Cadillac convertible coupe 1947- post-war prosperity

The 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé is one of the first American luxury cars of the post-war era.

With its sweeping lines, massive proportions, and opulent styling, the ’47 Cadillac defined what a luxury car should be in the prosperous years following World War II.

This full-size convertible stands out for its timeless elegance and remains a highly coveted collectible classic car today.

brown Cadillac convertible coupe 1947

Cadillac convertible coupe 1947

The official model designation was the Cadillac Series 62 convertible coupé. It was part of GM’s Cadillac Division and was marketed by Cadillac as a prestige vehicle.

“Convertible coupé” referred to its dual nature as both a full four-seat convertible and a hardtop coupé for all-weather driving.

How Many Were Made?

GM produced a total of 6,755 Series 62 convertible coupés for the 1947 model year. This included both V8 and straight-6 engine models.

Total Cadillac production across all model lines for 1947 was around 70,000 cars, so the convertible coupé made up a significant portion of Cadillac’s output that year.

front logo of the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupe

What Makes It Special?

The 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé had an instantly recognizable and highly influential design. It was one of the first pillarless hardtop coupés ever made, giving it sophisticated styling reminiscent of the elegant coachbuilt cars of the 1930s.

The low, sweeping profile with uninterrupted body lines was a major departure from previous models and set the tone for GM styling for years to come.

Some key attributes that made the ’47 Cadillac convertible coupé special:

  • Pillarless hardtop design with sophisticated coupe styling
  • Massive proportions with long hood and tail
  • Iconic front grille design
  • Futuristic-styled rear fenders that extended beyond the rear wheels
  • Low, wide stance for dramatic profile
  • Powerful V8 and luxury features
  • Design evolution of Harley Earl’s groundbreaking 1938 60 Special

The ’47 convertible coupé was the first step in what would become Cadillac’s signature look in the 1950s. It directly influenced the iconic 1959 Cadillac, cementing the brand as a style leader.

front side view of the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupe

Who Designed the 1947 Cadillac?

The 1947 Cadillac was designed under the direction of GM’s design chief Harley J. Earl.

Earl began GM’s Art and Colour design section in 1927 and went on to lead GM Styling starting in 1937. He was the dominant force in shaping GM’s brands through the late 1940s and 1950s.

The direct designer of the 1947 Cadillac was Franklin Q. Hershey, who worked as a designer under Earl at GM from the late 1930s through the 1950s.

Hershey helped develop the flowing forms and aircraft-inspired elements that characterized GM styling in the post-war era. The ’47 Cadillac convertible coupé was one of his most noteworthy designs.

1947 Cadillac convertible coupe front design

The Specifications

The 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé had the following key specifications:

  • Wheelbase: 129.5 inches
  • Overall Length: 205.3 inches
  • Width: 75 inches
  • Height: 63 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,370 pounds
  • Powertrain: L-head V8 engine, 3-speed manual transmission
  • Power: 150 horsepower with 5.7 liter V8 engine

The car rode on a ladder frame and had an independent front suspension with coil springs. The rear was a live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. The brakes were hydraulic drums.

Luxury features included a modular instrument panel, cloth and leather seats, assist straps, a clock, and a cigarette lighter. Custom options included two-tone paint, fender skirts, and a continental tire mount.

The Engine

The 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé came equipped with Cadillac’s famous V8 engine. For 1947, it was Cadillac’s 5.7 liter “346” V8.

This L-head (flathead) V8 had a 3.25″ bore x 4″ stroke, for a total displacement of 346 cubic inches or 5.7 liters. It featured cast iron cylinder blocks and crankcase, hydraulic valve lifters, and a 2-barrel carburetor.

In baseline form, the 1947 346 V8 produced 150 horsepower at 3,800 RPM. Optional dual carburetors boosted output to 165 horsepower.

This engine delivered smooth, quiet operation. Its torquey powerband enabled effortless highway cruising speeds even for the massive 4,370-pound convertible. Fuel economy was around 15 mpg.

This reliable and proven V8 design formed the basis for Cadillac’s engines well into the 1950s, gaining displacement and more advanced technology along the way. It gave the ’47 convertible coupé potent, refined performance worthy of the Cadillac name.

1947 Cadillac convertible coupe front design

The Interior

The interior of the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé exemplified luxurious postwar styling. It featured:

  • Expansive fabric and leather front seats
  • Rear bench seat for 2-3 passengers
  • Thick cut-pile wool carpeting
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Analog gauges, clock, and radio in dash
  • Courtesy lighting, assist straps, sun visors for passengers
  • Cigar lighter and ashtray
  • Separate climate controls for rear seat passengers
  • Abundant chrome trim and handles
  • Deep pile wool headlining in roof

The interior space was generous, befitting the car’s overall size. The flowing lines of the exterior were echoed in the curved dashboard and door trim panels. Materials were high-quality, with wool broadcloth or leather seating surfaces.

The interior was designed for comfort on long journeys. Occupants rode in sofa-like seats, surrounded by soft textures and materials. Even rear-seat passengers enjoyed climate control and lighting – hallmarks of a luxury automobile.

interior style of the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupe

How Many Are Left?

As an over 70-year-old collector’s item, the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé has dwindled down to just a few hundred remaining examples. The exact numbers are not known.

According to most sources, it is estimated there are between 200-400 of the original 6,755 ’47 convertible coupés still in existence.

Many were driven into the ground decades ago. Some were modified heavily as hot rods or customs. Others rusted away or were wrecked over the years. Parts for restoration can be difficult to find.

Low survival rates combined with very high demand among collectors means any remaining original 1947 convertible coupés are tightly held in collections or museums today. They rarely come up for public sale.

When they do, it generates significant interest among wealthy classic car collectors looking to acquire an icon of post-war American luxury.

1947 Cadillac convertible coupe price including production and specification

How Much is a 1947 Cadillac Convertible Coupé Worth Today?

The original price was $2,902, but because so few original examples remain, the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupé has become an extremely valuable collector’s item.

Pristine, fully-restored examples trade hands in the $250,000 – $350,000 range at auction or private sale. Certain rare factory options or custom features can push values even higher.

Poor condition project cars begin around $40,000-60,000 but require extensive restoration work to bring to show quality due to the scarcity of parts. Concours-level award winners can fetch well over $500,000 at times.

The high valuations reflect the ’47 Cadillac’s status as an instantly recognizable symbol of postwar prosperity. For enthusiasts of American automotive history, the flowing forms and elegant styling make it one of the must-have classics from this era.

In summary, the iconic 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible coupé stands out for its landmark styling, luxury features, and collectability today.

It retains immense prestige nearly 80 years on as a prized symbol of Cadillac in its prime – the Standard of the World. This exclusive convertible coupé is a treasured gem from 20th-century American automotive history.

rear view of the 1947 Cadillac convertible coupe