NEW PRICE! Fantastic fully-sorted tour car, new interior and paint, runs and drives extremely well. Not a full restoration, but completely solid and ready to show and tour.
This 1941 Cadillac 60 Special has a known ownership history dating back to the 1970s. It was repainted in the early 1990s, but never used, as the owner passed away and his family was not interested in the car. So it sat wearing its fresh gloss black paint in heated, protected storage for nearly 20 years. As a result, the shiny finish is in excellent condition with a brilliant gloss and very few signs of use. It has never been a rusty car and perhaps most importantly on a 60 Special, the solid wood rocker reinforcements are in superb condition. All four doors open and close with that wonderful kerCHUNK sound that's endemic to these cars and makes it feel as if it will last forever. At the same time, much of the rubber weather-stripping was replaced, so the car has a very solid feel that's devoid of squeaks and rattles inside, something that is also likely due to the fact that the body has never been off the frame. The chrome and stainless trim is probably original throughout, so there's the usual very light pitting on the cast parts, but certainly nothing that needs immediate attention and in its current condition, the car attracts a great deal of attention.
The interior was tired, so it was replaced with a correct combination of blue Bedford cord and gray broadcloth, a combination that looks absolutely spectacular in person. It's actually nicer than it appears in photos, which are a bit dark, and with new stuffing underneath, it remains all-day comfortable. We also serviced the electrical system and got all the gauges working properly, including the speedometer and fuel level gauge, so it's ideal for touring. Both heater motors turn, the defroster works, and all the various courtesy lights and turn signals are functional. Only the clock and radio are not working, which is common in cars of this vintage and we have not pursued any repairs there. The trunk has also been reupholstered using correct checked fabric and there's a full-sized spare of indeterminate age stashed back there, too.
But the real reason you want to own a 1941 Cadillac is simply because they're flat-out the best-driving cars of the era, particularly when equipped with the Hydra-Matic transmission. The 346 cubic inch flathead V8 may have modest specifications on paper, but they're incredibly reliable, make magnificent torque to move these big cars, and purr along in near silence at modern highway speeds. We spent several thousand dollars servicing the mechanicals, including cleaning the fuel tank, rebuilding the carburetor and fuel pump, rebuilding the distributor, new ignition components, flushing and cleaning the cooling system, and a full rebuild of the brake system, including master cylinder, hoses, wheel cylinders, and shoes. The car has repeatedly proven itself over the past 18 months we've owned it, with numerous long-distance tours and serving as my personal daily driver on sunny days. It always starts quickly, idles smoothly, and cuts through traffic with authority, all without getting hot or cranky even on the warmest days.
A big part of that performance advantage comes from the 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Don't let anyone tell you that these are trouble-prone or difficult to service, because both are false. This one idles in gear at about 350 RPM in almost total silence and steps off the line with authority, using the engine's considerable torque plus a very low first gear to launch all 4000 pounds of Cadillac with ease. Hydra-Matic Cadillacs also received 3.36 rear gears (manual transmission cars received 3.90s) which is another component in its outstanding highway manners—at 65 MPH, it's just loafing along at about 2000 RPM, barely audible.
The chassis on this car is original, so it's not perfect, clean, and shiny. If you want perfection you'll have to spend more, but I can almost guarantee it will not ride or drive any better than this car. Bumps are a distant and well-damped thump, steering is accurate and it tracks straight, and the freshly rebuilt brakes are as good as you're going to get for 1941. There's some surface scale on the heavy iron parts, so be ready for that, but the floors are in excellent condition, as are the aforementioned wooden door sills. It currently sits on 15-inch steel wheels with attractive hubcaps and trim rings, as well as a set of ancient Denman wide whitewall tires, but an upgrade to a set of wide whitewall radials will make this a car you never want to stop driving.
We intended to keep it in our own collection, that's how good it is. Circumstances have changed, so it is only with great reluctance that this car is for sale. It runs and drives better than almost anything else we've owned and it's simply gorgeous to look at. If you want a completely sorted Full Classic Cadillac that's welcome at any event, one that you can drive without reservation and that you can show with pride, few offer a better combination of beauty and practicality than this.
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com