For 1938, Cadillac introduced its second-generation V-16 engine. More conventional in design than the original unit, it featured a simple side-valve configuration, packed in an unusual 135-degree bank angle (nearly horizontally opposed!), but it offered comparable horsepower and torque while weighing a remarkable 250 pounds less and being less costly to build. It was, in other words, a win-win situation, both for the enthusiasts, who loved the V-16’s superb performance, and for Cadillac, who was facing decreasing sales as the U.S. struggled to recover from the Great Depression.
- Chassis 3421440
- Handsome coachwork by Fleetwood
- Eligible for multiple historic events and concourses
- Shown at the 2010 Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza
- European registered
The Cadillac V16
The new engine was mounted on a shortened chassis of the same 141¼-inch wheelbase as the eight-cylinder Series 75, enabling the two series to share Fleetwood bodies (and enabling prices to be reduced from 1937 by a wide margin). Twelve body styles were catalogued for 1938 and 1939, comprising a full range of possible configurations, all with beautiful styling directed by GM’s young emerging legend, Bill Mitchell, that borrowed design cues from his very modern Series 60 Special.
The Cadillac V16 we are offering here is chassis 3421440 and is believed to be the 6th of only 8 units built with this Fleetwood bodywork. It is a very sound original example showing a great patina throughout. Originally supplied to the US, the car moved to Europe in the 2000s and was successfully shown at the 2010 at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. Very user friendly and reliable, this nice example is accompanied with a European title and FIVA identity card, rated a honest A / 3.