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Cadillac V-16

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

V-16
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Cadillac V-16

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A car produced by Cadillac.

The 1934 V-16 Aero Coupe was a custom production version made as the Aerodynamic show car for the 1933 World's Fair.  20 Aeros were produced in model years 1934-1937, of which 8 were V-16s and were priced at around $8,000.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Cadillac V-16 page on 13 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Cadillac V-16 (sometimes known as the Cadillac Sixteen) was Cadillac's top-of-the-line car from its January 1930 launch until production ceased in 1940 as the war in Europe killed sales. All were finished to custom order, and the car was built in very small numbers; only 4076 cars were constructed in the eleven years the model was offered. The majority of these were built in the single year of 1930, before the Great Depression really took hold. This was the first V16 powered car to reach production status in the United States.

In 1926, Cadillac began the development of a new, "multi-cylinder" car. A customer requirement was seen for a car powered by an engine simultaneously more powerful and smoother than any other available. Development proceeded in great secrecy over the next few years; a number of prototype cars were built and tested as the new engine was developed, while at the same time Cadillac chief Larry Fisher and GM's stylist Harley Earl toured Europe in search of inspiration from Europe's finest coachbuilders. Unlike many builders of luxury cars, who sold bare chassis to be clothed by outside coachbuilding firms, General Motors had purchased the coachbuilders Fleetwood Metal Body and Fisher Body to keep all the business in-house. Bare Cadillac chassis could be purchased if a buyer insisted, but the intention was that few would need to do so. One Cadillac dealer in England, namely Lendrum & Hartman, ordered at least two such chassis in even rarer right hand drive (RHD) configuration and had Vanden Plas (Belgium) build first an elegant limousine-landaulet (engine #702297), then a sports sedan with unusual cycle fenders and retractable step plates in lieu of running boards (engine #702298, which was successfully shown in various Concours d'Elegance events in Europe before being bought by the young Nawab of Bahawalpur); both these cars have survived. A third RHD chassis was ordered by the Indian Maharaja of Orccha (Bhopal) and sent to Farina in Italy, in July 1931, for a boat tail body (engine between #703136 and #703152).

It was not until after the stock market crash of 1929 that Cadillac announced to the world the availability of the costliest Cadillac yet, the new V-16. The new vehicle was first displayed at New York's automobile show on January 4, 1930.


Images

A Classic Christmas - 1930 Cadillac V-16 Art A Classic Christmas
Artist: Ken Eberts
Cars: 1930 Cadillac V-16 (foreground), Packard V-12 (background)
Image courtesy CarArt.us
View "A Classic Christmas" - 1930 Cadillac V-16 Art - 101KB
Famous GM Cars 1931 V-16 Fleetwood Town Brougham
Famous GM Cars

CADILLAC V-16 Fleetwood Town Brougham, 1931. Wheelbase 148 inches, weight three tons. Horsepower 165, compression ratio 5.7 to 1. Price $9,700. The catalog said, " . . . the sixteen cylinder engine obviously provides a character and calibre of performance never known before. In short, modern luxury has achieved nothing finer than the beauty, restful relaxation and quiet comfort which these cars provide."
View Famous GM Cars: 1931 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Town Brougham - 20.8MB
1987 Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance at Stanford Poster - 1931 Cadillac V-16/1987 Cadillac Allanté 1987 Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance
Artist: Ken Eberts
Cars: 1931 Cadillac V-16 (foreground), 1987 Cadillac Allanté (background)
Event: Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance
Image courtesy CarArt.us
View 1987 Palo Alto Concours d'Elegance at Stanford Poster - 1931 Cadillac V-16/1987 Cadillac Allanté - 81KB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Road Signature 240281938 Cadillac V-16Presidential Series, 1:24 scale, black
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 30B1930 V-16 Boattail
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 311931 V-16 Sport Phaeton
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 31C1931 V-16 Dual Cowl Phaeton
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 341934 V-16 Aero Coupe
Collector Card - Cadillac Collection 34A1934 V-16 452D


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