Cadillac Potpourri From the 2012 Cadillac Day at the Larz Anderson Museum

This past Sunday I went for a motorcycle ride to the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts.  The museum was celebrating Cadillac Day with a collection of Cadillac and LaSalle cars on the lawn around the museum.  This was an impressive collection of sheet metal and chrome.  The older Cadillacs were huge cars, the likes of which just aren’t made anymore.

I have included some random photos of some of the Cadillacs that were part of this show.

1947 Series 62 Cadillac

The Cadillac cars in 1946 and 1947 were essentially the same as the 1942 Cadillacs with some minor trim changes.

1950 Series 62 Cadillac

Cadillacs got a major redesign in 1948, but still retained the flathead V8 engine.  In 1949 Cadillac introduced a new overhead-valve V8 engine that foretold the future of engine design in North America.  The new 331 cubic inch V8 put out 160 horsepower, while the 346 cubic inch flathead engine it replaced put out 10 less horsepower and weighed 200 pounds more.

In 1950, a nearly stock Cadillac finished 10th at Le Mans and a very much modified Cadillac finished 11th.  Also in 1950, a Cadillac-powered Allard finished third at LeMans.

1957 Cadillac Fleetwood

In 1957 all Cadillacs came with a 365 cubic inch V8 that put out 300 horsepower.  The Cadillac Eldorado had an optional 325 horsepower engine that had two four-barrel carburetors.

1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Four-Door Hardtop

By 1959, Cadillac were declared victors in the “can-you-top-this” competition between the car manufacturers to see who can build the biggest fins.  The fins and rear tail lights on the 1959 Cadillacs are impressive.

1961 Series 62 Cadillac Convertible

In 1961, Cadillacs were redesigned again, with reduced fins and a decidedly smaller looking design.  However, this is definitely still a big car.

1966 Cadillac De Ville Convertible

In 1966 Cadillac produced more convertibles than in any other year.  The 1966 convertible shown above seems like a nice clean design.

1968 Cadillac De Ville Convertible

In 1968 the Cadillac V8 engine has a displacement of 472 cubic inches!  This engine had 375 horsepower and 525 foot-pounds of torque.  The car weighed about 4,600 pounds, but with this engine it was still capable of a top speed of 120 miles per hour.

1973 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

In 1973, the Cadillac Eldorado was selected as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 race. Over 500 special pace car convertibles were prepared, but I don’t recall seeing or noticing these cars on the road.

1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

It was claimed in 1976 that the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was the last convertible built in America.  Convertibles have been built since that time, but there was a long time after 1976 when the North American car manufacturers did not make convertibles.

The Cadillac XLR

The Cadillac XLR is one of my favorite cars.  Cadillac comfort, power, and a Corvette frame with an open top.

As I was looking at all of these Cadillac cars, it occurred to me that thse were excellent collector cars to purchase.  Most of the Cadillacs are not driven very hard.  And most of them were not driven very far, except for a long drive down to Florida in the early winter and a drive back up north in the spring.  So beside spending most of their years in snow and salt free areas, they use so much gas that many owners could not afford to drive them much.  As a result many Cadillacs were lightly used.  However these cars will easily fill a garage.

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3 Responses to Cadillac Potpourri From the 2012 Cadillac Day at the Larz Anderson Museum

  1. Jim Amado says:

    Thanks for sharing. Most enjoyable! The ’57 pictured is not an El Dorado, but a Fleetwood Sixty Special, as is the ’59 in your photos. In ’59 the Fleetwood Sixty Special was the only Cadillac model to have “Silver bullets” (Chromed pods) leading to the taillights.
    Indeed the 472 was a large engine. In 1970 the FWD El Dorado debuted the 8.2 Litre, 500 cu. in.
    engine which also found its way into ambulance engine bays.
    For some reason it seems that Lincolns and Imperials never enjoyed the following Caddys did.

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