1935 Cadillac V-8 Model 355-D Convertible Sedan by Fisher
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 4-5, 2023
Cadillac’s 355 series of V8-powered automobiles was produced between 1931 and 1935. These were grand-looking cars with 2/3 or half of the cylinders of the very-similar-looking V12 and V16 cars also offered around this time. In 1934, the cars were restyled to look quite a bit more modern, and that’s what you’re seeing here.
There was an immense number of body styles offered by the factory, with the bodies either built by Fisher of Fleetwood. Two different Fisher-bodied convertible sedans were offered: the Series 10 (on a 128-inch wheelbase) or the Series 20 (on a 136-inch wheelbase). The catalog does not differentiate, but it looks long.
Power is from Cadillac’s 5.8-liter V8 that made 130 horsepower. This car was delivered new in Washington, D.C. It’s the rear wheel spats that make this such an eye catcher. It’s sleek and, for 1935, quite modern. Now it has an estimate of $125,000-$150,000. More info can be found here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 2-5, 2021
The earliest Cadillacs were single-cylinder cars. The first multi-cylinder cars appeared in 1905, the same year in which the single-cylinder Model F was built. It was their most expensive of four single-powered models that year.
The F was identical to the Model E save for a two-inch-longer wheelbase. It was also available as a touring car with a non-detachable tonneau and two side doors – a first for a single-cylinder Cadillac. That single displaces 1.6 liters and made nine horsepower. The front hood is just for show – the engine is mounted under the seats.
Cadillac sold 4,029 cars of all types in 1905. The touring car variant oft he F (a delivery van was also available) retailed for $950 new. You can read more about this one here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Slough, U.K. | July 17, 2021
Cadillac’s Model 30 was produced from 1909 through 1911. It was their only model those three years and was based on a design stemming from 1906 (although it was called by different names then, including the Model G). The four-cylinder model would continue one essentially unchanged through 1914.
The engine is a 4.2-liter inline-four that was rated at 33 horsepower when new. In 1909 and early 1910, you could only get the 30 as an open car. Limousines and coupes didn’t come until mid-1910. Two roadsters were available at $1,600 each. This is the two-seat roadster.
It was restored over time, and the body is said to have been fitted about 100 years ago. So I guess that makes it close enough to being “original.” It is expected to fetch between $37,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
This series of the Cadillac Series 75 was produced in 1936 and 1937. Most of them were bodied by Fisher or Fleetwood, but a few escaped GM as bare chassis, including this car, which wears Town Car bodywork by Brunn. This means that the driver’s compartment can be “open” or closed, while the rear passenger compartment is always closed.
Two of these were built for the same guy, but the other one was lost in a fire in the 1950s. In 1966, this, the surviving example of the two, was purchased by its current owner… who was only 16 at the time. Imagine driving a used coachbuilt American classic as your first car.
Power is from a 5.7-liter V8 that was rated at 135 horsepower when new. The car was restored over a period of 50 years. I guess that makes it a “labor of love” because I couldn’t imagine tinkering on the same car for 50 years. At any rate, this one ends on Saturday. Click here for more info.
1934 Cadillac Series 452D Aerodynamic Coupe by Fleetwood
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
Wow. Cadillac built V16-powered cars for 10 years between 1930 and 1940. The Series 452D was built for 1934, and quite a few body styles were offered, perhaps none more dramatic than this “Aerodynamic Coupe” designed and built by Fleetwood. Mecum refers to this as “the world’s first fastback coupe.”
That’s right, this is a two-door coupe. On a 154″ wheelbase. That’s 20 inches longer than a 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, which has two additional doors. This car does have a spacious rear passenger area, though. But still, ye gods.
The 7.4-liter (452ci) V16 made 169 horsepower, and the car could hit 100 mph. This is one of America’s greatest-ever cars. And this is perhaps its best body style. Not to mention, it’s purple.
So how rare is it? Well, for a combination of 1934 and 1935, Cadillac produced just 150 examples of the V16. Just three Aerodynamic Coupes were built. This one spent a decade in the Blackhawk Collection before being purchased by its current owner in 2007. Mecum is not auctioning this car but is sort of “presenting it for sale” at their Glendale sale. If you have to ask how expensive it is, you cannot afford it. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 22, 2021
Many people think that peak American cars of the 1950s culminated in the outlandish 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Not so. It peaked more mid-decade, with cars like the Continental Mark II and this, the Eldorado Brougham. These were in a class of their own. The ultra-luxury class.
The Brougham was based on Cadillac’s Orleans and Park Avenue concept cars and featured a pillarless four-door hardtop body with suicide rear doors. The roof was finished in brushed stainless steel, and the car featured a self-leveling suspension, power seats with memory, cruise control, an automatic trunk opener, automatic high-beam headlights, and air conditioning. So basically, it was loaded with all of the stuff (and more) than that of your average 2020 mid-size sedan.
Over-the-top features included drink tumblers, a leather-trimmed cigarette case, a vanity, and a bunch of other stuff Cadillac threw in so everyone could know how high-maintenance you were. Power is from a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 325 horsepower courtesy of dual Rochester carburetors.
So what does all of this run in 1957? Well, how about $13,074 – nearly three times the price of a base Series 62 hardtop sedan from the same year. It also bested the Continental Mark II, which up to that point was the most expensive American car. This car cost more new than a Rolls-Royce. The Brougham was actually the Series 70, to set it apart, and only 400 were built this year. The 1958 model was even rarer. This one should sell for between $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
I always forget how rare these are. 1953 was the first year for Cadillac’s new halo car, the Eldorado. It was actually the top-of-the-line model of the Series 62 range and was intended as a limited-production specialty car. Only 532 examples were produced.
It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 210 horsepower. It was very expensive when new, running $7,750. A four-door Series 62 sedan would’ve run you $3,666, and a ’53 Chevy 150 Business Coupe cost $1,524. So yeah, not cheap. But oh so pretty.
The model was redesigned for 1954 and production really started to ramp up, leaving these launch cars as rare, special things. This one is about perfect in Azure Blue with a matching interior. I’d say “it can now be yours,” but I want it. So go away. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6-7, 2020
Cadillac was founded in 1902, and by the 1930s they were known for their large V12 and V16-powered cars. But single-cylinders were an important part of their history. It was all they made until their first four went on sale in 1905. But at that time singles were still selling, so they stayed on through 1908.
The Model K was sold in 1906 and 1907, and in ’07 you could’ve had a $3,500 Runabout like this car, or a $3,700 Runabout with a Victoria top. Power is from a 1.6-liter single-cylinder that was advertised at 10 horsepower.
This one retains its original body and is said to be set up for touring. It should sell for between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1930 Cadillac V-16 Series 452 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020
When Cadillac was “the standard of the world,” their V-16 models were the standard among Cadillacs. These were some of the grandest cars money could buy at the dawn of the Depression, and they remain one of only a handful of sixteen-cylinder cars ever built.
The V-16 was introduced in 1930 in Series 452 form, as we have here. Over 50 body styles were offered. This car carries body style 4260, a dual-cowl sport phaeton that was produced by Fleetwood, which would officially become part of GM in 1931.
Displacing 7.4-liters, the V-16 made 175 horsepower in 1930. This car would’ve cost about $6,500 when new – a fortune in 1930. GM later said they lost money on every V-16 they built, though they managed to move 3,251 examples in 1930. Only 85 Sport Phaetons were built in 1930 and 1931 combined, an estimated 17 of which survive.
This example was sold new in Cleveland and has been restored twice. It will now sell in January at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We start in October with Worldwide Auctioneers’ liquidation of the Corpus Christi Old Car Museum. The overall top sale was the Apollo 3500 GT Spider we featured for $506,000. We will award Most Interesting to this heavy-duty 1972 Chevrolet C50 Pickup that brought $23,100. Full results can be found here.
Bonhams’ Zoute sale always has a decent collection of European classics, which were led by this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy for $3,203,900. The F40 we featured sold for $1,025,248. Final results are available here.