[ last update: 09.27.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Photo Pages


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or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year


Unless otherwise specified all photos and illustrations are from Yann Saunders'
collection of Cadillac photos, advertisements and product catalogs,
reproduced courtesy of the Cadillac Motor Car Division and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club

48crstsm.jpg (2433 bytes)

The artist's drawings below are from the 1948 product merchandising folder, being the only literature item describing and illustrating the full range of models that year  The publication date on this folder is February, 1948 and cars actually went into production at that time. There was a second publication describing only the 1948 Cadillac power-plant.

Hydra-Matic (automatic transmission), an option in 1941, was now all the rage and 97% of the 1948 Cadillacs were so equipped. 

The 1948 cars underwent some radical styling changes.  This was the year of the fish-tail fins [on all but the Series 75 models]; these housed the car's tail-lights and directional signals.  In-house publications of the time referred to them as "rudder-type" rear fenders as they were inspired by the rounded rudders of the P-38 Lockheed Lightning, a twin-fuselaged WW2 fighter plane designed by Kelly Johnson and powered by twin GM Allison engines that Harley Earl had been allowed to see at Selfridge Field air base in late thirties [the German Luftwaffe pilots later dubbed it  the fork-tailed devil].


Lockheed_P-38H.jpg (21415 bytes)     48_p38b.JPG (8095 bytes)
Left: American Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Right: artistis view of  a dog-fight over the English Channel;
a Nazi Messerschmitt "bites the dust" ...or "whacks the water" 



This year too, large fenders melted into body in long, straight lines.   There was also a unique "horseshoe" instrument panel, hydraulic window lifts as a standard accessory on some models (those with an "X" suffix after the body style number), more glass area as well as a new, curved windshield and rear window.  

The easiest way to distinguish a '48 model from the rest is to look at the instrument panel.  This year the cars had a unique "horseshoe" design matching the curve of the steering wheel:


48dash.JPG (4902 bytes)     48hshoe.JPG (8464 bytes)
Two views of the mew dash panel
with the inverted horseshoe instrument cluster




48frtclp.JPG (6710 bytes)     4862rrcp.JPG (6164 bytes)
Front and rear clips of the 1948 cars; the chevrons below
the tail-lights (right) appeared only on Series 62 cars

48FRCLP.JPG (7773 bytes)     



There were four grille bars this year, i.e. three rows of "egg-crate" openings.  As usual, another positive ID feature of the early post-WW2 cars is the grille extensions, below the headlights (above).  The 1948 cars had small, round parking lights set in the center of a rectangular fog light housing, on a horizontal plane level with the space between the 2nd and 3rd grille bars (counting from the top).  Series 62 cars - and only these models -  have three chevrons below the tail-light housings:


4862id2.jpg (4470 bytes)     4862id.jpg (6538 bytes)
The distinguishing feature of  Series 62 cars
were these three chevrons below the tail-lights

4862fbk.JPG (7842 bytes)



Additional information on the 1948 models and the related sales literature may be found  in The (New) Cadillac Database© sections entitled "Descriptions and Specifications of Cadillac Cars 1946 - 1950",  "Cadillac and La Salle Sales Literature 1946 - 1949" and "Cadillac Dream Cars 1948-1949".  Further recommended reading includes:

The "Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000" edited by James T. Lenzke, © 2000, published by Krause Publications, Inc., 700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990 [ISBN #0-87341-925-1, Library of Congress #91-61301].

Space-permitting, some more photos of surviving cars may be added here, later. 


The Series 61


48fbk1.JPG (9373 bytes)
Style 6107 coupe; 3521 units were built:
this fastback styling was known also as the Sedanet style

48sdn.JPG (8164 bytes)     48sdnet.jpg (15119 bytes)
Above and below, style 6169 sedan; 5081 were built

48sdn2.JPG (8031 bytes)
Cars in the 61 series are noted for the absence of a rocker molding

4862cp_c.jpg (11253 bytes)    4862rr_c.jpg (9324 bytes)
This fine surviving Series 62 Sedanet resides in my home state of South Carolina
[Photos: © 1997, Yann Saunders]



The Series 62


48fbk4.JPG (10463 bytes)     4862fbki.jpg (5433 bytes)
Style 6207 coupe; 4764 units were built:
this fastback styling was known also as the Sedanet style

48sdn3.JPG (7085 bytes)
Above and below, style 6269 sedan; 23997 were built
and made up the bulk of 1948 production

4862sdn.JPG (10154 bytes)     4862sdni.jpg (6902 bytes)

       48fbk2.JPG (8843 bytes)     4862cp.jpg (6375 bytes)
The fast-back coupes of 1948 and 1949 are, in my opinion,
the loveliest of early-postwar Cadillac body styles

Lucky gent with his brand new (?) Cadillac; the photo could very well have been taken in 1948-49

A nice survivor from "Down Under"
[ Photo:  Internet, 2014 ]

48cnv.JPG (9077 bytes)     48cvtop.JPG (5068 bytes)
Style 6267X convertible coupe; 5450 were built;
the "X" suffix indicates the presence of hydraulic window lifts

48CvCp.jpg (21411 bytes)
A very nice survivor

48cv.jpg (10755 bytes)    48cvint.jpg (7045 bytes)
Another fine surviving Series 62 convertible



The Series Sixty Special


4860sa.JPG (9687 bytes)     4860sint.jpg (6167 bytes)
Style 6069, Sixty Special sedan; 6561 were built; the chevrons
on the roof sail panel distinguish it as a 60S model, as does the
stone-guard on the leading edge of the rear fender

4860sb.jpg (8151 bytes)     4860sb.JPG (10300 bytes)    48-60s.jpg (19250 bytes)
Factory photos


Fine survivors found on Internet




The Series 75

4875a.JPG (10622 bytes)     4875int1.jpg (7159 bytes)
1948 production of the Series 75 cars included:  style 7519X sedan for 5 passengers (above - 225 units),
7523L business sedan for 9 passengers (90 units), 7523X Sedan for 7 passengers (499 units),
7533L business imperial for 9 passengers (64 units) and 7533X Imperial sedan for 7 passengers (below - 382 units)
two bare 75 chassis went to independent coach builders, as did also 2067 commercial chassis on 163" wheel base

4875int2.jpg (7393 bytes)     4875b.JPG (10890 bytes)

4875.jpg (8181 bytes)
Factory photo, above, reveals more boxy look than fluid artist's rendering in product brochure

Dr48960b.jpg (10360 bytes)
The foregoing 1948 proposal for a restyled Series 75
never saw the light of day until 1950

4875srv.jpg (8725 bytes)
A 1948 Series 75 limousine survivor




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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[Background image: bird's eye view of rear of 1948 Sedanet]