1930 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood

Erik Fuller ©2019, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

With its disappearing-tonneau windshield and second set of instruments for rear-seat passengers, the Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton was a sleek beast that looked the part of a star’s car.

And so it was with the car offered here, which was delivered via Los Angeles’ Don Lee Cadillac. Its original owner is long said to have been Richard Arlen, one of the most respected Hollywood actors of the 1920s. He was also a notable car enthusiast, as the Cadillac shared space with a Model J Duesenberg.

Some 20 years later it was purchased by James Brucker Sr., who for decades was a major supplier of automobiles to the film industry. The cars were exhibited at Movie World: Cars of the Stars and the Planes of Fame Museum. The car was customized for its starring role in the 1964 film “The Carpetbaggers,” starring Alan Ladd.

This Cadillac V16 was restored in 1990 and has been recently freshened at Steve Babinsky’s Automotive Restoration of Lebanon, NJ, which included a new top and leather interior. It is the most famous and best-known surviving sport phaeton — a true star in its own right on the show field as it was on the screen.

Carl Bomstead

Carl Bomstead - SCM Senior Auction Analyst - %%page%%

Carl has been writing for SCM for 19 years. His first article appeared in the February 1997 issue, and at least one of his articles has appeared in every issue since. When he’s not writing, he serves as a National Director for the Classic Car Club of America and tends to his extensive collection of automobilia. He has been a judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 20 years, and he also judges at Amelia Island and other major concours. An extensive number of collector cars have passed through his garage, and a 1947 Cadillac 62 Series convertible and a 1968 Intermeccanica Italia are current residents.

Posted in American