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Styling and horsepower sold cars in the Fifties, and nobody knew that
better than Cadillac.
Stylewise, its famous tailfins debuted on the 1948 models, a design
hallmark that was destined
to last nearly two generations. A year later the trend-setting Series 62
Coupe de Ville hardtop
bowed. Although styling changed from year to year, Cadillac carefully
continuity of design so that even though the car always looked "new," there
could never be
any mistake that it was indeed "The Standard of the World."
In 1949, Cadillac and Olds were the first to market new lightweight,
overhead-valve V-8s, which marked the beginning of the horsepower race.
churned out 160 horses, 18.5 percent more than Olds, even though its
331-cid engine was
only 10 percent bigger. It thus became one of the fastest cars of its time.
Cadillac also enhanced its image with some of the classiest advertising of
the day. In the early
'50s it ran a series of ads with the car displayed above a necklace of
diamonds, emeralds, or
rubies, with simple, direct, and devastating mini-stories underneath. For
example, one of them
told of the paperboy who had admired Cadillacs 31 years earlier, and now
was an industrialist
about to purchase his first one: "No compromise this time!" the ad
Three GM divisions had 50th anniversaries in 1953, and celebrated by issuing expensive, flashy limited editions,
all big convertibles with Motorama-inspired styling features. Buick offered the Skylark and Oldsmobile the 98
Fiesta. Cadillac's birthday model appeared in the Series 62 as the Eldorado. Only 532
were built that year, largely because of a towering $7750 price. Among its attractions: custom interior, special
cut-down "Panoramic" wraparound windshield, sporty "notched" beltline, and a metal lid instead of a canvas boot
to cover the lowered top. A striking piece, it was a preview of Cadillacs to come-and, of course, the start of a
now long-famous line. Incidentally, some '53 Cadillacs were built with Buick Dynaflow after a fire in the
Hydra-Matic plant at Willow Run reduced available transmission supplies, though this situation lasted only a few
Changes seen in 1953 included a redesigned grille with heavier integral bumper and bumper guards, the
repositioning of parking lamps directly under the Headlights, chrome "eyebrow" type headlamp doors and
one-piece rear windows without division bars. Wheel discs were fashioned in an attractive new dished design.
Series 62 models were identified by non-louvered rear fenders, the use of thin bright metal underscores on the
bottom rear of the cars only and the decoration of both hood and deck lid with Cadillac crests and V-shaped
ornaments. As was the practice since 1951, Series 62 sedan bodies measured five inches less than the other
A Coupe DeVille roof pillar script was seen again on this luxury hardtop. Standard equipment included all items
featured the year before. Late in the production year the limited-edition Eldorado
luxury convertible was added to this model range. A full assortment of DeLuxe accessories, including wire
wheels, were standard on this specialty car which introduced the wraparound windshield for production models.
On August 12, a fire at the Hydra-Matic transmission factory in Livonia, Mich. broke out and would bring a
damaging halt to production within a week. It was September 8 before Cadillacs began leaving the factory again.
- Serial numbers and engine numbers were again one and the same.
- They appeared on the righthand side of the crankcase above the water pump and on the right frame side bar
behind the engine support.
- The first two symbols were "53" for 1953.
- The next two symbols indicated the series as follows:
- "62" = Series 62 (including Eldorado)
- "60" = Series Sixty Special Fleetwood
- "75" = Series 75 Fleetwood
- The remaining digits represented the consecutive unit number and began with 00000 for all series.
- All series had the same ending number, which would be misinterpreted if listed.
|Model Number||Body Style||Doors||Model||Seating||Factory
Price||Shipping Weight||Production Total|
- The export sedan was shipped in CKD form to foreign countries.
- The symbol X in brackets indicates hydraulic window lifts optional
- without brackets indcates this feature standard.
- V-8 Overhead valves.
- Cast iron block.
- Displacement: 331 cubic inches.
- Bore and stroke: 3-15/16 x 3-5/8 inches.
- Compression ratio: 8.25:1.
- Brake horsepower: 210 at 4150 rpm
- Five main bearings
- Hydraulic valve lifters.
- with Hydra-Matic Transmission: Carter WCFB four-barrel Model 2005S - also - Rochester 4GC
four-barrel Model 7005100.
- with Dynaflow Transmission: Carter WCFB four-barrel Models 2088S, 2119S, and 2119SA also - Rochester
4GC four-barrel Model 7006215.
- Note: After the Hydra-Matic plant fire approximately 19,000 Cadillacs were sold with Buick Dynaflow
transmission attachments. This was referred to as the "Twin Turbine" drive.
- Wheelbase: 126 inches
- Overall length (Sedan): 215.8 inches
- Overall length (Other): 220.8 inches
- Tires: 8.00 x 15.
- Dual exhaust system standard.
- Rear axle ratios: 3.07:1
- Hydraulic window lifts optional on some Series 62 models.
- Heating and ventilation system ($199).
- Power steering ($177).
- Signal-seeking radio with preselector and antenna ($132).
- Remote control signal-seeking radio with preselector and antenna ($214).
- Five white sidewall tires ($48 exchange).
- Tinted E-Z-Eye glass ($46).
- Autronic Eye Automatic headlamp beam control ($53).
- Chrome wire wheels ($325).
- Air conditioning ($620).
- Other standard G.M. accessories.
28000 Cadillacs were built with Buick Dynaflow transmission after GM's Hydramatic plant burned to the ground.
May 12/00; March 8/03
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