After World War II assembly line automotive production began to replace the coachbuilding companies of Europe. Expert coachbuilders such as Jacques Saoutchik were happy to be commissioned by wealthy Amerians to work on American luxury cars. Before the war he had extablished his reputation styling flamboyant and expensive automobile bodies for classic brands such as Bugatti, Delahaye, Pegaso and others. In the Thirties he began to experiment with his signature teardrop style evidenced here in this 1948 Cadillac. One stellar example of Saoutchik’s work is the 1948 Cadillac Saoutchik Series 62 Convertible which has graced the eighteenth green at the Pebble Beach Concours a few times. It is one of the most significant automotive achievements of the 19th Century. And it can be viewed now as part of The Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When he had the opportunity to build a pair of Cadillacs in 1948 he jumped at the opportunity. One was built for Hollywood film star Delores Del Rio, and this one for Paul Kassoff which quickly was acquired by New York furrior Louis Ritter. It remained in the Ritter collection for decades. The 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik Cabriolet is extremely breathtaking, probably the most intensely beautiful Cadillac ever made. Fitted with Marchal headlights, a power top and power windows, the marque is delicately finished in black with violet sweeps on the sides and a black cloth soft top. The 1948 Cadillac Saoutchik Series 62 Cabrioletinterior is trimmed in matching black and violet leather. The presentation of these colors in combination is over the top, something Saoutchik must have calculated to get the attention of an American following.
The Cadillac was the perfect subject for Saoutchik’s custom design. It used the 346 ci V8 engine with a single 2-barrel carburetor producing 150 horsepower at 3,400 rpm. It also has Cadillac’s 4-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drum brakes. But it came with an independent front suspension, liver rear axle with semi-eleptical springs.
Little did we know that these American luxury designs would be some of the last for the famous Saoutchik company. By 1955 the company went out of business. This is one of the remaining famous designs. It is on display at The Auto Collections.