1949 Cadillac Series 62
It is difficult for 21st-century minds to realize how highly esteemed Cadillac was after WWII. This was especially true in 1949, when the General Motors division introduced the first modern overhead valve, high compression and lightweight V8 engine. Cadillac truly set the standard for the world and quality was a true watchword. Desirability was in the minds of the buying public, too.
The prior 346 cubic inch flathead V8 Cadillac engine may have put out 150 horsepower against 160 for the new engine, but the 1949 V8 reduced the weight of the cars by some 250 pounds. In addition, the horsepower ratings don’t indicate the level of smoothness and flexibility of the new engine, which was broadly copied throughout the industry for many years.
Even though independent competitor Packard still outsold Cadillac in 1949 (116,995 against 92,554), this situation would not last long. Sales slowed largely due to Packard moving down in price and prestige in an attempt to survive.
Another advantage that Cadillac had was the available Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, which Packard would not be able to compete against until mid-1949. Lincoln would not offer an automatic until 1950 and, unlike Packard, it wasn’t their own, but GM’s Hydra-Matic.
37,977 Series 62 four-door sedans were built in 1949, approximately 14,000 more than in 1948, making this the most popular Cadillac sold that year.