Introduced in early 1930, the first series Cadillac V16 firmly positioned General Motors' top brand at the pinnacle of the luxury automobile market. Cadillac made no secret of its ambitions, sending a Salon of catalog custom bodied examples on a tour of Europe where they successfully took orders from European luxury marques like Rolls-Royce, Hispano-Suiza and Isotta Fraschini. The coachwork selection offered on the V16 chassis was vast and the entire automobile, from the appearance of the overhead valve 452 cubic inch engine to the selection of interior appointments and accessories was carefully thought out, designed and affected in meticulous detail and quality. This 1931 Series 452 V16 Imperial Sedan for Seven Passengers is one of the most elusive and important of all finds in the series: it is a magnificently preserved, wholly original example in the highly prized 4100-series "Madame X" style with raked flat windshield. It runs extremely well and can be used and enjoyed reliably in its present condition. As expected for such a luxurious automobile (with a 1930 price starting at $7,525) it is lavishly equipped with dual side-mounts with strapped-on rear view mirrors, large Pilot-Ray driving lamps, Tilt Ray headlights, dual horns, radiator stone guard, a green tinted glass sun visor over the windshield, wood running boards, radio, a luggage trunk, bud vases, smoker's kit and vanity in the rear compartment, forward-facing jump seats, footrest, a mesh hat net on the headliner, rollup divider and a rollup window shade on the rear window. The interior is remarkably well preserved and can, with the possible exception of the torn driver's seat cushion, be used carefully and shown with pride. The paint has been buffed through in placed by the loving attention of a careful chauffeur but is sound. "Patina" is frequently used to cover up for flaws and mistreatment, but in this case it if fully deserved and appropriate. The most demanding collector will find satisfaction in owning, driving and showing this remarkable example of the finest automobile Cadillac has ever built, the Series 452 V16 Madame X Imperial Sedan for Seven Passengers.
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