Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 113

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville

  • Chassis no. 5562124273
  • Body no. FW28844

Sold for $19,250

Model 6237D. 250 bhp, 331 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129 in.

  • Original Southern car; delivered new to Arizona
  • Just three owners; long-term family ownership for 44 years
  • Recent interior restoration; extensive maintenance history

When Cadillac introduced its first two-door hardtop in 1949, it chose the name Coupe de Ville, an elegant term from the carriage era that meant “an enclosed four-wheel vehicle for two passengers.” The name has had many connotations in the automotive world, but at Cadillac, it unambiguously meant “two-door hardtop coupe” for a decade.

General Motors issued a new series of “C” bodies used by Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile in 1954. Presaging the future, they introduced the panoramic “wrap-around” windshield that would become almost obligatory in 1955. With the major changes already made public, Cadillac had quite a job making the ’55s look new. In the end, though, the subtle refinement resulted in a more sophisticated Cadillac, and the public agreed, boosting sales by nearly 25 percent and setting a record; the improving economy certainly played a role.

Although the cars were mechanically similar to 1954, horsepower increased to 250 for the standard engine, largely due to higher compression. Manifolds were redesigned, and despite the higher power, fuel economy also improved. Although already favored by the vast majority of Cadillac customers, Hydra-Matic transmission was finally made standard.

The dramatic Eldorado convertible may have been the 1955 Cadillac most people lusted after, but the Coupe de Ville was the model that more of them bought. At nearly 33,300 units, it was second only to the four-door sedan, narrowly outselling a less expensive and more basic hardtop coupe.

This handsome 1955 Coupe de Ville has had but two owners from new. Delivered to Lawrence Harris in Phoenix, Arizona, it remained in his ownership for 15 years, during which time it was scrupulously maintained. The second owner, initially in Arizona then latterly in Michigan, purchased the car in 1971. It was later acquired by the daughter and son-in-law from the family estate, who had the Cadillac’s engine and transmission completely rebuilt by Betts Cadillac in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1989, along with a thorough overhaul of the exhaust, electrical, and braking systems. The original Alpine White over Pecos Beige finish was renewed in 1991, along with re-chromed bumpers and complete detailing by the Pump House in Northport, Michigan. The Cadillac has since been regularly serviced by Van’s Garage in Leland, Michigan, and most recently, a new interior with materials from SMS Auto Fabrics has been installed.

Fully equipped with power steering, power brakes, power seat and windows, and factory air conditioning, the car runs and drives very nicely. It has been professionally maintained its entire life, and despite being driven in excess of 100,000 miles, it is very much like a new car. It comes complete with the original owner’s manual, an original illustrated parts catalogue, and service records and registration cards dating back to 1956.

This is an honest and beautiful example of an iconic 1950s model, needing only to be enjoyed this summer.

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