NEO’s smaller scale ’49 Caddy nearly as nice as big 1/18
As with its previous 1:18 scale version, this Club Coupe is a car with presence, class and substance, just a tad smaller. The real one also was a sales standout for Cadillac as the brand fought to re-establish itself after World War II.
This black resin beauty continues the detail NEO brought to its earlier model, but in the smaller scale so popular with plastic car model builders. Both Cadillacs are distributed by American-Excellence, which supplied our review model.
Cadillac launched the Series 62 in 1940 as an entry-level Caddy, but production ended 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 the lower powered, heavier L-head. The new 5.4-liter V8 delivered 10 more horses at 160, yet weighed 200 lbs. less than the 1948 model. It was Motor Trend’s first Car of the Year. The 62 was fast too, racer Briggs Cunningham entering two of the Caddys in that year’s 24 Hours of LeMans race in France.
In profile or head-on the Series 62 sets a high styling benchmark with its sweptback roofline and short fins jutting up at the tail. This was the start of the expressive 1950s styling that often reflected aircraft aerodynamics. Its nose is a monument to chrome with a big rectangular grille featuring two large bars across its center and giant bumper guards that protrude from the thick chrome bumper like torpedoes ready for launch.
Neo does a nice job with headlights including chrome surrounds and realistic lenses. There are also small running lights built into the grooved bright metalwork that wraps around the front fender. A photo-etched Cadillac crest sits above a chrome chevron on the hood’s nose and the Cadillac hood ornament rests atop a chrome strip that blends into the split windshield’s trim. Thin metal wiper stalks are well executed too, reflecting the fine detail here.
A big chrome mirror extends on an A-pillar arm on the driver’s side and there’s a delicate looking radio antenna just in front of that. As on the larger model, there’s chrome side window trim and door handles along with what looks like a three-pane rear window trimmed in chrome. Adding to the car’s style and illusion of movement is grooved metalwork accent trim and stone shields on the front and rear fenders.
A masculine rear bumper continues the chrome extravaganza and there’s a yellow Louisiana license plate in back just below the chrome trunk release, plus another chevron and Caddy crest on the trunk, along with a large chrome trunk release handle. The 1/18 scale car has an Arizona plate if that matters to you.
This is a sealed model so you don’t get to see the big V8 under the hood. But you can see a gorgeous interior through the large side windows, including a bright red/brown dash top and door trip to resemble wood. Seats are two-tone tan, with benches front and rear. The dash facing looks like wood too and includes a radio with knobs mid-dash, big gauge pod and cream steering wheel with three spokes and chrome on the hub.
Tires are treaded wide white-sidewalls, as were popular at the time, while the hubcaps feature the Caddy crest and are wire wheels inside a larger chrome ring.
This car reflects style and flair and will complement any 1/24 scale collection.
Product: 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe
Maker: NEO (available from American Excellence)
Stock No.: NEO24015