1941 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75
This Fleetwood Touring Imperial Limousine is 1 of 757
Cadillac’s flagship Series 75 had a long and distinguished history. Cadillac’s full sized V8 cars spanning six decades were the Series 70 and Series 75 models. For 1941, the Series 75 was available as a sedan, Imperial Touring sedan, and a formal sedan body. There were a variety of body configurations from which to select and all wore Fleetwood nomenclature. Fleetwood was the in-house coachcrafter for Cadillac.
The Fleetwood Metal Body Company dates back to the early 1900s. The Company was formed in the UK then branched here in the USA in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania in 1905. Lawrence (Larry) Fisher of Fisher Body was so impressed with Fleetwood’s craftsmanship, that Cadillac purchased it in 1925 moving the sales and design offices to Detroit, Michigan near the Fisher Body plant.
The all-new 1941 Cadillacs genuinely established the brand as America’s ultimate automobile status symbol. All models featured the “torpedo” bodyshell that originated with the first Series Sixty-Special. It became more modern with its headlamps mounted inward rather than on the tops of the front fenders. It sported a horizontal egg-crate grille that many auto makers imitated. The shoulders were squared off with trailing edges. All emblems and trim were finished to jewel-like perfection. Available options for the Fleetwood Series 75 Touring Imperial sedan included: fender skirts, driving lights, mirrors, windshield washer, back-up lamps, radios, and the GM Hydra-Matic transmission. Hydra-Matic was the world’s first fully automatic transmission.
The Cadillac Series 75 was the long wheelbase limousine. The 1941 model #41-7533 Touring Imperial 7-passenger sedan rode on a 136” wheelbase. It was 226.1” in length. It was powered by Cadillac’s 346 CID 7.0 litre “L-Head” 8 cylinder engine. It had a cast iron block and head, three main bearings, and hydraulic lifters. A Stromberg AAV-26, Carter WDO506s carburetor was used. This engine produced 150 bhp @ 3,400 rpm. It had a selective synchro manual 3-speed column shift transmission. The rear was fitted with a Hotchkiss semi-floating axle with hypoid gears. Power hydraulic braking at all four wheels was standard. $3,295 went a long way in 1941, that was the base price of the Series 75 Touring Imperial. Only 757 of these were built.
The 1941 Fleetwood Series 75 Touring Imperial was a hand-crafted limousine built in the Cadillac tradition. The Series 75 was the marque’s flagship V8. In 1941 the short wheelbase Series 70 was replaced by the Series 62 and the long wheelbase Series 75 was integrated into the Fleetwood family. This was a most brilliant motor car for its day, and it, with others like it built the “Standard of the World” reputation in years to come for the Cadillac brand. This magnificent sedan is a highly sought collectible today as only 757 Touring Imperials were built. The Fleetwood Series 75 was the “Cadillac of Cadillacs.”
1941 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Touring Imperial limousine
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75
Hi. I own a Fleetwood convertible. It’s got 136″ wheel base and 226″ long. It must be a 75. I wonder how many convertibles 75 were made and how many survived. I have been combing the net and I cannot find a photo of one.
Hey Ramon! YOU GOT A PIECE OF AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY!!!! Congrats in every respect! Here’s the reason one cannot find photos. These cars were custom-bodied by Fleetwood bespoke in every manner. Very few factory photos were taken as these were not full-production line models. They are ALL handbuilt to the owner’s specs. Owners didn’t want notoriety therefore shunning pictures. These models by Fleetwood had very very very low production numbers because of this exclusivity involved.
Cadillac’s full production aggregate total for the 1941 model year is only 66,130 cars and that is EVERY model included. Yes, the series 61, 62, 63, 60S, 67, and 75 for 1941 totaled 66,130! Cadillac closed the historic Clark Street plant focusing strictly upon war vehicles. HOWEVER, it is the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 which ceased passenger car production. Like a lot of the other auto manufacturers, Cadillac began manufacturing engine parts for the P-38 “Lightning”, P-39, and P-40 fighter aircraft. (This is where Harley Eaarl got the tail fins for the 1948 Cadillac that started automotive “Fin-Wars!”)
Now do you see why your car is so special dude! YOU GO! There’s not a lot of authority during this period. I follow the editors of Consumer’s Guide for the entire period along with the archives at General Motors for most of the Cadillac articles I write. I love the classic versions of the formidable “Standard of the World!” Every now and again you may run across pictures of Cadillacs from the vintage you are interested but they are rare. If they do exist, they are not driven in public and no photos are allowed to be taken of them. I ran across this principle writing stories about Facel Vega models. There are a precious few existing and the owners will NOT allow public viewing of their cars! (Wouldn’t you want to keep your precious classis’s anonymity so as not to provoke a theft of your one of a kind classic?) Now you see. Cadillac was a world leader.
The vintage you like has historical impact. It was Patton who had a fatal accident in a 1938 Series 75 Cadillac Limousine. It was built in Detroit and then sent to France before the start of hostilities and was used by the Gestapo during the occupation of France. The car was taken back by American troops of the 5th Army Division in 1945 and then given to Patton. Cadillac made dynamos during the war that were virtually indestructible! Patton’s car was rebuilt using the engine from a tank! Yes…this is the impressive history of Cadillac. Don’t you wish they still made luxury cars worthy of the title “Standard of the ENTIRE World?”
This is great Greg! Now I’m excited! Thank you! Is there somebody at the Cadillac archives I can write to, for more specifics about this car?
This is a coachbuilt car you own. Fleetwood did the bodywork Cadillac supplied the chassis. Here is a link to the GM Heritage Center: https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/vehicle-information-kits/Cadillac/1941_Cadillac_VVI.pdf
This will give you the basics, nothing custom because that was the coachbuilder’s specialty. Let me know how you like this information. It is a starting point. Most of the old timers that I used to get tid bits of info have all bitten the dust.
Thank you very much Greg! This is extremely helpful.. -Ramon