Hot on the heels of the game-changing V16 of 1930, Cadillac delivered the second blow in its one-two punch against its rivals in the luxury car market. The twelve-cylinder Series 370 added another layer to Cadillac’s already impressive lineup, bridging the gap between the V8 and the flagship Series 452 V16. Named for its displacement in cubic inches, the Series 370 V12 engine was derived directly from the V16 and shared the same overhead-valve layout, and it delivered impressive power output and refinement in a lighter-weight package versus the sixteen. As with all Cadillacs of the period, the Series 370 featured a variety of coachwork options, with the vast majority coming from GM-owned Fisher or Fleetwood, and the styles ran the gamut between formal and sporty, with the majority of the “multi-cylinder” models getting closed sedan or limousine coachwork.
Sporting handsome Fisher-built coachwork, this Cadillac Series 370B is one of just 1,709 twelve-cylinder models produced in 1932. According to the factory build sheet, this example is a genuine Fisher-bodied rumble-seat convertible coupe, delivered new to Canton, Ohio. Today, it presents with a well-maintained older restoration, finished in an attractive two-tone maroon color scheme, highlighted by bright red wheels and coach lines. Fittingly for a twelve-cylinder Cadillac, it is equipped with many period accessories, including a goddess mascot, chrome headlamps, optional chrome hood vent doors, a search lamp, and a golf bag door below the rumble seat. Setting this car apart from most is the single rear-mounted spare wheel and optional rear protection bumper bar, noted on the original order sheet. The lack of side-mounts allows for a clean, uncluttered profile, accentuating the flowing fenders designed by Harley Earl. The rear-mounted spare adds visual length and highlights the graceful proportions.
The older restoration has been very well-maintained and has matured lightly, gaining an inviting character. The paintwork is excellent, and body alignment consistent, both aspects pointing to a high-level restoration when it was done. Brightwork is in similarly fine condition, displaying some light polish marks after years of care. The subtle two-tone color scheme suits the elegant Fisher-built body, and bright red coach stripes and matching wheels with new black-wall tires give the car a subtly aggressive and sporty personality.
Light tan leather trim accents the maroon paintwork to good effect, and it is in excellent condition, having taken on an honest, usable character since the restoration. Correct Jaeger instruments are in fine order, along with restored original switchgear and controls. Matching upholstery carries over on the rumble seat, which shows little signs of use. Roll-up glass side windows make this convertible coupe a practical and attractive proposition for all-weather touring, while still giving the option of the full open-air motoring experience. A recently-fitted black canvas convertible top ties it all together with superb effect.
This example retains its original numbers-matching engine per the build records, and it lives up to the standard set by the designers. Owen Nacker envisioned the overhead-valve V12 engine to be visually beautiful as well unrivaled in its performance and refinement. Nacker and Harley Earl worked together on the aesthetics, hiding the wiring and plumbing beneath enameled covers for a crisp and uncluttered appearance. This car’s V12 is beautifully presented in the proper black porcelain enamel, which is in excellent condition. There are some signs of use, but the overall presentation is authentic, well-detailed, and appropriate for a tour-ready example.
Powerful, exceptionally refined, and beautiful-looking, the Cadillac Series 370 V12 is an icon of Classic Era American automobiles. This finely restored example is an ideal selection for CCCA CARavan tours, Cadillac LaSalle Club events, or to casually and silently motor along your favorite roads. It has benefitted from many years of enthusiastic care, and it is now ready for its next caretaker to carry the torch.
Offers welcome and trades considered