JULY 2016 CAL-RODS FEATURED CAR
by Ray Mahoney
1947 CADILLAC SERIES S 62 CONVERTIBLE
ENGINE: 1970 CADILLAC 8.2 LITER V8 ‘CAD 500’
ELDELBROCK CARBURETOR AND INTAKE MANIFOLD
TRANSMISSION: HIGH PERFORMANCE GM TURBO 400
STOCK REAR END
TRUESPOKE CHROME STEEL WIRE WHEELS
COLOR: CADILLAC DARK BLUE METALLIC
“ A little ditty ‘bout Jack & Diane,
Two American kids growing up in the heart land.” (1982 song by John Mellencamp).
This is about Jack & Diane Ferguson’s ’47 Cadillac but it’s not anywhere near a little ditty. Dubbed ‘Yank Tanks’ by Australians this road beast comes in at a whopping 4455 lbs compared to a 2016 Cadillac at 3646 lbs. It was the giant of the road just after World War II, & the last year of the fat fender design. Originally it was Diane’s car until Jack sold his hot rod’32 & his hot rod Mustang; it’s now Jack & Diane’s Cadillac.
Jack & Diane are just the 4th owners of this rare manufactured luxury convertible. Cadillac only made 6755 units in 1947, originally priced just shy of $3000.00. You can buy several new Cadillac’s for the value of this beauty today. After searching for 2 years Jack found the car for sale at the Pomona Swap meet where the owner, an Orange County car enthusiast, had bought it as part of the ‘Shafer Collection’ in Seattle, WA.
Watching the Ferguson’s cruising Claremont in their ’47 looks like an anachronism until you open the hood via the art deco hood ornament to find that the “Battle Proven” Flat Head V8 - 150 horsepower, 346 cubic-inch power plant of 1947 has been replaced with an 1970 500 CID/8.2 Liter 400+ HP V8 engine with an Isky cam, new Carburetor, Intake and a 400 Transmission. Originally equipped with power windows, power top & power seat all hydraulic operated, Jack has changed them to electric so there is no threat of fluid leaking on the upholstery & original leather seats. The system is still in the car but disconnected.
As a child Jack’s family drove to California from Ohio in a ’47 Caddy. Jack wanted to repeat the trip his family made so they shipped the car to Chicago & drove the Mother Highway, Route 66, back to California. 16 days of cruising & checking out every old vintage site along the way, eating in 50 year old restaurants & making sure he got a decal from every state on his rear bumper. The first road trouble started when he broke the drive shaft, a problem that would cause him to go through two more before installing a high performance drive shaft.
Luxury at it’s finest in the 40’s as well as the 21st Century & a great example of Cal-Rods cars.