1921 Cadillac Type 59

Chassis Num: C5962
Sold for $31,900 at 2013 Bonhams.
After World War I, sales at Cadillac continued to grow and by the early 1920s, Cadillac production was scattered among 70 different buildings around Detroit. That year, the General Motors division moved to its new Clark Avenue facility on the city's west side. Due to the tremendous logistics involved, the move turned out to be very complex and time consuming. As a result of these challenges, Cadillac carried over most of its 1921 models from 1920 virtually unchanged. The Model 59 Cadillacs of 1920-21 were similar, in many respects, to the car it replaced - the Type 57. Differences included a change from ten spoke wheels to twelve, the speedometer drive was moved to the transmission from the front axle, and the intake manifold was now heated by exhaust gasses. There was a new-style 4-pole motor-generator added, the crankshaft diameter was increased by 2 inches, and the frame was stiffened by lengthening the deep section. Changes occurred throughout the various body-styles as well. The Touring bodystyle now rested on a 132-inch platform, the cowl was lengthened on the Phaeton and Roadsters, and a two passenger coupe was added to the lineup. It, along with the Town Brougham, were later dropped but was brought back with the Type 61. Other changes to bodystyles included hiding the hood hinges, smaller sidelights were installed and moved closer to the windshield, and the headlights and sidelights were optionally available in full nickel.

The Roadster, Phaeton, Victoria, Coupe and sedan had a wheelbase size of 125-inches and rode on 34 x 4.5-inch wheels; all other body styles had a 132-inch platform and 35 x 5-inch wheels. Power was from a 314.5 cubic-inch V8 that provided about 31 horsepower and was attached to a three-speed selective sliding gear transmission with a multiple disc, dry plate clutch.

The seven-passenger touring car with auxiliary jump seats was one of eight models offered. Production was held to just 11,130 cars for the model year. A noteworthy addition was an access panel in the chassis apron that concealed the battery. This new feature was a convenience in an era when most batteries were inconveniently located either below the floor of the driver's compartment or under the front seat.

This Seven-Passenger Touring Car wears an older restoration with recent mechanical service performed by Stone Barn Restorations. It is finished in maroon with black fenders and wooden artillery wheels with a natural finish. The car has spent most of its life in India in the State of Bahar until it was repatriated in the 1960s. It has been in the current ownership since 1985. The car is equipped with a whimsical snake bulb horn, driver's side spotlight, rear-mounted spare, and a Motometer radiator cap.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the St. Johns sale presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $40,000 to $50,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $22,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2012
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