Sold for $230,000 at 2001 Kruse International. Sold for $495,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company. Sold for $440,000 at 2010 RM Auctions. Sold for $577,500 at 2011 RM Auctions. The Cadillac 452 V16 was the biggest, quietest, most sophisticated, and most luxurious automobile during hte Classic Era. The development of the V16 engine was done in utomost secrecy. General Motors did all they could to keep it a clandestine affair, even went to great lengths to mask its activites. When placing orders and giving suppliers drawings they marked 'bus' and 'coach' to douce suspision.
As the 1920s came to a close, GM introduced their V16 engine on an unsuspecting world. Their goal had been ascertained; to construct a smooth and quiet engine that had adequate power and torque to carry the ever-increasing weight of the luxuriously trimmed coachwork. The engine was unveiled to the public at the New York Auto Salon in January of 1930. By early April, Cadillac had already shipped more than a thousand V16s. Over the next seven years a total of 3,878 examples were produced.
Production figures would have been higher had not the Great Depression dwindled the pool of potential buyers. Nevertheless, the V16 was still a triumph for General Motors, Fleetwood and the Art and Color Department. The styling had firmly established Harley Earl as the prominent GM designer. Over the next quarter century, Earl would ride on its success and became a dominant figure in the design of the American automobile.
This 1930 Cadillac 452A V16 Roadster has coachwork by Fleetwood. It has chassis number 700809 and matching engine number. It is a very original car with every numbered component, including the engine, chassis, steering box, front axle, bell housing, and generator, bear the numbers cataloged when it left the factory in March of 1930.
Since new, it was treated to a three-year professional body-off restoration that was completed in 1995. It has received its Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Primary, Senior and Premier awards. It scored a perfect 100 points on three separate occasions.
The vehicle's first owner was a Virginia resident and little documentation exists from its early days. It was found in a barn in upstate New York in the late 1980s and wore New Jersey registration tags from 1950. Jim Bradley purchased the car and commissioned the restoration.
When the car left the factory it had been fitted with dual side-mounted spares with body color metal covers, stainless spoke wire wheels, wind wings, chrome-plated vents, Cadillac script spotlights, Pilot Ray auxiliary driving lights, and an original Cadillac accessory trunk with a full set of fitted luggage. The color it wears today is original to its build sheet. The interior and chassis is red with the body painted in black.
In 2007 it was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction where it was estimated to sell for $550,000 - $650,000. Those estimates were proven nearly accurate as the lot was sold for $495,000 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
A Supremely Elegant Town Car This town car has a standard Fleetwood body, style number 4312, of which only 24 were produced. Designated as a chauffer-driven five-passenger car, it has a pair of folding opera seats in the forward tonneau. [Read More...]
When the 1906 earthquake hit in San Francisco, very few automobile dealerships survived. The Charles Howard Buick dealership did and fortune allowed him to sell cars to those in need. Howard became a very successful dealer on the west coast and becam [Read More...]
Of all the luxury automobiles produced during the Depression, few if any, could surpass this 16-cylinder, 6000 pound Cadillac. Of the approximately 72 examples produced, only four are known to exist. The 'Madame X' designation was attached to the c [Read More...]
Sold for $143,000 at 2005 RM Auctions. Sold for $132,000 at 2006 RM Auctions. This 1930 Cadillac Model 452-A V16 Sport Coupe is powered by a 452-cubic-inch sixteen-cylinder engine capable of producing 175 horsepower. It sits atop a 148 inch wheelbase and has four-wheel power assisted brakes, three-speed synchromesh transmissi [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2007
'Madame X' is a spectacular and very stylish 1930 Cadillac Limousine. The 'Madame X' cars were some of the first designs by Harley Earl, head of styling at General Motors. Earl named these 'Madame X' Cadillac's after a play he had recently seen. T [Read More...]
The 1930 Cadillac Sixteen was the first year for the overhead-valve, 452-cubic-inch engine producing 165 horsepower and 320 foot-pounds of torque. The Sixteen was theoretically available in 33 different models, sub-models, or trim variations ranging [Read More...]
Sold for $1,457,500 at 2016 RM Auctions. The first owner of this Roadster by Fleetwood was Floyd E. Becker who place the order on January 2nd of 1930. His order requested the V-16 roadster had map pockets in the doors, a top made of the same shape as on the Beckers' previous Cadillac, no tr [Read More...]
This 1930 Cadillac V16 Madame X Five-Passenger Sedan was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars sale at Hershey, PA presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $125,000 and offered without reserve. Bidding surpassed the esti [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Sold for $462,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company. Sold for $438,624 (€307,500) at 2011 RM Auctions. This 1930 Cadillac 452 V16 has coachwork by Saoutchik and was originally built as a promotional tour of major European cities in June of 1930. After its tour was over, it lay abandoned in a Paris garage for a number of years. It was later purchased [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Convertible Coupe Style 4335 by Fleetwood Coachwork: Fleetwood Designer: Harley Earl Engine Num: 700898
Sold for $324,500 at 2008 RM Auctions. High bid of $210,000 at 2009 RM Auctions. (did not sell) Sold for $253,000 at 2010 RM Auctions. Sold for $368,500 at 2017 RM Auctions. Henry Leland was 47 years old when he moved his family to Detroit. He had enjoyed a prosperous career having invented mechanical hair clippers and more success was on the horizon for this precision machinery expert. Teaming up with Robert C. Falcon [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
This one-off convertible coupe is considered by many to be the most beautiful V-16 Cadillac ever built. The short raked windshield and flowing lines mated perfectly with the massive 148-inch wheelbase V-16 chassis. Rollston and Company of New York [Read More...]
Cadillac offered an amazing array of catalogued custom bodies for the V-16 series. This Fleetwood body offered the ultimate combination of a formal closed design with sport sedan style. The dramatic V windshield, contoured hood, and bright window r [Read More...]
Sold for $693,000 at 2008 Gooding & Company. The first owners of this car was the Schaeffer family of Schaeffer Pen Company fame. It was later purchased by Bob Bahre. In the mid-1990s, the car was sold to its present owner. Under the new owner's care, the car was treated to a professional re [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
Sold for $126,500 at 2009 RM Auctions. This vehicle was originally produced at Detroit's Fort Street plant as a Seven-Passenger Sedan with Style 4375-S bodywork. It was retrofitted by the dealer to Style 4375, Seven-Passenger Imperial Sedan specifications with the addition of a sliding g [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
Cadillac was first to market a multi-cylinder car at the height of the 'classic era' with the 1930 introduction of its 452 cubic-inch V-16 series. The car was a huge success despite perilous economic times, with over 3,200 V-16s sold in the first pro [Read More...]
Only two American motor car manufacturers, Cadillac and Marmon, produced automobiles equipped with V-16 engines. The much heralded Cadillac V-16 automobile made its debut on December 10, 1929, less than two months after the stock market crash and the [Read More...]
Cadillac produced 4,076 V-16 cars over an eleven year span. Most were built in a single year (1930), before the Great Depression really took hold. The V16s rode on a long 149-inch wheelbase and had massive 'four-bar' bumpers and a larger 'Goddess' ho [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Less than 10 cars remain of this body style and fewer matching numbers as this example. This car appears in its original interior and exterior colors. It is a convertible coupe with coachwork by Fleetwood and originally priced at $6,900 - it was the [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Sold for $230,000 at 2001 Kruse International. Sold for $495,000 at 2007 Gooding & Company. Sold for $440,000 at 2010 RM Auctions. Sold for $577,500 at 2011 RM Auctions. This Style 4302 Roadster was priced from $5,350 when new. It was sold new in Virginia and by the late 1980s, it was discovered in a barn in upstate New York, still wearing circa-1950 New Jersey tags. It was purchased by Jim Bradley, a noted collector [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2011
The present owner purchased this Sport Phaeton model while he was still in high school. He later drove it to his prom. Many years later, it was put on display at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2010
Sold for $302,500 at 2008 RM Auctions. Sold for $297,000 at 2010 RM Auctions. The current owner of this Sport Phaeton acquired it in early 2008. The prior California-based owner purchased it directly from Mr. Fred Weber during the mid-1980s. This V-16 is understood to have been assembled using an original chassis and engine, w [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
This 1930 Cadillac is one of 105, which sold new for $5,530. It was initially purchased by a dentist from Virginia at a dealership in New York City. Its 16-cylinder engine displaces 452 cubic-inches and produces 165 horsepower. The colors have been d [Read More...]
Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford departed. Henry M. Leland of Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company persuaded the remaining partners to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven 1-cylinde [Read More...]
In 1926 work began on a new Cadillac engine which was intended to give General Motors Cadillac division the leadership in the American fine car field from Packard. This engine was of course the V16, introduced by Cadillac in December, 1929. [Read More...]
The Cadillac 452 V16 set the standard in American luxury automobiles of the Classic Era. The V16 was the biggest, quietest, most luxurious, most sophisticated and to many people, the most beautiful car of its times. It was sprung on an unsuspecting m [Read More...]
This 452A Roadster has all matching component numbers including steering box, front axle, bell housing and generator according to the build sheet when it left the factory in 1930. Previous owners include Ronald Benach and Otis Chandler. Fran Roxas of [Read More...]
This V-16 Cadillac was a 'catalog custom' with coachwork by Fleetwood. It is an Imperial Cabriolet bodystyle powered by Cadillac's overhead valve, V-Type engine displacing 452 cubic-inches and offering 175 horsepower. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2013
Sold for $159,500 at 2013 RM Auctions. This Cadillac All Weather Phaeton was the 34th of 250 V16s built from 1930-1931. The coachwork was completed by Fleetwood. This body is one of the earliest surviving examples; it was built by Fleetwood's original Pennsylvania factory and is distingui [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2013
Cadillac offered no less than 50 different body styles by Fleetwood and Fisher in 1930 for its new 452 V-16 model. This coupe was built by Fleetwood in its Pennsylvania factory before moving to Detroit in December 1930. The car sports a rare split V- [Read More...]
All Weather Phaeton Coachwork: Fleetwood Engine Num: 701834
This Cadillac V-16 wears a Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton body style. The All Weather Phaeton also allowed for a retractable division so the car could be both chauffeur- and owner-driven. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013
All Weather Phaeton Coachwork: Fleetwood Engine Num: 702723
This Cadillac All Weather Phaeton wears coachwork by Fleetwood. The early history remains unknown, it is known to have been in Kerry Galder's New Hampshire-based collection up in the 1960s, during which time Charles Harper of Holliston, Massachusetts [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
This Fleetwood body, style 4361 S, is one of 31 offered by Cadillac on their V-16 148-inch chassis. According to the 'Build Sheet' this was originally delivered to Don Lee Cadillac, San Francisco, CA. It remains in the correct colors of Mulberry Maro [Read More...]
This was the first year for Cadillac's 452 cubic-inch, overhead valve, 175 horsepower V16 engine capable of powering this large, 148-inch wheelbase car to a top speed of 90 mph. The engine was an engineering marvel and the first to include hidden wir [Read More...]
Sold for $1,100,000 at 2014 RM Auctions. Today, Cadillac represents luxury in the United States. However, by the beginning of the 1930s, the General Motors brand was yet to truly make its mark. That moment would come in January of 1930 at the New York Auto Show. [Read More...]By Jeremy McMullen
Sport Phaeton Coachwork: Fleetwood Engine Num: 702877
Sold for $412,500 at 2014 RM Auctions. Cadillac's reputation for building automobiles combining performance and luxury would never be more firmly established then at the beginning of the 1930s when it joined a very select sphere of automobiledom. [Read More...]By Jeremy McMullen
Convertible Coupe Style 4335 by Fleetwood Coachwork: Fleetwood Designer: Harley Earl Engine Num: 701777
Sold for $456,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. This 1930 Cadillac V-16 is one of one hundred examples produced with this convertible coupe body style, number 4335. It was built exclusively for the V-16 at the original Fleetwood Metal Body Company factory in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. In similar fas [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2015
Sold for $144,648 (€108,100) at 2013 Bonhams. Sold for $121,000 at 2015 Barrett-Jackson. This 1930 Cadillac V16 is fitted with Saloon Landaulette De Luxe coachwork by Vanden Plas and was sold new via Messrs Lendrum & Hartman of Albemarle Street in London's West End, the UK's official importer for General Motors' makes Buick, Cadillac, La [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2015
This V-16 Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton, body style 4380, was shipped via the CNJ Raritan River Railroad to a Cadillac dealer in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The car was to be used for demonstration purposes. It is powered by a 16 cylinder engine measu [Read More...]
Sold for $687,500 at 2016 RM Auctions. Cadillac produced just 85 examples of the Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood, with body style 4260, on the V-16 model between 1930 and 1931. They were a modern update of the traditional 'dual cowl' phaeton, which had a second cowl and windshield for the rear [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
This V-16 Cadillac was sold new to Tiffany's of Chicago on March 14, 1930. It was formerly owned by Jim Pearson, a V-16 expert from Kansas City. His sons Jeff and Sonny Pearson verified the car to be an all original component car. The car is exactly [Read More...]
Henry Martin Leland and his son Wilfred were partly responsible with making Cadillac one of the finest of all American Automobiles. Henry was renowned for his precision engineering and for standardizing manufacturing. He helped make Cadillac into one of the finest of all American Automobiles. Later, he founded Lincoln. Even after the Leland's departed from Cadillac, the marque remained a top-of-the-line figure.
Cadillac did not rely on four- or six-cylinder power. Every one of the company's cars was fitted with a V engine of 8, 12 or 16 cylinders. They were smooth and powerful.
During the late 1920s, the cylinder race was in full force. Cadillac's engineer Owen Knacker was tasked with developing a V16 engine that would keep Cadillac at the fore-front of the race. Their hopes were to displace Packard at the top of the luxury car market.
From 1930 through 1940 Cadillac produced a monsterous sixteen-cylinder engine. It was first displayed to the automotive community at the Detroit Opera House prior to the Detroit Auto Show. This was the largest number of cylinders to power an automobile of all time. The hood that housed the engine was intimidating, larger and longer than any other vehicle. Up to this point, there were only a few manufacturers that produced a twelve-cylinder engine, mechanical achievements in their own right. The introduction of the sixteen-cylinder engine was historical and seen as revolutionary at the time.
Up to the 1990's there have only been three manufacturers of a sixteen cylinder engine. The Bugatti Type 47 never made series production while the Marmon Corporation offering was short lived. In comparison, the Marmon built V-16 was more powerful. By using aluminum, the 491 cubic-inch engine with its overhead values weighed just over 900 pounds. The engine was formed by merging twin-eight cylinder engines in a 45-degree angle, giving the engine an impressive look and an astonishing 200 horsepower. The use of steel cylinder sleeves added to the longevity and durability of the engine. The V-16 engine earned Howard Marmon the Society of Automotive Engineers annual design award.
The Cadillac V-16 was the first and remained in production for eleven years.
A new sixteen-cylinder engine was introduced by Cadillac in 1938. This was not their first V16 enigne; their first had been designed by engineer, Owen Nacker of Marmon fame. It had an overhead valve design and mounted at a 45-degree to one another. Each back of the sixteen cylinders had their own exhaust and fuel system. The engine featured hydraulic valve adjusters that helped with the silent valve train operation. The exterior of the engine was equally as impressive, with all the wiring and hoses concealed under cover and finished in chrome, polished aluminum, porcelain and baked enamel. The result was a 452 cubic-inch engine that was nearly unmatched in the industry at the time.
A V12 version followed shortly after the introduction of the V16; it displaced 368 cubic-inches and was basically three-quarters of a V16. Both of these engines remained in production through 1937. The V12 did not resume production for 1938. A new engine was introduced in 1938 and that very different than its predecessors. It was an L-head design, cast in a 135-degree vee, and featured a monobloc design. The was easier and more economical to manfacutre and it weighed 250 pounds less, had 21 fewer cubic-inches, but developed the same power.
The V12 engine was used to power the Series 85 for 1937. The Series 75 and Series 85 were the same vehicle, with the exception of the powerplant. The Series 75 used a V8 engine. In 1938 the V12 was discontinued, and the V16 took its place. The sixteen-cylinder cars were shortened to a length similar to the Series 75, and the chassis and bodies were interchangeable.
There were twelve bodystyles available, including coupes, convertible coupes, and sedans, as well as the larger seven-passenger sedans and limousines. These larger vehicles were called Formal Sedans or Imperial sedans depending on whether they had a division partition.
The Series 90 experienced its best year in 1938 with 315 examples built. The five-passenger Touring Sedan was the most popular, with 41 sold.
In 1939, the front of the V8 Cadillacs were midly updated. The grille was raked back and the headlights were now mounted to the nose and flush with the top of the grille. Chrome moldings were added to the running boards and the fender ornamentaion was now fully chromed. The rear license plate was moved from the left fender to the trunk lid.
There were a total of 138 V16 cars produced in 1939. Few changes or modifications to the car followed for 1940. A total of 61 V16 cars were built this would be the final year for their production. A total of 4,400 examples were built over an eleven year period. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
The 38th Concours dElegance of America displayed over 300 of the worlds most spectacular contributions to automotive history. This year, the event paid tribute to many special features inclduing...
When these two vehicles won Best of Show honors at major Concours dElegance events, they both were owned by Judge Joseph Cassini III. The green colored Chrysler 4 door Phaeton with tan convertible top...