<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85

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Lot 179
1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton
Coachwork by Fleetwood

Sold for US$ 390,000 inc. premium
1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton
Coachwork by Fleetwood

Engine no. 703225
Body no. 85

452ci OHV V-16 Engine
2 Twin-Choke Cadillac Carburetors
165bhp at 3,400rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Offered from the Thomas Family Cadillac Collection
*LaRue C. Thomas's treasured possession since 1973
*Believed to be the final style number 4260 sport phaeton produced
*Documented by a copy of its Cadillac build sheet


THE CADILLAC V-16

The vast majority of V-16 Cadillacs produced were built and sold in the 1930 model year. Nineteen thirty-one was essentially a continuation of the 1930 specifications and design. While there were continuous running improvements to the car's equipment and engineering, there was no official change from one model year to the next, though historians consider the 1931 models to have begun at serial number 702888 and ended at 703251. Thus only 363 1931 V-16s are known to have been produced making them considerably rarer than the 1930 models, but available in the same dizzying roster of available Fleetwood and Fisher styles.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Few of the early V-16s are more desirable than the Style no. 4260 Fleetwood sport phaeton, one of the most beautiful of Harley Earl's early General Motors designs. The car achieved flowing and delicate lines, with a beltline that gently curved into the doors and ran back the length of the car, while still providing a windshield for the rear seat passengers. When not in use, the windshield could be rolled down into the back of the front seat, thus avoiding the cumbersome hinged second cowl often employed on this style. Instrumentation was provided in the division, so that the passengers could monitor the chauffeur's progress to their satisfaction.

It is believed that eighty-five original, authentic examples of the sport phaeton were produced, of which fewer than twenty 1931 models remain extant. The car offered here is body no. 85, the highest known body number and, therefore, likely the very last sport phaeton produced.

According to its build sheet, this special V-16 was delivered new in Brooklyn, finished in black and Tunis Blue with Old Ivory striping, black fenders and chassis, and a Burbank cloth top, as well as dual sidemounted spares. Interestingly, no other optional accessories are mentioned, though later owners saw fit to add driving lights and wind wings, to complete the car's authentic appearance.

The earliest known collector owner of the sport phaeton David Towell, the latter a prominent Akron, Ohio, Cadillac dealer for decades, who maintained a small, select private collection of his own. Several significant V-16s figured into the Towell fleet over the years, including most prominently a one-off Madame X Imperial landau cabriolet and the legendary Pinin Farina boattail speedster. He was a well-known figure in Midwestern vintage automobile circles and a frequent participant in shows and concours with his cars for many years. The V-16 sport phaeton was thus in very good company in his collection for some time, winning a Classic Car Club of America Primary First Prize at the Dearborn Grand Classic in 1967.

The car was sold by Mr. Towell in 1969 to Peter Kruidenier of Scottsdale (son of a Cadillac dealer), from whom it was acquired in 1973 by LaRue C. Thomas, owner of Los Angeles's famed Thomas Cadillac Company, the world's largest Cadillac dealer for his personal collection. In other words, the car's three most recent owners were all proud Cadillac dealers or scions thereof. It has been in good hands, those of men who knew, loved, and believed in the Cadillac marque, for the last half century.

This was reportedly Mr. Thomas's favorite of his many vintage Cadillacs, licensed "GLENIE" in California, in honor of his beloved wife. It was featured in the 1981 Cadillac national advertising campaign, on loan from the Thomas fleet, displayed in the dealership's sixth floor high above the City of Angels. While the Thomas collection was relatively private, Mr. Thomas would occasionally exhibit the car at local events, both for promotional purposes and for sheer enjoyment. Because of this sentimentality and the close personal connection to the car, the sport phaeton was one of the few vehicles that Mr. Thomas continued to maintain after selling the majority of his collection.

The car remained in the ownership of LaRue Thomas until his passing in 2004, and is offered today as one of the final Cadillacs remaining in the hands of the storied Thomas Family.

In storage in recent years and believed to have been unseen in public in the last three decades, the car remains very complete, solid and intact, though the restoration, in Hunter Green and black with white striping and tan canvas top, is considerably older, it has held up extremely well; a testimate to the quality of the work performed. Ideally, it would also be an easy beginning for a complete re-restoration, after which the car would be envied after debut to modern concours audiences. It is accompanied by a copy of the original build sheet, a copy of the 1931 V-12 and V-16 service manual, and the Thomases' history and maintenance file.

Few surviving V-16s, even others of the rare 1931 models, can offer this sport phaeton's excellent history, including time spent with David Towell and LaRue C. Thomas – great names in the world of Cadillacs.
Contacts
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
<b>1931 Cadillac 452-A V-16 Sport Phaeton</b><br />Engine no. 703225<br />Body no. 85
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