It is a recurring theme when you take a look at some of the classic American cars from days gone by, but it is really amazing to see the stylistic changes that are embodied in a single model that was able to stay in production over an extended period of time. The Cadillac Series 62 is one of these vehicles, a mid-size luxury car that made its debut for the 1941 model year as the successor to the Series 70. It remained in production all the way through to 1964 and its history is broken down into five different distinct generations.
The first generation of the Series 62 was comprised of the first two years of the car’s existence, 1941 and 1942. Available body styles included the two-door club coupe, the two-door convertible, the four-door sedan, and the four-door convertible, and they were all powered by the 346 cubic inch V8 that was rated at 135 horsepower. The second generation didn’t appear until after the suspension of commercial production that took place during World War II and it consisted of the 1946 and 1947 models. These cars were very similar to those of the first generation, with the same engine and a very similar look.
The third generation of the Cadillac Series 62 lasted from 1948 through 1953, and 1948 marked the first appearance of tail fins on the car. It was still offered in the same four original body styles, and a new engine was introduced in 1949, the 331 cubic inch Cadillac OHV V8. Generation IV made its debut for the 1954 model year and continued through 1958. A 365 cubic inch version of the OHV V8 became available in either a 285 or 305 horsepower version, and dual four-barrel carburetors were optional.
The fifth and final generation of the Cadillac Series 62 was introduced in 1959, and these cars were low slung and sleek with very prominent tail fins. The standard engine was now a 390 cubic inch V8 that was rated at a hefty 325 horsepower. In 1964, the last year of production for the Cadillac Series 62, the engine grew to 429 cubic inches, and the top horsepower rating available improved to 340. In 1965, the car that had been knows as the Cadillac Series 62 for parts of three decades was replaced by the Cadillac Calais, marking the end of an era for the venerable American luxury automaker.