West Coast Classics are proud to present an exceptional and great daily driving and extraordinarily rare virtually all original specification and completely rust free and comprehensively restored, both mechanically and cosmetically, 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood Imperial 9 Passenger 4 Door Limo with auxilary jump seats and power operated glass partition, 331CID Overhead Valve 160HP V8 engine matched to the optional 'Hydra-Matic' automatic transmission ($200), original radio & antenna; heater under seat & defroster; full floor carpeting, chrome rear fender gravel guards, rear fender skirts, directional signals, small hubcaps - 1 of only 626 Series 75 Fleetwood limousine units built in 1949 with very few remaining anywhere, let alone on the road driving and in this exemplary condition!
Standard equipment includes:
331 CID V8 Engine Hydra-Matic automatic transmission Power front seat Power windows Heater & Defroster Radio & Antenna Windshield washers Full length body trim molding, hood, bodyside & beltline moldings stainless steel enclosed running boards Rear fender skirts Directional signals Dual downdraft carburetor with automatic choke Large hubcap
POWER FRONT DISC BRAKES ALL NEW LIGHT SOCKETS WITH NEW COMMON BULBS ALL NEW LEATHER UPHOLSTERY INCLUDING FRONT SEATS AND DOOR PANELS ALKL NEW HEADLINER , CARPET & REAR DOOR PANELS & WINDLACE IN TAN TONES ALL NEW 4" WHITE WALL TIRES REBUILT ENGINE & TRANSMISSION IN 2022 REBUILD FUEL PUMP REBUILT CARBURETOR
The long wheel base Series 75 Fleetwood was Cadillac's most expensive, luxurious and largest cars offered by the marque and the flagship model from 1936 onwards. These bodies were unique and not shared with the other GM divisions. The 1949 models continued to be the top-of-the-line models with limited sales and unique applications. They had the new modern overhead valve V8 engine that boasted much improved performance with this albeit lighter and smaller displacement engine for smoother performance along with a revised interior and with the rainbow cluster dashboard being replaced by a more conventional layout with a horizontal speedometer. The most expensive and top-of-the-line model in the Cadillac line up was the Series 75 Imperial Limousine which sold for an astronomical $5,170 in 1949 with only 626 units built.
Features styling by noted designers Frank Hershey and Harley Earl and with this particular model having custom body by the renown coachbuilders Derham modified to include amongst several unique appointments the soft top and small rear window. The Derham Body Company was founded in Pennsylvania in 1887, and it remained active until 1971. Their bodies became famous for their beauty, but their prices were only palatable to the rich and famous. Fit to a wide assortment of chassis from many different makes, Derham bodies routinely cost in excess of $15K, (in their day!) and they were constructed for such notables as Joseph Stalin, Pope Pius XII, King Farouk, President Eisenhower, Gary Cooper, and Raymond Loewy. In addition, Derham limousines were used in 15 coronations around the world. They were also the longest-lived American body builder and the only Classic Era coachbuilder that survived the Depression. Indeed, Derham survived long enough to restore some of the Classics that it had bodied four decades earlier.
Stunning example refinished in striking Maroon over Black fenders with a Black padded vinyl top matched to a Black leather interior and rear passenger compartment Herringbone style Tan Dual Cord and Plain Broadcloth interior with jump seats and matching carpets and trim. Rear options include clock, radio in rear compartment, sliding window divider between front and rear compartments and padded top and 33X code all new hydro electric windows! Desirably equipped from the factory with optional Hydramatic automatic transmission, dash clock, backup lights, license plate frames, push-button radio, heater, front and rear bumper guards, and drivers side mirror.
The engine is a 331 CID overhead valve V8 which was new to this model year developing 160HP. Purchased from 'Kellogg Theiss Cadillac' of Ridgefield, CT in 1957 by renowned WWII veteran and photographer Robert F. Sheehan and restored by the renown Ed Pease of Narragansett Reproductions and previously being originally owned by John C. Kniley of 'Doubleday Publishing'. Showing just 26,159 miles at time of cataloguing. The car will be sold with a thick folder showing that at no time was any expense spared on this cars recent comprehensive mechanical restoration with the engine and transmission being rebuilt, brakes, radiator, etc in 2022 at 'Elite Auto Repair' of Warwick, RI at a cost of over $40K alone! Other records from 2022 show extensive further service history with no expense being spared on every possible conceivable component being either replaced or rebuilt.
All the lights and lens have been rewired and reworked to accommodate common light bulbs. the car has had a disk brake conversion to fit on the original wheels with disk brake components, wheel bearings, seals, rotors, calipers, pads & brake hoses and the original master cylinder removed and bracket fitted for power brake conversion.
Recently acquired from a renown collection and reportedly always having been stored in a climate controlled facility. The 331 CID V8 rebuilt engine runs extraordinarily well and this particular car drives absolutely magnificently - must be driven to be fully appreciated - does not miss a beat and purrs like a kitten - drives straight as an arrow - a truly remarkable daily driver that must drive much better than new with the many upgrades including power disc brakes! The rebuilt transmission also shifts smoothly through the gears and the car is an absolute pleasure to drive!
After a 3 year gap due to World War II, Cadillac returned to resuming car production in late 1945. To get the assembly lines moving as quickly as possible the 1942 models were put back into production with only minor changes. The 1947 Cadillac again brought very little change to the Cadillac line. Like other GM divisions, Cadillac was struggling to meet the demand created by the wartime halt of manufacturing, so not much time or energy was spent on updates. Demand outpaced supply as owning a Cadillac was the ultimate new symbol of success.
Under the hood the 346 CID V8 flathead V8 engine was replaced in 1949 with the all new 331 CID overhead valve high compression engine, which was both more powerful, and which probably more importantly in it's day, provided better mileage. This new V8 made Cadillac one of the fastest cars in America.
These are elegant and beautiful Cadillacs, part of the first all new postwar redesigns and amongst the most graceful and handsome cars of the era with the first tailfins. These tailfins were inspired by the vertical stabilizers of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter planes. At first tailfins were just small bumps in the rear fenders but they would grow to great heights by the end of the fifties. Fins not only became a long standing Cadillac hallmark that was copied world wide. The 1948-49 is widely considered one of the most handsome American classic cars of all time. The 1949 model boasted a bigger grille treatment with grooved extension panels housing the front parking lights.
This is a rare opportunity to own a truly superb and comprehensively fully restored example, both cosmetically and mechanically, and therefore a simply terrific driving example of the flagship top-of-the-line 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood 9 passenger Limousine and bodied by Derham! A highly sought after model and widely coveted both at home in the U.S. and internationally.