town cars with 14 cataloged styles offered.

The Fleetwood Metal Body Company had a history that dated back to 1905 when they were formed in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. During their early years, some of their best customers were Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Cadillac. Lawrence Fisher, head of GM's Fisher Body Company and later president of Cadillac was pleased with Fleetwood's coach-building work and felt the union between the two companies was appropriate. The company was purchased by Cadillac in 1925 and the sales and design offices were moved to Detroit. Additional plants were built in Pennsylvania for body production and Fleetwood continued to accept body-requests from non-GM companies.

A Fleetwood plant was built in 1929 in Detroit, adjacent to the Fisher Body facility, and by 1931 all production had migrated to this location. Later, the production was absorbed by General Motors Art & Colour and Fisher Body. The Fleetwood name persisted for many decades, often referring to limited and low-production styles.

In 1939 the Cadillac V8 models were given a new frontal look with a matching textured grille. On either side were two side grilles. The engine still displaced 346 cubic-inches but further tuning had increased the horsepower output and its compression.

The Series 72 was a Fleetwood car that rode on a shorter, 138-inch wheelbase.

Production ceased during the Second World War and resumed in 1946. When it did, the Series 75 became Cadillac's largest model offered; now riding on a 136-inch wheelbase. The 346 L-head V8 engine was the same as was most of its basic styling. Just like most other automakers, a 'new' model would not be introduced for several years.

For the Series 75, this did not occur until 1950. It had a 146.7 inch wheelbase with seating for seven. Engine options included a 346- and 365-cubic-inch V8.

The wheelbase size was again increased by 1954, now measuring 149.8 inches. To carry the extra weight Cadillac increased the horsepower to 230. The following year it rose again to 250 hp, with an optional dual-four barrel carburetor version offered that produced 270 horsepower. 1956 saw another increase in horsepower, now ranging from 285 to just over 300.

Another restyling occurred in 1957 and would remain until 1965. By now, the name '75' had all but disappeared. Horsepower hovered around the 300 to 325 range depending on the engine and the setup. The long version of the Fleetwood became known as the Series 6700 in accordance with the new Cadillac naming scheme.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008

1955 Cadillac Concepts

Concepts by Cadillac



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1,070-$6,185
1955 Series 75
$6,400-$22,520
1955 Cadillac Series 75 Price Range: $6,185 - $6,400

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)142,184
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)121,778
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)121,778
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)146,841
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Meteor (1,408,478)140,777
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)140,777
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

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