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December 26, 2015

2

Die-cast: NEO’s 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe

by Mark Savage

Cad1NEO’s Cadillac fastback exudes class, substance with extreme late-1940s styling

I’m a sucker for fastback coupes. That usually means cars like a mid-1960s Mustang or Barracuda. Yet here’s a new old one to consider, the 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe.

This is a car with presence, class and substance. Incredibly, it also was fast and a sales standout for Cadillac as the brand fought to re-establish itself after World War II.

NEO has created a beauty in 1:18 scale resin that American Excellence supplied for our review.

The HistoryCad7

The Series 62 was launched in 1940 as an entry-level Caddy, but wrapped up production in 1942 as auto factories turned their efforts to war machines. The third generation Series 62 designed by GM’s noted Harley Earl went into production as a 1949 model, riding on a 126-inch wheelbase, measuring 214 inches long and touting GM’s new overhead-valve V8.

The engine was a big deal, replacing a lower powered and heavier L-head model. The new 5.4-liter, 331 cu.in. V8 delivered 10 more horses at 160 and this model weighing 200 lbs. less than the 1948. So impressed was Motor Trend, then in its infancy, that the Series 62 became the magazine’s first Car of the Year.

Cad4Racer Briggs Cunningham was so enthralled that he purchased and entered two of the Caddys in that year’s 24 Hours of LeMans endurance race in France.

Models included a hardtop, convertible and Eldorado convertible, 4-door sedan and the best looking of the lot, the 2-door coupe. More than 55,600 were sold, a Cadillac record at the time.

The Model:

In profile or head-on the Series 62 sets a high styling benchmark. Its sweptback roofline and short fins jutting up at the tail were the start of the expressive 1950s styling that often reflected aircraft aerodynamics. Its nose is a monument to chrome with the big rectangular grille with two large bars across its center and giant bumper guards that protrude from the thick chrome bumper

NEO does a superb job of recreating the look and adds a fine black mesh behind the grille. Headlights with their chrome surrounds also feature realistic lenses and small running lights are built into the grooved bright metalwork that wraps around the front fender. The Cadillac crest sits above a chrome chevron on the hood’s nose and the Cadillac hood ornament sits atop a chrome strip that blends into the split windshield’s trim. Thin metal wiper stalks are well executed too reflecting the detail here.Cad2

I like the big chrome mirror on an A-pillar arm on the driver’s side and there’s a delicate looking radio antenna just in front of that. Chrome side window trim and door handles along with the three-pane rear window look great too and the grooved metalwork accent trim and stone shields on the front and rear fenders give the car the illusion of movement.

A masculine rear bumper continues the chrome extravaganza and there’s an Arizona license plate in back just below the chrome trunk release, plus another chevron and Caddy crest on the trunk.

This is a sealed model, meaning the doors, hood or trunk do not open. But you can see a gorgeous interior through the large side windows, including a wild red patterned dash top along with tan bench seats front and rear. The dash facing looks like wood with a radio with knobs mid-dash, big gauge pod and white steering wheel with three spokes and a circular chrome horn rim.

Tires are treaded and monster wide white-sidewalls that were popular at the time, while the hubcaps feature the Caddy crest and are wire wheels inside a larger chrome ring.Cad3

This is a car from the days when style and flair reflected a brand’s identity.

Product: ’49 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe

Maker: NEO (available from American Excellence)

Scale: 1/18

Stock No.: NEO18245

MSRP: $211.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

 

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 28 2015

    Beautiful 49 Caddy Fastback, A Dream car, you had me sold until I realized that it’s a closed car. I accept the realization that it’s over priced,but that’s just part of life if it’s something that I want badly enough, but if I can’t see the engine, and especially open the doors to examined the interior, then unfortunately it’s not for me.

    Like

    Reply
    • Mark Savage
      Dec 28 2015

      Charles, I understand how you feel. I think more manufacturers are going for the gorgeous body and exterior details to keep the prices down. Down is a relative thing, but a few years ago a premium 1:18 scale was in that $125-175 range and now they are heading north of $200. Makes the CMC models’s prices seem a bit easier to take considering their top-shelf detail. Still, if we want something unusual, we’ll likely pay for it, eventually!

      Like

      Reply

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