Second generation (1942, 1946-1947)
The grille became more massive in 1942, with even fewer bars and was the beginning of the traditional “egg crate” appearance that all future products adopted. Parking lights became round and fog light sockets became rectangular and were included in the grille area.
A bullet shape appeared on the tops of the bumper guards. Fenders were rounded and longer and no longer featured side ventilation grilles. Front fender character outlines now extended into the front doors, a feature GM called “Airfoil” for all products for that year, and rear fenders extended forward into the rear door.
The new fenders had heavy moldings along the sides. The appearance was more expressive and expansive in comparison to the all-new Packard Clipper introduced at the same time. A new fresh air ventilating system with air ducts leading from the grille replaced cowl ventilators. Handbrake control was changed from lever to tee-shaped pull handle. Radiator shutter control of engine temperature was replaced by a blocking type thermostat in the water return fitting in the radiator. Vehicles that were built until February 1942 could be identified as lacking chrome trim starting in January when it was prohibited due to wartime production and trim pieces including bumpers were painted.
The first postwar Cadillac rolled off the line on October 7, 1945, and for several months, only Series 62s were produced. 1946 Cadillacs were not significantly altered from 1942 outside a few styling changes and the addition of a negative ground battery. The Series 62 retained the same lineup of body styles as in 1942—coupe, sedan, and convertible, and 18,565 total were produced for the model year, approximately 65% of Cadillac’s total 1946 output of 29,000 vehicles. Resuming civilian production was a difficult task for the entire automobile industry and demand for new cars much exceeded supply. Cadillac had as many as 100,000 unfilled orders into 1947. Due to materials shortages, some Cadillacs shipped from the factory with wooden bumpers, dealers being expected to install proper ones as they became available. Postwar inflation pushed the sticker price of a 1946 Cadillac over $1000 higher than 1942.
In 1946, the Series 62 used GM’s C-body platform, as did the Cadillac Sixty Special, Buick Super and Buick Roadmaster, and Oldsmobile 98. Notchback styling characterized the cars except for the Club Coupe which had fastback styling. It was easy to distinguish the Series 62 coupe from the Series 61 because the door skins did not flare out above the rocker panel moldings, and the side window openings were lower and the reveal window moldings circled each window individually instead of looping around all the windows. The Series 62 sedan featured ventiplanes on both the front and rear door windows. It was also the first Cadillac to enter production after World War II. Interior styling and technical features were similar to those seen on the Cadillac Series 61 but with slightly richer interior appointments. Late 1946 models introduced technical changes to the V8 engine in the form of hardened ball seats for the hydraulic lifters.
The 1947 models received minor styling changes and the addition of Hydro-Lectric window lifts on the Series 62 convertible, which remained the sole ragtop in Cadillac’s lineup. Polished metal stone guards on the fenders replaced the rubber ones used on 1946 models. As before, Series 62s remained Cadillac’s bread-and-butter lineup with 39,834 produced, 84% of the make’s total 1947 volume.