Friday, September 5, 2014

Danville Street Sighting - 1951 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

When selling a home, the Open House is a great way to draw in prospective buyers. But nobody knows to come in unless there's a sign outside. And it can't hurt to put out a little attention-grabber, like, say, a shiny black vintage Cadillac.

This '51 Series 62 convertible was parked outside this house pretty much all afternoon. I passed by while working my delivery route and came back on my own time later with a camera. I've seen this car once before, outside a local shop where it was being freshened up pending new plates. It looks sweet with rich red leather, fat new whitewall tires and a mirror-smooth black finish.

The Series 62 for 1951 was Cadillac's volume-seller model, a step above the unpopular base Series 61 and below the more luxurious Series 60 and 75 Fleetwoods. All Cadillacs shared a family resemblance, a very gradual evolution of the 1948 models. The Series 62 came with a 331 cubic inch V8 and Hydramatic automatic transmission. The 62 was the only way buyers could purchase a Cadillac convertible that year, with 6,117 droptops finding homes. Most Series 62s, and indeed most Cadillacs in general, were sedans. Convertibles came standard with power windows, a rare luxury feature in those days.

It takes a special car for me to spend several minutes clicking away at every interesting detail. This one has a lot going for it. It also has a lot going on, but the design isn't so busy that it appears totally overstyled. If anything looks amiss, I think it would be the dummy grilles on the front corners. These would be swapped for chrome panels with gold Cadillac crests for '52, and then the grille lamps were moved to that position in '53 when protruding "Dagmar" bumper bullets were added. The factory "sombrero" hubcaps are a clean and pleasing treatment to the black steel wheels. The only visible modification is a vintage-style chrome exhaust tip deflector. The interior and dashboard are nothing short of beautiful. I just wish the owner went the extra mile to source a proper yellow and black period California license plate. Then it would be perfect.

As for the home open, I don't know if the Caddy had anything to do with it, but the house was pending sale in one week.

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