» »

Working factory A/C! Loaded w/ options. 38,000 orig. miles. New tires.

For sale: 1953 Cadillac Other Series 62

Technical specifications

Item location:
Macedonia, Ohio, United States
Series 62
Number of cylinders:
Interior color:
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


Big Cadillacs always had presence, but some make a statement without shouting about it. That’s exactly the case with this 1953 Cadillac Series 62 sedan. Sleek and black, this is what real money looked like in the early 1950s, impressive but not excessive, confident but not flashy. People who know nothing about cars know on an instinctive level that this is a Cadillac and it commands respect in a way that even today’s Cadillacs just can’t duplicate. Is it power? Comfort? Price? Or some magical combination that Cadillac perfected in the 1950s that lasts to this very day. Whatever the reason, showing up in this car at any event is going to get you noticed.

This car’s most remarkable feature is that it has working factory A/C. Cadillac and Packard offered primitive A/C systems in 1941, and some sources indicate that 300 Cadillacs were built with factory A/C that year and one in 1942, but that was the end of it until 1953 when air-conditioning was once again back on the options list. In fact, it appears that this car has just about every available option, including the Autronic Eye ($53), heating and ventilation system ($199), power steering ($177), signal-seeking radio ($132), Tinted E-Z-Eye glass ($46), air-conditioning (a whopping $620), and chrome wire wheels ($325). It’s not known how many were built with A/C, but the number was surely quite small given that it added about 1/6 to the price of an already expensive car.

This car also has a good history, having spent a good amount of the past several decades in the care of a funeral home, where its stable-mates were a 1948 Cadillac limousine and a matching 1948 Cadillac hearse. The owner was an enthusiast but also a professional, and that meant that his cars were always ready to go, always impeccably dressed, and always reliable. As you can imagine, it has received exemplary maintenance over the years and we believe the 38,500 or so miles showing today are original and authentic and the car comes with an Actual Mileage title. It was repainted once many years ago in its original code 1 Black, which, of course, is the very best color for a Cadillac like this. It does show a few signs of age, some micro-blisters, and some runs on the rockers where perhaps the painter couldn’t see what he was doing. However, the overall look is quite impressive, with straight bodywork, good fit to all four doors, and a wonderful shine that’s appropriate to the car. There is no evidence of major bodywork or rust, and the panels line up well. The chrome is likely all original and in good condition, with sharp detailing and traditional features that would become Cadillac trademarks, from the hood ornament to the bullets in the front bumpers to the small tail fins out back. The jet-intake on the rear doors is a great addition that works for the future-looking ‘50s and as usual, the fuel filler is hidden under the driver’s side taillight. Some of the chrome is tarnished, but there’s nothing on the car that needs replacement or restoration, and the entire vehicle has a great all-of-a-piece look.

The interior has undoubtedly been replaced. The cowl tag says it is code 51 Light Gray Figured Broadcloth and Dark Gray Plain Broadcloth, and what is in there matches that description, but the fabrics are softer and a bit more contemporary than what it might have had in ’53. The patterns are accurate and the door panels have been restored to match, and it is all in excellent condition. The carpets have a small tag from the upholster, and the neatly trimmed bindings indicate that he was the consummate professional and got it right. You’ll also note the little crown emblems on the bottoms of the door panels, apparently something that was common in the ‘50s because you see them everywhere, and the back of the front seat is beautifully finished with an ornate ashtray in the center. A big two-tone steering wheel makes it easy to wheel the luxurious Cadillac around town and all the gauges, instruments, and controls are in good original condition. All the gauges and lights are fully functional, the levers for the heating and ventilation system slide smoothly and the Autronic Eye is perched on top of the dashboard (we have not tested it, but the system appears complete). There’s also a signal-seeking AM radio that powers up and seeks, but it does not find stations, which may be an antenna problem; we have not investigated. Under the dash you’ll find the controls for the factory A/C, which, as we mentioned, is fully functional. Like modern climate control systems, it has separate blower settings for driver and passenger, as well as the ability to moderate the output. Vents in the headliner are fed by the plastic tubes on the rear package shelf, which are neat conversation pieces all by themselves. Rear seat space is expansive and the trunk is truly massive, even with the Frigidaire A/C unit taking up the forward section. There’s also an unused and quite ancient full-sized spare, a jack assembly, as well as the original jacking instructions.

Cadillac’s 331 cubic inch OHV V8 had become the standard-bearer for the industry, and with Packard and Lincoln still running flatheads, it was the undisputed king of the luxury horsepower field. With a 4-barrel carburetor, hydraulic valve lifters, and 8.25:1 compression, it made a rather robust 210 horsepower, enough to move the big sedan with genuine enthusiasm. The engine bay is dominated by the massive A/C compressor, which looks like it should be cooling an office building, as well as the big brass radiator and twin-intake air cleaner assembly. There’s correct Cadillac Blue paint on the engine itself, along with a set of Cadillac script valve covers that are all but lost among the equipment. The A/C system has been recently (and expensively) serviced, so the system is fully operational, although you shouldn’t expect modern levels of performance. On the other hand, if you tour in a warm climate, this car is an excellent choice because of its no-compromises equipment list. Brass lines and fittings for the A/C system are also new and there’s a big brick of a condenser up front, which, again, looks a lot bigger than it needs to be—I suspect Cadillac wanted this system to be chillingly effective (pun intended). The engine spins to life easily and idles smoothly, even when cold, a testament to the tuning and care it received in the care of the funeral home, a situation where comfort, smoothness, and reliability are paramount. There’s a hushed V8 burble from the twin tailpipes poking through the rear bumper, and maybe a slight wooshing sound from the fan, but otherwise, this car is extremely quiet.

This car was built before the August fire at the Hydra-Matic plant, so it has a correct 4-speed automatic transmission, not a DynaFlow, and that’s part of why this car feels so peppy. The transmission has been recently serviced and there’s fresh fluid inside, so it shifts smoothly without any issues. By 1953, highways were a reality, so it has 3.07 gears, which allow effortless 70 MPH cruising all day, the epitome of Cadillac first-class transportation. The suspension has been properly maintained, so it simply glides down the road and floats over bumps big and small—you could run over a tree trunk and probably not notice in this car! The brakes are powerful enough to feel confident stopping all 4500 pounds of luxury sedan and those expensive optional chrome wire wheels now wear fresh 235/75/15 Coker wide whitewall radials that surely contribute to its awesome ride and handling.

The more we look at this sleek black sedan, the more appealing it gets. It has luxury that’s tangible everywhere you look and the performance is very impressive. Smooth, elegant, and big enough for a family, this is an ideal tour car that’s welcome at almost all the big events and will make your trailer completely superfluous. THAT is how Cadillac does luxury, now at a shockingly reasonable price.

Other classic cars for sale