1937 Cadillac Series 75


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By the late 1930s, the era of the custom coachbuilt American car was waning. Prestigious independent manufacturers began to falter, and many would soon close their doors, with Pierce-Arrow, Auburn, and Duesenberg falling by the wayside or on the brink of disappearing by the end of the decade. Even the stalwarts of the market like Packard and Cadillac had to make drastic changes in order to stay relevant in a rapidly changing marketplace. Cadillac adopted a new strategy to consolidate their lineup to allow for higher volume production and increased profits – while still maintaining an image of exclusivity. It is not to say that Cadillac abandoned the custom-model market altogether, but one look at the sales charts for 1937 was enough to recognize these were dramatically changing times. Sales of the Series 50 LaSalle hit a whopping 32,000 units, while all other full-blood Cadillac models managed just 14,152 cars. Fisher and Fleetwood still offered their range of bodies; however, there was considerably more sharing between the various series within the Cadillac range.

Subtle styling changes differentiate the 1937 Cadillac from 1936. The most obvious being the handsome new die-cast “egg-crate” radiator grille and restyled hood moldings. Bullet shaped headlamps carried over, although new adjustable internals allowed them to be mounted rigidly to the body. Running boards were more closely tucked against the body, signaling another trend that would see running boards all but vanish by 1941. Despite Cadillac’s efforts to streamline production, the full-figured and curvaceous front fenders were still largely hand-finished; welded up from multiple stampings and meticulously filed by Fleetwood’s craftsmen. The process was a time consuming and costly operation, which General Motors certainly would not have tolerated on its lesser brands. While the Cadillacs of the late 1930s differed significantly from their earlier brethren, none of the elegance, sophistication, and style was lost, and they remain some of the most sought after automobiles of the American Classic Era.

This 1937 Cadillac Series 75 is one of just over 50 examples to wear Fleetwood’s elegant Convertible Sedan coachwork. Style number 37-7529 from Fleetwood’s catalog was one of the most expensive bodies offered on the Series 75, and such was its prestige that it was also shared with the flagship Series 90 V-16. While most open cars catered to the owner/driver, Fleetwood’s Convertible Sedan had elements of a chauffeur-driven limousine, particularly in the roll-up divider window – an increasingly rare feature by the late 1930s. It was also a large and imposing car, dramatic, stately styling by Harley Earl. This Series 75 is a very late production example, the serial number indicating it was the seventeenth-from-last car off the line in 1937.  With an older, recently refreshed restoration, this car presents in very good condition, with undeniable presence thanks to its impressive scale and bold livery. Primrose yellow paintwork is in fine order overall, with consistent finish quality and a few minor imperfections noted on close inspection. Brightwork is similarly well-presented, with good quality plating on the bumpers, grille, and body trim. Accessories include a goddess mascot, dual fog lamps, twin reverse lamps, Cadillac Crest bumpers, and dual side-mount spare wheels with full, color-keyed covers. Original disc wheels feature correct style wheel covers and wide whitewall tires.

Up to five passengers ride in comfort in the opulent, leather-trimmed cabin. The taupe-colored leather upholstery appears recent, with taut, crisp seating surfaces and excellent quality fit and finish. Matching leather door panels are in excellent order, as are the complementing brown carpets and wood door caps. Interior fittings such as door handles, window cranks, and switches are in good condition, with a blend of original and restored parts. This car features a banjo steering wheel, factory under-dash heater, and a lovely Jaeger clock in the rear division panel. Chrome plating and wood on the folding top frame looks to be in very good order. As the convertible sedan was the top-line open car in the Cadillac lineup, comfort and luxury were imperative. The convertible top is lined for maximum sound and weather insulation, and rear passengers enjoy individual footrests and a folding armrest.

Cadillac’s 347 cubic-inch Monobloc V8 is one of the truly great power plants of the era. Robust, refined, and with respectable power output, the Cadillac V8 endured for decades until the arrival of the overhead-valve 331 in 1949. This car’s engine presents in good order, appropriately detailed for an older restoration that has seen some light use. Likewise, the undercarriage is tidy and in good condition for a usable, enjoyable car. These cars have excellent road manners, thanks to the eager V8, powerful hydraulic brakes, and 3-speed “Clashless” synchromesh transmission.

Recognized by the Classic Car Club of America as a Full Classic, this rare and stately 1937 Cadillac Convertible Sedan is an excellent choice for CARavan touring and similar on-road events. With a good-quality restoration and recent freshening, it is ready to enjoy and is sure to turn heads wherever it takes you.