|1947 Cadillac Convertible|
By Vern Parker
While many of Rob Robison's high school classmates were attracted to muscle cars of the era Robison was drawn to the more economical British-built Triumphs.
Following graduation Robison's income grew as well as his taste in antique automobiles. Years later, in 1992 he saw a 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible for sale.
Records indicate the Belden Blue convertible had been sold to a Brooklyn, N.Y. Physician who had purchased the new car at the Smith Cadillac dealership in Philadelphia. Only 6,755 such models were manufactured, each with a base price of $2,902.
Robison couldn't let the gorgeous Cadillac escape so he bought the car in June, 1992 and took it home to Yorklyn, Delaware with 44,000 miles showing on the odometer. The second owner was a woman in Philadelphia.
A careful inspection revealed frayed wiring which was dangerous so Robison sent his Cadillac to a restoration shop for what turned out to be a five year rehabilitation. He explains that his car now appears as it did when it was completely original.
The powerful 346-cubic-inch V-8 engine develops 150 horsepower, more than sufficient to easily propel the 4,455-pound convertible. The speedometer can register speeds up to 120 mph.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels via the Hydromatic transmission which has no “Park” position. From left to right the gear selection is: Neutral – Drive – Lo – Reverse.
Directly behind the two-piece windshield is the dashboard which Robison had restored to match the original. His research led him to select a two-tone dashboard with the upper portion painted a dark blue and the low portion painted a beach beige.
The seat cushions are covered in a dark blue leather while the seat backs and door panels are upholstered in a beige fabric. A glass window is at the rear of the tan convertible top.
A hydro-electric system operates the windows, front seat and convertible top. The radio antenna on the left front fender is vacuum operated. The radio receives only AM signals.
An upscale deluxe heater is positioned beneath the front seat which permits heat to be blown forward as well as to the rear for the comfort of all the passengers.
Robison declares that the fog lamps are optional. Of course Cadillac had to hide the gasoline filler pipe under the left taillight.
One, or both, of the previous owners made a few personal alterations to the car. Robison has put his car back into the condition it was in when it left the factory.
When he acquired the Cadillac it was equipped with two reverse lights which is one more than it had in 1947. Robison removed the extra light.
In the center of the dashboard Robison noted four holes had been drilled. He learned that the original owner, a doctor, used the car to make house calls. The doctor had a small wooden desk constructed which was bolted to the dashboard through the aforementioned holes in the dashboard.
The dashboard has been returned to like new condition.
The 7.00x15-inch tires are dressed up with large “sombrero” style wheel covers. The Cadillac, rolling on a 129-inch wheelbase, provides a luxurious ride.
A stylish chrome horn ring covers only the bottom half of the three-spoke, shoulder-wide steering wheel.
Several years have passed since the restoration was completed but the Cadillac has not been tucked away in a garage. “You can have so much fun it this car,” Robison reports. The odometer now has registered 52,000 miles, all the while delivering 12 miles per gallon.
On a recent driving tour through the Adirondack mountains in New York an optimistic Robison proudly says, “I got by with only one flat tire.”
“I like to enjoy it the way it was,” Robison says.