1948 Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik Cabriolet

1948 Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik Cabriolet

Production of automobiles in the United States during World War II was post-poned in favor of supporting the war effort and the creation of war materials. At the conclusion of the war, the automotive industry scrambled to create new products that the public may enjoy. Coachbuilders and craftsman found themselves with a dilemma - there were very few luxury chassis in which to use as a base to build their product. The producers of luxury automobiles that had survived and were still in business after the war had mostly transitioned to doing the work in-house rather than outsourcing to coachbuilders. Unit body construction was another factor squeezing out the trade of custom craftsmanship in the automotive industry.

The large American engines provided suitable amounts of torque to carry the large custom bodies of the luxury automobile. American's had persevered through the war and at the conclusion were ready to stimulate the economy by purchasing products. Those that had the money were willing to buy the higher priced automobile.

The 1948 Cadillac was a suitable platform for the coachbuilder due to its size, construction and L-Head V8 engine that produced 150 horsepower. Jacob Saoutchik saw an opportunity with the Cadillac opportunity and pursued the possibility of creating a custom, luxury, concept for the marque.

Saoutchik was born in 1880 near Minsk, Russia and emigrated with his family to Paris in 1899. He entered the business of furniture making. Seven years later he had become successful enough to purchase his own shop and soon entered the world of coach building. His creativity and designs evolved and his craftsmanship and quality were undeniable. His work was intertwined with the clients desires matted to his own ambition and creativity. Many of his vehicles had long hoods, flowing fenders, and low windshields. During the thirties he worked on perfecting the popular teardrop style that is one of the most breathtaking and memorable of all the designs ever created. The designs simulated motion even while standing still.

The 1948 Cadillac shown personifies the teardrop styles of the 1930's with the addition of modern touches and advanced styling techniques. The two-door convertible had seating for four and sat atop one of the larger chassis size the industry produced. The front and rear tires are mostly hidden by fender skirts which aid in the appearance of a smooth and flowing design.

Saoutchik produced two 1948 Cadillac's and both were sold to prominent individuals. The flamboyant color schemes matched the vehicles design and done in a tasteful manner.

The black and violet custom creation shown was offered for sale at the 2006 RM Auction held on Monterey, The selling of the vehicle at the 2006 RM Auction was an excellent move, as its counterpart vehicle was being shown just miles away at the Pebble Beach Concours. The violet and black example is fitted with Marchal headlights, power soft top, and power windows. It is an excellent example of European coachwork and American engineering with a design that is indicative of both pre- and post-war inspiration.

Descriptions & pictures by conceptcarz & gielda.klasykami & flickr & supercars

Production Start 1948
Country of origin USA