OK so I still can’t believe it, but I actually own a 1947 Cadillac Series 60 Fleetwood Special. It is truly an awesome car, big bold and beautiful, even though it is in need of a full restoration I can see the beauty in every curve and detail. So here is the fun part of the story, it was a gift to me from my mentor and friend Alex Levesque of the Automotive Mentoring Group in appreciation for all that I had done for the AMG over the previous two years. It is one of the most amazing gifts that I have ever received. I thought he was totally messing with me that he was giving it to me, but it he did and it’s mine! I will forever be grateful to him for all that he has done, but then he had to top it with a Cadillac cherry on top. Thank you Alex!
The car’s name is Humphrey and it has a bit of a history to it. Alex got it from a friend of his who was a former president of the Cadillac car club. He had acquired it in 1999 from a fellow who said it was in storage for something like 20 years. I really don’t know why but the reason it was put into storage was because the engine was partially dismantled, the heads were removed and so were the valve silencers. But I don’t know why. They are highly “gunked up” so maybe it was just for a cleaning. I can hope anyway.
This was the first image I took of the car when we went to go pick it up from it’s underground storage
The exhaust manifold or half of it anyway was sitting on the backseat for some reason
Like I said the previous owner acquired it in 1999. When he did he said his wife thought it reminded her of something Humphrey Bogart would drive and so he named it “Humphrey”. He planned to restore it with a friend of his, who was a 40’s Cadillac expert and fellow Cadillac club member. However in a tragic turn his friend was killed in a car accident shortly after getting the car. With the loss of his friend interest was lost in “Humphrey” and the ’47 was put into storage. He decided recently that it should not sit and needed a good home. My mentor Alex had spoken to him and told him about me and that he felt that should be the person to bring it back to life.
The good news is that it spent the whole time in storage stored indoors and the last maybe 12 in an underground dry storage facility. And that he had at least 95% of the parts including a few new replacements like a new trunk handle with a key, and a new master cylinder. The air cleaner however is missing which I am afraid will be a difficult piece to source as well as the fender skirts, but I am confident I could duplicate them if I can get a pair to use to copy. Other than that it’s pretty much all there. It had been repainted at some point but probably 30 years ago and not very well, they painted all the rubber on the door and never even finished painting some of the smaller parts like the headlight covers or license plate bracket and lights.
Super cool Pinkerton’s Security sticker still in the rear window, we will preserve it
The Fleetwood symbol on the sill plates, one way to tell it’s a Fleetwood
All the glass is intact except a couple of chips in the windshield, but it’s all there. The interior was pretty bad, but not horrible once again it’s all there every knob and handle and the seats that had covers on them had the original material under them. The dash was in bad shape though. All of the wood grain had rusted off and some of the gauges were pretty rough. But the body was straight and very little rust, as far as I can tell the frame was in really good shape as well. So what are we going to do with “Humphrey”? Well I am not ready to share that yet, but I will say that we will not be doing a concourse worthy original car restoration. I just don’t think I can afford that. But we will keep it mostly original as long as the engine can be salvaged.