Along with virtually every other automaker in the United States, Cadillac stopped automotive production by February of 1942 and switched over to building supplies for the war effort. When civilian automobile production resumed in October of 1945, Cadillac picked up pretty much where they left off -- with the 1942 Model 62, now labeled as a 1946 model year vehicle. That wasn’t as bad as it sounds, as this generation of Model 62 had received an update in 1941 courtesy of GM legends Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell. That facelift, combined with the booming postwar demand for any and all new cars, meant that Cadillac sold every Model 62 they could possibly build.
The Series 62 used the fat bullet fenders that were just coming into fashion in the early 1940s, and the sedan and convertible featured a notchback body. The club coupe offered a full fastback body. The engine was a 346-cid L-head V-8 that delivered150 hp. Transmission options included manual or optional Hydramatic. About 90% of Cadillac buyers opted for the automatic. The only other options available in this year were large hubcaps, whitewall tires, fog lights, and a spotlight.
About 18,500 Model 62 cars were built for the 1946 model year, with 14,900 in sedan form, 2,323 coupes, and 1,342 convertibles.
Cadillac didn’t change the Model 62 significantly for 1947, since the postwar demand still far outstripped the ability of the factory to meet orders. A new grille with five horizontal bars replaced the old six-bar grille left over from 1942, and the doors were made smoother around the rocker panel area. Ventipanes were also introduced on both the front and rear windows of the sedans. For the 1947 model year, Cadillac produced 25,834 sedans, 7,245 club coupes, and 6,755 convertibles. The Model 62 was the only convertible Cadillac offered in that year.
Collectors of this generation of Model 62 will want to be discerning of fundamental quality, since so few variations exist. Convertible models are rarest, and always more desirable than the more prosaic sedans. Styling enthusiasts may prefer the fastback look of the coupes. Model 62 Cadillacs actually produced in 1945 may be more interesting to collectors than the more numerous 1946 and 1947 cars. But the primary factor in selecting a Cadillac of this era will always be the basic maintenance and condition of the vehicle. Completeness, lack of rust, and prior damage will count for far more than the presence or absence of bolt-on options.
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