HomePick of the DayRare ’42 Cadillac Series 63

Rare ’42 Cadillac Series 63


One of the things that makes a vehicle collectible is rarity, and when it comes to rarity, American cars produced during the 1942 model year are rare indeed. The reason: America went to war late in 1941 and Detroit turned its manufacturing might to the military’s needs.

For the 1941 model year, Cadillac produced more than 66,000 vehicles. For 1942, that number was only a few more than 16,500.

Trunk open

Of those ’42 Cadillacs, only 1,750 were Series 63 sedans, and one of those 1942 Cadillac Series 63 sedans is the Pick of the Day.

“The Series 63 will always hold an interesting place for Caddy fans,” according to the car’s advertisement, placed on ClassicCars.com by a collector-car dealership located in Mesa, Arizona. 

“It was likely born out of the ashes of LaSalle,” the dealership says of the Series 63, adding that “with USA’s involvement in WWII, 1942 was a very limited model year.”

However, it continues, “More than just history, you love this because it’s a true classic Cadillac. The massive grille makes a bold statement as it follows the contours created by the tall hood and long fenders. The wraparound bumpers shine to a level that it makes sure this sedan leaves a lasting impression. And the details are even right, too, like the factory wheel covers and the taillight housings that hint at the tailfin era that was coming after the war. 

“With all of this presenting so complete and bright, this Cadillac has never lost its regal image. The final piece to this attractive package is the glossy black. This is the result of an older respray, so some might get the impression you have an amazing survivor — and we won’t tell your secret.”

The ad continues: “Luxury in a ’40s car was all about going broad — broad doors, broad space, and broadcloth. 

“The interior looks and feels like it was updated during the car’s lifetime, but the button-top pattern on the seats and doors are quite correct for a luxury machine of the day. The sleek dash is an Art Deco masterpiece with a very symmetrical look and auxiliary readouts cleverly hidden in a narrow band in front of the driver. The AM radio is still on display, and the heater works properly for those times you want to be first to the car show. It’s an overall authentic feeling that you’ll enjoy right down to the steering wheel with classic Cadillac horn cap.”

Empowering this car is a 346cid V8 engine, which is linked to a manual transmission. When new, the engine was rated at 150 horsepower and was connected to a selective synchromesh manual transmission. 

The car, black on the outside, tan cloth inside and on red-painted wheels, is for sale for $39,995.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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