About This 1939 Cadillac Convertible
Posted: 16 Oct 2003
UP FOR AUCTION IS AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING 1939 CADILLAC SERIES 61 2 DOOR CONVERTIBLE THAT HAS ONLY 19,505 ORIGINAL MILES AND RETAINS 90% OF ITS ORIGINAL PAINT. ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER AND RAREST EARLIER CADILLACS OUT THERE. Car is WHITE (almost a cream color) with STOCK BENCH SEAT INTERIOR. This vehicle has been meticulously maintained and remains 99% original as the way it came out of the showroom floor back in 1939. Elderly gentleman owned until 1978, when it was put in dry storage and reemerged during 2001. It was then that the interior was completely redone, a new convertible top was professionally installed, new tires, and other minor things were done to it, as well as minor mechanical refreshenings. This vehicle sports an unheard of 19,505 ORIGINAL MILES and has truly been 'babied' most, if not all its life. Under the hood lies the original Inline 8 cylinder with 3 speed manual transmission on the column. A bare bones car with NO power steering and NO power brakes, and a MANUAL top. Vehicle even has the original owner's manual and product brochure. Always adult driven and enjoyed by ardent collectors and aficionados. AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGLY KEPT ORIGINAL THAT HAS BEEN CHERISHED AND LOVED BY ADULT OWNERS. PERFECT FOR THE HIGH-END COLLECTOR THAT APPRECIATES THE FINEST IN AUTOMOTIVE QUALITY!.
Although the economy experienced a gradual increase from 1936 to 1937, it took a slight dive in 1938. However, the economy bounced back in 1939, which meant higher sales throughout the industry. Pointed fronts reappeared on most of this year's GM cars, and the Sixty-Special was no exception. Cadillac's new ensemble was a three-element affair consisting of a slightly raked, prow-shaped vertical radiator flanked by grilles in the 'catwalk' area between the front fenders and the main nose section. Above the catwalks were headlamps repositioned higher and closer to the central grille. The Series 60 was replaced by the 126-inch-wheelbase Series 61, offering the same body types and many of the Sixty-Special's appearance features. Common to all 1939 Cadillacs were a redesigned dashboard, newly optional vacuum-operated radio antenna, rubber rear fender protectors, and something called 'Controlled-Action Ride,' a reference to a higher rear axle rotation center claimed to enhance ride comfort. Aside from this, the Sixty-Special was largely unchanged, presumably on the grounds that it didn't pay to fool around with a winner. The policy paid off, and once again it was Cadillac's single best-selling model line. However, the series was expanded for '39 with two variations of the basic four-door: a sunroof sedan with a sliding section above the front seat area, and a limousine-like Imperial Sedan with division window as well as the sunroof. A gorgeous Sixty-Special coupe had been built as a one-off for GM president William S. Knudsen and four convertible sedans were built experimentally for the use of other high-level execs, but neither model reached production. Chairman Sloan may have hinted at the rationale for only one basic body style when he noted that the Sixty-Special was 'well received in the market and demonstrated the dollars-and-cents value of styling, for customers were ready to take smaller trade-ins [dollar amounts] on old cars to acquire it.'
Cadillac had settled on the 346-cid version of the monobloc V-8 for all its eight-cylinder models except LaSalle beginning in 1937. Rated at 135 horsepower at 3400 rpm, the 346 had five more horses than the 1935 V-8 and 10 more than the one-year-only 322-cid monobloc. The Sixty-Special arrived weighing only some 230 pounds more than a comparable 1938 Series 60 sedan, so its power-to-weight ratio was less than 31 pounds per horsepower, quite good for the period. By contrast, that year's Packard Super Eight -- which, incidentally, cost $700 more than the Special -- carried nearly 35 pounds per horsepower.
For 1939, Series 61 replaced Series 60 and 65 of 1938. All V-8's had new grille styling; similar in appearance but different in detail dimensions on each series. The pointed center grille and the functional side grilles were diecast, with fine-pitch bars. A single diecast louver was positoned to the rear of each hood side panel. Headlights were once again attached to the radiator casing.
As for overall condition, this car can definitely CRUISE THE BOULEVARD LIKE A MOVIE STAR since it is after all a BEAUTIFUL 1939 CADILLAC SERIES 61 CONVERTIBLE!. Handles VERY WELL with relatively TIGHT STEERING with little body roll for a car this size. Car feels relatively tight down the road and handles turns well. Front end feels relatively solid and tight. Brakes are SOLID and car STOPS EXCELLENT. Car fires right up and cruises very well. The exhaust system has a nice stock rumble tone. VERY RELIABLE driver that is meant for you to get in and drive anywhere. I have driven this car both in the city and on the highway and it's extremely reliable and I would not be afraid to drive it everyday! Truly a very enjoyable cruiser that feels very secure and drives like a dream. Basically the car is VERY SOUND and SOLID, but of course it is NOT perfect and will need a little bit of attention here and there as all older cars do. Below are the minor areas of concern:
PAINT is in overall VERY GOOD/EXCELLENT condition throughout (a 7.5 out of 10 for a driver). Hardly a few chips/scratches/dings, minor touch-ups etc. as you would expect but this is MOSTLY ORIGINAL PAINT. PLENTY OF SHINE and GREAT DEPTH. Car looks BEAUTIFUL as you can see in the pictures and it's more than enough for a very competent driver or local show car.
horn not working
minor surface rust spots by lower rocker panels
underside is original and has never been coated or detailed
Specs & Details
Interior Color: red
Miles Driven: 19,505