Amazing California Original:
1955 Cadillac Convertible

We hope y'all had a happy Thanksgiving! Yep, it's December. The Holidays are but a few short weeks away.


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Not that we're counting on having any snow here in sunny Santa Barbara. However, this season we've got something equally exciting: an incredibly loaded, all original, triple-black 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible! Wouldn't that be the perfect stocking stuffer for a loved one (or for yourself)?


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1955 was a great year for Cadillac. With stylemaster Harley Earl firmly in charge, the division managed to design and build some of the cleanest, most well-balanced luxury automobiles ever to come out of Detroit. Among aficionados, the '53 to '55s are thought to be the quintessential Cadillacs, not the garish '59s. Featuring strong design cues like gullwing front bumpers topped by huge, fully chromed Dagmar bullets, Earl's harmonically proportioned original tailfins--somewhat reminiscent of the P-51 Mustang fighter plane--and eggcrate grilles, '55 Caddys were voluptuous, but not excessively so. Today, these almost-20ft-long dinosaurs attract people like honey attracts Winnie the Pooh. Literally!

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Among the few surviving examples of just 8,150 Series 62 convertibles built for the model year, the automobile presented here is special. Very special, indeed. It must be one of the finest original Fifty-fives in existence! A California resident since new, it reportedly was originally owned by Universal Film Studios in Hollywood and lived a protected and pampered life. It was never exposed to inclement weather and managed to stay out of harm's way to this day.
In addition to the standard hydraulic window lifts, power steering, and power convertible top, this Cadillac is equipped with the finest options a wealthy customer could specify on the order sheet, half a Century ago.
Among them are:

Do we have your attention? Very well, then, let's have a closer look, starting with the engine compartment.


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Matching its impressive stature, the Cad is powered by its factory original, 331 cubic inch Kettering Vee Eight producing no less than 250 horses. The folks at Rolls Royce would only whisper such a number, but being American, I proudly advertise it! What whispers is the engine; it purrs like a deliriously happy kitten, simultaneously convincing neophyte drivers with gobs of torque from idle to redline. They say there is no substitute for cubic inches. Right they are! Compression on all 8 cylinders is A-1 and the power plant certainly does not act like it's fifty years old; no exhaust smoke, untoward noises, or irritating oil leaks spoil the great first impression! We just had a brand new battery installed (yes, it's a 12-Volt system) and replaced the fuel tank sending unit.
Everything is toothbrush clean under the hood, down to the last nook and cranny!


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Living in paradise has its advantages. With daytime winter temperatures in the upper 70s here in beautiful Santa Barbara, we didn't have to worry about the weather when heading out to take photos. Monday, November 29, when all of these images where taken, was no exception.


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You'll hardly ever encounter more beautifully preserved, all original coachwork. Certainly not on a car that's half a Century old! The body appears free of filler ("bondo"), arrow straight, with perfectly aligned doors and hoods. There is no corrosion to be found, either. This Cadillac bears the mute, ineffable dignity of a truly original treasure; we'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Black is the behemoth's original color, as evidenced by the factory color code (No. 10) on its cowl tag. Perfectly accented by gleaming chrome trim, the nitrocellulose lacquer finish is amazingly lustrous; sensuous would perhaps be a more fitting description. Having always been lovingly polished by hand, there are a few small spots where the original primer is starting to peek through, enhancing the fantastically authentic look of this genuine surviver.


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Caddy rolls on beautiful, cast aluminum alloy Sabre spoke wheels. First introduced on the '55 Eldorado, these wheels--featuring a bright silver finish--are correct equipment. (Most '56-and up Sabre wheels were gold anodized.) Tires are stately, tubeless DUNLOP Gold Seal Sport 3-inch-wide whitewalls of the dimension L78-15.


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While we are close to the ground, let's check out the undercarriage. Befitting a California Cadillac, everything looks wonderful down under. There's no rust, scale, prior rust repair, or any other nasty surprise in evidence. This car was sold new at THOMAS CADILLAC in Los Angeles and has never left the Golden State!


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Back in the saddle again! Scrutinizing the interior we start with the dashboard, which looks phenomenal. Black dash upholstery is immaculate and crack free. Ocean liner sized steering wheel is in a wonderfully preserved state. The clock and radio, while silent, still look great and are original--no modifications here! Everything else is in fine working condition, including the hydraulic window lifts, power seat, heater, and vacuum-operated windshield wipers. Odometer shows just 51,970 miles, quite possibly the car's original mileage.

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Details, from left to right:


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1955 Cadillac interior features a generous amount of space for six tall adults.

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The superbly comfortable seats are finished in genuine, black leather, which is virtually unmarked. Can you count those pleats? Black Detroit loop carpeting looks extra nice.


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Even the back-up lights work! Continental Kit--the quintessential 1950s accessory--looks fantastic, features matching Sabre wheel.


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Cadillac trunk is certified to hold thirty-two golf bags. Just ask Bob Hope. Everything--including the trunk floor below the original mat--looks immaculate. Note original owner's manual and jacking equipment. Set of California black-and-yellow license plates is also included.


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Let's explore the streets of Santa Barbara in this mind-boggling Caddy!


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Feeling like the captain of a big cruise ship, the driver enjoys a commanding view of the highway. Caddy starts with ease, runs with the quietly burbling sound of a vintage RIVA mahogany pleasure boat. In 1955, the Cadillac Division could already count on 15 years of experience with automatic transmissions, and the 4-speed Hydramatic proves the point with smooth, almost imperceptible gear shifts. It may be half a Century old, but the big Cadillac is able to cruise along effortlessly at today's freeway speeds. Power steering and brakes make it easy to handle at any speed and help tremendously when parallel parking in tight spots.


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Returning home, we hit the convertible top power button; the electro-hydraulic mechanism operates flawlessly. Cad's gorgeous lines are evident even with the lid closed.


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Made of the finest black German canvas available, the top is free of any defects. A matching black canvas top boot can be installed within seconds and fits great.


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Well, we hope you enjoyed this journey back to the Fifties. Our black '55 convertible is a proud surviver of that long-gone era, when a Cadillac truly embodied the "Standard of the World" in fine motoring.
Today, this superb example certainly qualifies as one of the most desirable post-war collector cars. It still possesses a--very sexy--aura of power, wealth, and beauty and might indeed be one of the finest survivers of its kind in the entire World.