Many automotive fans may recall the 1942 Cadillac model design being quite similar to the previous 1941 Cadillac version. This was mostly due to the fact that before the newer model became widely established, production had to come to a halt on February 4, 1942 as the United States of America entered World War II.
Due to the war efforts, some of the model units were painted rather than plated trim which accounted for 2,150 models produced out of a total of 16,511 Cadillac models that were manufactured for the consumer market. Cadillac also started manufacturing components for the Allison aircraft engine along with the M-5 Tank models.
The 1942 Cadillac models were under direction of Mr. Harley J Earl's and his creative team including the very talented Mr. Bill Mitchell who changed Cadillac's styling direction with the 1938 Cadillac 60-- Special models. In 1942, Cadillac celebrated its 40th year of fine car building designs. There were six new series offered for Cadillac consumers which including the Cadillac Sixty One, Cadillac Sixty Two, Cadillac Sixty Three, Cadillac Sixty Seven, Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special, and the Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five models. Cadillac offered hydra-matic drive which was an improvement in the hydra-matic transmission on all models which consumers thoroughly enjoyed. The 1942 Cadillac models were powered by a 150 horsepower V-8 engine.
The 1942 Cadillac models including an all-weather ventilating system for its driver and passengers. One of the most desired features on the Cadillac models was the front end styling and its fastback designs which captivated the American audience and Cadillac's rich history alive defining its role as, "Standard of the world”. There was no doubt that the 1942 Cadillac models was a preview of the future. The 1942 Cadillac convertible models became recognized as one of the most popular automobiles on the consumer market which many consumers thoroughly enjoyed.
At the time, Cadillac’s chief body designer was Mr. William J. Tell. The price tag on certain models totaled $2,435, however, due to the war, the final cost was questionable. All the 1942 Cadillac models were assembled at the historic Clark Avenue Factory Plant.
On December 31, 1941, Washington issued a "black out" notice to all manufactures indicating that no vehicle could be delivered with visible stainless steel trim or chrome, except for bumpers on the consumer market. However, after the war, the 1946 models manufactures resulted back to their early days of manufacturing process. Today, the 1942 Cadillac models are in high demand by collectors who are willing to pay the costly price tag.
A special thanks to Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher, for donating the story to the MotorCities Story of the Week program. Photographs are courtesy of the Robert Tate’s Personal Collection (Bibliography: Schneider Roy. Cadillac Of The Forties. Published by Automobile Heritage Publishing Co. 1976. Mc Call Walter. 80 Years Of Cadillac LaSalle. Crestline Automotive Publishing 1992.)
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