1940 Cadillac Series 72

1940 Cadillac Series 72 1940 Cadillac Series 72 1940 Cadillac Series 72
Formal Sedan
Chassis #: 7321351
Engine #: 7321351
Sold for $25,000 at 2013 RM Auctions - St John's.
For 1940, Cadillac offered six series with over 40 body styles divided between them. The Series 72, which rested on a 138 inch wheelbase (2nd largest in the line-up) was available in six body-styles plus an additional two 9-passenger business body styles. The appearance of the Series 72 was similar to that of the upscale Series 75, though the Series 72 was three inches shorter. External changes were limited to high-mounted taillights. A mechanical change was the recirculating ball steering. Powering the Series 72 was an overhead valve V8 engine displacing 346 cubic-inches and offering 140 horsepower. They had a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

The Series 72 was a one year only option.

This 1940 Cadillac Series 72 is a large, seven-passenger Formal Sedan with coachwork by Fleetwood. It is one of a believed 18 produced, and it one of two known examples, of which this is the only running and driving survivor. The car's original owner was See's Candy family in California. The car still wears its original Cavern Green lacquer, its 'Vogue pattern' tan broadcloth interior, and a padded leather roof covering. The bumpers have been re-plated and the rest of the chrome appears to be in original and excellent condition.

The odometer shows 68,000 miles with the majority of those acquired during its original owners. The car enjoyed 40 years of chauffeured care with those owners.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 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

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$399-$2,670
1940 Cadillac Series 72
$3,695-$6,300
1940 Cadillac Series 72 Price Range: $2,670 - $3,695

$1,685 - $2,195

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
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)
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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