1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster
Lot 74 | Monterey Jet Center Auction | Not Sold
Engine No. 702104
Body No. 82
One of the most important American automobiles of its generation, the Cadillac V-16 debuted in 1930 featuring a magnificent overhead-valve engine, designed by Owen Nacker, with more cylinders than any production motor before it. It was a mighty mill that produced 160 hp with silky smoothness, and was available with a marvelous array of coachbuilt bodies by Fleetwood and Fisher, encompassing virtually every imaginable style.
The most sporting of these offerings was Fleetwood's style no. 4302, a graceful two-passenger roadster with outstanding proportions and clean lines free of any extraneous chrome trim. This was the lightest factory body on the V-16 and thus made a powerful automobile an even better performer. Few automobiles so boldly declared their owner's continued wealth at the beginning of the Depression, and few were so pleasurable to drive with so much flexible, smooth power under the hood.
The roadster offered here was meticulously restored with an original V-16 engine no. 702104. According to its build sheet, a copy of which is on file, this engine was originally mated to style no. 4361S club sedan body supplied to a buyer in Chicago. It was later owned by Wayne Merriman, a prolific early Cadillac V-16 collector and historian from Kansas. The present roadster body was built to the original style no. 4302 by the well-known craftsman Dick Kingston for Cadillac V-16 collector Walt Dietzel of Oklahoma. Inspection of the car today shows that per the build sheet the car retains its original engine, with correct motor and unit numbers, as well as the original transmission; the frame number is not discernible but is believed to be from another car.
Following completion of the restoration, the V-16 was one of numerous fine Classics to become part of Richard and Linda Kughn's noted collection, housed at the Carail museum in Detroit, Michigan. According to V-16 historian Alan Merkel, the Kughns sold the Cadillac in 1993. It subsequently moved to Europe and resided there since.
Recently returned to the States, the roadster is a well-preserved restoration in striking black with red leather interior and black fabric top, always a popular combination on this rakish style. The interior shows some age, but is still highly presentable, and the engine compartment is clean and attractive, showing off the famous V-16 to superb effect. A red frame and wheels with chrome spokes, shod in blackwall tires, add a proper stylistic touch, while the radiator stone guard, Goddess mascot, Pilot Ray headlights, side mounted spares with mirrors, wind wings, luggage rack with trunk, and side curtains are all desirable and very appropriate accessories. Overall the car has an extremely charming appearance.
A Cadillac V-16 roadster is one of the most desirable automobiles of its distinguished era, and the example offered here has a superb livery and desirable features to recommend it to the Cadillac enthusiast.