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1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe : Classic Cars

The 1940 model year marked a turning point for Cadillac: it was the final year of true pre-war design, albeit strongly influenced by Bill Mitchell’s Series 60 Special of 1938, with more modern pontoon fenders, low-set headlamps, and less chrome. It was the final year of the V-16, which shared its beautifully crafted Fleetwood bodies with the top-of-the-line eight-cylinder series, the 75. As the V-16 ceased production, such a wide range of bodies was no longer feasible, and it came to be that 1940 was the final year that the Series 75 limousine chassis was available with two doors and open coachwork. Thus, these were something of the last true “catalogue custom” V-8 Cadillacs made before the war.

Advertised as Cadillac-Fleetwoods, the Series 75s sported a massive, new die-cast grille and front and rear bumpers lettered with “Cadillac” in a modern script. Running boards were now optional, another nod to modernity, and turn signal lights were incorporated into the running lights. The burled walnut finish on the dashboard was highlighted by a central chrome grille pattern that was inspired by the styling of the grille and cowl vents; wood paneling around the windows was genuine walnut, inlaid with sycamore. The seats and interior panels were both comfortable and stylish.

The Series 75 Convertible Coupe presented here was one of only 30 similar examples built in 1940. Acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Kughn from prominent Michigan collector Chuck Schneider several years ago, it benefits from an older, high-point, frame-off restoration that was performed to the highest standards. Rarely driven, instead trailered to concours events, it has claimed multiple awards, including First Place at a Cadillac-LaSalle National Meet, a CCCA National First Place, and a class award at Meadow Brook. Elegant and eye-catching in dark blue with matching leather and a tan top, the car is fitted with dual enclosed fender-mounted spares, wide whitewall tires with full chrome wheel discs, and just enough chrome trim. The engine was rebuilt to factory specifications, and it continues to present extremely well.

One of only a handful of surviving Series 75 Convertible Coupes, this beautiful Cadillac is, as the Fleetwood catalogue of 1940 called it, one of “General Motors’ Masterpieces.” It would undoubtedly continue to be a point of pride in its new owner’s collection, just as it has been in that of Mr. and Mrs. Kughn’s.


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Sources : 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe Photo | 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe Article | 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe Photo 2 | 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Convertible Coupe Photo 3

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