Saturday, October 17, 2015

1950 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan

"A Cadillac owner is, understandably, a most severe critic of motor cars. For, through the years, he has grown accustomed to nothing than the finest in personal transportation. . . . It is of particular significance, therefore, that these experienced Cadillac owners should be — as they are — so unqualified in their praise of the new 1950 Cadillacs. For nowhere could be found more convincing evidence that these new creations are simply 'out of this world'. . . . If you are not yet acquainted with the magnificent new Cadillacs, make arrangements to visit your dealer soon. Now, in his showroom, is visual proof that Cadillac remains — the Standard of the World."

Even battered, this Cadillac whisking through the streets of Havana conveys a lot of the poise and elegance that made the brand so outstanding and irresistible to its customers.

A small gimmick did catapult Cadillac to the pinnacle of automotive fashion: when introducing the first tailfins in 1948, nobody imagined that this single feature would become the item which should define a whole decade of American car styling. The rest is history: everybody fell in line and till the end of the 1950s, these tailfins would rise to excessive format.

The tailfins of our pictured 1950 model are nearly identical to those from 1948. The rest of the car got subtly but noticeably restyled for 1950: the prouder and more upright bonnet and front fenders, which extend through the doors to form a pronounced shoulder line, show a clearly more angular styling, and those long, straight volumes express a certain serenity.

The beholder's eye was probably more drawn to the shiny embellishments than to the conservative basic architecture. The vertical dummy "air intake" at the rear fender, the tombstone front grille and the aforementioned tailfins changed ever so slightly each year, while the typical Cadillac look was always preserved. That's what Cadillac did best — keeping a reassuring continuity of style while introducing enough visual change to lure more customers into buying an "all-new" Cadillac each year. And how they did: Cadillac passed the 100,000 sales mark in 1950, leaving America's other luxury brands — Lincoln and Packard — far, far behind.

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