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Lot 555: Cadillac V16 Landaulette De Luxe

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

The sum total of the V16's features was so impressive that even the Europeans found it impossible to describe its super silent operation without using terms such as "magnificent" and "outstanding".' - Robert C Ackerson, Standard Catalog of Cadillac. Cadillac's bold attempt to 'out cylinder' the opposition commenced in January 1930 with the introduction of its magnificent 452ci (7.4-litre) V16, of whose engine it has been said: 'There is no power plant in any motor car so smooth, so quiet, so flexible.' It was the world's first production 16-cylinder passenger car, beating the rival Marmon to the marketplace by ten months. Conceived in the 'Roaring Twenties', these Leviathans made little sense in the Depression years of the early 1930s, despite which Cadillac managed to sell in excess of 15,000 by the decade's end. More than 50 body styles were offered, the vast majority being 'catalogue customs' by Fleetwood, most being variations on a handful of basic designs. Right-hand drive chassis number '702297' was completed in 1930 with 'Saloon Landaulette De Luxe' coachwork by Vanden Plas and sold new via Messrs Lendrum & Hartman of Albemarle Street in London's West End, the UK's official importer for General Motors' makes Buick, Cadillac, LaSalle and Marquette. '702297' featured at that year's London Motor Show at Olympia prior to delivery to its first owner, the Hon Arthur Ernest Guinness of the eponymous brewing dynasty. The car was originally finished in powder blue with black roof and wings while other noteworthy features included a flat windscreen, slender window uprights, 'suicide' rear doors and 'trafficator'-type turn signals. There was an internal division and intercom, and the interior also featured extensive inlaid walnut woodwork, rear-compartment speedometer and the rare, split instrument panel found in the so-called 'Madame X' Cadillacs bodied by Fleetwood. The Cadillac's immediately post-Guinness history is not known but in 1959 it was advertised for sale in the Cadillac & LaSalle Club's magazine 'The Self Starter' by Mr Jeffrey Watts of Levittown, Pennsylvania. '702297' next appeared at a 'Movieland  Cars of the Stars' auction in 1974, by which time it was in need of extensive restoration. Later the car passed to 'Cadillac Jim' Pearson of Kansas City, who sold it on to collector James C Leake of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the mid/late-1970s. The V16 was restored while in Mr Leake's ownership, the odometer reading at that time being circa 56,000 miles. It later made the journey back across the Atlantic, finding a new home in a European private collection, and is presented in generally very good condition, running well.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number555
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€94000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€108100
Condition rating2
Registration number
Chassis number702297
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors