Cadillac’s Series 75 debuted in 1936, hitting the market as a step above the standard Series 60, which itself had just been introduced as the entry-level Cadillac model. The Series 70 and 75 (70 having the shorter wheelbase) featured new, streamlined styling refined by Fleetwood as well as a new monoblock, 346 cubic inch V8. The monoblock engine incorporated the crankcase and cylinders in one casting, which was topped by L-type cylinder heads. The new engine was both lighter and more powerful than the old unit, and it was continuously refined until the 331 cubic inch overhead valve engine debuted in 1949. The monoblock Cadillac engine was renowned for smooth and reliable running – as well as its power. The US military even adopted a version of it to power the M5 Stuart light tank during WWII. Generally speaking, as the top-line V8 powered cars (the Sixteen was still available through 1940), 70-series cars were equipped with formal bodies, given their upmarket stature and price. As before, Fisher and Fleetwood were the preferred in-house coachbuilders for Cadillac, and a wide variety of styles were offered on this high-end chassis.
1937 saw the Series 75 get some very minor styling tweaks over the previous year, most notably, an intricate and attractive egg crate die-cast grille that flowed into the streamlined hood. Styling changes were minimal but they added up to a car that looked clean and well resolved. The engine was enhanced with a lighter flywheel and other refinements for additional reliability and power output. As before, Fisher or Fleetwood would supply bodies, however by 1938 the high-end Fleetwood bodies would be the only option for the Series 75.
This 1937 Series 75 Town Sedan wears coachwork by Fleetwood; a lovely and elegant design that embodies the early days of the streamlined era. Recently from an estate, this Cadillac was used regularly until a short time ago, and it remains in generally good order as a sound, solid example that could benefit from some light freshening. All steel bodywork is finished in dark blue paint which is generally good, showing a few flaws and wear in places, but remains shiny and attractive. Likewise, the brightwork is in good order with straight bumpers and body trim, and average-quality plating with a few pits appearing in places. Running board rubbers are in good condition and the lower trim on the driver’s running board shows a few dings. The original wheels are shod with wide-whitewall tires as is appropriate for this formal body style, and original hubcaps appear in good order. Dual side-mount spares are hidden with painted metal covers and an integrated trunk round out this elegantly styled Cadillac.
Inside, the cabin is trimmed in tan broadcloth front and rear. The seats and door panels appear in fair condition with no rips, tears or other severe wear, however the upholstery is a bit tired in places and could use some attention. Tan carpets are serviceable but would perhaps best be replaced. The dash is finished in the same blue as the exterior, fitted with factory correct instruments which appear to be in good original condition. Wood windscreen surrounds and door tops are in generally good condition save for one area of damage on the passenger side of the dash.
Rear passengers are treated to spacious accommodations and the lack of a divider window allows for more space and comfort up front for the driver. Rear doors, quarter glass and the rear window are all originally fitted with retractable silk blinds for privacy. Details in the rear include a folding rear arm rest, grab straps, robe rail and lovely art-deco styled courtesy lamps in the C-pillars. The same tan broadcloth used up front lines the rear compartment and presents in similar condition; usable as is, though it could also benefit from a spruce up.
The engine compartment is nicely detailed, and the car runs and drives well. Despite the years it has under its belt, the restoration seems to have held up well in mechanical terms, with a solid and sound undercarriage. The car was used regularly by the previous owner until his passing, which led to a period of disuse in recent years. The 1937 Cadillac Series 75 is a recognized CCCA Full Classic and these cars make wonderful choices for tours, especially if family and friends want to share in the experience. Just 4,332 Series 75s were produced in 1937, with only a small portion of those wearing this handsome Town Sedan body. This is a sound, family-friendly Cadillac that has room for improvement if so desired, or it can simply be enjoyed as is. Either way, this Series 75 represents a strong value and is an excellent gateway to the world of Full Classics.
Aug 10, 2015