|Cadillac Series 61|
|Manufacturer||Cadillac (General Motors)|
|Assembly|| Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
South Gate, California, U.S.
Linden, New Jersey, U.S.
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Fullsize luxury car|
|Predecessor|| Cadillac Series 60 |
Cadillac Series 65
|Successor||Cadillac Series 62|
The Cadillac Series 61 was Cadillac's mainstream productmodel 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.
|Model years||1939, 1941|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door club coupe |
|Related|| LaSalle Series 50 |
Oldsmobile Series 70
Pontiac Streamliner Torpedo
|Engine||346 cu in (5.7 L) L-head V8|
|Transmission||3-speed manual w/Hill-holder |
4-speed Hydra-Matic (1941)
|Wheelbase||126 in (3,200 mm)|
|Length||207.25 in (5,264 mm)|
The 1939 Fisher-bodied Series 61 used a 126 in (3,200 mm) wheelbase. All GM vehicles for 1939 adopted the Torpedo appearance with an extended, protruding bow appearance to enhance its aerodynamic appearance. A number of modern ocean liners had been recently launched and the appearance was very popular at the time. 1939 was also the year of the 1939 New York World's Fair and the streamline appearance gave a futuristic look when it was on display at the Futurama exhibit. The protruding center grille and the functional side grilles were die-cast, with slender bars. Single die-cast louvers were positioned to the rear of each hood side panel for engine compartment ventilation.
It was available as a club coupe, convertible or sedan, and a manual retracting center divider made from safety glass was optional on the sedan, along with the choice to add or remove running boards. in³ L-head V8 in 1939, with power at 135 hp (101 kW) and rising to 150 hp (112 kW) for 1941. Prices were the most affordable for Cadillac products with the 2-passenger coupe starting at US$1,695 ($31,536 in 2020 dollars ), the Touring Sedan was listed at US$1,805 ($33,583 in 2020 dollars ) and the 5-passenger Convertible Sedan was listed at US$2,265 ($42,141 in 2020 dollars ).A new exterior featured concealed door hinges, and exotic sea shell horns were available. All Series Sixty Special and Series 61's shared the same 346
When the LaSalle product line was cancelled, production was suspended at the LaSalle Factory at Wyoming Road and the facility closed.
In 1941, the Series 61 returned to complement the Series 62 which was introduced in 1940, and the Series 61 replaced the LaSalle in the Cadillac pricing structure. All 1941 Cadillacs used the same Monobloc V8 with the same displacement of 346 cu in (5.7 L) when the Cadillac V16 engine used in the Series 90 was cancelled. The most notable technical advancement was the introduction of the Hydramatic automatic transmission as a US$125 option ($2,199 in 2020 dollars ) which brought the listed price to US$1,535 ($27,008 in 2020 dollars ) for the Deluxe Sedan. In 1941, the one piece hood came down lower in the front, included the side panels and extended sideways to the fenders. A single rectangular panel of louver trim was used on each side of the hood. The rectangular grille was wide, vertical, and bulged forward in the middle. Rectangular parking lights were built into the top outer corners of the grille. Headlights were now built into the nose of the fenders, and provision for built in accessory fog lights was provided under the headlights. Three chrome spears appeared on the rear section of all four fenders. Rear fender skirts were standard.
The Series 63 was a sedan only for 1941 and 1942. It was only offered with a 126" wheelbase shared with the Series 61 and Series 62 but had a six-window B-body shared with the fastback Series 61. The main difference with the Series 63 was the different trunk (not a fastback) and the list price of US$1,695 ($29,824 in 2020 dollars ) which meant the optional equipment and appearance features on the Series 61 were standard on the Series 63.
By the time the decision was made to drop the LaSalle for 1941, at least three wood and metal mockups had been made for potential LaSalle models. One was based on the notchback GM C platform which ended up being shared by the Cadillac Series 62, Buick Roadmaster and Super, the Oldsmobile 98 and the Pontiac Custom Torpedo.A second was based on the fastback GM B platform which ended up being shared by the Cadillac Series 61, the Buick Century and Special, the Oldsmobile 70 and the Pontiac Streamliner Torpedo. A third was a modified notchback design, derived from the fastback B-body, but described as "A-body-like", that ended up being used by the Cadillac Series 63.
Any or all of these could have ended up being part of the next LaSalle line. However, it has been inferred that of the three, the third design was most likely to have been a LaSalle, with that platform being assigned exclusively to LaSalle, and that the second design, whose platform was shared with the Series 61, was the next most likely.Sales of the Series 63 were 5,030 in 1941 and 1,750 in 1942 before production was suspended February 4, 1942 to contribute to the war effort.
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door club coupe |
|Related|| Buick Special |
Oldsmobile Series 70
|Engine||346 cu in L-head V8|
|Transmission||3-speed manual w/Hill-holder |
|Wheelbase||126 in (3,200 mm)|
|Length||215 in (5,461 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,390 lb (1,990 kg)|
Model year 1942 saw a dramatic appearance change on all GM vehicles, where the curve of the front fenders extended halfway across the front doors, called "Airfoil" and fastback appearance was adopted company-wide. Vehicles that were built until February 1942 could be identified as lacking chrome trim starting in January when it was prohibited due to wartime production and trim pieces including bumpers were painted. 126 in (3,200 mm) wheelbase. The engine remained the same 346 in³ L-head V8 as before. The grille became more massive in 1942, with even fewer bars and was the beginning of the traditional "egg crate" appearance that all future products adopted. Parking lights became round and fog light sockets became rectangular and were included in the grille area. A bullet shape appeared on the tops of the bumper guards. Fenders were rounded and longer. Front fenders extended into the front doors. The new fenders had heavy moldings along the sides. A new fresh air ventilating system with air ducts leading from the grille replaced cowl ventilators at the base of the windshield. Handbrake control was changed from lever to tee-shaped pull handle. Radiator shutter control of engine temperature was replaced by a blocking type thermostat in the water return fitting in the radiator.After the War, the Series 61 returned on a
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe |
|Platform||1948–49: C-body |
|Related|| Cadillac Series 62 |
Oldsmobile Series 70
|Engine||346 cu in (5.7 L) Monobloc V8 |
331 cu in (5.4 L) OHV V8
|Transmission||3-speed synchromesh manual |
|Wheelbase||1948–49: 126.0 in (3,200 mm) |
1950–51: 122.0 in (3,099 mm)
|Length||1948–49: 214.0 in (5,436 mm) |
1950–51: 211.8 in (5,380 mm)
|Width||1948: 79.0 in (2,007 mm)|
1949: 78.9 in (2,004 mm)
1950–1951: 80.1 in (2,035 mm)
|Height||62.7 in (1,593 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,000–4,400 lb (1,800–2,000 kg)|
The formerly-smaller Series 61 was moved to the Series 62's General Motors C-Body platform, making them very similar. Major design changes marked the C-bodied Cadillacs for 1948. They featured General Motors first all-new postwar body with styling advances including tailfins inspired by the Lockheed P-38 fighter plane.There was also an attractive eggcrate grille, which was higher in the middle than on the sides. The front of the car was protected by a heavier and more massive bumper bar that curved around the fenders. The Cadillac crest was centered low in a "V" above the radiator grille. Chrome headlamp rims were used. Cars in the 61 series lacked bright metal front fender shields and under-taillight trim. A new dashboard with "rainbow" style instrument cluster and leather grained panels extending to the carpets was seen only this year.
The big news at Cadillac in 1949 centered on engineering, with the release of a new overhead valve V8 engine. This 331 in³ engine produced 160 hp (119 kW). Only minor appearance changes were seen. They included a more massive grille treatment with grooved extension panels housing the front parking lights and chevron slashes below the taillamps on the coupes. Once again the cars in this line lacked front fender gravel shields and rocker panel moldings and had plainer interior trim. A larger luggage compartment lid was seen on all sedans except early production units. Standard equipment now included twin back-up lamps mounted on the deck lid latch panel.
Cadillacs had extensive styling changes in 1950, as its appearance is similar to cross-town rival Chrysler Imperial and the Chrysler New Yorker initially in 1949, and less so with yearly appearance changes. They looked generally heavier and had low sleek contours with longer rear decks, more sweeping front fenders and a broken rear fender line. The hood protruded more at front and was underlined by a more massive eggcrate grille. Round parking lights were used, but as in the past, when buyers chose fog lamps an additional bulb and larger housing were used. This setup combined the fog lamps and the directional signals. One piece windshields were introduced and the leading edge of the rear fenders which had a broken-off look, was highlighted by chrome imitation air slots. The rear fenders were longer and ended in a swooping tailfin design. The Cadillac script again appeared on the sides of the front fenders, but was now positioned closer to the front door opening gap. As far as Series 61 models went a big styling change was a return to marketing this line on the shorter wheelbase B-body than used on the Series 62. This led to some styling differences. For example, the Series 61 Sedan had no rear window ventipanes and featured a rear wraparound backlight. An identifying feature on both models was the absence of rocker panel moldings and rear quarter panel chrome underscores. The Series 61 was 4 inches shorter than in the previous season.
A minor face lift and small trim variations were the main Cadillac styling news in 1951. Miniature eggcrate grilles were set into the outboard grille extension panels below the headlights. Larger, bullet shaped bumper guards were used. The features list included handbrake, warning lamp; key start ignition; steering column cover; Delco-Remy generator; knee-action front suspension; directionals; mechanical fuel pump; dual downdraft carburetor; slipper-type pistons; rubber engine mounts; oversize brakes; Super Cushion tires; one-piece windshield; intake silencer; 160-hp engine; oil bath air cleaner; equalized manifolding; automatic choke and luxury appointments. On the dashboard "idiot lights" were used to monitor oil pressure and electrical charge rate instead of gauges. The smaller body was once again used on the 61s and again identified by the lack of chrome underscores. However a new medallion appeared on the rear roof pillar of the Series 61, above the upper beltline molding.
In 1950, Briggs Cunningham and his team brought 2 Series 61 DeVilles to the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans. One of the Cars was modified for racing, dubbed "LeMonstre". the other was bought along bone stock with some minor modifications. The stock coupe finished 10th overall while the modded car finished 11th because Cunningham got stuck in the sand for 30 minutes.
A 1939 convertible Cadillac Series 61 was used in the Batman film serial of 1943 to represent the Batmobile.
The Chevrolet Bel Air was a full-size car produced by Chevrolet for the 1950–1975 model years. Initially, only the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range were designated with the Bel Air name from 1950 to 1952. With the 1953 model year, the Bel Air name was changed from a designation for a unique body shape to a premium level of trim applied across a number of body styles. The Bel Air continued with various other trim level designations, and it went from a mid-level trim car to a budget fleet sedan when U.S. production ceased in 1975. Production continued in Canada, for its home market only, through the 1981 model year.
The Cadillac Eldorado is a luxury car manufactured and marketed by Cadillac from 1952 to 2002 over twelve generations.
LaSalle was an American brand of luxury automobiles manufactured and marketed, as a separate brand, by General Motors' Cadillac division from 1927 through 1940. Alfred P. Sloan, GM's Chairman of the Board, developed the concept for four new GM marques brands - LaSalle, Marquette, Viking and Pontiac - paired with already established brands to fill price gaps he perceived in the General Motors product portfolio. Sloan created LaSalle as a companion marque for Cadillac. LaSalle automobiles were manufactured by Cadillac, but were priced lower than Cadillac-branded automobiles, were shorter, and were marketed as the second-most prestigious marque in the General Motors portfolio. LaSalles were titled as LaSalles, and not as Cadillacs. Like Cadillac - named after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac- the LaSalle brand name was based on that of another French explorer, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.
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.
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.
The Lincoln Continental is a series of mid-sized and full-sized luxury cars produced by Lincoln, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. The model line was introduced following the construction of a personal vehicle for Edsel Ford, who commissioned a coachbuilt 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr convertible, developed as a vacation vehicle to attract potential Lincoln buyers. In what would give the model line its name, the exterior was given European "continental" styling elements, including a rear-mounted spare tire.
Buick Century is the model name that was used by Buick for a line of upscale full-size cars from 1936 to 1942 and 1954 to 1958, as well as from 1973 to 2005 for mid-size cars.
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."
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.
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.
The Limited was Buick's flagship limousine between 1936 and 1942 and, during model year 1958 during GM's Fiftieth Anniversary, the halo car for Buick. After the vehicle was retired in 1959, Buick has intermittently used the "Limited" name for several decades to denote those models which featured a high level of trim and standard options in its various model ranges. Vehicles given the Limited nameplate were in direct competition with Cadillac senior sedans for clientele who wanted a GM luxury sedan but regarded Cadillac as "ostentatious" or "flamboyant" as Buick had over time earned a reputation of low-key conservative appearance while focusing on durability and reliability. The Limited nameplate returned in the mid-1960s denoting the top trim package on Buick vehicles for several decades thereafter.
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.
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.
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 61, 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 as special appearance packages that were later placed into production.
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.
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.
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.
The Pontiac Torpedo was a full-sized car produced by Pontiac from the 1940 through the 1948 model year. When released, it was the biggest Pontiac, used an 8-cylinder engine, and it had more standard features than other Pontiacs. Although the Torpedo name was exclusive to the highest line of Pontiacs in 1940, in 1941 the name was applied to all Pontiacs in three separate lines. The Custom Torpedoes were now top of the line name, while the DeLuxe Torpedo became the base line, and the Streamline Torpedo became the middle line of Pontiacs. All Torpedo models could be had with either a 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder engine beginning in 1941. From 1942 to 1948 the Torpedo name designated only the base line of Pontiacs. The Torpedo was replaced by the Pontiac Chieftain in 1949. It was with this generation that all GM vehicles experienced increased width dimensions to accommodate three passengers on the front bench seat and an additional three passengers on rear bench seat installed vehicles. This was accomplished with the deletion of running board thereby adding additional room inside the passenger compartment.
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.
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|V-63||355||70||Sixty Special||Sixty Special||Sixty Special||Sixty Special||Sixty Special||Sixty Special||Sixty Special Brougham||Brougham|
|V-16||Eldorado Brougham||Eldorado Brougham|
|Personal luxury||Eldorado convertible||Eldorado||Eldorado||Eldorado convertible||Eldorado convertible||Eldorado hardtop||Eldorado||Eldorado coupé|