Cadillac 75 Generation 3 Series 48-75 7523X Sedan by Fleetwood

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75 Generation 3 Series 48-75 7523X Sedan by Fleetwood





But true fins are a sweep of the fender itself; sometimes the taillight is housed within it, sometimes not. The success of the '48 Cadillac tailfin was how Hershey incorporated what Mitchell himself learned from the P-38. The fin was a continuation of the flow of the bodyline from the front to the rear of the car. It was as simple and as elegant as that, but Hershey alone had the talent and insight to put it together.

The '48 Cadillac was an instant success with buyers. When dealers first saw it, however, they were apprehensive, and some were downright scared the public wouldn't like it. But any negative opinions the dealers had were soon overshadowed by the public's instant and massive demand for the car. The '48 was the spirit of the P-38 Lightning on wheels -- and it was there to be bought in any Cadillac showroom. With that beautiful line flowing through the body panels, climaxing in the elegant tailfins that gave the effect of making the car look longer, the sheer beauty and simplicity of the car's body took many an onlooker's breath away. The rounded bumpers and curved windshield only added to the car's sleek styling. In 1948, Cadillac was the luxury car to own.

Even the grille of the '48 was new, although it continued the distinctive wide cross-hatch theme. A delicate bow of chrome defined the top line of the grille, while the two inside horizontal bars ran outboard to become the upper and lower borders of the parking lights. The forward-sloping hood provided greater visibility, enhancing the low lines of the car, while the front fenders blended smoothly into the body sides, becoming an integral part of the bodywork (rather than being "tacked on").

The limited-production Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five conservatively carried on with the '46 sheet metal, amortizing the prewar 1941-42 dies used in the manufacture of this impressive 3454mm-long-wheelbase vehicle. Available in models which carried five people, to the nine-passenger Imperial, the Seventy-Fives were luxuriously finished both inside and out, striking awe into those who witnessed one lumbering down the boulevards of post-war America.

Though retaining a narrow center pillar, the two-piece windshield on all models except the Seventy-Fives was curved, quite a novelty in 1948. And because the various models differed in height, Cadillac had to produce four different windshields for the model year.

Inside the '48, instruments were clustered quite functionally in a deep pod under the dashboard line that carried through almost to the floor on both sides. Some automotive enthusiasts have called this a "rainbow" instrument panel because of its generous sweep. Functional ducts in the front doors circulated air to the side windows and the windshield, a forward-looking feature at the time.

Despite all the new styling features, the 150-horsepower L-head V-8 and Hydra-Matic automatic transmission were carried over virtually unchanged from 1941-47. The V-8 was tough, with a distinguished record for smoothness and longevity, and as good as or better than anything offered by the competition. On the minus side, it was bulky and heavy.

Consideration was given to the deletion of the long wheelbase line in 1948, but competitive pressure from Packard in the luxury class market dictated the retention of the Series 75. Again they featured General Motors old-fashioned "Turret Top" styling, a throwback to the prewar years. Minor revisions on the outside of the cars included a new background for the V-shaped hood emblem and Cadillac script, replacing block lettering, low on the fenders behind the front wheel opening. Buyers ordering fog lamps got rectangular lamps in place of the smaller round style. Stainless steel running boards were seen once again. A new dashboard with rainbow style instrument cluster and burled leather trim extending to the carpets was seen this year.

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