The Cadillac 314 was introduced in 1926 and served as a replacement for the V63 Cadillac of the prior year. The 314 name would be used again in 1927, with a slight modification being called the '314A', and replaced by the 341 in 1928. This was a significant vehicle for the Cadillac marque, as the company itself made a shift from the Henry Leland engineering era to the Earnest Seaholm and Harley Earle tenure. These new vehicles could be distinguished from past models by their nickel-plated radiator shell. which had been given a more-round appearance. All bodies were originally built by Fisher, but Fleetwood would be given the opportunity to work their craft later in 1926 and in 1927.
The 314 came in Standard and Custom bodies for 1926. The custom line bodies were mounted on a 138-inch wheelbase and most were given a swing-out, single-pane, windshield. Open cars had vent wings. Other distinguishing features were the 10-inch drum headlights, roof bead molding which aided in keeping rain from entering the vehicle, exterior rubber-finished door handles, extra lighting such as panel lights and automatic dome light, running board mats, and a Motometer on the top of the radiator grille. The custom line also had a rear bumper and a double front bumper to help to protect the vehicle. The standard line could purchase the bumper for an additional $24 each. The custom line vehicles were elegant and well-appointed, evident by their interior hardwood decorative panels, detachable vanity and smoker cases, silk cord handles, special seat fabric with springs for comfort, and electric gasoline gauge.
The eight-cylinder engine displayed 314.4 cubic-inches, had three main bearings, a Cadillac carburetor, and an available 87 horsepower. The engine was mated to a selective sliding gear three-speed transmission with multiple disc clutch and shaft drive. Mechanical brakes on all four wheels provided the stopping power.
There were a total of 27,771 examples of the Cadillac produced during the 1926 calendar year. The 1926 Cadillac's had been introduced in August of 1925 with total sales from August of 1925 to September of 1927 amassing 50,619. The 314A Cadillac's of 1927 was introduced in July of 1926 and produced through August of 1927. There were a few changes, mostly aesthetic, such as a new fender design with a convenient compartment for the battery and tools. The radiator was modified and now looked different than the prior year.
Both the 314 and 314A were offered in a variety of body styles. The 314A had 8 Standard body styles, 13 custom body styles available from the factory, five Brumm and Willoughby custom styles, and 15 custom styles offered by Fleetwood. The base price for the 2 door Brougham standard body was just under $3,000 with the top of the line Limousine Brougham by Fleetwood costing nearly $5,550.
The Cadillac's with their L-head engines were very versatile, offered in a variety of body styles that catered to a wide audience of buyers, and continued the marque's slogan of the 'Standard of the World.' By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2008