The introduction of a new V-16 Cadillac in 1938 was an unprecedented statement of Cadillac's determination to dominate the luxury car market in the United States. 1936 had seen the production of the last of the previous generation Cadillac V-16 and the 1938 Series 90 V-16 was a completely new, and in many ways vastly improved, design.
The cylinders were opposed at a nearly-flat 135 degrees, used side valve cylinder heads and displaced only [?] 431 cubic inches, down from the 452 cubic inches of the earlier 65 degree V-16, yet power output was 180 horsepower and the engine weighed some 250 pounds less than its predecessor while its compact dimensions let it slip into the space in the twelve cataloged bodies it shared with Cadillac's V-8.
This 1938 Cadillac 38-90 V-16 is the style 9019 5-passenger sedan finished in conservative black with beige broadcloth upholstery and interior trim. It has large hubcaps on red steel wheels, wide whitewall tires, auxiliary fog lights and dual sidemount enclosures with mirrors.
The rear compartment is nicely appointed with courtesy lighting, foot- and arm-rests, smokers' kits and abundant legroom. The exterior has been given a thorough restoration with very good paint and chrome but the interior is completely original, sound, serviceable and presentable, attesting to a life of privilege and exquisite care that has preserved it as built by Cadillac and Fleetwood in 1938.
One of only 315 Cadillac 38-90 V-16s built in all body styles, owning and driving this sympathetically preserved sedan will be a rare experience.