1931 Cadillac Model 370 V12 Sedan
Engine no. 1001074
368ci OHV 12-cylinder engine
Twin Cadillac/Johnson carburetors
135bhp at 3,400rpm
Three-speed manual transmission
Four-wheel semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension
Four-wheel vacuum assisted mechanical drum brakes
-Former Prize winning car
-Long term California ownership
-Handsome Club Sedan coachwork
-CCCA Full Classic
The Model 370 V12 Sedan
Cadillac completed its array of luxury vehicles with the introduction of the V-12 engine late in 1930. Based upon the V-16 which had been introduced earlier in the year, the V-12 line offered catalog bodies by Fisher and Fleetwood, all with luxuriously trimmed interiors by Fleetwood. In common with the V-16, the engine was styled by Harley Earl's Art & Color Department, giving the V-12 a particularly attractive underhood presentation. The V-12s were manufactured to extremely high quality standards and differed only in details of trim and, of course, engine size and complication from the V-16 line which cost nearly twice as much.
With V-8, V-12 and V-16 models and a profusion of coachwork from Fleetwood and Fisher on chassis that ranged from the 134" V-8 to the V-16's giant 148" wheelbase Cadillac offered a luxury automobile to suit any style, purpose and whim. Harley Earl's Art & Color Department attended to the smallest details of fit, finish, finesse and function making even the mechanical details objects of refined design, materials, manufacture and execution.
The difference between the V-12 and V-16 was confined to the hood, which is 4" shorter, headlights, an inch smaller in diameter but still a great imposing presence flanking the grille between the flaring front fenders, and slightly smaller chrome horns.
The V-12's appeal was manifest in its sales success. A total of 5,733 were built in 1930 even as the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash and the onset of the Great Depression were being appreciated by Cadillac's intended customers for these elegant, luxurious automobiles. That total was well more than half the production of full-amortized 355-A V-8s sold in the same year.
The Motorcar Offered
As documented by GM, this V12 Cadillac was delivered in the form that it remains today, being a handsome Club Sedan. It is understood that from day one, the car was sold on the West Coast and has remained in Californian ownership ever since, from 1977 being domiciled in Santa Barbara.
Back in the 1970s, prior to this ownership, a thorough restoration was completed on the car, a rebuild which must have been completed to a very high standard, to judge from the way it has worn over the ensuing years. Shortly after this rebuild it was debuted at an AACA National Event and awarded with a 1st Prize, but this seemingly did not elicit a string of similar awards as the car is not known to have been shown after that time.
Viewed today, it may well have aged so nicely owing to sheer lack of use. The cloth interior, replete with period details including a roof vent and lighting cluster, rear-window shade and arm rests, shows very light wear. Externally the paint and chrome still have considerable luster, and are accented by details such as Pilot Ray lights, dual side mounts and color coded trunk at the rear.
A Full Classic by CCCA definition, the compact format of its coachwork would make it a perfect and sociable touring automobile.
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit