Cohort Outtake: Toyota FJ and 1949 Cadillac – Two Disparate CCs In Berkeley, One Of Them A Genuine Milestone Car

Cadillac 1949 and FJ

Now here’s quite a street-side find; two quite disparate cars. And one sporting a mattress, no less. Roll-over protection?

Well, Toyota FJs aren’t exactly that uncommon, especially on the West Coast. But a street-side ’49 Caddy is a bit out of the ordinary, even for out-of-the-ordinary Berkeley, where Nicky D spotted these two. The ’49 Caddy sports the grandaddy of all modern American ohv V8s under its hood; that does give it a bit of claim to fame.

Cadillac 1949 and FJ rear

Sad to say, we’ve never done a proper CC on this milestone car. Except for the new engine, it’s not much different from the ’48, but the engine did make a huge difference in performance, efficiency and even handling, given how much lighter it was than its predecessor.

Cadillac 1949 engine -04

The new Cadillac V8, along with the rather similar Olds V8, was the template for every modern American OHV V8 that followed, right to the present day. It was powerful, compact, smooth, and efficient, and everyone scrambled to either copy it blatantly (Studebaker), or hopefully improve upon it, which was not easy, as many soon found out (Ford Y-Block comes to mind).

Is there a more influential engine in the modern era?