CHASSIS NO: 8271423
• Exceptionally well-preserved and highly original example
• Rebuilt L-head V-8 powerplant
• Just two owners prior to 2016
• Enjoyable and rare prewar Cadillac model
• Great candidate to preserve and maintain, or selectively restore
346 cid L-head V-8 engine, 135 HP, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 124”
For 1938, Cadillac fielded five models. The first four (Series 38-60, 38-60S, 38-65, and 38-75) were eight-cylinders and the 38-90 a V-16. The V-12 Series 85 was dropped. The Series 90 was an incredible automobile and contributed mightily to the success of the lesser Cadillacs by drawing buyers into the showroom just to witness the majesty of the V-16 behemoth. However, the V-8 powered cars were Cadillac’s most popular and important models, offering an ease of use and outstanding value proposition unmatched by the competition.
Cadillac’s Series 60 models debuted in 1936 and as offered for 1938, they featured a range of luxurious Fisher-built bodies mounted on a 124-inch wheelbase. Among them were the Model 6119 four-door Sedan and its CKD (Completely Knocked-Down) export counterpart, the Model 6127 Coupe, Model 6149 Convertible Sedan, Model 6167 Convertible Coupe and long-wheelbase Model 61 Commercial Chassis.
A handsome facelift was carried out for 1938 by GM's renowned Art & Colour section under the direction Bill Mitchell. As the culmination of Cadillac’s 1930s models, many mechanical improvements were incorporated, including a column-shifted, full-synchromesh manual transmission, all-steel construction, independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes. The result was one of the most drivable of all prewar automobiles. As Cadillac’s value leader for 1938, Series 60 was a relatively strong seller, with 2,051 produced; of them, 1,295 four-door Sedans were built, plus 12 CKD units.
Showing just 81,440 indicated miles at the time of cataloguing, this 1938 Cadillac Series 60 four-door Sedan is a nicely preserved, unrestored survivor-quality example with just two owners from new until 2016 when it was acquired by George Finley. The first owner is understood to have retained the car for 53 years, followed by the second owner of 25 years. The black exterior paint finish appears either original or an older repaint, the cloth interior appears original and remains quite complete and in fair condition, consistent with its age. The rebuilt engine and engine compartment are similar in appearance, albeit with a newer-appearing repaint of the cylinder heads. At the rear of the vehicle, the trunk is fitted with a period-type spare tire, secured by a factory retaining bracket and accompanied by a lug wrench. A Cadillac-scripted heater is mounted beneath the dashboard. For many years, original and unrestored survivor cars from the 1930s have been extremely rare and desirable collector finds. As offered, this 1938 Cadillac Series 60 four-door Sedan marks an exciting and rare opportunity to preserve it or perform selective restoration as desired.