Saturday, February 20, 2010

1950 Cadillac Series 61

"Tens of thousands of times each year, Cadillac cars go into the hands of people who have never before owned and driven the 'Standard of the World.' And each time this happens, it poses for Cadillac the most serious challenge a motor car ever faced. For when a man moves up to Cadillac, he does so expecting extraordinary things. He expects performance unlike anything he has previously experienced . . . an entirely new measure of motoring satisfaction and happiness . . . and a wholly new and surpassing sense of pride. And he expects all these added virtues without any sacrifice in operating economy. How well the car answers these expectations is reflected in the unrestricted enthusiasm demonstrated by new Cadillac owners. Yes, when you move up to Cadillac – you can look forward to the thrill of your life. For Cadillac more than meets its challenge."

After a furious start with the new postwar lineup in 1948, which introduced the first tailfins to the automotive world, Cadillac moved on into the 50s with consistency and very carefully considered updates, striving to fortify its brand image as America's new luxury leader and be classic and fashionable at the same time.

The lineup for 1950 was based on the 1948 construction, but added some design elements that should become Cadillac-trademarks throughout the 50s, among them a vertical chrome molding at the rear fender. The Series 61, pictured here, was Cadillac's entry-level offering. At first glance a typical Cadillac, a closer inspection reveals where Cadillac saved money to match the entry-level price point: the distinctive roof design, for example, skillfully hides the missing rear quarter window behind the doors, and with its 122-inch wheelbase, the Series 61 was by far the shortest of all Cadillacs.

The early 50s were prosperous times, though, and after 1952, the Series 61 was cancelled, because it was considered as dispensable, when the majority of customers opted for the more expensive versions anyway.

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