1949 Cadillac convertible

John Ashton

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1949 Cadillac convertible.

John’s Car

In 1970 a 1949 RHD Cadillac convertible was advertised in Wagga Wagga for $720. The car was a dream and I bought it. This model Cadillac was the first model to have tail fins. To open the petrol cap you pressed one of the reflectors and the tail fin popped up revealing the petrol cap. The car was fitted with the newly developed 331 cu in OHV V8 engine. Prior to that the V8s were side valve. It had the first modern type auto transmission – the original GM hydromatic 4 speed automatic gear box. The convertible top and power windows were operated by hydraulic rams, there was side window as well as windscreen demisters and the rear seat passengers had their own heaters. The car could do 100mph and used around 20 mpg. It was brilliant.

Later that year I sold my 47 Packard and the Lea Francis and moved to Hobart to take up a post graduate scholarship at the University. I used the Cadillac to explore tracks to the old mining towns.  Then in 1973 it developed a gudgeon pin knock. I could not afford the repair and sadly I had to sell it. It ended up in Gilltrap’s Motor Museum on the Gold Coast still with my Tasmanian number plates VB1262. I would love to hear from anyone who knows where this car is now.


John Ashton

April, 2020