Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
The Series 60 Special Cadillacs, including this lovely 1938 sedan, are considered Full Classics according to the CCCA, making them eligible for all the best shows and tours in the United States. They're also wonderful cars to drive, with modern performance and handsome styling that defined the late 1930s and early 1940s. This restored example features a lovely Fairhaven Blue livery surrounding a supremely comfortable gray cloth interior, and a strong 346 V8 that floats all that refined elegance down the road like a luxury yacht. Pre-war Cadillacs aren't found on the market frequently, especially in this condition, so if you've been looking to purchase the apex of American antique luxury you better act fast, because this Caddy won't be with us long.
Sleek bodies like this always look great in vivid, dark colors, and Cadillac's Fairhaven Blue never goes out of style, especially on a senior-circuit Cadillac. This inaugural year of the 1st generation Sixty Special showcased trend-setting features including an integrated coupe-like trunk (which in turn launched the 'three-box' sedan styling for years to come), deleted running boards, convertible-style front-hinged doors with bright window frames, and a steeply-raked windshield up front. Luxury vehicles in this class were mostly built to be chauffeur-driven prior to the Sixty Special, but this buxom beauty with its large 'four-window' canopy glass area was intended to be owner-driven, and with that lofty purpose it became quite a game-changer. Even Ms. Daisy could have driven herself to the Piggly Wiggly in one of these if she so chose. The design remains extremely attractive today with an expensive look that hasn't changed in the last 80+ years. The panels on this handsome sedan are in excellent condition, and the shiny blue, top-driver quality finish is worthy of a Cadillac with such pedigree, with depth and gloss all out of proportion to the reasonable asking price. There's also a lot of chrome, from the massive wind-swept grille to the big chrome bumpers, and the taillights slightly hint at the tailfins that would arrive in 1948. Beautifully presented with only minor imperfections to speak of, this local show-worthy Caddy is an instant hit everywhere it goes, and that's exactly what this groundbreaking model deserves.
There's more luxury inside, where the original bench seats have been reupholstered in correct gray broadcloth that looks right for 1938. The soft upholstery is durable and handsome, and shows incredibly little wear, which is probably because the status of this car almost demands you to clean yourself up and wear a tuxedo before you get inside. Beautiful ivory-colored plastic is used for the banjo steering wheel and accessory knobs, the dashboard was beautifully painted and polished, and the tall door panels are ornately finished with original hardware and arm rests. A full array of factory gauges give a comprehensive view of the engine, and they're joined in the beautiful dash by multiple switches and a factory clock that's flanked by chrome-accented speaker grills. The slender shifter controls a 3-speed manual transmission, which was the standard transmission in 1938, and there's an AM radio still installed although it's not currently operable. The carpets are plush and insulate the cabin nicely, the headliner is original-style and taut, and the rear seat looks like it's rarely seen passengers, because even the armrests show no wear. There's also a rather large trunk with correct upholstery, a full-sized spare, and a complete jack assembly.
Power comes from Cadillac's famous 346 cubic inch flathead V8, which was later used extensively in Sherman tanks during World War II, which speaks to its bulletproof reliability. There's a reason 1938 Sixty Specials outsold every other Cadillac that year, accounting for 39% of total sales that year. The engine makes 130 factory-rated horsepower and a serious dose of torque, and combined with excellent gear spacing in the transmission, it's swift and effortless in traffic, and will cruise all day at 60 MPH, making late pre-war Cadillacs like this ideal tour cars. Very nicely finished with correct engine paint and a proper oil bath air cleaner, the engine bay is fully functional, the engine runs almost silently, and the transmission shifts properly. The chassis appears to have been restored with satin black paint, lots of new hardware, and a sturdy and unique X-frame might be more at home supporting a bridge somewhere, as it easily supports the 4K plus pounds of this big body touring car. That double-drop frame allowed for the Sixty Special to sit 3-inches lower than the rest of the Cadillacs of the era, and that awesome stance is further enhanced by the paint-matched steel wheels adorned with correct Cadillac hubcaps and Firestone Deluxe Champion 7.00-16 whitewall bias-ply tires.
Enthusiasts already know what magnificent road
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