1930 Cadillac V16

Introduced in early 1930, the first series Cadillac V-16 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 in competition with 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. The earliest Cadillac V-16's were bodied by Fleetwood in Pennsylvania, a well-established firm with a record of bodying prestigious marques in substantial volume following semi-custom manufacturing techniques which had been acquired by General Motors' Fisher Body in 1925. In mid-1930 the Fleetwood, Pennsylvania shop was closed and all Fleetwood body production moved to its Detroit factories, now incorporating 1.5 million square feet, but the earliest Cadillac V-16s with their Pennsylvania-built bodies are regarded by experienced collectors as the best built and trimmed, using superior materials and methods by long-term, skilled hands. This 1930 Cadillac 452 V-16 All-Weather Phaeton, Fleetwood style 4380, is one of those few, highly regarded Pennsylvania-bodied V-16s. Its All-Weather Phaeton coachwork displays many of the attributes which distinguish the best of Fleetwood coachwork, particularly the straight-through body line, rollup windows and division and the vee-windshield that only the Fleetwood-built bodies employed. It was originally delivered to Cadillac's Los Angeles dealer, Don Lee, and has been authenticated as complete and as-built engine, drivetrain and body on its original chassis. It also has its original Cadillac-supplied luggage trunk, an item that rarely survives with its original chassis and body. Equipment includes a set of full chrome Buffalo wire wheels, dual side-mounted spares with mirrors, radiator stone guard, Pilot-Ray lights and Cadillac heron radiator mascot. It is subtly liveried in two shades of green accented by a contrasting green coachline, a LeBaron-style hood sweep panel, tan leather upholstery and light tan cloth top with tan piping matching the upholstery. Befitting its elegance, the top has three positions: fully enclosed, open front for town use and fully open for fine weather touring. The restoration is to Concours standards, endorsed by its recent selection for display at the Meadow Brook Concours, and it has been maintained in Concours-quality condition by its owners. Documentation includes a copy of its original Cadillac data sheet authenticating its original, as-delivered configuration, owner's manual, Fleetwood Bodies owner's manual and other historic paperwork. The interior woodwork is exquisite, not only in finish and presentation but also in its intricate detail and the elaborate figure of the wood itself. This is one of the finest examples of Cadillac's legendary 452 V-16 with important Fleetwood, Pennsylvania built All-Weather Phaeton vee-windshield open coachwork, restored and maintained to Concours standards, a rare, beautiful and powerful example of one of the finest and most exclusive chassis of the classic era.

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