1937 Cadillac Series 85

1937 Cadillac Series 85 1937 Cadillac Series 85 1937 Cadillac Series 85
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood
Chassis #: 4150222
Sold for $104,500 at 2005 Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall.
Sold for $118,250 at 2007 Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island.
This 1970 Cadillac V12 Series 85 was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida. It was offered without reserve and estimated to fetch between $140,000 - $180,000. It is powered by a 368 cubic-inch V12 engine tilted at a 45-degree angle and capable of producing 150 horsepower. There is four-wheel drum brakes and a three-speed selective synchromesh manual gearbox.

Cadillac shocked the world with the introduction of the V16 engine. The car was a paragon in the luxury car segment and had mechanical prowess. A V12 engine based on the sixteen cylinder unit was introduced in 1931. It was basically the V16 engine with four less cylinders. The car added to the versatility of the Cadillac model lineup; it possessed the luxury of the V16 cars, but with a twelve-cylinder unit and a more affordable price.

The V16 and V12 engines brought with them a slew of new mechanical improvements. All of the wiring was completely hidden; there was an excessive use of polished aluminum which added to the engines visual allure. There was a hydraulic valve lash compensation system which aided in the efficiency of the overhead valve configuration. This resulted in silent running operation.

A new chassis design was introduced in 1934 which would be used for several years. It would be used to house many engines and various bodystyles. It remained unaltered by 1937, though styling progressed throughout the years. The large pontoon front fenders and egg crate grilles were easily distinguishable as the Cadillac marque.

For 1937 Cadillac had a very versatile lineup with engine sizes including a V8, V12, and V16 unit. Prices ranged from $1000 to $9000. The V8 and V12 bodystyles shared the same 138-inch wheelbase. The engine and price tags were all that differentiated these two series, the Series 75 and Series 85. An insignia on the grill and trunk gave reference to which series the vehicle hailed from.

Cadillac sold 46,152 vehicles in 1937, setting a new sales record. As many other marque's were going out of business, Cadillac was flourishing.

This 1937 Cadillac Series 85 V12 Convertible Sedan has been treated to a recent ground up restoration. It is finished in black with a tan soft top and a red leather interior. It was ordered with an optional dual side mounted spares and covers, wheel discs, and flexible steering wheel. At auction the car found its next owner, selling for $118,250.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
1937 Cadillac Series 85 1937 Cadillac Series 85
Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood
This car is equipped with a V-12 engine, 150 HP which displaced 368 CID - It was the last year for the V-12 Cadillac's.

This car has been treated to a comprehensive ground up restoration. The work was awarded with a CCCA First Price in 2006.

Options are front/rear glass divider, dual side mount spares with covers, wheel discs, flexible steering wheel.

This Model 85 Sedan Convertible is propelled by a 368 cubic-inch, overhead valve V12, producing 150 horsepower. The engine makes extensive use of polished aluminum and has hidden electrical wiring. It also boasts a hydraulic valve lash compensation system which aided in the efficiency and near silent of operation.

Cadillac introduced a new chassis in 1934 that would provide a solid foundation for years to come. It was capable of holding a variety of engines, including a V8, V12 and V16 engine. it spanned 138-inches between the axles and came cloaked in several varieties of bodies.

The last year of V12 availability was 1937.

This car includes many examples of Cadillac's available options, such as twin side-mounted spare tires, a roll-up privacy window, a rear clock, a flexible steering wheel and wheel discs. The interior is cloaked in red leather and wears the traditional woodwork.

Carrozzeria, Italian meaning coachbuilder, is an individual or company that bodies carriages or automobiles. The name in German is Karosserie. These skills were needed during the early part of the 1900's to fabricate enclosures for rolling chassis. The materials used were mostly wooden or metal. As the evolution of automobile production evolved, manufacturers brought the design and development in-house, making individual coachbuilders a dying breed.

Unibody construction has mostly eliminated the need for coachbuilders. Many coachbuilders were purchased or merged by the automobile manufacturers. Others became highly specialized and worked on a contract basis, mostly for high priced, luxury automobiles.

Fleetwood Metal Body was a coachbuilder during the early 1900s. The name is from Fleetwood, Pennsylvania the birthplace of the company. They specialized in the production of wood and metal bodies. They were large and luxurious and often purchased by the rich and famous. Fleetwood was purchased by Fisher Body in 1925 and integrated into General Motors in 1931.

The luxury segment of General Motors was Cadillac, so it was only natural that Fleetwood would aide in the design and creation of bodies for the Cadillac marque. In 1927 the name appeared on Cadillac's representing their top of the line vehicles. In 1946 Cadillac offered an upscale version of its Series 60, dubbed the Series 60 Special Fleetwood. The name was later used on the Series 70 and Sixty Special models through 1976. The name continued to appear on Cadillac vehicles as late as 1996.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
The Cadillac Series 75 was the marque's flagship V8 from 1936 onwards, though the lower priced series easily outsold it. Production of the full-size V8 powered Cadillac's would continue from the 1930s through the 1950s. It served as a replacement for the outgoing 355-D and was introduced around the same time as the less-expensive Series 60 model. Outwardly, the Series 80, including the 85, were similar in appearance with the main difference being underhood. The Series 80/85 featured a V12 engine while the Series 70/75 had a V8. The V8 produced 135 horsepower while the V12's output was 150 hp.

In 1941, the short wheelbase Series 70 was replaced by the Series 62 and the long wheelbase Series 75 was integrated into the Fleetwood line. Cadillac would continue the '75' name until the mid 1960s.

The V8 Series 70 of the mid 1930s were powered by a Monoblock V8 engine that displaced 346 cubic-inches and produced 135 horsepower. A total of 5,248 examples were sold in 1936. There were three body-styles available for the Series 70 from 1936 through 1937 consisting of a 131-inch wheelbase for the 36-70, a 138-inch version of the 36-75 and a large 156-inch platform for the 36-75 Commercial version.

There were a wide variety of body-styles to select from and all wore badges of Cadillac's in-house coachbuilder Fleetwood. The list ranged from two-passenger coupes to seven-passenger town cars with 14 cataloged styles offered.

The Fleetwood Metal Body Company had a history that dated back to 1905 when they were formed in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. During their early years, some of their best customers were Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Cadillac. Lawrence Fisher, head of GM's Fisher Body Company and later president of Cadillac was pleased with Fleetwood's coach-building work and felt the union between the two companies was appropriate. The company was purchased by Cadillac in 1925 and the sales and design offices were moved to Detroit. Additional plants were built in Pennsylvania for body production and Fleetwood continued to accept body-requests from non-GM companies.

A Fleetwood plant was built in 1929 in Detroit, adjacent to the Fisher Body facility, and by 1931 all production had migrated to this location. Later, the production was absorbed by General Motors Art & Colour and Fisher Body. The Fleetwood name persisted for many decades, often referring to limited and low-production styles.

In 1939 the Cadillac V8 models were given a new frontal look with a matching textured grille. On either side were two side grilles. The engine still displaced 346 cubic-inches but further tuning had increased the horsepower output and its compression.

The Series 72 was a Fleetwood car that rode on a shorter, 138-inch wheelbase.

Production ceased during the Second World War and resumed in 1946. When it did, the Series 75 became Cadillac's largest model offered; now riding on a 136-inch wheelbase. The 346 L-head V8 engine was the same as was most of its basic styling. Just like most other automakers, a 'new' model would not be introduced for several years.

For the Series 75, this did not occur until 1950. It had a 146.7 inch wheelbase with seating for seven. Engine options included a 346- and 365-cubic-inch V8.

The wheelbase size was again increased by 1954, now measuring 149.8 inches. To carry the extra weight Cadillac increased the horsepower to 230. The following year it rose again to 250 hp, with an optional dual-four barrel carburetor version offered that produced 270 horsepower. 1956 saw another increase in horsepower, now ranging from 285 to just over 300.

Another restyling occurred in 1957 and would remain until 1965. By now, the name '75' had all but disappeared. Horsepower hovered around the 300 to 325 range depending on the engine and the setup. The long version of the Fleetwood became known as the Series 6700 in accordance with the new Cadillac naming scheme.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008

Concepts by Cadillac



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$152-$2,575
1937 Cadillac Series 85
$5,245-$12,075
1937 Cadillac Series 85 Price Range: $2,575 - $5,245

$1,445 - $12,075

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Cadillac
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)16,511
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)66,169
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)12,984
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
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

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