Wednesday, July 18, 2012


A footnote in the 1949 Cadillac story that has risen to legend. The big news for Cadillac in 1949 was the OHV V8 engine, but that didn't show on the exterior at all. And the 1948 color palate, although tasteful and refined, didn't offer any hues to set off a sporty new convertible. They needed an exciting color for the brochure to give the car a rakish flair.

Enter color 21- Chartreuse. A real, lush chartreuse hue- that wonderful detente between yellow and green with the fabulous French name that ladies loved to say- "Chartrooooooooose"- released for 1949 as a limited production, convertible-only offering.  It was done to grab attention, and that it certainly did. Rendered in the brochure with red leather, it was also offered with black. Only about a hundred are believed to have been produced. 

So imagine my excitement at West Coast Meet when, out of the corner of my eye- I catch a glimpse of Chartreuse on a Cadillac convertible. A spectacularly nice restoration, no less. And when I checked the data tag- color code 21 and body number 88- a real factory Chartreuse 1949 convertible. 

I've always thought that Chartreuse was THE color of the postwar era- one that betrayed sophistication and flair at the same time, and went on to sweep the world of ceramics and interior decor for over a decade. There were few homes in the fifties unscathed by the hue.

Chartreuse- it's not just a color, it's a lifestyle!

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