The Cadillac Motor Car Company started its production in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan. They slowly rose to success and in 1915, they were the first American car manufacturer to design a V8 engine. During the 1930s, Cadillac was one of the top coachbuilders in the country. The 1941 Cadillac was heavily based off the famous 1938 Sixty-Special designed by GM’s legendary designer, Bill Mitchell. 1941 was a great year for Cadillac, they produced 66,130 cars which was the highest record since they started. They were finally on even grounds with Packard and establishing themselves as the greatest luxury car manufacturer in America.
This 1941 Cadillac Series 61 Estate Wagon is probably the only true Cadillac woodie built in 1941. It was originally bought as a Cadillac Series 61 sedan from Van Brunt Motors located in Horsehead, New York. During WWII, this was built into a one of a kind Cadillac Estate Wagon by coachbuilders from Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, a place famous for having a number of car dealers, coachbuilders, and body shops. The brass tag that authenticates the build is still found in the interior of this woodie.
The earliest photograph that proves the history of this woodie was taken in 1946 at George Stockton Strawbridge’s estate in Bar Harbor, Maine. George Stockton was the owner of Strawbridge and Clothiers Department Store located in Philly. This woodie was under the ownership of Strawbridge for a few decades and drove it around Bar Harbor. During the winter season, this woodie was stored in the garage which explains its originality and low mileage of 31,000 miles.
Around the 1970s, this woodie was purchased by Alex Wars from California who owned it for a decade. It was then passed on to Woody World located in Ocala, Florida and became part of their display. During the 1990s, Richard Kughn, a collector from Michigan, purchased the Woodie and featured in several events including the Amelia Island concours, Eyes on the Classics, and Meadow Brook. It then made its way to Ramshead Collection in Sacramento, California who had it restored to bring it back to its prime condition. It remained as original as possible, the original Birdseye Maple and Mahogany wooden panels were carefully restored. The exterior finish and all of the chromes were restored to show quality. Both the interior and exterior remains highly original which testifies to the amount of car this car received during its 75 years of existence.
It is powered by a 346 ci Cadillac engine which was popular for being a very reliable engine. It even powered America’s M-5 and M-24 tanks that served during WWII. The engine is extremely clean and solid. This 1941 Cadillac Series 61 Estate Wagon is incredibly beautiful, every detail of this woodie was excellently done in show quality. GM even invited this Estate Wagon to the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours.
The life of this Cadillac has been completely documented. The original Bill of Sale is still intact. This one of a kind woodie has earned numerous prestigious awards which testify to the quality of work done to restore this classic.
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