Although the US was engulfed in the Great Depression in 1930-1931, Cadillac brought out an absolutely splendid line of cars. One of them, unveiled at the National Automobile Show in January 1930 was the world’s first production V16 automobile. The Cadillac V16 and V12 engines were designed by the long-time head of the engineering division, Ernest Seaholm, with the assistance and expertise of designer Owen Nacker.
One of the most distinctive features of the V12s and V16s was the highly stylized engine compartment. The motor was designed to have nearly no extraneous components. All wiring was almost completely hidden from view and its overall appearance was finished in truly elegant fashion with polished aluminum valve covers and porcelainized manifolds. When combined with a sport phaeton body these cars offered their owners not only the best in engineering but one of the smoothest and most pleasant driving experience any car of the time could deliver.
This 1931 sport phaeton is reported to be a highly original, three-owner example and retains much of its trim and accoutrements. The current owner purchased it several years ago from a small collection. It is reported that the car was last painted in 1965 and has had only limited work on it thus far. It features the very rare “lowboy” trunk and dual-sidemount spares. The motor and engine bay are in highly original condition and the car is reported to be a smooth and good runner. The interior is believed to be in overall original, unmolested condition. Work done on the car has been on a “need only” basis and as a result has been mainly limited to seal and gasket replacement. The carburetor is that of a 1932 V12 but the correct 1931 carburetor will accompany the vehicle at the time of the sale. Additionally, the owner advises that for continued driving, the rods and mains should be checked for proper clearance. These V12 sport phaetons are considered Full Classics by the CCCA and are welcome entries in club events and tours nationwide.