Cadillac cars were the inspiration of Henry M. Leyland and established the tradition of interchangeability of components. They became part of General Motors in 1909 and were soon the leaders of that group. In 1914 they introduced the world's first commercially successful V8 engine, which stayed into production in its first series until 1926.
In 1926 the series 314 V8 engine was announced, and although it had the same bore and stroke of previous models, it was an entirely fresh design which itself remained in production until 1936. The series 341 cars of 1928 were the first Cadillacs designed by Harley J. Earl, and they bore a distinct resemblance to the famous styling found on the LaSalle, Cadillac's companion car introduced the year before.
Prior to 1928 sales were running generally in the 20,000s annually, a figure that would nearly double in 1928. Also by 1928 General Motors owned 100% of Fisher, and their custom line was in much demand on the longer 140-inch wheelbase with underslung springs, which allowed Harley Earl to design his first Cadillac as a long low car.
The car pictured here is a pristine example, delivered new to Europe and was first purchased by a wealthy Spanish lady, Dona Teresa Martin de Saavedera, who came from the province of Badajoz. The Spanish owner from whom the current owner purchased the car believed that the car was purchased from the Paris Auto Salon of 1928 although that has not been confirmed. It was first registered in the official records on November 30, 1928.
The car was always chauffeur driven, and during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 it fell first into the hands of the Loyalists and later into those of the Insurgents, remaining chauffeur driven in both instances, as it was the best car in the province. When Philip Wichard acquired the car for his collection, it had two bullet holes in the windshield frame. After the war it reverted to Dona Teresa, and title passed by inheritance to her son, Jose Porras Martin de Saavedra on January 28, 1958. In November 1960 the car was bought by Mr. Alvarez Esparrago also of Badajoz from whom Mr. Wichard purchased the car in 1968 having seen an advertisement in "Road & Track."
Walter Seaburg of Sydney, OH, was commissioned to carry out a nut and bolt restoration and this was carried out to his usual exemplary standards. The car has been an Antique Automobile Club of America Nation First Prize Winner. The restoration work was so good that 12 years after the restoration, the Wichards had taken the car to a show for display only and were persuaded to enter the car into competition. The Cadillac was entered and was awarded 100 points! Special features include an unusual hood ornament which is the crest from the Badajoz province, a full set of lights, a rear mounted trunk and the beautiful painted canework detail.
|1929 Cadillac 341B
This car was sold at Christie’s New York Auction on April 1, 1995 for $167,500.
This is what Don Williams, President of the Blackhawk Collection, had to say about the sale: “All of Philip Wichard’s cars were in excellent condition, and with this car, essentially you were paying for the restoration and getting the car for free.
“The market for V8 Dual-Cowls has stayed steady during the past two years. If this had been a V16 with a custom body, you’d be looking at a $300,000 – $400,000 price, minimum. But because this is a V8 with a standard body, its value will always be in the lower range.
“These are excellent 60 mph road cars, and tend to drive much better than their European competitors, such as the Hispano H6Bs, from the same era.”