As the 1920s came to a close, Cadillac was riding high and fully embracing the official slogan ‘The Standard of the World.’ In 1930, the breathtaking Series 452 stole the headlines with its mighty 175 horsepower overhead-valve sixteen-cylinder engine. The equally advanced V12 followed a year later to add their stamp of authority on the multi-cylinder race among premium automakers. The eight-cylinder Series 355-A was Cadillac’s mainstay, going head-to-head with Packard’s Eight and Super Eight lines. In 1931, the new 355-A replaced the Series 353 with revised styling and mechanical refinements. The new 353 cu.in. 90-degree L-head V8 produced 95 horsepower and was fitted with a 3-speed synchromesh gearbox, set into new chassis inspired by the Sixteen. The V8 engine held a significant weight advantage over its multi-cylinder stablemates – upward of 1,000 pounds – making it the driver’s choice of the lot. Cadillac offered a wide selection of catalog body styles, each crafted by GM’s closely held official coachbuilders Fisher and Fleetwood. Renowned for its impressive performance and effortless usability, the Series 355 remains popular among today’s collectors and touring enthusiasts. As a CCCA Full Classic®, the 355 is eligible for a wide variety of events where enthusiasts can enjoy its performance and exquisite Harley Earl-penned styling to the fullest.
This 1931 Series 355-A features the lovely 2/4-passenger convertible coupe coachwork, style number 4535 from the Fleetwood catalog. This striking Cadillac has been restored to a high standard and is beautifully presented in an appealing yet understated two-tone livery of Hessian Maroon with black fenders and Espania Red coach lines, just as it left Don Lee’s Los Angeles showroom, per the build records. It now wears a beautifully preserved and authentic older restoration, with excellent paintwork, concours-quality chrome, and period-correct detailing. Period accessories include dual side-mount spares with mirrors, radiator stone guard, heron mascot, dual taillights, and a trunk rack. The striking good looks are finished with six wire wheels featuring body-color hubs and polished stainless-steel spokes, shod with wide whitewall tires.
Inside, lovely black leather features on the seats and panels. Like the exterior, the interior surfaces are beautifully and authentically finished, with period-correct patterns and materials used throughout the cockpit. Correct white-on-black AC instruments sit in a central cluster with the distinct, machined sunburst motif. Occasional rear passengers can enjoy a windy ride in the rumble seat, while a golf bag door provides easy access for luggage. The canvas soft-top is in excellent order and fits snugly, and offers excellent protection from the elements, with the benefit of roll-up glass windows.
Cadillac’s 353 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine is well-detailed with correct gloss black cylinder heads and bare alloy castings. Proper fittings and hardware point to a high-quality restoration, and while the engine shows some signs of regular use on the exhaust manifolds and crankcase, it is overall very clean and well-presented.
The crisp presentation is enough to make this Cadillac a standout in Cadillac La-Salle Club shows, CCCA events, and regional concours events. It is a CCCA Full Classic® and will undoubtedly be an exceptional choice for CARavan tours and similar driving events where the power and poise of the 355 are fully appreciated. Whichever way its next custodian chooses to enjoy it, they can rest assured this is a marvelous example of the style, quality, and performance that defines Cadillac’s landmark 1931 automobiles.
Offers welcome and trades considered