1933 Cadillac 452C V16

History

Henry Martin Leland and his son Wilfred were partly responsible for 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 monstrous 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 at 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 engine; 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 manufacture 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 body styles 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 was mildly 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 ornamentation 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. A 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

1933 Vehicle Profiles

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Despite the ongoing depression in 1933, Cadillac announced that it would build a series of 400 V16 cars. In actuality, only 125 were produced. Each V16 had a name plate mounted on the dash honoring the owner. This Convertible Victoria, bodied by F....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton
Coachwork: Fleetwood

By 1933, the boxy look of the Twenties began to give way to the streamlined look of the Thirties. Featured were fully skirted, flowing fenders and a graceful 'wind split' veed grille, which boasted a painted shell that blended in smoothly with the b....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood Convertible Coupe
Coachwork: Fleetwood

The Great Depression continued to impact the automobile industry. Cadillac announced that it would limit the 1933 production of V-16s to 400 motorcars. Only 126 were manufactured. While 70 body styles were offered only 35 were actually built. Over ha....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood Convertible Victoria
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Chassis Num: 5000028

The five-passenger Convertible Victoria, also known as the Convertible Coupe, rested on a 149-inch wheelbase. There were just two examples originally produced in 1933, originally priced at $7,500. ....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood Limousine
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Chassis Num: 5000066

The large 452 cubic-inch sixteen cylinder engines, banked at a 45-degree angle, was largely the work of Cadillac Chief Engineer Earnest Seaholm. The engine offers 175 horsepower and even more impressive was low speed torque, 320 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm, a....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Convertible Phaeton
Coachwork: Fleetwood

In an attempt to create demand by exclusivity Cadillac announced it would build only 400 V16 automobiles for 1933. In fact only 126 examples were built, of which 8 were Fleetwood convertible sedans. Three of the convertible sedans still exist, includ....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

All Weather Phaeton
Coachwork: Fleetwood

In 1933, Cadillac produced 125 V-16 cars. They are identifiable by their four bar bumpers. Each was built to the customer's individual taste and they allowed Cadillac to out-perform rival Packard's 12 cylinder models. The introductory brochure proudl....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Imperial Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Engine Num: 5000024

The 'Great Cylinder Race' was started in 1930 with Cadillac's introduction of their V16 followed by Marmon with their V16 in 1931. Cadillac added a V12 in 1931; by 1932 builders such as Lincoln, Packard, Pierce Arrow, Auburn and Franklin had added V1....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood Convertible Coupe
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Cadillac stunned the automotive world with the introduction of the V16 in 1930. Nearly two thirds of the total production of V16's were cars built in 1930 and 1931. Only 126 of the 400 projected V16's were produced in 1933, making this year quire rar....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton
Coachwork: Fleetwood

In 1930 Cadillac introduced two new engines, a new V-12 and a groundbreaking V-16 engine that immediately placed the company alongside other prestigious manufacturers, including Hispano-Suiza, Lagonda, Rolls-Royce and its chief rival, Packard. Both n....[continue reading]

1933 Cadillac 452C V16 vehicle information

Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton
Coachwork: Fleetwood

By 1933, Cadillac's range of V-8s, V-12s, and V-16s had begun to take on more streamlined look of the 1930s. Ten body styles were offered by Fleetwood, ranging from an Imperial Cabriolet to the very expensive All Weather Phaeton. ....[continue reading]

Fleetwood Convertible Victoria by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood Convertible Victoria by Fleetwood
Chassis #: 5000028 
Fleetwood Limousine by Fleetwood
Chassis #: 5000066 
Convertible Phaeton by Fleetwood
 
All Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood
 
Imperial Sedan by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood
 
Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood
 


Concepts by Cadillac



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$335-$6,250
1933 452C V16
$8,000-$25,545
1933 Cadillac 452C V16 Price Range: $6,250 - $8,000

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)14,164
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)12,913
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)6,655
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)4,740
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)16,813
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)13,892
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)18,103
1928Chevrolet (1,193,212)Ford (607,592)Willys Knight (231,360)20,001

Related Automotive News

Gooding & Company is Honored to Present a One-off Supercharged Mercedes-Benz

Gooding & Company is Honored to Present a One-off Supercharged Mercedes-Benz

High-Style Highlights Include The 1928 Mercedes-Benz Type S 26180 Sports Tourer for Sale for the First Time in 53 Years, The 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet with the Final Type 57 Chassis Number,...
Concours d'Elegance of America : Best of Show

Concours d'Elegance of America : Best of Show

image0 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...
SHOW-STOPPING AUTOMOBILES AT RM SOTHEBY'S AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE SALE

SHOW-STOPPING AUTOMOBILES AT RM SOTHEBY'S AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE SALE

RM Sothebys readies for its 18th annual Amelia Island Concours dElegance sale, March 12 in Florida Star attractions 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Cabriolet A and 1962 Ferrari 400 Superameric...
Magnificent Series of Coachbuilt Classics To Grace RM's Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance Sale

Magnificent Series of Coachbuilt Classics To Grace RM's Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance Sale

RM Auctions returns as the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours dElegance, March 9, 2013 Single-day sale features breathtaking roster of more than 80 investment-quality collector...
Auctions America 2012 Auburn Spring Auction Offers Full Range of Convertibles

Auctions America 2012 Auburn Spring Auction Offers Full Range of Convertibles

Just in time for summer fun, Auctions America by RM will offer an array of open-air collector cars during its June 1-3 Auburn Spring auction,including a one-of-a-kind concept car that cost Ford Motor...

© 1998-2020. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2020 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.