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Selling on Friday

1949 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan

  • Long-term museum display
  • Retains its original interior
  • A Harley Earl and Frank Hershey design

VIN: 496007734

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In 1948, Harley Earl and stylist Frank Hershey achieved remarkable success with their design for the new Cadillac line. While boasting a modern and elegant overall appearance, its unique styling is what really sets it apart from its competitors. Inspired by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter jet, the iconic kicked-up fin adorning each rear fender lent the Cadillac a distinctive flair that its competitors envied. This inspiration came as no surprise to Earl and Hershey as General Motors had played a pivotal role in the production of the P-38, contributing to the manufacture of over 10,000 units during the war, thus leading genuine historical weight to Earl and Hershey's stylistic homage. The introduction of the Cadillac fin caused an immediate sensation, prompting car designers worldwide to emulate it, and what many believe is the true start to the tailfin trend that can be seen throughout the '50s and '60s.

With such an overwhelmingly positive response to the 1948 models, Cadillac limited styling tweaks to a lower, wider grille and subtle reshaping of the hood for the new model year. The big news for '49 was hidden under the hood, an all-new 331-cubic-inch, overhead-valve V-8 engine. The new high-compression V-8 transformed Cadillac into a performance leader, and the 331 engine went on to power everything from limousines to racers. The new engine was enough to earn the 1949 Cadillac the very first Motor Trend Car of the Year award. The Series 60 Special encapsulated what made Cadillac the pinnacle of post-war luxury, with exceptional build quality, and refined V-8 power.

This 1949 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan is offered from an era when General Motors was at the top of its game. Presented from long-term museum display, this example amazingly retains its original broadcloth and leather accented interior. Even though it has been on long-term display, this Fleetwood Sedan has garnered correct care and has been routinely exercised on the road. The exterior has been refinished in classic black and the copius amounts of chrome throughout were redone many years ago. A vehicle that has mellowed nicely through the years, it offers its next owner a classic vehicle that can be driven to its fullest potential. While all aspects of the interior are largely original, a modern retro-styled Cadillac branded stereo system fits in the same spot as the original one. Other features include power windows, a clock mounted into the glove box, and correct "Sombrero" Cadillac wheel covers wrapped in classic wide whitewall tires.

Under the hood lies its original 331-cubic-inch overhead valve V-8 engine, which is backed by a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, ensuring just about anyone can take this classic cruiser for a drive. Accompanying the sale of this Cadillac is a spare tire, jack, and an original radio. The first Motor Trend Car of the Year and a car that helped set the fin era into motion, the '49 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood Sedan will always have a significant place in automobile history.

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