Cadillac Series 355

Last updated
Cadillac Series 355/A/B/C/D/E
1934 Cadillac 355D - fvr (4608933837).jpg
1934 Cadillac Series 355D
Manufacturer Cadillac (General Motors)
Model years 1931–1935
Assembly Detroit Assembly, Detroit, Michigan, United States [1] [2]
Designer Harley Earl
Body and chassis
Class Full-size luxury car
Body style 2-door convertible [1] [2]
4-door convertible
2-door coupe
4-door sedan
4-door town car
4-door limousine
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive [1] [2]
Platform GM C platform
Related Cadillac Series 452
Cadillac Series 370
Buick Limited
Buick Roadmaster
Oldsmobile L-Series
Engine 355 cu in (5.8 L) L-Head V8 [1] [2]
Transmission 3-speed synchromesh manual [1]
Wheelbase 1931: 134.0 in (3,404 mm) [1] [2]
1932–33: 134.0 in (3,404 mm) and 140.0 in (3,556 mm)
1934–35: 128.0 in (3,251 mm) and 136.0 in (3,454 mm)
1931: 152.0 in (3,861 mm)
1932–33: 156.0 in (3,962 mm)
1935: 160.0 in (4,064 mm)
Length1931: 203.0 in (5,156 mm) [1] [2]
1932–33: 207.0 in (5,258 mm) and 213.0 in (5,410 mm)
1934–35: 207.5 in (5,270 mm) and 215.5 in (5,474 mm)
Width1931: 73.6 in (1,869 mm)
1932–35: 77.0 in (1,956 mm)
Height1931: 72.5 in (1,842 mm) [1] [2]
1932–33: 71.5 in (1,816 mm)
1934–35: 69.5 in (1,765 mm)
Curb weight 4,600–5,100 lb (2,100–2,300 kg)
Predecessor Cadillac Series 353
Successor Cadillac Series 70/75

The Cadillac V8 Series 355 was manufactured by Cadillac from 1931 to 1935. They were V8-cylinder cars, sold in several models: a 2-door club coupe, a 2-door convertible, 4-door convertible, a 4-door sedan a 4-door town car and a 4-door limousine. It continued the popular name Cadillac V8 while being joined with the larger Cadillac V-12 and Cadillac V-16.



355A (1931)

The 1931 Series 355A was very similar to the Series 353 except it was longer and lower, had a longer hood with five hood ports, with matching doors in the cowl. There was a modified coach sill with no compartments in the splash pan. The battery and tool compartment were now under the front seat. Floor boards were made of metal for the first time. The instrument panel was oval with the same gauge groupings as in the Series 353. The Series 355 featured a radiator screen, a single bar bumper and dual horns. The headlight diameter was reduced by one inch. There was a new frame with divergent side rails. The suspension springs now had metal covers. The radiator was mounted lower in the frame and there was now a condenser tank for cooling operation. The engine was the same 353 cu in (5.8 L) L-Head V8 as on the Series 353, thus the series designation no longer matched the displacement and was the basis for the "series" naming convention. Engine horsepower was 95. A five point engine suspension, similar to the V-16 was used. An intake muffler was added and the distributor was mounted 1.5 in (38 mm) higher. The fan was mounted lower to match the lower radiator. Model year sales totaled 10,717. [1] [2]

355B (1932)

The 1932 Series 355B was even longer and lower, with an entirely restyled front assembly. The roof line was lowered 1–3 in (25–76 mm). The longer hood now had six hood ports. The new front end styling included a flat grille built into the radiator shell, head and side lights of streamlined bullet shape and the elimination of the fender tie bar and monogram bar. The trumpets of the dual horns projected through the headlight stanchions. The headlight lenses were 9.5 in (241 mm) in diameter. The dual taillights matched the headlights. Super safe lighting featured three filament bulbs and four contour positions for degree and angle of illumination. The front license plate was mounted on the bumper. Runningboards curved to match the sweep of the front fenders and blended into the rear fenders. The tail of the rear fenders blended into the fuel tank valence. The trunk on the town sedan, town coupe and five-passenger convertible coupe was integral with the body. The vision of the driver was improved by 30 percent as a result of the elimination of the outside visor and the construction of a 12 degree sloping windshield and corner posts. There was a large ventilator on top of the cowl and none on the sides. All separate body moldings were eliminated. A three spoke steering wheel enabled an unobstructed view of the instrument cluster when in the straight ahead position. The right side of the instrument panel was occupied by a "locker." Engine horsepower increased to 115. The deepening Great Depression helped sales plummet to 2,700. [1] [2]

355C (1933)

1933 Cadillac Series 355C Cadillac 1933 Series 355-C Five-Passenger Sedan V-8.jpg
1933 Cadillac Series 355C

In 1933, the aesthetics of all Cadillacs were updated with a new, corporate "streamlined" appearance shared with all GM cars for that year due to GM's Art and Color Studio headed by Harley Earl. [1] The bumpers on the 1933 Series 355C were sectioned, with plain ends and a three bar center. The grille was made V-shaped and blended into the painted (chrome optional) radiator shell. The radiator cap disappeared under the hood on the right side (same side as the oil level gauge). The fender tie bar, after a year's absence was sectioned and the center section was hidden behind the grille. Six horizontal doors replaced the vertical hood doors. Skirts were added to the front and rear fenders. The most significant change in body detail was the introduction of "No Draft Individually Controlled Ventilation" (ICV) or pivoting vent windows in the front doors and the rear quarter or rear door windows. In early production the front door window had to be lowered to disengage the channel at its front edge from the vent window to allow the vent window to pivot. In later production the sealing channel was attached to the door frame rather than to the window glass so that the vent window could be operated independently of the window glass. Windshield and rear quarter windows were made stationary. The vent windows were an optional feature on all GM vehicles beginning in 1933. Absence of a windshield operating mechanism on the closed car allowed room to conceal the wiper motor behind the headboard. The cowl ventilator was baffled and drained in such a way as to be rainproof. Chassis changes were few and minor in nature. Controlled free wheeling was discontinued. Vacuum assist was added to the brake system. Changes in shock absorber valves extended the range of the ride control system. During the model year the dual point four lobe distributor was replaced by a single point eight lobe unit. A radio was optional. Model year sales were 2,100. [1] [2]

355D (1934)

The 1934 Model 355D was completely restyled and mounted on an entirely new chassis but used the same engine as in 1933. The Model 355 was divided into three series, the Series 10, 20 and 30. Bodies on the Series 10 and 20 were built by Fisher and on the Series 30 by Fleetwood. The bodies on the Series 30 were shared with the Cadillac V-12 and V-16. Styling emphasized streamlining, including concealment of all chassis features except the wheels. Body construction was improved for better insulation against engine heat and reduction of engine, road and wind noise. Bumpers were a stylish but ineffective biplane design, mounted against telescoping springs. The grille was V-shaped and sloping, set into a painted shell. Although restricted use of chrome was a feature of the overall ornamentation, a chrome plated radiator shell was available as an option. Horns and radiator filler cap were concealed under the hood. Teardrop Guide Multibeam headlights were mounted on streamlined supports attached to the fenders. Parking lamps were mounted on the headlight supports. Airfoil shaped fenders were brought low over the chassis. The hood sills were high with the entire fender shape molded into the radiator shell. A curious horizontal crease broke the nose contour of the fenders. Hoods extending nearly to the windshield carried shutter-type louvers in the side panel. Windshields were fixed and steeply sloping; 18 degrees on Fisher bodies, 25 degrees flat or a 29.5 degree V on Fleetwood bodies. Cowl vents opened toward the windshield; one vent on flat windshield bodies, two vents projecting through openings in the hood on V-shaped windshield bodies. Bodies were 2.0 in (51 mm) lower than on previous models. Added passenger space in the front compartment was achieved by moving the hand brake lever to the left of the driver, under the instrument panel. Rear fenders were airfoil shaped and carried rear lights that matched the headlights. The gas tank filler was on the left side at the rear of the body, on Fleetwood bodies in the left rear fender. All bodies featured beaver tail deck that completely covered the chassis. On Fleetwood bodies the spare was concealed under the rear deck, unless optional fender mounts were specified. Independent front suspension was introduced, called "knee-action". Engine horsepower increased to 120. [1] [2]

355E (1935)

The 1935 Model 355E remained virtually unchanged from 1934. The biplane bumpers of 1934 were replaced with more conventional units. One major change was introduced on Fisher bodies, the all steel Turret Top. Fleetwood bodies would not have the Turret Top until 1936. Having been associated with funeral and ambulance equipment for many years, Cadillac embarked on an extra effort to consolidate this business in 1935. Three Fleetwood bodied seven passenger livery sedans were offered on the Series 30 chassis. Additionally a 160.0 in (4,060 mm) wheelbase commercial chassis was offered for hearse and ambulance adaptation. Engine horsepower increased yet again to 130. Combined model year sales for 1934 and 1935 totaled 8,318. [1] [2]

Related Research Articles

Cadillac Eldorado American personal luxury car

The Cadillac Eldorado is a luxury car manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1952 to 2002 over twelve generations.

Buick Electra Motor vehicle

The Buick Electra is a full-size luxury car manufactured and marketed by Buick from 1959 to 1990 over six generations — having been named after heiress and sculptor Electra Waggoner Biggs by her brother-in-law Harlow H. Curtice, former president of Buick and later president of General Motors. The Electra was offered in coupe, convertible, sedan, and station wagon body styles over the course of its production — with rear-wheel drive (1959-1984) or front-wheel drive. For its entire production run, it utilized some form of GM's C platform. The Electra was superseded by the Buick Park Avenue in 1991.

Oldsmobile 98 Motor vehicle

The Oldsmobile 98 is the full-size flagship model of Oldsmobile that was produced from 1940 until 1996. The name — reflecting a "Series 90" fitted with an 8-cylinder engine — first appeared in 1941 and was used again after American consumer automobile production resumed post-World War II. It was, as it would remain, the division's top-of-the-line model, with lesser Oldsmobiles having lower numbers such as the A-body 66 and 68, and the B-body 76 and 78. The Series 60 was retired in 1949, the same year the Oldsmobile 78 was replaced by the 88. The Oldsmobile 76 was retired after 1950. This left the two remaining number-names to carry on into the 1990s as the bread and butter of the full-size Oldsmobile lineup until the Eighty Eight-based Regency replaced the 98 in 1997.

Chrysler Imperial Motor vehicle

The Chrysler Imperial, introduced in 1926, was Chrysler's top-of-the-line vehicle for much of its history. Models were produced with the Chrysler name until 1954, after which it became a standalone brand; and again from 1990 to 1993. The company positioned the cars as a prestige marque to rival Cadillac, Continental, Lincoln, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Cord, and Packard. According to Antique Automobile, "The adjective ‘imperial’ according to Webster's Dictionary means sovereign, supreme, superior or of unusual size or excellence. The word imperial thus justly befits Chrysler's highest priced model."

Cadillac Calais Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Calais was the entry-level Cadillac model that was sold from 1965 to 1976. Cadillac renamed its low-priced Series 62 in 1965 as the "Calais", after the French port city of Calais that overlooks the narrowest point in the English Channel. In Greek mythology, Calais was one of two winged sons of Boreas, god of the North Wind, and Oreithyea. With the exception of no convertible model, the Calais shared the same styling and mechanics as the better-equipped, more expensive Cadillac de Ville.

Buick Roadmaster Automobile

The Buick Roadmaster is an automobile that was built by Buick from 1936 to 1958, and again from 1991 to 1996. Roadmasters produced between 1936 and 1958 were built on Buick's longest non-limousine wheelbase and shared their basic structure with the entry-level Cadillac Series 65, the Buick Limited, and after 1940, the Oldsmobile 98. Between 1946 and 1957 the Roadmaster served as Buick's flagship.

Cadillac Sixty Special Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Sixty Special is a name used by Cadillac to denote a special model since the 1938 Harley Earl–Bill Mitchell–designed extended wheelbase derivative of the Series 60, often referred to as the Fleetwood Sixty Special. The Sixty Special designation was reserved for some of Cadillac's most luxurious vehicles. It was offered as a four-door sedan and briefly as a four-door hardtop. This exclusivity was reflected in the introduction of the exclusive Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham d'Elegance in 1973 and the Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham Talisman in 1974, and it was offered as one trim package below the Series 70 limousine. The Sixty Special name was temporarily retired in 1976 but returned again in 1987 and continued through 1993.

Cadillac Series 70 Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Series 70 is a full-size V8-powered series of cars that were produced by Cadillac from the 1930s to the 1980s. It replaced the 1935 355E as the company's mainstream car just as the much less expensive Series 60 was introduced. The Series 72 and 67 were similar to the Series 75 but the 72 and 67 were produced on a slightly shorter and longer wheelbase respectively. The Series 72 was only produced in 1940 and the Series 67 was only produced in 1941 and 1942. For much of the postwar era, it was the top-of-the-line Cadillac, and was Cadillac's factory-built limousine offering.

Cadillac Series 62 Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Series 40-62 is a series of cars which was produced by Cadillac from 1940 through 1964. Originally designed to complement the entry level Series 65, it became the Cadillac Series 6200 in 1959, and remained that until it was renamed to Cadillac Calais for the 1965 model year. The Series 62 was also marketed as the Sixty-Two and the Series Sixty-Two. The Series 62 was used to introduce the Cadillac Coupe de Ville and the Cadillac Eldorado which started out at special appearance packages that were later placed into production.

Cadillac Series 61 Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Series 61 was Cadillac's mainstream product model range. It was priced and equipped more modestly below the limousine, GM D platform Cadillac Series 85, Cadillac Series 90, Cadillac Series 72, Cadillac Series 67, and Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75. It was upgraded to the Series 62 in 1940 only to return to production in model year 1941, replacing the cancelled LaSalle Series 50. While production was suspended from model years 1943–1945 due to World War II, it remained as the junior level product line until 1951. The size, equipment list and quality level were the most popular with buyers who wanted a prestigious luxury car that was usually driven by the owner, while the longer cars were chauffeur driven. It combined the most popular features of the previous Series 60 and Series 65 and was priced at the same level as Buick products of the time.

A glossary of terms relating to automotive design.

Cadillac Series 65 Motor vehicle

The Cadillac Series 65, after the Series 60, represented Cadillac's second, and, being built on the C-body instead of the B-body, somewhat physically larger entry into the mid-priced vehicle market when it appeared in 1937. It was slightly higher in status than the LaSalle, also offered by Cadillac.

Buick Super Motor vehicle

The Buick Super is a full-sized automobile produced by Buick from 1940 through the 1958 model years. The first generation shared the longer wheelbase with the top level Roadmaster while offering the smaller displacement engine from the Buick Special. The Super prioritized passenger comfort over engine performance and was replaced by the Riviera in 1963. For several years, it was called the "Buick Eight" or "Super Eight" due to the engravement on the grille while all Buick's since 1931 were all installed with the Buick Straight-8 engine with varying engine displacement.

Cadillac de Ville series Car model

The Cadillac DeVille was originally a trim level of the Cadillac Series 62 and later a separate model when the Series designation was dropped by Cadillac. The first car to bear the name was the 1949 Coupe de Ville, a pillarless two-door hardtop body style with a prestige trim level above that of the Series 62 luxury coupe. The last model to be formally known as a DeVille was the 2005 Cadillac DeVille, a full-size sedan, the largest car in the Cadillac model range at the time. The next year, the DeVille was officially renamed the Cadillac DTS.

Chevrolet van Motor vehicle

The Chevrolet Van or Chevy Van is a range of vans that was manufactured by General Motors from the 1964 to 1995 model years. Introduced as the successor for the rear-engine Corvair Corvan/Greenbrier, the model line also replaced the panel van configuration of the Chevrolet Suburban. The model line was sold in passenger van and cargo van configurations as well as a cutaway van chassis that served as the basis for a variety of custom applications.

Cadillac V-12 Motor vehicle

The Cadillac V-12 is a top-of-the-line car that was manufactured by Cadillac from the 1931 through the 1937 model years. All were furnished with custom bodies, and the car was built in relatively small numbers. A total of 10,903 were made in the seven model years that the automobile was built, with the majority having been constructed in its inaugural year. It was Cadillac's first, and is to date, Cadillac's only standard production V-12 powered car.

Ford F-Series (first generation) Motor vehicle

The first-generation of the Ford F-Series is a series of trucks that was produced by Ford from the 1948 to the 1952 model years. The introduction of the F-Series marked the divergence of Ford car and truck design, developing a chassis intended specifically for truck use. Alongside pickup trucks, the model line included also panel vans, bare and cowled chassis, and marked the entry of Ford into the medium and heavy-duty truck segment.

Jeep Wrangler (YJ) Motor vehicle

The Jeep Wrangler YJ was the first generation of Jeep Wrangler four-wheel drive small off-road vehicles, rebadging and succeeding Jeep's CJ series, produced from 1944 to 1986. The first Wrangler was launched in 1986 and ran through 1995. Although the new Wrangler stood out by its square headlights, its body was a direct evolution of the preceding CJ-7, and rode on the same wheelbase. The Wrangler featured an updated interior, offered more comfort and improved safety and handling, through a revised chassis that included wider tracks and a slightly lower stance.

Pontiac Six Motor vehicle

The Pontiac Six was a more affordable version of the Oakland Six that was introduced in 1926, sold through Oakland Dealerships. Pontiac was the first of General Motors companion make program where brands were introduced to fill in pricing gaps that had developed between Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Oakland and Chevrolet. The original marketing approach begun when GM was incorporated in 1908 was to offer a range of vehicles in various body styles based on affordable to extravagant, and the customer base would gradually trade up every few years to the next hierarchy brand. Pontiac was introduced as an affordable Oakland, followed by LaSalle for Cadillac, Marquette for Buick and Viking for Oldsmobile. Pontiac's introduction was a sales success while customers shied away from the more expensive Oakland, and once the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression followed, both Pontiac and Oakland were being considered for cancellation but the decision was made to keep Pontiac as the economy began to recover.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Kimes, Beverly (1996). standard catalog of American Cars 1805-1942. Krause publications. pp. 200–245. ISBN   0-87341-478-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Gunnell, John (2005). Standard Catalog of Cadillac 1903-2005. Krause publications. ISBN   978-0-87349-289-8.