As the Depression raged, the market for these cars turned as dry as the Oklahoma dustbowl
Cadillac’s introduction of the magnificent V16 in 1930 sent the competition reeling. While others were working on new V12s, Cadillac leapt right past them. Then in 1931, while they were still struggling to respond, Cadillac introduced its own V12, creating an unbeatable lineup of engines-V8, V12, and V16.
In 1933, Cadillac gave the V16 a separate visual identity for the first time, with horizontal hood-vent spears and matching chrome trim on skirted fenders. Also unique were massive four-bar bumpers, chrome wheel covers with spinner caps, and striking multi-coned art deco horns. Fender edges were highlighted with stainless trim and the headlights and marker lights were painted for the first time.
Cadillac was so confident that the new look would be successful that it advertised production would be limited to “just 400” examples in 1933. In fact, only 126 were built. Of those, just two were the striking Style 5585 Convertible Victorias, designed by Fleetwood.
The dark maroon Victoria pictured here has benefited from a full professional restoration by noted Illinois restorer Fran Roxas. The car has a colorful history of owners including Cameron Peck and Roy Warshawsky (founder of J.C. Whitney). It runs and drives as good as it looks, is a multiple show winner, and remains in concours condition.