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There are only two Valkyries known to exist - but some claim there may be an additional one or two. The Die Valkyrie was featured at the 1955 and 1956 auto shows in Europe and was also shown at Madison Square Garden's Auto Show. The front bumper on this car was made to look like a big 'V' to represent the American V8 engines. Brooks Stevens raced cars in both Europe and America and was very proud of the American V8 engines and used the front bumper to symbolize it. Most consider the Valkyrie the finest bodywork and execution done by Spohn. Interestingly, in this case, Spohn did not use any of his own styling cues, like those he typically used from the 1951 Buick Skylark by Harley Earl, but were strictly the design of Brooks Stevens with a Spohn execution. The seats are extremely plush and are possibly made from some of the pieces of a Mercedes-Benz 300 seat of the time period. It is also interesting to note while the top looks like a fixed top it is actually a lift-of very much like a 1955 Thunderbird.
The Cadillac Die Valkyrie was an elegant and unique automobile that was the brainchild of a Cleveland real estate baron named Metzenbaum. He wanted a vehicle that had luxury, performance, and appeal that was both modern and in the spirit of the 1940s. With the help of Milwaukee-based industrial designer, Brooks Stevens, his dreams were answered.
The Die Valkyrie had the luxury of a Lincoln Continental and the performance of Cadillac's overhead-valve V-8 engine found in the Series Sixty-Two. The design was special and the coachwork and craftsmanship was reminiscent of the coachbuilders of the pre-War era.
Brooks Stevens began with a platform that measured 125-inches. The stock Cadillac body was removed and replaced with a four-seat steel convertible design with a solid removable roof panel. Chrome trim was used throughout the body and roof. The most unusual and striking feature on the car was found up front - the grille. The bumper/grille combination was in the shape of a 'V', giving a big hint to what was under the hood. The design was similar to a 'cow catcher' of a train, or a snow plow. There were single headlamps on either side of the hood, which were bisected by a piece of chrome that flowed from the bumper and continued along down the side of the vehicle.
The Die Valkyrie was Steven's first use of the 'Washington coach' door line which featured an upward sweep that helped disguise the long door openings. Inside, the dash was from a stock 1953 Cadillac.
The coachwork for the vehicle was handled by Spohn Works of Ravensburg, West Germany.
Initial plans for the vehicle called for 100 examples to be produced. In total, around six examples were created. It is believed that only three came to the United States.
The completed vehicle was shown at the 1953 Paris Auto Show. Over the months that followed, the car continued to cause a stir at various other events and motor shows.
In the post-War era, custom creations and radical designs were often reserved for concepts. In some cases, such as with this elegantly flamboyant automobile, designers broke the mold of traditional designs and sculpted a vehicle that met the ideas and creativity of its financial backer.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2012