1937 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood

Here we have a magnificent survivor of the period between Art Deco and Streamline; a period from which some of the most magnificent, imposing automobiles in history have emerged. This Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Touring Sedan was a very expensive limited model between the smaller Series 60 and 70, and the Limousine. Riding on a 138-inch wheelbase and powered by a smooth, torquey 321-cubic inch flathead V8 and backed with a three-speed manual gearbox, it was a favorite choice of tycoons, moguls and mobsters alike.

That said, it was chosen by studio transportation directors for many period films, three of which are especially iconic. It appeared as a background car in The Godfather and The Sting, and as one of the hero cars in Chinatown. It was driven by Hollis Mulwray, and Jack Nicholson’s character J.J. “Jake” Gittes places a pocket watch beneath the left rear tire of this car to determine when Mulwray left that night. You all remember that scene. The car is seen being driven in several scenes in the movie.

This example was first sold at Don Lee Cadillac in Los Angeles, Calif., on February 4, 1937, as was stenciled on the firewall. Don Lee Cadillac was the largest Cadillac dealership on the West Coast, and the famed “Hollywood” sign is located atop Mount Lee, named after Don Lee, a civic giant of the day. Lee was friends with Harley Earl, the famed General Motors design chief who penned this particular model amongst many other eventual classics.

The car lived its entire life in sunny Southern California, aside from—in 1975—when its owner of 47 years drove it with his wife across country to New Jersey, had it loaded onto a luxury ocean liner and cruised to Germany, where it was offloaded and they toured in the Cadillac all summer, even scaling the Swiss Alps! Imagine the heads turned along European roads when this mammoth American icon motored by! At the conclusion of their tour, they returned to Germany where the car was loaded onboard and they sailed back to New Jersey and then drove back home to Los Angeles. It performed flawlessly.

The black paintwork is all original aside from the front fenders, and there are areas where the paint is actually worn thin enough to see the original primer showing through. Seen clearly in video. This mark of unmistakable originally is highly prized by collectors and automotive historians (and obviously, movie studios as well). Of course there is a patina of random chips and scratches as expected, but no dings or dents of any meaningful size. It is as rust-free as you’d expected a lifelong California car, and the only noticeable areas of rust are a couple places on the floorboards where the original rubber covering chipped off and water accumulated there. The chrome plating is also original, as are all the trim and fittings.

Details

Vehicle Classic Cars
Price $25,000.00
Kilometers 83,172 mi
Color Black
Registration Yes
Transmission Standard
Body

Specifications

Year 1937
Make Cadillac
Model Fleetwood
Vehicle Classic Cars
Transmission Type Standard
Fuel Type Gasoline