When Cadillac resumed production of the passenger cars after World War II, it advertised them as Battle-Powered with Victory engines. All automobile manufacturers had halted their assembly lines by February 1942, but none of them remained idle for very long since all factories were converted to manufacture materials needed for the war effort.
But while most companies made aircraft parts or guns, 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 army in April 1942, powered by two Cadillac V8s with Hydra-matic transmissions, one driving each track. In all, its divisions built six types of tanks and gun carriers, producing about 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. The first 1946 model was built on October 17, 1945 and was one of the earliest at General Motors.
Just as the 1946 models were a modest makeover of the pre-war ‘42s, the 1947s introduced that January were a subtle freshening of the ‘46s. There was 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. The rear fender shield that was rubber on the ‘46s was 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 and red Cadillac crest. These covers quickly became a favorite of hot rodders as well as Cadillac owners, and they remained on the parts list in to the 1950s.
Hydro-lectric window lifts became standard equipment in 1947 on Series 75 Fleetwoods and the Series 62 Convertibles. The only soft-top offered, the Series 62 Convertible had a production of 6,755 cars in 1947, augmenting Cadillac’s total sales of 61,926 to surpass Packard as the best-selling American luxury car that year.
As for power, the Series 62 boasted a 150 bhp, 346 cu in L-Head V8 engine with 4-speed Hydra-matic transmission. Its smooth drive was complemented by a coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic brakes on a 129-inch wheelbase.
This car had a complete body-off restoration in 2019, and everything on it was restored or replaced with NOS or new parts. Well-known Cadillac restorer Steve Cooley of Steve Cooley Motors, Homosassa, Florida rebuilt the engine. The car was then sent to Jenkins Interiors of North Carolina for a complete interior and new top. The former owner completed the chassis and paint work, and then the vehicle returned for detailing to Steve, who claims that the paintwork, chassis and the car itself are worthy of any show, tour or concours d'élégance judging.
The beautiful black exterior with its complementary red interior and tan top are as stunning as they get. No detail was left unfinished . . . from the beautiful cloisonné work to the correct rear window and stainless snaps on the convertible top.
This fabulous Cadillac cruises down the road smoothly at 70 mph on its new wide whitewall bias-ply tires and has covered a mere 250 miles for testing since its fresh restoration. The stunning antique is undoubtedly the finest ‘47 Cadillac convertible coupe on the market today and truly lives up to Cadillac’s slogan of The Standard of the World.
Even better, this car is deemed a Full Classic by the Classic Car Club of America and is eligible for all its tours and Grand Classics.