1948 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupé

In the prelude to World War II, the Art and Colour Section of General Motors, led by the visionary designer Harley Earl, spearheaded the movement to propel the motorcar into the modern age. The traditional separation of fenders from the hood and headlights was being redefined, and ergonomic considerations were reshaping the automobile into the familiar mold we recognize today. A harbinger of this transformative era was the Cadillac Series 62.

Debuting in 1940, the Series 62 underwent subtle restyling for the 1942 model year before production was interrupted by the global conflicts in Europe and Asia. Following the war, as civilian production resumed, Harley Earl was already immersed in the development of the new Series 62.

The iconic and influential body style, featuring tail fins inspired by the Lockheed P38, burst onto the scene in 1948. The subsequent season marked the introduction of GM’s revolutionary 330 cubic-inch overhead-valve V8, making its debut under the hoods of Cadillacs. With a maximum output of 160bhp, paired with the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, most models could achieve speeds of up to 100mph, with comfortable cruising between 80 and 90.

Although primarily positioned as a luxury car, the Series 62 Coupe De Ville showcased its sporting prowess when Briggs Cunningham entered a essentially stock model in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950. Driven by the Collier brothers, clad in lounge suits, the Coupe impressively secured 10th place overall in this renowned race, a testament to the model’s incredible versatility.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s