RESTYLING 1939 CADILLAC
Quentin Hall owns a 1939 Cadillac four door series 60, his dream is to create a Coachcraft styled custom coupe from it. with Digital Restyling we can show the possibilities, before he starts to cut up his car.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome time ago Quentin Hall, a fabricator by trade, from Brisbane, Australia, posted his latest project on the CCC-Forum. It was a 1939 Cadillac four door series 60. A rather squire car to start with, but Quentin saw its potential, and was aiming for a Custom / Coachcraft styled coupe, or convertible. He had created an old fashion cut/tape and ink restyled version which he posted on the Forum. The moment I saw this illustration I was inspired. I really liked the look Quentin had captured, my head was already spinning with ideas, and I was looking forward to see Quentin’s project evolve.
A couple of month after showing his project on the CCC, Quentin approached me about doing some Digital Restyling ideas for his project. I have always loved these late 30’s early 1940’s Cadillac, and Quentin’s ideas of creating a upperclass coachbuilt/coachcraft inspired custom really got me going. We agreed that for Quentin’s plans it would be best to create a dead on side view of the project. So I searched for a suitable photo, which was easier said that done for this car. Eventually I found a nice photo that would work for the Digital Restyling 1939 Cadillac project.
The old fashion cut and taped version Quentin had created to get a good feel for his project.
This is the original image I found online. A nice side view, not too large, but it worked for the design studies I planned to create for Quentin.
As with most of my digital projects, I start with cleaning up the image so that the work later on will be a bit easier. The original image was cropped to close to the bumpers, so I added material on both sides to be able to show the bumpers. I also removed the red car in the background since it was only distracting from the Cadillac. Then I started with the base restyling. Elements that would be the same for the several versions I had in mind. The car was lowered, and a Cadillac sombrero hubcap was added. Quentin already had cut up a set of 1946 Cadillac bumpers to use on his car, so I did the same. I cut of the bottom section to make a nice elegant shaped bumper. The hood sides were smoothed and skirts were created for the rear fenders. Then it was time to start playing with the several versions.
(photo A)The first very quick sketch of a coupe with xtended front door, filled rear door, chopped top converted to a 5-window coupe and a longer trunk.
To get a good feel for the project and to see what would be possible, I started by doing a very quick sketch of a streamlined coupe. I filled in the rear door lines, extended the front door and chopped top which I converted to a 5-window coupe with radically reshaped rear portion of the roof and emailed this sketch to Quentin. He already loved this first really quick sketch. His reply to my email.
“I’ve gotta say that already that first proposal is incredible. So so elegant. WOW. That is the car they never made but should have. That b pillar is the styling feature that ties it to the original 60 special design. I love it. You know this is exactly why I wanted you to do this.”
So now we already have a rather radical restyled Cadillac, now its time to take a step back and create a few different versions. I did a more fine tuned version of the original quick sketch, but there is no reason to show it here. Next I wanted to see how this 5-window coupe would look with a little less radical reshaped top. Something that could be created more easily from the original 4-door top. In the meantime I have also lowered the headlights an inch or two.
(photo B) The next version is also a 5-window coupe, but more conservative, more styled along the lines of the series 60. The rear quarter windows use the chopped but otherwise unchanged stainless trim pieces from the original rear door windows.
(photo C) A sliglty more radical version shows a reshaped rear portion of the top and rear side windows. I also angled the back of the door window forward at the top creating an interesting V-shape on the B-Pillar. For the different versions I switched hubcaps, just for fun. This version, having a more classic feel to it has the original 1939 Cadillac hubcaps, with additional beauty rings.
(photo D) Then it was time to create the ultimate car I had in my mind ever since Quentin has shared his photocopied design sketch on the CCC-Forum. The three window coupe.
To get the balance right for this version I had to stretch the doors some more and shortened the top, thus lengthening the trunk. I also raised the windshield up into the top a little to get a better balance there as well. Quentin is in Australia, and I’m in the Netherlands, so there is quite a bit of time difference. Before I had started this three window coupe version I had emailed with Quentin about it and that it was getting late for him and he would check it out in the morning. some time after I had emailed him this versions I get the following response back from him…
“It’s the middle of night. Cant sleep….I had to see the new additions and watched them, each design evolve and grow. Loved the newer versions of the 5-window coupes. Little bit more flow and lost that squareness, but not too much, just right. …..looked at the next two 3 windows…..
Then the last one you did. I fell…..fell madly in love. Madly truly deeply. The simplicity, the three forms. Engine. Cockpit, tail. The balance of the window curve front and rear. The long deck.
I think it is that raw instinct that tells me. There is that selfish indulgence of it being (possibly) a two seater. Maybe no back seat at all. Also it is because it best lends itself to being a lift off top . No tricky rear side windows to deal with.
Most of all if you were walking along and saw that parked on the street you would be speechless……
That made me feel very good, a happy customer, and even better I loved it myself as well. But I was not done yet. I had a few more things I wanted to see and needed to try.
Earlier, I had also done a very rough sketch of a Padded topped version based on the 5-window coupe dimantions. It was too crude to show here, but it did show this version had some potential as well. So with the balance of the three window coupe I created a padded topped version.
(photo E) Padded topped version was nice, but the original Padded top look with the large rolls at the bottom edges did not really work too well for me. A more smoothed perhaps canvas covered metal top would suite this car much better.
The Ultimate Version
The last version I had in mind was a convertible version, with chrome plated v-windshield and removable top. In the beginning Quentin had opted his desire to possibly have several different tops for his car. So that he change the looks of his car from time to time. With this in mind I designed this version of the car in such a way that it looked good with both a painted metal top, as well as with a canvas covered, near padded top looking top. Bot tops were shaped rather similar, but the texture will create a completely different look. For this version I also added the three bar Cadillac stainless trim on the rocker panel, and 1938 Cadillac hubcaps with beauty rings.
(photo F) The chrome plated v-windshield gave the car even more the so desired Coachbuilt/coachcraft styled custom look.
(photo G) The padded top version for the convertible with chrome windshield was made much cleaner than the typical Carson/Gaylord/Hall top.
(photo H) This was the last version I did, with the top removed and the rear portion of the interior covered with a body colored tonneau cover
Below is Quentin’s 1939 Cadillac series 60 he based this project one. As you can see he has already started with the cut down 1946 Cadillac bumpers. Check out the CCC-Forum Post from Quentin to see the progress on his 1939 Cadillac 60. We are looking forward to see Quentin turn his four door series 60’s in his dream coupe/convertible from this Digital Restyling 1939 Cadillac project. Quentin already created some skirts from scratch for this project. How he did that, and how they look can be seen on this CCC-Forum Post.
Are you day dreaming about your own perfect dream custom?
- Do you wonder what your precious car would (or could!) look like, even before you start cutting on it?
- Would you like to see different paint variations and styled on your custom car before you even start to mask the car, or order that expensive new paint?
- Or would you like to see the difference of a 2, 3 or 4 inch chop and see the impact it will have on the rest of the car?
- Maybe you want to see any other modification done to your custom car, without having to actually perform that modification and find out a different modification would have worked better with the rest of your car?
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