The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 120
1938 Cadillac Series 60 Special Sedan

Selling on Saturday

1938 Cadillac  Series 60 Special Sedan

CHASSIS NO: 6272856

• First year for a groundbreaking Bill Mitchell design
• Celebrated CCCA Full Classic® status and eligibility
• Original Paint Code 11 – Fairhaven Blue car
• Streamlined, handsome, and versatile five-passenger model
• Strong L-head V-8 power with mechanical sophistication
• Highly enjoyable prewar classic

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: 127”

With a young Bill Mitchell now heading the Cadillac styling studios under the direction of Harley Earl, the new 1938 Cadillac models solidified General Motors’ position at the forefront of automotive design. In fact, by 1938, Cadillac was the undisputed king of luxury cars in America, surviving while its longstanding competitors including Pierce-Arrow, Duesenberg, Marmon, Stutz and Franklin.

Cadillac’s model lines were streamlined for 1938 along five models. The V-12 Series 85 was dropped, leaving the V-8 Series 38-60, the new 38-60S Sixty Special, 38-65, and 38-75 and 38-90 V-16 lines. Series 70 and the Fisher-bodied Series 75 Specials were also dropped, but a Convertible Sedan was added to Series 65. Mechanical updates for 1938 made the great Cadillac models even better than before, with a level of sophistication, ease of operation, and drivability that was second to none.

Larger and more expensive than Cadillac's entry-level Series 60, yet cheaper than the less-flamboyant large Cadillacs, the Bill Mitchell-designed Series 60 Special was a forward-looking design on several levels. Built on a double-drop frame, it stood three inches lower than other Cadillacs for 1938, with its low profile yielding improved handling and elimination of antiquated running boards – a landmark for any car from the “Big Three.” The 60 Special was also the first sedan with a fully integrated trunk compartment. Of further note, the distinctive roof of the Series 60 Special looked more like a smart convertible top rather than a customary 1930s sedan roof and the model’s generous side windows were delineated with thin, elegant chrome frames instead of the normal thick painted stampings, lending an overall look quite similar to postwar hardtops. Buyers were enthused, with 3,587 sold for the inaugural 1938 model year, plus 108 CKD (completely knocked-down) examples for export and 8 bare Series 60 chassis.

An original Paint Code 11 – Fairhaven Blue car, this 1938 Cadillac Series 60 Special is an automotive design landmark that rightly enjoys CCCA Full Classic® recognition and event eligibility. Repainted with very nice finish quality and featuring a well-preserved and presentable interior, this Cadillac is powered by a 346-cid flathead engine delivering 135 factory-rated horsepower via a three-speed manual transmission. Features and passenger amenities include a heater and defroster, dual side view mirrors and rear armrests at each side and a central folding armrest. As offered, this 1938 Cadillac Series 60 Special Sedan is a highly collectible example of its maker’s fast-growing dominance of America’s fine-car market during the immediate prewar years.

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