Motor City

25 July 2015

The Richard & Linda Kughn Collection

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Lot 125

1940 Cadillac Series 60 Special Sedan by Fisher

  • Chassis no. 6322448
  • Body no. 2155
  • Engine Unit no. 6E 2512

Sold for $41,250

135 bhp, 346 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, independent front axle with coil springs, Hotchkiss semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 127 in.

  • Offered from the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn
  • A landmark of pre-war GM design
  • Beautiful overall condition; desirable options
  • CCCA Full Classic; Senior award-winner

The Cadillac Series 60 Special marked a new direction for both the “Standard of the World” and General Motors design. It was the first car completely styled for GM by William Mitchell, the gifted protégé and eventual successor of the redoubtable Harley Earl. Mitchell made his impression early with the first “owner-driver” Cadillac, a car for the gentleman or lady of means who preferred not to use a chauffeur. Accordingly, it rode on a 127-inch wheelbase chassis, somewhat smaller than other Cadillacs, but it was large enough to be appropriately cushy. The body boasted well-proportioned lines, hidden running boards, squared-off modern “pontoon fenders,” and a roofline that seemed to plunge between the windows. In total, the Series 60 Special looked fantastic and like modern art compared to the other luxury cars being built at the time.

The first Series 60 Specials of 1938 were bodied by Fleetwood. The 1939 and 1940 models, which used essentially the same design with updated front-end sheet metal and headlights, were built to the Fleetwood design by Fisher Body, and they were no less elegant and well appointed.

The 1940 model offered here has been part of Mr. and Mrs. Kughn’s prominent collection for several years. While an engine number is not readily discernible on the car, it is believed to be powered by its original engine, number 6322448, of which the original unit number, 6E 2512, is still present on the block. A copy of the original build sheet is on file, indicating that the Series 60 Special was delivered through the Don Lee Cadillac Company, of Oakland, California, with disc wheel covers, a grille guard, and dual side-mounted spares, all correct and desirable options that it retains along with a sun visor and dual driving lights.

Well restored before the Kughns’ acquisition, the Cadillac has been well maintained since by their private shop and is still in utterly beautiful and virtually show-ready condition in all regards. The chassis and under-hood are clean and proper, and the paint, an attractive metallic shade similar to the factory Carlear Blue, has a rich shine and no readily visible flaws. The cloth interior and woodgrain dashboard are in beautiful condition with fresh, clear gauges. Even the exterior chrome is deep and beautiful.

This is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a CCCA Senior First Prize car, carrying badge no. 2999, and is one of the most striking Series 60 Specials to have been offered in recent memory. It would be an ideal acquisition for any knowledgeable Cadillac connoisseur.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more