This is one of three Cadillac's of this configuration by Fleetwood that are known to exist and the only one that has never been restored. Sumner Carson, grandson of the founder of the Pacific Lumber Company, originally ordered this car for his wife in 1933. Sadly Carson died in 1938, his wife vowed never to ride in the car again, and it was put away. It remained untouched until after Mrs. Carson's death in 1957. Two years later, with 1,950 miles on the clock, it was bought by a collector in Alamo. When it changed hands again in 1977 it had 4,000 miles on it. It was sold to its current owner with 6,590 miles driven. The only items that have been replaced over the years have been the hoses and tires.
Sold for $440,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company. Sold for $385,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company. The Cadillac 355C was available on two different wheelbases (134 inches and 140 inches) and in 10 regular catalogued body styles be General Motors' Fisher Body Division. Fleetwood, another General Motors Company, offered an additional 17 custom body choices.
There were two custom bodies built a Fisher on the Series 355 chassis. This was Fisher's attempt at the custom business marketplace. The first Fisher custom body was a roadster, and car number two was this Dual Cowl Phaeton.
The early history of the Dual Cowl Phaeton created by Fisher is not well known. It was part of the Harrah's Auto Collection until Bill Harrah's death. It was auctioned off and at the time it was in unrestored condition and wearing a pale green paint scheme. It was sold to Len Emke who immediately commissioned a comprehensive restoration that is reported to have cost over $200,000 in the mid-1980s.
The body was finished in pale gray while the chassis, hubs, and the rim of the chrome spoke wheels are red. The interior is also red and its folding top is black with a red pinstripe.
After the restoration was completed, it was shown at the National Cadillac & LaSalle Meet where it won Best in Show. In the late 1980s the ownership changed to John Farrell who sold it to the current owner in 1989. In 1990 the car was on display at the Pebble Beach Concours where it won the Co-Chairman's Cup Award.
In 2007 it was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California where it was estimated to sell for $350,000 - $425,000. The lot was sold for $440,000 including buyer's premium.
In 2010, this V8 Cadillac was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was expected to sell for $350,000 - $450,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $385,000, inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010
This 1933 Cadillac V8 Series 355 is the only 1933 Roadster of 3 built. It has genuine accessories including dual pilot rays, sidemount covers, sidemount mirrors, dual windshield mirrors, luggage rack, Sparton Chimes Bugle horn, rumble seat, two-tone paint, flying stork hood ornament, and stainless steel wire wheels.
The Cadillac 355C featured pivotal styling from pure classic to streamline, V-shaped grille and driver-controlled 5-position ride control. The Great Depression caused a low point for Cadillac production with fewer than 4,000 units produced. 1933 was the first year for vent windows, which Cadillac called draft-free ventilation. Powering the 355C was a V8 engine that could carry the cars to a top speed of 100 MPH. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2010
Sold for $35,100 at 2011 Bonhams. Sold for $39,600 at 2011 RM Auctions. This 1933 Cadillac 355C Five-Passenger Town sedan has 44,000 original miles. It is a well preserved, original car that is finished in original black with tan cord interior. There is a wood dashboard with inlaid ashtrays and their original cigarette lighters. There are wire spoke wheels, dual side-mounted spare tires with full painted metal covers and Cadillac script mirrors and dual Klaxon horns. Power is from a 353 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine rated at 115 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel mechanical brakes.
In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Hershey Auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $40,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the vehicle had been sold for the sum of $39,600 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
The Cadillac 355A appeared in September of 1930 and shared some similarities to its predecessor of 1930, the Series 353. In the front the radiator had a screen. The raditor had been mounted lower. There was a single bumper bar and dual horns. The hood was longer with five hood ports on the side. Under the hood was a V8 engine that displaced 353 cubic-inches and produced just under 100 horsepower. The floor boards were now metal, a big improvement over the prior years. The tool and battery compartments were relocated to under the front seat.
The Cadillac 355A was available in twelve different body styles with coachwork by either Fisher or Fleetwood. The elegant bodies rested on a 134 inch wheelbase and was 203 inches in length. A larger 152 inch wheelbase was available and used mostly for commercial vehicles. The lowest priced 355A cost just under $2,850 while the top-of-the-line 355A was nearly $3,800 which was the same price as an entry-level 370A with a twelve-cylinder engine.
In January of 1932 Cadillac introduced the 355B. This was the same time the LaSalle model line was introduced. There were various styling changes that occurred for the 1932 model 355B such as a restyled front and lowering of the roof-line by three-inches. The long hood now had six side vents. The vehicles now sat atop a 134-inch wheelbase or a 140-inch wheelbase. The base price was $2,795 which was the two-door coupe with seating for two/four. The top-of-the-line vehicle was the four-door limousine Brougham which had seating for seven and carried a $4245 price tag. The four-door Town Cabriolet with seating for seven also was offered for $4245.
Coachwork was by Fisher and Fleetwood. There were thirteen body-styles for Fisher in both open and closed configuration. The Fleetwood body-styles for 1932 were all closed-style configuration.
The V8 L-head engine was capable of producing 115 horsepower which was an increase in power over the prior years. This increase was due to the updated manifold design and carburetor revisions.
In 1933 Cadillac introduced the 355C. There were over twenty bodystyles to select from sitting on a 134-inch or a 140-inch wheelbase. The vertical hood doors were replaced with horizontal doors. The grille was V-shaped and the radiator shell was painted. The chrome-plated radiator-shell was offered as optional equipment.
For 1933 Fisher introduced the No-draft ventilation system which featured pivoting vent windows in the front and rear door windows. This allowed the passengers to operate the vents interpedently of the window glass. The engine was a 353 cubic-inch L-head V8 which produced 115 horsepower. An optional unit could be purchased which would raised the compression ratio to 5.70 and increased the horsepower rating to over 115. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
The eight-cylinder Cadillac Series 355 was in production from 1931 through 1935. Just like the other Cadillac models at the time, they came in a variety of body styles including 2- and 4-door versions. The 1931 Series 355A was similar to the Series 353 except that it was lower and longer. It also had a longer hood with five hood ports. Power came from the 353 cubic-inch powerplant found in the 353. The floor boards were now made of metal. Inside, the battery and tool compartment were now located under the front seat. The instrument gauge grouping was the same as in the Series 353.
In the front of the Series 355 was a radiator screen with a single bar bumper and dual horns. The headlights were slightly smaller, decreasing in diameter by one inch. The radiator sat lower in the frame and there was now a condenser tank for cooling operation. The fan was also mounted lower to match the lower radiator.
The Series 355 had a new frame with divergent side rails. The suspension springs now had metal covers.
The Series 353 was named after its engine, a 353 cubic-inch V8. The Series 355, however - which also had the 353 engine - no longer matched the displacement. The L-Head V8 offering 95 horsepower and was mated to a three-speed synchromesh gearbox. The engine featured a five point suspension system, similar to the one being used by the V-16 models. An intake muffler was added and the distributor now sat 1.5 inches higher.
For 1932, the Series 355 became known as the 355B. It brought with it several changes, becoming longer and lower and given a restyled front assembly. The hood now had six hood ports. In the front was a flat grille that was built into the radiator shell. Cadillac did away with the fender tie bar and monogram bar. The license plate was mounted on the bumper. The head and side lights were now bullet shaped, and the dual taillights matched the headlights. The lights, a Super Safe three filament bulb, had four contour positions for degree and angle of illumination. The running boards had a curved design which matched the sweep of the front fenders and blended into the rear fenders. The tail of the back fenders blended into the fuel tank valence. There was a larger ventilator on top of the cowl and none on the sides. Separate body moldings were eliminated.
Inside, the driver's vision was improved by 30 percent due to the elimination of the outside visor, and the construction of a 12-degree sloping windshield and corner posts. The driver's view of the instrument cluster was improved thanks to a three spoke steering wheel. A 'locker' was added to the right side of the instrument panel.
The trunk on the town coupe, town sedan, and five-passenger convertible coupe was integral with the body.
Another exciting change for 1932 was the increase in horsepower, now rated at 115 BHP. Yet it was not enough to increase sales. In fact, sales plummeted to 2,700 by no fault of Cadillac. Instead, the world had plunged into the Great Depression and the pool of capable buyers able to purchase these elegant and modern vehicles dwindled.
For 1933, Cadillac again worked hard on enticing buyers into purchasing the 355C. But at the end of the year, just 2,100 examples had been purchased. The 1933 Series 355C was given bumpers that were sectioned, with plain ends and a three bar center. The grille became V-shaped and blended into the painted (or optional chrome) radiator shell. The tie bar returned and was sectioned and the center section was hidden behind the grille. The radiator cap was now under the hood. Skirts were added to the front and rear fenders.
Cadillac introduced their no-draft Individually Controlled Ventilation (ICV) or pivoting vent windows in the front doors and the rear quarter or rear door windows. Early models with the ICV had to lower the front door window to disengage the channel at its front edge from the vent window to allow the vent window to pivot. This was later modified with the sealing channel being attached directly to the door frame rather than to the window glass. The vent window could then be operated independently of the window glass.
The windshield and rear quarter windows were now stationary. The closed cars had their windshield operating mechanism removed, allowing room to conceal the wiper motors behind the headboard.
Vacuum assist was added to the braking system, the controlled freewheeling was discontinued, and changes in shock absorber valves extended the range of the ride control system. During the year the dual point four lobe distributor was replaced by a single point eight lobe unit.
For 1934, the Model 355D brought with it significant changes including an entirely new chassis and a completely restyled design. Power was the same as the 1933 model year.
Cadillac divided the 1934 Model 355D into three series, the Series 10, 20 and 30. Fisher was tasked with providing bodies for the Series 10 and 20. The Series 30 was reserved for Fleetwood, and these bodies were also found on the Cadillac V-12 and V-16. An independent front suspension was introduced, called 'knee-action.' Engine horsepower increased to 120.
The designs were modern and focused on aerodynamics with a streamlined design and the concealment of all chassis features except the wheels. Cadillac improved the body construction which better insulated the interior from engine heat and reduced engine, road and wind noise. The horns and radiator filler cap were hidden under the hood. Chrome was limited throughout the vehicle, though a chrome plated radiator shell was available as optional equipment. The parking lamps were mounted on the headlight supports. The entire fender shape was mounted into the radiator shell. The fixed windshields were steeply slowed with the Fisher bodied cars having an 18-degree rake. The Fleetwood bodies were raked up to 29.5 degree. Cowl vents opened toward the windshield; one vent on flat windshield bodies and two on V-shaped windshield bodies. Rear fenders were airfoil shaped and held the rear lights which matched the design of the headlights. The gas tank filler was on the left side at the rear of the body, on Fleetwood bodies in the left rear fender. All bodies had a beaver tail deck which completely covered the chassis.
Unless the optional fender mounts were specified, the Fleetwood bodied cars had their spare tires concealed under the rear deck.
Front passengers received additional space due to having the hand brake lever moved to the left of the driver, under the instrument panel.
The 1935 versions of the 355 were known as the 355E and were very similar to their 1934 counterparts. Changes were minimal, including the replacement of the biplane bumpers with more conventional units. Fisher bodies were given the all steel Turret Top while Fleetwood bodies would not receive this until 1936. Engine horsepower increased to 130 BHP. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013