1939 Cadillac V16

There may be no more imposing 2-passenger automobile in history than this 1939 Cadillac V-16 convertible coupe. Built on a 141" wheelbase (only 1 1/2" shorter than the Duesenberg Model J) with sixteen cylinders, 431 cubic inches and 185 brake horsepower, it was nothing if not extravagant, even allowing for the occasional seating that two jump seats in the back provided. Prosperity began to appear in the run-up to war production in the years before World War II and it was embodied by nothing better than this magnificent automobile, one of only 138 V-16s Cadillac built in 1939 of which only seven were convertible coupes. Only 19 of this style were built between 1938 and 1940. Cadillac had preserved Fleetwood as its top coachbuilder specifically to build glorious automobiles like this. Liveried in black with gorgeous red leather, a black cloth top and finely crafted wood grain dashboard and window frames, radio and heater, the exterior is emphasized by its rounded grille with thin horizontal chrome bars, chrome beltline trim and three chrome flashes on the truncated teardrop fenders. Trippe lights, enclosed side-mounts, wide whitewalls, hubcaps and thin trim rings complete its dramatic presentation. Only four of the 19 built are known to survive. The original body tag (which appears to retain its original never-removed rivets) attests to its status as the sixth built. Factory records show it to have been first delivered through Claude Nolan Cadillac (one of the marque's oldest dealers) in Jacksonville, Florida. Later owners include legendary collector Ed Weaver. Stripped to bare metal and repainted just a few years ago, it is crisp, sharp and consistently maintained through its recent history, an elegant, comfortable, powerful and quiet automobile of the highest quality, refinement and exclusivity.

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