By 1937, most of the great prestige automakers were out of business or on the ropes. Peerless was out in 1931, and Stutz in 1935. 1937 would see the end of Duesenberg, and Pierce-Arrow would follow in 1938. However, Cadillac was not only in business, but together with Packard, represented the bulk of diminished American luxury market.
In 1937, Cadillac was in the last year of production of its legendary first generation 45-degree V16 motor. (A new 135-degree Sixteen was slated for the start of the 1938 model year.) The first generation V16 is widely regarded as the quintessential multi-cylinder automotive engine of the era, with its large engine, with polished lacquer and plated accents, the look reached the same high level as the performance.
This V-16 was a large and expensive car with the size and comfort of a sedan but capable of open air touring. The $7,950 price tag of this convertible sedan commanded a $2,500 premium over the best V-12 Caddy. Given their price and grandeur, the huge, 154-inch wheelbase V-16s were best suited for titans of industry or heads of state. They were also very limited production with only 50 Cadillac V-16s sold in 1937. Like this example, 47 were bodied by Fleetwood, two went to outside custom body builders, and one is unaccounted.