1962 CADILLAC SEDAN DE VILLE - THE MONROE CAR
Registration No. Not UK registered
Chassis No. FW 6779
Engine No. TBA
White with black interior.
Engine: V-8, pushrod overhead valves, 6384cc, 325bhp at 4800rpm; Transmission: three-speed automatic; Suspension: independent front with wishbones and coil springs, live rear axle with half elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel hydraulically operated drum. Right hand drive.
Long established as General Motor's top make, it was on the flamboyant Cadillacs of the late 1950s and early 1960s that the corporation's ebullient stylists, driven on by design chief Harley Earl, revealed to a fascinated populace their lates chrome dreams. Flaunting panoramic windscreens, outrageous tailfins, decoration borrowed from jet fighters, longer, lower, more powerful than automobiles had ever been, a Cadillac became a potent symbol of wealth and glamour. In the early 1960s, Harley Earl retired and William Mitchell took his place. A tad more restrained than Earl, Mitchell eased back a little on the chrome, trimmed the Cadillac's tailfins, emphasised sculptured body lines. But the Cadillac was still the ideal celebrity's car, still a natural choice for cruising Sunset Boulevard or Fifth Avenue. It may even be said to have become a star in its own right. If you drove a Cadillac, you were likely to be noticed, even behind the reflective wraparound sunglasses.
This Cadillac Sedan de Ville has long been recognised as a car that was originally supplied to Marilyn Monroe in 1962. Although documents linking the star of Some Like it Hot with the car are not now available, many newspaper articles and features describe the car's history. The vendor has been informed that after the star's untimely death, the Cadillac was disposed of at an auction of her possessions. The successful bidder, an American lawyer, gave it to his sister, who took it to New South Wales, Australia, where it was converted to right-hand drive. There were a number of owners from that point and a full restoration was carried out in the 1980s. It became the centrepiece of a major Australian automobile museum, when further work was completed on the water pump, heater hoses, braking system and window switches. When the museum closed the Cadillac passed to the present vendor. More recently it has been shown at the Donington Park and Midlands museums. Described as being in show condition, the Cadillac numbers amongst its fittings a record-player of a type said to have been favoured by Miss Monroe. Understood to run well and now with right-hand drive, it is a considerable rarity. As shown it presents an opportunity to acquire an automobile with an intriguing background and some potential for exhibition or promotional work.