The Cadillac Series 40-62 is a series of cars which was produced by Cadillac from 1940 through 1964. Originally designed to complement the entry level Series 61, it became the Cadillac Series 6200 in 1959, and remained that until it was renamed to Cadillac Calais for the 1965 model year.
The Series 62 was also marketed as the Sixty-Two and the Series Sixty-Two. The Series 62 was used to introduce the Cadillac Coupe de Ville and the Cadillac Eldorado which started out as special appearance packages that were later placed into production.
The Fisher-bodied Series 40-62 was the new entry level product for the 1940 model line and was upgraded with a low sleek “torpedo” style C-body with chrome window reveals, more slant in the windshield, and a curved rear window. The new C-body that the 1940 Cadillac Series 62 shared with the Buick Roadmaster and Super, the Oldsmobile Series 90 and the Pontiac Custom Torpedo featured shoulder and hip room that was over 5 inches wider, the elimination of running boards and exterior styling that was streamlined and 2-3 inches lower. When combined with a column mounted shift lever connected to the Hydramatic automatic transmission, the cars offered true six passenger comfort. It was GM’s competitor to the popular selling Packard One-Twenty.
These changes were carried over to the Cadillac Sixty Special borrowing a naming convention from the entry-level Buick Special. The styling feature distinguishing all V-8 Cadillacs was once again the grille. Although grilles had the same pointed shape as in 1939, the grille bars were heavier and fewer in number. Two sets of louver bars appeared on each side of the hood. Running boards were a no cost option. The Series 62 was available as a club coupe or a sedan, with 2-door and 4-door convertibles introduced mid-year. Sales totaled 5,903 in its inaugural year accounting for about 45% of Cadillac’s sales. The 2-passenger Coupe was listed for US$1,685 ($32,591 in 2021 dollars ), the 5-passenger Touring Sedan was US$1,745 ($33,752 in 2021 dollars ), and the 4-door Convertible Sedan was US$2,195 ($42,456 in 2021 dollars ). While the 2-door could only accommodate 2 passengers, they were labeled as “coupes” instead of the more accurate roadster, then in 1941 passenger capacity increased to four.
In 1941, the one piece hood came down lower in the front, included the side panels and extended sideways to the fenders. A single rectangular panel of louver trim was used on each side of the hood. The rectangular grille was wide, vertical, and bulged forward in the middle. Rectangular parking lights were built into the top outer corners of the grille. Headlights were now built into the nose of the fenders, and provision for built in accessory fog lights was provided under the headlights. Three chrome spears appeared on the rear section of all four fenders. Rear fender skirts were standard. The Series 62 offered the only 4-door convertible built by Cadillac in 1941 and it would be the last time this bodystyle was ever made by the marque. All Cadillacs shared the same 346 cu in (5.7 L) 135 hp (101 kW) L-head V8 that year, with power rising to 150 hp (112 kW).
Sales more than quadrupled to 24,734, accounting for 37% of Cadillac sales in a sales year that well more than doubled the previous Cadillac sales rate record set during the two model years of 1926–27, in part due to the huge popularity of the new Series 61. Evidently the new “torpedo” style with its low streamlined runningboardless bodies and expansive shoulder room had proved a big hit. The following model year, abbreviated as it was by a world war, would set no such sales record.