<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88

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Lot 77
1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster
Coachwork by Fleetwood

Sold for US$ 165,200 inc. premium
1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster
Coachwork by Fleetwood

Engine no. 808162
Body no. 88

353ci L-Head V8 Engine
Single Updraft Carburetor
95bhp at 3,000rpm
3-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Semi-Elliptical Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes

*Excellent largely original and unrestored condition
*Formerly of the Brucker Family Collection; only four owners since the 1950s
*Recently serviced and well-maintained
*Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic


THE FLEETWOOD ROADSTER

While at first glance Cadillac's 1931 models resembled the 1930s, they were in fact all subtly lowered in design, and also featured a longer hood with ventilation louvers on each side, giving them more visually impressive proportions. Single-bar bumpers and standard dual horns were other visual changes. The result made a beautiful automobile even more striking, and this was never more apparent than on the sporting open models.

Significantly, this was the only season that Cadillac's Fleetwood roadster on the V-8 chassis, style no. 4502, featured a distinctive top design that folded nearly flush with the body when lowered. This resulted in a sleek, smooth appearance, much more modern than even the handful of roadsters produced that year for the V-16. Unfortunately it would not be resurrected for the 1932 model year and thus was a one-year-only offering, fondly remembered and now passionately collected by Cadillac connoisseurs.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

According to its build sheet, a copy of which is included in the file, this particular roadster was originally sold by the Cadillac Automobile Company of Boston, bearing the same sleek and graceful "disappearing top" Fleetwood roadster body and V-8 engine that it retains today, and finished entirely in black, including fenders and chassis. Dual sidemounted spares with mirrors and a Goddess radiator mascot were specified as accessories, resulting in an especially dramatic appearance.

The car made its way across the United States and was acquired in the early postwar era by James Brucker, Sr., patriarch of a great family of collectors in Southern California. For many years the Bruckers were among the foremost suppliers of automobiles to the film industry; they also operated the famous Movieworld Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame museum in Buena Park, and were patrons of numerous figures of "Kustom Kulture," including Von Dutch and Ed Roth. The Cadillac was not customized, however, but far from it; Mr. Brucker considered it his favorite automobile and used it regularly while maintaining its fine original condition. He was so fond of it that he reportedly took it out of circulation for rental to the film studios.

Eventually the Cadillac passed from the Brucker Family to John Travis of Sunnyvale, California, then to an East Coast collector from whom the present owner purchased it in 2011. It has continued to be well-maintained, regularly serviced, driven and enjoyed, and has never received or required major restoration. It remains very solid and even some of the paint remains original. Much of the interior is still original, with only the top, carpeting, and inner door panels having been necessarily replaced after eight decades. Such was the philosophy of preservation that even the original top bows were repaired and reused where possible. Brakes were rebuilt, new fuel lines installed, and the wheels fitted with new bearings, while the remainder of the drivetrain was carefully checked and properly sorted as necessary.

Much of the work was completed by the noted Steve Babinsky of Automotive Restorations in Lebanon, New Jersey, with detailed work orders and receipts on file. The car was driven on a mini-CARavan following Hershey just this past year, proving its excellent original condition, and the owner has continued to use and scrupulously maintain it. It is, the owner notes, a "happy car," which has likely never been off the road for a long period in its long life.

Few Cadillac roadsters of this era have been enjoyed by known enthusiasts for so long, and fewer still have received such careful, sympathetic and loving preservation for their entire lives. This is a benchmark example of the finest Classic Era engineering and build quality, with a wonderful heritage.

Footnotes

  • Please note, the title for this vehicle will be in transit.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title for this vehicle will be in transit.
Contacts
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
<b>1931 Cadillac 355-A V-8 Roadster</b><br />Engine no. 808162<br />Body no. 88
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