In the early 1930s, Cadillac lived up to its motto, “The Standard of the World.” The breathtaking V16 stole the headlines with its mighty 175 horsepower overhead valve sixteen-cylinder engine, and it was joined by the equally advanced V12 shortly after. The V8 Series 355 made up the bulk of sales but was anything but entry-level. Cadillac was locked in a fierce battle with Packard in the hotly-contested luxury car market, and the two marques were continually trying to one-up the next in terms of quality, equipment, and refinement. For 1931, the new 355 went head-to-head with the Packard Super Eight. The 355A replaced the Series 353 and brought with clean and elegant styling. There was also a new reinforced chassis with V-16 style engine mountings and the 353 cu.in. 90-degree L-head V8 was now rated for 95 horsepower and mated to a 3-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh. Per standard practice, Cadillac offered a wide selection of catalog body styles for the 355, crafted by GM’s closely held coachbuilders Fisher or Fleetwood. Renowned for their impressive performance and effortless ability, the Series 355 is a popular choice for touring enthusiasts. With CCCA Full Classic status, the 355 is eligible for a wide variety of events where its performance and style can be appreciated.
This 1931 355A features Fleetwood’s handsome convertible coupe coachwork. The subject of an older restoration, it presents in good order in a beautiful two-tone maroon livery. It is well-equipped with desirable accessories, including dual Trippelight driving lamps, radiator stone guard, golf bag door, and goddess mascot. Unusually, this car has a single rear-mounted spare wheel instead of side-mounts, which enhances the flowing fenders and gives it a refreshingly clean and uncluttered profile. The paint is older but appears well maintained with a glossy, consistent finish. The painted wire wheels wear chrome center caps and good older Firestone wide whitewall tires. The brightwork is in good average condition all around and consistent with the age of the restoration.
Tan leather trim is in good condition, with moderate creasing of the seating surfaces. Door panels are trimmed in the same leather, and appear in generally good order, as does the matching rumble seat. A period-correct Jaeger clock and an AC speedo are set into the original sunburst-motif instrument panel. The tan canvas convertible top fits well and works as it should, fitting snugly against the windscreen. Roll-up glass side windows provide excellent all-weather protection and make this a fine choice for touring, rain or shine.
The V8 engine correctly presented with a silver crankcase and black painted heads and plug covers and good quality finishing and details, including period-correct clamps and hardware. It runs and drives well, and the chassis appears well-sorted and tidy. With its handsome and desirable Fleetwood-built coachwork, this Cadillac 355A is a lovely example with excellent potential to be an enjoyable and rewarding tour car.
Offers welcome and trades considered