1949 was the first year the Motor Trend car of the year was designated. Actually, it was a series of cars rather than just one specific Cadillac. The entire 1949 Cadillac Motor Division received the honor from Motor Trend because of the sweeping changes they made that year.
There were a number of changes but among the more radical changes made was to the Cadillac. Part of the Series 62, the Coupe de Ville ranked as the first hardtop convertible of the new age. (The Oldsmobile 98 Holiday and Buick Roadmaster Riviera were also hardtops.) The hardtop convertible had no B-pillar (also known as the fixed central roof post – B-pillar is just easier to say.)
What this meant is that the Coupe de Ville allowed the convertible experience when you rolled down the windows. The roof post between the windows was gone so it was like being in a convertible. The hard metal roof gave the same kind of stability that a traditional sedan would provide.
Length – 213.9 inches
Wheelbase – 126.0 inches
Weight – 4,033 pounds
Price – $3,497
Production – 2,150
Another excellent new innovation for the Cadillac line was the introduction of the 331 cubic inch overhead-valve V-8. Ed Cole, Jack Gordon, and Harry Barr designed this engine. It was light (188 pounds lighter than the 348) but offered higher compression. Don’t forget this was post-World War II and the fuel available was of a higher octane rating. The valves were in a different place. The combustion chambers were wedge-shaped. The other new aspect was the slipper piston that involved shorter connecting rods which in turn lowered the Reciprocating mass. The 331 cubic inch V-8 had 160 hp.