History of this 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood

Letter from Paul SCHINNERER to me sent in July, 1995.

I read with great interest your letter to Mr. Bennett in March, 1995, Self-Starter (issue of the Cadillac La Salle Club, USA), regarding your 1941 60 Special Cadillac.

I owned your car from 1960 to 1970. It has an interesting past. The original owner was a prominent man from Pasadena, California, by the name of Harry Bauer. Mr. Bauer was involved in the management and was a shareholder in the Souther California Edison Co. He also was a co-founder of the Automobile Club of Southern California circa 1910. He was active in the promotion and construction of the Pasadena freeway in 1938. This was the first Los Angeles freeway that runs between down-town Los Angeles and Pasadena. Mr. Bauer owned a yatch called the "Puritan". It was berthed in Newport Beach, California. My good friend Fred Schmidt, was the chief engineer on the Puritan during the 1950's & 1960's.

One day in 1959, Mr. Bauer informed Fred that he was giving him his old Cadillac if he wanted it. Fred drove to the garage in Pasadena and he was thrilled when he opened the door to see the 1941 Cadillac in like new condition. It looked as good as when Mr. Bauer first saw it in late 1940.

In the fall of 1940 Mr. Bauer was on trip to New York. He attended the auto show in New York City. Upon viewing the new 1941 60 Special he decided to buy one. After returning to the Cadillac dealer in Pasadena he learned that the '41 60 Special was not yet available. He then arranged to buy the car he saw at the New York show and paid for a special freight rail car to have the 60 Special shipped to Pasadena.

The new car was chauffeur driven. Mrs. Bauer was very pleased with the privacy of the rear compartment because of the lack of rear quarter windows.

When Fred saw the car that day in 1959, it had not been driven since 1953 and needed a new clutch. There was an Automobile Club of Southern California sticker on the lower right side of the windshield which read, "Member 45 Years." There was no radio. The front seat was covered with a gray vinyl cover.

Fred took the car home and detailed the under carriage with new black paint. the car was now immaculate inside and out.

Fred's wife, Arden, drove the '41 to Palm Springs for a weekend visit. On the return trip she ran into a sand storm damaging the front of the car. It was necessary to replace the windsheild, repaint the front end of the car and replate the grille and front bumper. The grille plating was not satisfactory and fred had it replated.

The plating job was still not good enough, and it was redone a third time. When it came back from the platers much detail was rounded off. Fred was so unhappy that he sold the car to me several weeks later in 1960.

I found another grille that was in excellent condition. I made several other changes. I installed a radio. I mounted the antenna on the left front fender. I didn't know at the time that it should have been mounted on the cowl. I removed the front seat cover and discovered the original upholstery in excellent condition.

I drove the car to many meets and shows. I used it to chauffeur weddings. I drove it north, south, meets in California of the Cadillac La Salle Club.

The 1941 60 Special blackfound a new home with a fried, Wayne Bemis, of Palos Verdes Estates, California. He in turn, sold it to another friend, Bob Brelsford, of San Francisco, California. After Bob sold it, I lost track of it. I often wondered what became of this fine automobile. Now Iknow. It sounds as if it is in good hands.

Paul Schinnerer
Long Beach, CA

The 60 Special arrived in France in 1987 and it owned by Mr. Trubert of Paris.

I bought this fine car at an auction of Paris in 1993.