Cadillac Series 75 Five-Passenger Sedan

By 1938, while many great American marques had already been lost to the Great Depression, Cadillac survived and managed to thrive. Access to General Motors’ engineering and design talent was every bit as important to Cadillac’s survival as its parent’s considerable financial strength. In particular, Cadillac’s modern all-steel construction, independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes and powerful V8 engine created one of the most drivable and highly refined product lines of the Classic Era.

In 1938, Cadillac’s majestic, Fleetwood-bodied Series 75 picked up where the Series 70 models of 1936-1937 left off, topping the V8-powered Cadillac line with a massive 141-inch wheelbase length. Available in a wide variety of open and closed body styles by Fleetwood, Series 75 offered a modern and aerodynamic frontal styling theme, with the headlamps and front fenders more closely integrated than ever before. Along with a refined radiator grille, the hood side panels now featured three sets of horizontal bars, which echoed aircraft exhaust ports and highlighted the visual impression of length. Bodies were all steel, except for the wooden main sills, and overall, they were more curvaceous than ever before, particularly at the rear, which included a more neatly integrated luggage trunk.

Cadillac’s traditionally strong engineering brought a number of technical innovations for 1938, including a column-mounted gear shifter, horns hidden behind the grille, under-hood battery location, a transverse muffler just behind the fuel tank, new wheels, an improved Synchro-Flex flywheel and a hypoid-type rear axle. The well-proven flathead V8 engine received a compression boost as well, increasing output to 140 hp and requiring the use of higher-octane fuel.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

140 hp, 346 cu. in. L-head V8 engine, Stromberg carburetor, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension, semi-floating rear axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 141"

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Cadillac Series 75 Five-Passenger Sedan