All automobile manufacturers halted their assembly lines by February 1942, but none of them remained idle for very long. Most of these factories were converted to manufacture a variety of war-related materials such as aircraft parts or guns, but Cadillac had the enviable position of keeping its engine production going in order to turn out tanks. Cadillac’s first M5 tank was delivered to the US Army in April 1942, powered by two Cadillac V8s with Hydra-Matic transmissions, one driving each track. In all, the divisions built six types of tanks and gun carriers, compiling over 12,000 fighting vehicles by the time hostilities ended in 1945.
Having its engine plant up and running gave Cadillac an advantage when automobile manufacturing was allowed to resume after the war. Its first 1946 model – built on October 17, 1945 – was one of the earliest produced for General Motors. And they made the most of their war-era expertise, advertising their new passenger cars as “Battle Powered” with “Victory” engines.
Despite this promotion, the 1946 models were mostly a modest makeover of the pre-war ‘42s. However, the 1947s introduced the following January were a subtle freshening of the ‘46s. There were more brightwork and modest grille and trim changes. The bold egg crate grille had one fewer horizontal bars, and parking lights became small round units unless optional fog lamps were ordered. And rear fender shields that were rubber on the ‘46s were now made of stainless steel.
Particularly noticeable were the large optional Sombrero wheel covers. These were so-named for their resemblance to the iconic Mexican hat with their deep-dish brim and raised center section with the red Cadillac crest. The distinctive wheel covers quickly became a favorite of hot rodders as well as Cadillac owners, and they remained on the parts list into the 1950s. Hydra-Lectric window lifts became standard equipment in 1947 on Series 75 Fleetwoods and the Series 62 Convertible, which was the only soft-top. Convertible production of 6,755 cars in 1947 helped Cadillac’s total sales of 61,926 vehicles surpass Packard as the best-selling American luxury car that year.
This 1947 Caddy Coupe was restored in the 80s and still shows exceptionally well. All gauges are clear and functional. The doors, hood and trunk fit well. The engine compartment is tidy, the car runs well without noises, and the 3-speed manual transmission shifts easily for a smooth, quiet ride.
It features a 150 bhp, 346 cu in L head V-8 engine with manual transmission. The coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic brakes as well as a 129-inch wheel base offer you a ride you’ll never forget.
It is eligible and ready to tour in any CCCA Caravan. Get ready to cruise down the road!