The First Cadillac with Front Wheel Brakes Cadillac was the first American company to introduce a V8 engine in a production vehicle in 1915. The early V8 Cadillac engines were built by using two, four-cylinder cast-iron engine blocks that were mounted to an aluminum crankcase each at a 45-degree angle.
The Cadillac V8 became one of the most prestigious vehicles in America and was continually improved throughout production. The horsepower increased and the chassis was modified to give a lower center of gravity.
The 1924 series V-63 Cadillac was the first Cadillac to have front wheel brakes. The engine was also modified in 1924 to include a specially designed two-plane crankcase which gave superior balancing characteristics to the L-head engine. Over 35,000 Cadillac's were built and sold this year with selling prices ranging from $3,085 to $4,600.
Sold for $27,500 at 2008 RM Auctions. Sold for $34,100 at 2009 RM Auctions. By the early 1920s, the Cadillac V8 engine was a tried-and-true piece of machinery. Over 160,000 examples had been produced by the close of 1923 which included around 2,000 staff cars used during the First World War. Under the direction of the newly appointed chief engineer, Ernest Seaholm, the V8 engine was redesigned. Up to this point in history, the V8 was assembled as two four-cylinder engines on a common 'flat' crankshaft. It worked, but suffered from imbalance.
Cadillac introduced their newly re-designed V8 engine for 1924. It was balanced, had two-plane crankshaft, counterweighed with rod journals at 90-degrees t one another. This is the same way V8 engines are made today. The result was a very smooth engine that produced more power - thanks, in part, to a lighter flywheel.
Cadillac introduced four-wheel braking to their new V-63 model. It was mechanical while other marques, such as Duesenberg and Chrysler, used hydraulic braking.
This 1924 Cadillac Opera Coupe is powered by a 314.5 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine that is capable of producing 83 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel mechanical brakes. It has been treated to a high-quality restoration in the late 1970s and has been carefully maintained since that time. It is painted in tan with black fenders. The interior is brown mohair. It has the standard equipment Kellogg tire pump on the transmission, and an extendable trouble light. The rear of the car features a small luggage compartment, accessed from above the aft-mounted spare tire.
In 2008 this car was brought to the 2nd Annual Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $60,000. It was offered without reserve. Since it was offered without reserve, the new owner was treated to a bargain as bidding ceased at $27,500 including buyer's premium. The lot was sold.
In 2009, this example was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $60,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $34,100 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
High bid of $42,500 at 2011 RM Auctions. (did not sell) The 1924 Cadillac received an extensive redesign to its V-8 engine, after 10 years in production. The 90-degree crankshaft was counter-balanced to minimize vibration, resulting in an extremely smooth-running car. Four-wheel mechanical brakes were introduced, and 18,827 cars were built in the model year. Cadillac sold the four-passenger Touring Phaeton at a cost of $3,085, but prices ranged as high as $4,600 for the seven-passenger limousine.
This Cadillac Touring Phaeton Model V-63 was the subject of an extensive feature in the July 2009 issue of Hemmings magazine. It was in long term ownership in California.
The car is painted Brewster Green with black fenders, wearing its original DuPont Duco lacquer. There are original black leather seats, a black top, and has its original carpets. Options include the original Westinghouse Air Spring shock absorbers, period trunk, twin-demountable spare rims and a Bi-Flex front bumper. The odometer shows just 42,500 miles, which is believed to be correct, original mileage.
The 314.5 cubic-inch side-valve engine offers 83 horsepower, thanks - in part - to its single up-draught carburetor. There is a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
In 2011, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Hershey, PA auction presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $60,000. Bidding reached $42,500 but was not enough to satisfy its reserve. It would leave the auction unsold. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
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