1933 Marmon 16

Howard Marmon is the often-overlooked genius of America's classic decade, a perfectionist whose designs surpassed those of Fred Duesenberg and Cadillac's Owen Nacker (whose first exposure to V-16 engine design came at Marmon.) There was rarely -- if ever -- a compromise in a Howard Marmon-designed automobile, starting from the earliest in 1904, a car that offered its few favored buyers "double three-point" suspension and a pressure lubricated air-cooled V-4 engine. More innovation followed, and never really slackened over the next three decades. In 1930, with the Great Depression just beginning to wreak its economic havoc Howard Marmon produced his masterpiece, an all-aluminum 491 cubic inch overhead valve 200hp V-16. Marmon turned to pioneer industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague for the V-16's coachwork and Teague and his son, then a student at MIT, produced one of the masterpieces of clean, simple, integrated automobile coachwork. Nevertheless Marmon competed with the bottomless pockets of GM's Cadillac and while the Marmon V-16 was superior in every respect the conclusion was never in doubt. Only about 390 Marmon V-16's were built before the Marmon Motor Car Company liquidated in 1933 but they are recognized as one of the greatest automobiles of the classic era, or any era for that matter. Many if not most surviving Marmon Sixteen’s are sedans but this 1933 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Sedan is a rare and attractive example of the Teagues' design on an open car. It has been for many years part of a well-known museum collection where it has been preserved in largely complete partially restored condition. The straight, solid body has been preserved under black primer. The interior is the original brown leather and it has its top assembly but no fabric. It has wire wheels, dual side-mounts with rings and a large, handsome luggage trunk mated closely to the rear of the body and back fenders. Due to its preservation it is substantially complete including such rare and hard to find items as all its instruments, taillights and the convertible sedan body's removable center posts. The radiator shell, horns, and headlights have been replated. The only item noted to be missing is the left front fender parking light. A California black license plate indicates it spent much of its life in that benign climate and helps explain its exceptional preservation. Although it has not run in years the engine is complete with its air filter, distributor and spark plug wire loom indicating that it has not been messed with. This is a rare and extremely handsome example of one of the classic era's greatest automobiles, a straightforward restoration project that is sure to be a contender for Best in Show at the most important Concours d’Elegance and a wonderful, fast, silent, 100 mph automobile for touring.

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