Lot 434

Hershey 2023

1941 Cadillac Series 61 Coupe


$49,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



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Body No.
US Title
  • An exceptional, unrestored car; just under 13,500 actual miles at time of cataloguing
  • Presented in two-tone Crystal Blue and Oceano Blue over blue cloth upholstery
  • Noted provenance; formerly of the Needham, Emmke, Cawley, and Miller collections
  • Documented by a copy of its original build sheet
  • Perhaps the best preserved example of the model in existence

The year 1941 saw a huge shift in design at Cadillac under the guidance of Harley Earl, General Motor’s renowned head of design. Styling took a significant leap forward with a complete redesign that clearly separated the new models from the prior generation of Cadillacs. Aesthetically, some consider 1941 the highpoint in Cadillac design—headlights were fully integrated into the front fenders, and a wide horizontal grille stretched from side to side. The hood was made front-opening for the first time, and the gas-tank filler was hidden in the left rear taillight, a feature that soon became a Cadillac hallmark.

Visually, the 1941 Cadillac was a visual masterpiece of subtle, flowing curves that began with a bold and distinctive grille design. The flat, chromed grille and domed hood were dominant, and two new styling concepts were available: the horizontal valance that enclosed the space between the bodywork and the bumpers, and the front fender wind-split creases that began at the headlamps and extended horizontally back along each rear flank of the body. The sole available engine, Cadillac’s refined 346-cubic-inch V-8, delivered remarkably silent and smooth operation, 150 horsepower, and plenty of torque. Ride and handling characteristics remain quite good, even by today’s standards, making Cadillacs of the immediate pre-war era excellent choices for collectors and enthusiasts who enjoy driving.

The Series 61 coupe offered here, engine number 5344883, was originally delivered to General Motors of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, with diversion to Toronto, according to its build sheet, a copy of which is on file. It was then purchased by the original owner in Hamilton and remained well cared for in his ownership for decades until being bought by collector Lloyd Needham of Chatham, Ontario. Its stellar provenance is further enriched by stints within the prominent US collections of Len Emmke and Charles Cawley—both known for owning the finest original examples of 1940s and 1950s American cars—as well as Jim Miller’s collection, prior to acquisition by the consignor in October 2015. This Series 61 Coupe indicated just 12,976 actual miles at the time of the consignor’s purchase.

Over the past eight years of sparing use and static admiration, the consignor has added fewer than 525 miles to this remarkably preserved, impeccably presented Cadillac. The car’s spectacular Crystal Blue and Oceano Blue paint provides a brilliant polychrome visage that richly complements its unrestored blue cloth upholstery and interior wood trim. The engine bay appears original, with only light detailing, but is similarly clean and well preserved, with proper hoses and clamps.

This may well be the finest unrestored 1941 Series 61 Coupe left in the world, and it would be an outstanding prize for any collection of important midcentury American automobiles.