[last update: 05.26.2020]

The Cadillac V16

Part 3a
Roster of Survivors

Series 452C
1933

 

FRFLAG.JPG (773 bytes)
(le résumé en français se trouve en bas de page)

 

For many years I have been a keen admirer of the bespoke sixteen-cylinder Cadillac models built from 1930 through 1940. Only 4076 cars powered by the mighty sixteen-cylinder engine were built in that eleven-year period, that is an average of just 370 cars a year.  In fact, however, three quarters of them were built during the first year of production].

Fortunately for we admirers of beautiful classic automobiles, many of them have survived. Listed in these sections is the information about these survivors that I have gleaned over the last 40 years. If any users of The (New) Cadillac Database© have additional or more recent information on any of these cars, I will gladly include it in this section. Due credit will be given to the person(s) providing complementary facts about these cars.

Information about surviving sixteens of the second generation comes to me from different sources and it is quite possible that some of these entries may duplicate each other.  With your help, we may gradually eliminate the duplicates and end up with an up-to-date listing.

The only way to be sure that a specific car has survived is to get its engine and body tag numbers, OK?  I understand that cars with 1933 V16 engine numbers 5000028 and 5000106 also have survived and I am hoping to get details about them soon. V-16 owner-enthusiast, Rick leForge, kindly sent me in March 2009 some Excel files that he prepared and that provide interesting information about many 1933 sixteens in this survivor roster.  Many thanks again, Rick.

One interesting facet of my research into the history and production of sixteen-cylinder Cadillac models is the apparently confusing production and body numbering system. In this regard, the year 1933 is particularly interesting. That  year, there were, of course, the consecutive VINs (engine serial numbers), the Cadillac "Series" number (i.e. 452-C), the Fleetwood "JOB No.", the consecutive body unit number and the (apparently consecutive) owner ID or "dash plaque" number; in addition, a (seemingly) consecutive "LX" number was stenciled on the firewall or stamped on the usual  "body tag". In addition to VIN and "LX" numbers and according to Cadillac's own promotional literature, Each car will be a Fleetwood custom creation [though some would be built by Fisher to save, later, on costs]. Each will be serially numbered - ranging from "1" to "400" inclusive [in fact, only 126 units were actually built]  -  and the owner's name and the [that] serial number will be engraved on a special plate and fixed to the car as an integral part of its composition [my emphasis]. I assume that many of the "owner name plates" were removed when the cars were later sold as pre-owned vehicles; I have only ever seen only THREE of them on such a car (the convertible sedan built for singer-showman, Al Jolson, a similar model for a Mr  C.W. Crandell and one for thge actor Robert Montgomery.

 v633Zecc1.jpg (10225 bytes)          lolsn1.jpg (4605 bytes)     lolsn2.jpg (8238 bytes)
 

 

 

Body
Style
Body Number Eng.+LX
Number
Latest available information
-- -- 5000001 Only the engine survives [formerly Harrah collection, Reno, NV]
33-16-168 8 5000011 This is a unique, Fisher-bodied convertible coupe;  it was thoroughly restored  by  Dick Shappy, R.I.  The new owner (2005), Aaron Weiss, is such a perfectionist that he gave the car a nut-and-bolt, ground-up restoration.
 

V633srv2.jpg (7697 bytes)
Thanks to Mike Fairbairn of RM Auctions, this partially
restored car has been identified as being VIN #5000011; it is seen here
during restoration by Dick Shappy of Rhode Island

v633cvcp2.jpg (47929 bytes)    
Possibly this car, with a new top?
(I recognize the phaeton to its right as belonging to Aaron)

      

 

5508 #2 5000077
[5266LX]
Car #117?
According to enthusiast-historian, Rick LeForge, this car was shipped to Auburn, NY, on June 21, 1933; he kindly sent a copy of the build sheet. In the fifties, when Rick discovered its existence, it consisted only of the engine and chassis; at that time it was owned by David A. Guano of Salem, OH. Later, this ad appeared in the Self Starter in Feb.1995: 1933 Cadillac V-16 special convertible coupe by Fleetwood style 5508.  Not shown in any literature, 1 of 4 produced, original owner [was] a famous inventor, fully documented car with matching numbers.  This is a low-mileage car. Some restoration work has been done but car needs completion (the photo accompanying the ad - below - says it all!)  I am guessing that the color photo, lower row, right, depicts the same car, after completion of a full restoration. Carl Stoutenberg, a vee-sixteen aficionado like me, reports that this was Fleetwood special order #5266 (SFBO1 #69 on build sheet).  The dash plaque on the car reads Theodore W. Case, car   #117.  The latter number may indicate that the car is the 117th out of 126 sixteens built in 1933. Cadillac enthusiast and well-known collector Bob Hoffman once owned this car. Bob purchased in Pennsylvania a 1933 V-16 limousine [Fleetwood style #5575] and used some parts from that car to help restore this convertible coupe. He later sold the car and it was finished by RM for the next owner, Carmine Zeccardi of Chicago. Late extra (9/2005): the car was sold to John Groendyk, then repurchased by Carmine, who still owned it in 2008 [thanks to Mike Fairbairn of RM Auctions for this update].
____________
1
  SB = Special Fleetwood Body Order number. According to Carl Stoutenberg, this is where detailed body specifications are to be found. On original build sheets it is listed in a box titled Fisher Order Number.  The same form blank appears to have been used for both Fleetwood and Fisher-built cars. BTW, not all cars have an SB number; this was typical of sixteens of the 1933 production run
 

33Zeccardi.jpg (32797 bytes)

  V6335508.jpg (9474 bytes)     v633cvcp.jpg (7157 bytes)     v633cvc2.jpg (9002 bytes)
Owner John Groendyk
Photo:  Classic Car Club of America [CCCA]

v633shap.jpg (7479 bytes)     v633sha2.jpg (6776 bytes)
[ Photos this row: © and courtesy Joe Gildea ]

v633Zecc3S.jpg (26029 bytes)     v633Zecc4S.jpg (24787 bytes)

v633Zecc2S.jpg (24640 bytes)     v633Zecc1.jpg (10225 bytes)
Photos (above 2 rows):  Internet, 2006

     

 

5508? #3 5000101
[5435LX]
Car #132?
I had noted that this car was formerly owned by Richard Le Forge of Palo Alto, CA; Rick kindly supplied the build-sheet; the car was shipped on August 17, 1933..  Dr. Rick Zeiger, CA, informed me in May 2002 that it once belonged to him too. It has again changed hands. The new owner is David Kane of New Jersey [confirmed by Louis Barnhart of VA]. The car has undergone a full restoration and was shown at the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elégance in August that year. It was featured on the program cover as well as on that year's poster. The artist chosen for 2002 was Nicola Wood who was featured in the CLC Self-Starter. The 2002 CLC Directory lists the owner as Dick Shappy of RI. In fact, there may be confusion between this Fleetwood- bodied (?) car and Dick's rarer (unique!) Fisher-bodied convertible coupe, style 33-16-168 (listed above).
 

v633CvCpB.jpg (55215 bytes)     33_Kane.JPG (46864 bytes)

 

v633kane.jpg (8907 bytes)          v633cvcp1.jpg (17353 bytes)
Photo (left):  CCCA; (center) Pebble Beach, 2002

 

5508? ? ? A similar car [above car?] car was formerly owned by Everett Stevens of Beautrice, Nebraska
5525 #1 5000045
[5195LX]
Three were built at a cost of $11,000 each.  This one was (is?) owned by  Leo & Ivy Chu of  Beverly Hills, CA, or by Otis Chandler [according to aficionado Richard Stanley, 5/2001]; its first owner was screen star Joan Crawford. The car was first shipped to New York on July 27, 1933 in

the 3rd quarter, 1933)  It was offered for sale (year unknown) by Mitchell E. Cooper Used Cars of 8835 Sunset Blvd;  the price at that time was $1,250! Today it is worth quite a bit more!! The car took second place at Pebble Beach in 1994, and third prize again at Pebble Beach in 1995 (see Self-Starter, January 1996, p.12).  Currently (2001) it is in the Chandler collection of the Vintage Museum. The following previous owners have been identified:  Ms. Joan Crawford (1933- ???), John Quarty of Chandler's San Marcos Resort, AZ (??? - ???), Willard Brown and Don Lee of Hillcrest Motors (in the fifties), once again Hillcrest Motors (1975-???), Dr. Murphy of PA (bought at a Sotheby auction in 1995).

 

33craw4.jpg (5325 bytes)     33craw1.JPG (8437 bytes)     33craw2.JPG (4662 bytes)

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There exist many interesting scale models of this beautiful town car
for those who, like me, have no room in the garage for the full-sized version

33craw6.jpg (9915 bytes)
This one from Entex is in 1:16 scale; it is perfect in every detail

 

5525 3 [5000095]
5506LX
Only three of these town cars were built: one had VIN 5000045 (the Joan Crawford car, above); the remaining two were  VINs 5000095 and 5000122.  Enthusiast-historian, Rick LeForge, kindly supplied a fingerprint of the body tag he took in the fifties, thus attesting to the car's survival; Rick supplied these essential numbers: "5525" being the "Fleetwood "JOB NO." and "..3.5506LX" which I interpreted as "body No. 3 (of 3)" and "5506".  Car #95 was delivered to New York on 7.27.33; it did not find a buyer and was returned to GM-Cadillac for credit on August 8, 1933. Initially, I thought this could be one of two 1933 V-16 town cars I had earlier been able label the "Marlene Dietrich" car currently in the Keyaerts Cadillac collection in Langeais, Touraine, France.  Thanks to Rick LeForge, we now have identified this V-16 town car as #3 of 3 such jobs built in 1933 but not sold until late in the year (August 8,  ref. #8A 4871 per "Cadillac Jim" Pearson); it seemed improbable/impossible, therefore that Marlene could have bought it for her 31st birthday in December, 1932. According to Jim Pearson this car was acquired later by a Dr. Clark Henry who was restoring it circa Nov. 18, 1973. It is POSSIBLY the Keyaerts car.
5525 2 5000122? In the book Marlene Dietrich, by her daughter Maria Riva, it is said that Marlene bought a luxurious and very large Cadillac "for" her 31st birthday, which occurred on December 27, 1932; one would assume, therefore, that the purchase was been made around Christmas 1932 and the 3rd quarter 1933. The town car shown here was first delivered to Los Angeles (Hollywood, perhaps) on October 10, 1933; the new 1934 models were just weeks away from delivery. It is impossible, therefore, that Marlene could have bought THIS car for her 31st birthday as the latter had occurred already 10 months earlier. We know that one of the three 1933 Cadillac V-16 town cars is currently housed  in the Robert Keyaerts museum and carries either VIN5000095 (above) or VIN5000122; the only other identical car carries VIN5000122; the latter was acquired by actress Joan Crawford and is described in detail in this section. So...  if Marlene acquired her V-16, in LA, in October 1933, she would be missing out on the 1934 cars due to be available just a few weeks later. We have here the actual VINs of the only "Sixteens" identical to the Crawford car; unfortunately we do not know which is which and that essential information is not forthcoming from the museum. Now, we know that Marlene acquired a 1934 V-16 town car (photos and other evidence included here) at the END of 1934, it is perfectly feasible that the star bought a 1933 town car at the END of 1933 ...and the 1934 version at the END of 1934.  The description of the latter, in Maria Riva's book, is more consistent with a 1934 V-16 than one from 1933: it was so long that no garage was deep enough to house it; the exceptional length was due to the specially constructed trunk that hung on the back. In effect, the 1933 "Sixteens" sat on a wheelbase of 149" and had an o.a. length of  222", bumper to bumper; on the other hand, the 1934 version (of which Marlene definitely owned one) sat on a wheelbase of 154" - the longest ever wheelbase used for a production automobile - with an o.a. length of 240" (18" longer, bumper to bumper), that's 22 feet, folks - EXCLUDING the trunk!

It is a fact that Marlene DID own a similar town car from the 1934 production. Could there be confusion on Maria's part about the date of that purchase or what birthday Marlene was celebrating.  Check out also the survivors for 1934-1937 for the 1934 V-16 town car bought by Marlene in late 1934. If we had the VIN of the V-16 car below, we could determine more precisely its origin (see also VIN 5000122, below).

 

5825Keya.JPG (59664 bytes)
Note how the landau bars have been mounted incorrectly (a common restorer's mistake);
the one on th RH side of the carshould be mounted on the left, and vice-versa

V633marl.jpg (7048 bytes)     v633Marlene.jpg (9625 bytes)
Photos:  courtesy Magali & Geneviève Keyaerts
[ Note the imitation landau bars that appear "upside down"; in fact they are simply  mounted on the wrong sides of the quarters ]

 Marlene2.JPG (10840 bytes)        
Excerpt and cover of   book Marlene Dietrich, by her daughter, Maria Riva;
I believe the excerpt refers to the 1934 town car that the actress once owned; her daughter mentions
that Marlene bought the car for her 31st  birthday (which I believe was on December 27, 1932; it would seem at first glance
that the car she acquired in late 1932 would be a 1933 model, as shown here; we have no photographic record
of her having used such a model: on the other hand her 1934 Cadillac V16 is well documented (note that

the museum car does not have the "metal-encased chest of drawers" hanging on the back)

 

5530FL 14 5000088
[5270LX]

Unique, 5-pass. formal sedan; full story in CLC annual; first owner, Vanderbilt family [special order #5270LX]. Stenciled on the firewall are the numbers "M5000088" [motor], "B14" [body], "J5530" [job] (although the actual Fleetwood styling code is 5530-FL). The car is reported to have cost $12,500 when new.

 

   

              

             
Photos: (right) Michael Bromley, (left and top row) CLC

 

[5555C] [#1]? 5000053 Former owner may have been  George Teebay. Sadly, this unique  "Madame X" style 5-pass limousine-landaulet did not survive; the car was dismantled and sold for parts in the early seventies [I got the VIN from Rick LeForge, 3/2009]
5575? ? 5000005 This 7-pass imperial sedan was exported to Europe, via Antwerp in Belgium; perhaps it will turn up one day; who knows ?
[5775]
33-225
#8 5000117 Was formerly owned by John McCartney of Kinston, NC [early seventies].  This non-authentic "Sixteen" may have been owned also in the early seventies by Bruce Duncan of Rockville, MD.  Another previous owner was Bob Hoffmann who gave me the  details about this "mysterious" car;  he wrote in Jan., 2009 : Hi Yann, this is the real story. The car started life as a 5575 [Bob has the original factory build sheet for that car - engine #5000117]. Sometime after that, a division window & the ability of the back of the front seat to fold flat was added. I have NO idea when or who did it. I purchased the car out of Pa. [which was the original shipping destination according to the build sheet]  and used it to help restore 1933 convertible coupe, style #5508, body # 2 [see entry for that car, above]. I sold the car and RM finished  it. I also sold the 5575 in question. A subsequent buyer wanted a town car & used parts from a V-12 car to do it. I knew he was doing it, but didn't realize that he was trying to use the data plate from the V-12 [I guess that is the "33-225" data plate on the car today]. The body is the ORIGINAL one [the "5575" limousine?], he cut it and grafted the town car parts onto it [the front compartment area?  I guess this explains the quarter windows, as there are none on Fisher style #33-225]. The photo below (top row, left) is from the archives of The Automobile magazine.  The car was rediscovered in 2/2005 by enthusiast and CLC member, Jeff Maltby who supplied the other photos, below. It still has a black hood and black side mount covers; the rest of the body was black but is currently in primer. Jeff says the deceased owner acquired the car 3 years circa 2001-2002.  It is all there, very straight, solid, no rust with OEM interior needing a full restoration. The photo he sent of the body tag (below) is that of Fisher style 33-225 of which eight units were built on the V-12 chassis in 1933; that tag appears to apply only to the firewall and front compartment of the car; the rear compartment, according to Bob Hoffmann, is still part of the original limousine style #5575. Late Extra (Jan., 2009):  the car is in California and is for sale; we may be hearing more about it soon. Later (Jan., 2010):  the car has gone to the Netherlands; it is going to be converted to a custom Fleetwood style [#5502] that was a part of the catalog offerings this year but was never actually built [see last section of page for further details]. Latest (Nov., 2014) : The new owner tells me that work is progressing on the redesigned car according to schedule; NO photos will be released until the work has been competed. Expect the exceptional !
 
 


     Fleetwood style #5575 has quarter windows, whereas Fisher style #33-225 has none, hence the "mix" of two body styles

    

         

     33_5591c.jpg (5758 bytes)

V633TC5.JPG (6049 bytes)
This was initially believed to be the missing (third) Fleetwood town car, style #5525;
however, the engine number and body tag reveal that the car started as a Fleetwood limousine style #5575

and, later,  part of a Fisher town car body from a V-12 chassis appears to have been "incorporated"
between the engine compartment and the rear passenger compartment of the original limousine body!

          V6Malt4.jpg (9248 bytes)     V6Malt6.jpg (10133 bytes)     V6Malt8.jpg (10198 bytes)     33tcFisher4.jpg (5825 bytes)

 V6Malt1.jpg (8719 bytes)     V6Malt5.jpg (8394 bytes)

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V6Malt0.jpg (10078 bytes)

 

5575 #8 5000031
[5141LX]
A limousine like this one (below) was shown as being owned by a Joe Mikula, in the Self Starter for Nov.-Dec. 1967, p.6.  According to Rick LeForge, the car was shipped to Detroit on 2.21.33, then diverted to NYC, to be finally returned to the factory for credit on 4.18.33.
 

V633sed.jpg (9004 bytes)     v633sdn.JPG (9174 bytes)
Photo:  (left) CLC, (right) the late Gene Babow

v633sed7.jpg (6951 bytes)       MIKULA.JPG (8745 bytes)
Could this be the same car?

 

5575 ? 5000051 This body is believed to have been mounted on a V-16 chassis left over from 1932.  Does that mean only 125 chassis were built in 1933; note that there is a blank data sheet in V-16  production records for 1932; could THAT chassis have been used for THIS body?
5575 ? [5000056] This one was formerly owned by Louis Gravel of Westmont, Quebec, Canada. Not sure of the VIN; it appears to be the same as for the Al Jolson car, style #5579 ???
5575 18 5000066
This car is a rare survivor in near-original condition. Built for a Mrs. H.A. Springle, it was delivered through General Motors Products of Canada on May 25, 1933. The paint, chrome and interior are all extremely original, and the car is accompanied by a copy of the build sheet, confirming its original configuration and body style of “Fleetwood Custom Limousine.” Showing just 29,500 miles, it made a dramatic appearance at Pebble Beach in 2003. A fowner owner was Louis Gravel, of Westmont, Quebec, Canada.  Late Extra (7/2011):  Thanks to my detective friend, Chris Cummings, we learn that this car was put up for sale at auction by RM at their St. John's auction (formerly Meadow Brook). Latest:  The car was sold for a tad under $160,000. It was lot # 121. The car has the dual enclosed sidemounts with mirrors, wide whitewalls, jump seats, The paint and interior are largely original and delightfully preserved. This Cadillac was good enough that to be shown in 2003 at Pebble Beach. Not much more needs to be said. It came out of the Lyle Reiswig Collection.
 

    
The label in the rear window of both cars, suggests they are one and the same

5000066.jpg (50497 bytes)    

    

 

5575 ? 5000097
[5138LX]
This one was shipped to St. Louis but was later returned to GM-Cadillac for credit. A former owner was Wilbur Smith of Doniphan, MO.
5575 ?

5000117

Was listed in the Self Starter (1963) as belonging to John McCartney of Kinston, NC.
5575 ?

?

This car was offered for sale at auction in the late eighties.  I have no other details about it.  It could be one of the cars listed above
 

v633sd3.JPG (7384 bytes)     SMITHSRV.JPG (10259 bytes)
Photo (left) :  Auction catalog; (right)   Could be this restored car ?

 

5575 ? ? A similar model was owned in the early seventies by Leo Gephart of Englewood, OH
5575? ? ? These two are pictured in the book Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000; they too may have survived.
 

v633srv2.jpg (9677 bytes)     v633srv3.jpg (10495 bytes)
Photo on right could be an original factory shot;   I had not seen it before 2000
[ Photos:  Book Standard Catalog of Cadillac, 1903-2000 ]

 

5575?

?

?

A limousine with divider was offered for sale by Kruse in 8/1996; the reported first owner was Mrs. Hammond of the Hammond Organ Company

5575?

?

?

This limousine is (was) part of the estate of millionaire heiress and recluse, Huguette Clark. She was the daughter of the late copper magnate and senator William A. Clark of Montana. She died in 2011 at age 104 (!), leaving an estate worth around $300 million. The bulk of it will go to charity; twenty family members whom she barely knew will share $34.5 million; their lawyers will pocket $11.5 million in fees!

 

         
 

 

5575-FL ? 5000042 This one was delivered to Los Angeles on March 23, 1933. It was formerly owned (1967) by Patrick Ferchill Jr., of Longview, TX.  Subsequently (circa 1969) he sold to an enthusiast in Arkansas. The owner's nameplate had been removed from the dash. Mr. Ferchill believes it may have belonged to Joan Crawford, the actress, who we know owned a V-16 town car of the same vintage (see above).  Late Extra:  In September 2011, an unidentified reader wrote:  The delivery date for car 5000042 was March 23, 1933. It is speculated this was Joan Crawford's car. Readers should know that  her birthday was also March 23. So it might have been a gift to herself.

v633pho.jpg (18307 bytes)
Possibly this survivor ...with a weak rear door handle spring?

 

5575-FL? #8 5000008? This is the 8th car to leave the factory, on Dec. 31, 1932.  Could it be the car  owned in the early seventies by James Taliague of Houston, TX.
5575-S ? 5000001 Only the engine of this car survives; the body is believed to have been destroyed
5575-S ? 5000016 This 7-pass  sedan was delivered to Larry Fisher, for his own use; it is not believed to have survived

5575-S

#5

5000024
[5092LX]

I had first seen this car offered for sale on the Internet in July, 1999; it needed a full restoration; the price then was $25,000.  In December 2008 the car's full history was supplied kindly by Canadian enthusiast Mike Fairbairn of RM Auctions. He told me the car had been ordered on December 9, 1932 and shipped on February 1, 1933; he has a 2-page build sheet for it. The first owner was G.W. Shroyer, former mayor of Dayton, OH, in whose care it remained from 2.1.33 to 6.14.63, when he was 98 years old!  Mr. Shroyer had opened a bicycle exchange in Dayton, under the firm name of G. W. Shroyer & Co; that firm handled the Gendron, Cleveland, Victor and Winton wheels. Shroyer's was a successful venture and he was recognized as one of the foremost of the young and progressive business men of the city.  He was born in Montgomery county, OH, on September 26, 1865, a son of Andrew J. and Mary Ann (Oakes) Shroyer, the former of whom was a son of an original pioneer of the county. John Shroyer, grandfather of George W., was the first of the family to come from Maryland to Montgomery county when Dayton was just a village. The next owner of this luxurious sedan was a Japanese gentleman, Arthur H. Kusuhara, of Canoga Park, CA; he owned it for about 40 years, from 6.14.63 to 1.1.2004 when it was acquired by V-16 enthusiast Dick Shappy of Providence, RI; Dick kept it  from 1.1.2004 to 5.15.2006 when it was acquired by Mike, through dealer/broker Dale Johnson in CA. Mike brought the running chassis and engine to Pebble Beach in 2008 [photos below].  Will it receive the same body? That is the question!

 

33d.jpg (7700 bytes)     33c.jpg (6817 bytes)

33b.jpg (6832 bytes)     V633srv.jpg (6402 bytes)
Photo:  Internet 1999

V6337PAS.JPG (6636 bytes)
This photo was taken during Dick Shappy's ownership

33ChasMike.jpg (11832 bytes)     33chasMik2.jpg (8753 bytes)

v6_33chasis.jpg (7357 bytes)     v6_33engine.jpg (7657 bytes)     v16carb.jpg (7158 bytes)
The current owner, Mike Fairbairn, presented the bare, restored, running chassis to the judges at Pebble Beach, in 2008

 

5575-S ? 5000081 Only the engine remains.  It resides in the collection of Dick Shappy, R.I.
5575-S ? ? Such a car was owned by Dean Brown of Linwood, CA, in the early seventies
5575-S ? ? A 7-pass. sedan of this type was owned in the early seventies by Jack Passey, Jr., of Freedom, CA Enthusiast Mike Fairbairn of RM Auctions informed me in March 2006 that he had spoken recently to Mr. Passey who confirmed that he had effectively owned a Fleetwood style #5575S for many years, starting in the '40s.  He had sold the car to the McGowan brothers in Connecticut.  Jack's car was apparently an excellent, unrestored car with original paint. Later, he discovered his chassis, fenders, bumpers, etc., underneath a V16 convertible sedan project that was being sold at Hershey.  Apparently, the brothers McGowan had bought Jack's car because they knew of a '33 convertible sedan body that was sitting on a '32 chassis.  They bought that car and switched the body onto Jack's sedan chassis. It is not known what happened to the sedan body. Since we don't have the VIN for Jack's car, we need to keep in mind that there is a convertible sedan out there [style #5579] with non-matching numbers.
5575-S? ? ? Another 7-pass. sedan of this type was owned in the early seventies by Terrence Wyban of Richmond Heights, OH
5575-S ? ? One such car was reported by Rick LeForge to have been owned around the fifties by a Mr. Jack Passey, of Freedom, CA. Rick had no other details about the car or its condition at the time. It could quite possibly be one of the other cars listed here.

5576

#1?
#2?

[5000073]?
[5000111]?

James P. Barrow, Dallas, TX; article in CLC 7/1992, pp.8-9.  Only two of these were built.

V65576.jpg (7724 bytes)
Photo:  CLC

 

5576 #1?
#2?
[5000073]?
[5000111]?
A similar car [or the above car] was owned in the early seventies by Michael Tyron of Clifton Heights, PA
5579? #1 5000056 This splendid convertible sedan was built on March 31,1933 and shipped to New York City on April 1, 1933. The first owner was singer-showman, Al The Jazz Singer  Jolson.  It spent many years in the former Harrah collection, in Reno, NV.  It weighed 6110 lbs and cost an astounding  $8000 in 1933. Eight of them were built. This one was offered for sale on the Internet in 3/2002 by Cave Creek Classics, for $325,000.
 

v65579x.JPG (9829 bytes)     v633PhaB&W.jpg (11766 bytes)
Photo [left] :  courtesy of the late Hollis Weihe, CLC

V633JOLS.JPG (12340 bytes)
Photos:  courtesy Harrah's Museum


33Jolson.jpg (11779 bytes)     V633jols.jpg (7749 bytes)     v633al3.jpg (14292 bytes)     v633al2.jpg (18512 bytes)
[ 1st 2 photos: Photos: courtesy Mike Thomas, volunteer tour guide at the National Automobile Museum  ]

V633phaa.jpg (12379 bytes)     v633phab.jpg (6685 bytes)

v633cvA.jpg (9613 bytes)     v633cvB.jpg (10815 bytes)
Is this the same car? (shown here with road lights and travel trunk, mounted on folding luggage rack)

v633cvsd.jpg (7860 bytes)     v633plnkt.JPG (18896 bytes)     v633jol4.jpg (27238 bytes)
Is THIS the car that is now in the collection of Steve Plunkett
[ photo courtesy Dirk Van Dorst ]


v633phac.jpg (8404 bytes)     v633phad.jpg (8739 bytes)

lolsn1.jpg (4605 bytes)     lolsn2.jpg (8238 bytes)
Sixteens for 1933 carried an individual ID plate honoring the owner; many of these nameplates
have disappeared, making it difficult, today, to determine who was the first owner of a particular survivor

    

     

v633phaJol.jpg (27589 bytes)

 

5579 "01"
[ ??? ]
[5000082]
[4710LX]

Eight of these all-weather styles were built on the V-16 chassis in 1933. However, the chassis of this survivor carries VIN #5000082 which belonged initially to a sedan (Fleetwood style #5575-S) that shipped to San Francisco on June 28, 1933.  This body may be one of the original 8 that were mounted on the V-16; or it may have come from a V-8 or V-12.  I saw it advertised for sale [as this all-weather phaeton] in Scottsdale, AZ [annual Barrett-Jackson venue]. The car was bid up to "only" $175,000. I give you what BJ said about the car (I have found their vehicle identifications, descriptions and VINs to be frequently unreliable): leather interior, completely restored auto, including engine [?], 250 miles since major overhaul, judged 100-point car, first place in CCCA 1998, first place national Cadillac club, first place senior AACA 1998.  Believed to be once owned by President Hoover [were this true, I believe we would have heard about it!].  Frame was removed during WW2 to be used in war effort [?]. An original 1933 frame [with engine?] was located and a five year restoration was completed in 1998 [i.e. the numbers don't match - see entry above, re the 7-pass. sedan owned in the early seventies by Jack Passey, Jr., of Freedom, CA].  Could this be a third survivor (body only?) since the chassis was removed in the forties. In 2002, it was owned by Barton Jarvis of Portland, CT. It is CLC Senior car #272. The Kruse group, competing auctioneers, reportedly sold this car for $265,000 at their Auburn, IN, venue in September 1999 [Lot 1018].  Did BJ buy it from Kruse?  Sadly to say, so many of these top notch cars seem to just go from one auction venue to another, in the hope of seeing bid prices go up! Late extra [4/2001]:  the car was again offered for sale by Barrett-Jackson for $295,000   ...money, money, money, it's a rich man's world [ABBA].  I guess the $30,000 price increase is the cost of storage since 1999! Late late extra [11/2005]:  One more attempt was made to sell this incredible machine; this time it was offered on Ebay, with a starting  bid of $165,000. The vendor [Hyman, of St. Louis, MO, a vendor who enjoys an excellent reputation]  included a photo of the body tag showing body number "01" as well as "4710LX". To my knowledge, body #1 [of the 8 units built] is the Al Jolson car [engine #5000056], shown above. Latest [12/2005]:  the car has been acquired by enthusiast Aaron Weiss.  Aaron is such a perfectionist, I suspect he is getting ready to perform some restoration wonders on this car. Many photos below are courtesy of Mike Fairbairn, of RM Auctions.

 

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Photos (above 5 rows): courtesy of Mike Fairbairn, RM Auctions

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This car?

 

5579 ? 5000102
[5441LX]
This car was offered for sale by Kruse in the nineties; it was described as being in excellent condition; no numbers were listed. Carl Stoutenberg reports that this was Fleetwood special order #LX5441
5579? ? ? An AWP like this [the above car?] was owned in the early seventies by Joseph Albanese of Edison, NJ.  Could it be the above car?
5579? ? ? Another [the same] AWP  was owned in the early seventies by Donald Shields of Manasquan, NJ.  Again, could it be the above car?
5579? ? ? Fred Weber collection [info from book "Fleetwood" by James J. Schild]
5579A #1 5000116
[5514LX]
 It took Fleetwood 16 weeks to construct this $8,000 car in 1933; that was twicee the price of the eight-cylinder Fleetwood all weather phaeton. This unique all-weather phaeton (convertible sedan, [5514LX]) for five passengers has survived.  It was owned in the early seventies by Victor Kohman of Verona, NJ.  Many photos of the car were taken at the Gilmore Museum's Cadillac-LaSalle Experience  in Kalamazoo, MI, in June 1993. At that time the car belonged to CLC member the late Roy Warshawsky [CEO of  J.C. Whitney] who had it restored in 1990 by Fran Roxas.  Carl Stoutenberg reports that this was Fleetwood special order #LX5514.  The SFBO number on the build sheet is marked G.E. Crandell #143 car; Aficionado Carl Stoutenberg found out that Mr. Crandell was an advertising executive of the Montgomery Ward corporation who lived on Lake Shore Boulevard in Chicago. It took Fleetwood 16 weeks to construct, and at $8,000, it was double the price of the eight-cylinder Fleetwood all weather phaeton. For that sum, the new owner received, among other things, a personalized dash plaque giving his name and car number – #143 in this case.  That dash plaque (#143) does not jive with my theory that it could be the 143rd sixteen for 1933 ...since only 126 units were built that year!  The plot thickens ...or perhaps consecutive special order numbers were given irrespective of engine configuration (V8, V12 and V16). This car was acquired in the nineties by Neil Nicastro, a friend of Carl's. Late extra (09/2005): the car was acquired at auction [RM, lot #264] by Carmine Zeccardi of New Jersey [thank you Mike Fairbairn for this update]. The car is painted dark Crescendo Green; it is trimmed in dark brown leather and has a tan top. Could this be the car owned formerly by William Chorkey of Farmington, MI (see article in CLC 1/1996, p.12? It may be also the car offered for sale by Kruse in 8/1996). BTW, the black "slant back" car formerly owned by Bill Chorkey now belongs to Steve Plunkett of London, ON. The car has won a CCCA National 1st prize and gained an AACA National 1sr place.  Later:  We are fortunate in that the complete ownership history of S/N 5000116 is known from new – largely as a result of research done by a 1970s owner, Bob Schill. As a result of his efforts, an extensive file of correspondence, titles and photographs that accompanies the sale indicates that on January 28, 1952, S/N 5000116 was purchased from Nolan-Brown Motors Inc. for $125 [!!!!!] by Ralph S. Fralick of Coral Gables, Florida. According to Fralick, the car was being sold either to settle a mechanic’s lien or a storage bill. The previous owner’s name was Wilson, and he apparently had homes in both Illinois and Florida but bought the car in Chicago, probably from Crandell or his estate. Fralick sold the car in Florida in May of 1955 to Russell Grant, a gas station owner of Strasburg, Virginia. The car was parked at his station one day when noted collector Bill Pettit of Louisa, Virginia drove by and saw it. He passed on the information to his friend James G. (Jim) Groendyke of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Groendyke bought the car from Grant in early 1963. Victor E. Kohman of Verona, New Jersey bought the car from Groendyke in October of 1963. He owned the car for about seven years, selling it to Dr. Donald Shields of Manasquan, New Jersey in August of 1970. Shields sold the car to Robert H. Schill of Hinsdale, New Hampshire on March 8, 1973. At some point, probably in the mid 1980s, Schill sold the big V16 to well known classic car enthusiast Roy Warshawsky (of J.C. Whitney fame). He had the car delivered to noted restorer Fran Roxas of Alsip, Illinois, who carried out a complete nut and bolt restoration in the original color of Crescendo Green, completed in 1990. Multiple awards have followed, including a CCCA National First Place award received the very first time the car was shown, then an AACA National First Place at the Hershey Fall meet, followed by Best in Show honors at the CCCA’s Cadillac-LaSalle experience in Hickory Corners, Michigan. Although this restoration is now 16 years old, the car remains in high point condition today, a testimonial to both the workmanship and the care the car has received since restoration. After Roy Warshawsky passed away in 1997, many of his cars, including the V16, were sold at auction. S/N 5000116 was purchased by dealer Jerome Sauls, who resold the car to Chicago area collector Ron Benach. Two or three years later, Chicago businessman Neil Nicastro bought the car via Fran Roxas; he kept it until the fall of 2004 before selling it to highly respected Cadillac collector, Carmine Zeccardi, via RM Classic Cars Inc. of Chatham, Ontario. Mr. Zeccardi elected to offer the car for sale at RM’s Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance auction in August 2006, at which time it was acquired by Mr. John O’Quinn. Sadly, Mr. O'Quinn suffered an accidental death in late 2009 and his collection was put up for sale at auction. Late Extra (Mar., 2010):   The car found a buyer at the annual RM auction in Amelia Island, SC (Lot #151), for $462,000, plus the 10% sales commission. The Meadowbrook bidders pursued the car avidly, finally paying a 13% premium over RM's high estimate.  Latest (Mar., 2012):   The car was offered again at auction by the Gooding Co. at their Amelia Island venue. It was sold March 10 for $506,000

 


This photo was taken at the Gilmore Museum's Cadillac-LaSalle Experience in June, 1993
The car is easily recognizable by its protruding trunk as well as
the distinctive slant of the convertible top where it meets the belt

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[ Photos, above two rows:  courtesy Neil Nicastro ]

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[left] I believe is from the last auction sale when the car changed hands for $682,000

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Presumably the same car, after a repaint

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The next set of pics show the car as readied for an auction sale in 2012
[ Photos:  Gooding Co. catalog ]

    

           

    

    

    
(Left) In the center of the dash, the car still carries the original owner's name tag: G.E. Crandell - #143

 

5585 #9 51000028
[4572LX]
As only two units were built of this body style, I assume this is the other one [4572LX], the first one [car #10, below] being the Montgomery car. This one was shipped to Los Angles, CA on Feb. 17, 1933. Restored by Fran Roxas of Allsip, IL, this 100-point car was sold by RM Classics at Amelia Island, in May 2001; it is currently (2001) in the Otis Chandler collection (Vintage Museum). The first owner is listed as: Hill Blackett (or Hill Bluikett - spelling ?) . Other former owners include: Cameron Peck (1941-???), Charles Jones of Woodland, CA (1950s-1988), Roy Warshawsky of Chicago, IL (1988-1996) and Ron Benach (1996-2001). To confuse matters, it is the same color as #43 (???), the Montgomery car! Latest [Dec. 2006]: the owner is a member of the CCCA; his name is Jeff Ozan. Note: frequent visitors to the V-16 section of the Database will have observed that this entry and the one below have been reversed; indeed, I had got the two cars confused and was put right by V-16 owner and enthusiast, Terry Wenger. Thanks, Terry!
 

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Not sure that this is the same car

 

5585 #10 5000043
[RM catalog
shows 5000028]
Only two of these were built. This one shipped from the factory to a Chicago dealership on March 18, 1933; it did not find a buyer and was returned to GM-Cadillac for credit. Subsequently it was acquired by the actor Robert Montgomery.  It is painted black. Its second owner was a doctor in Chino, CA; could that doctor have been Rick Lenz?  A 1933 convertible Victoria was shown as being owned by a Mr. Rick Lenz, in the Self Starter for Nov.-Dec. 1967, p.6; I assume it is this car, as the owners of the other one all have been identified. In 1999 the Montgomery car was owned by William Francis Jahant, of Claremont, CA; he has had the car since the late fifties [he joined the CLC in October, 1959].  I believe this car was offered for sale by Kruse in 8/1996. The number on the owner's plaque is #45 [which previously I thought was the body number]. Note: frequent visitors to the V-16 section of the Database will have noted that this entry and the previous one have been reversed; indeed, I had got the two cars confused and was put right by V-16 owner and enthusiast, Terry Wenger. Thanks again, Terry!  The car was sold for $412.5K  to V-16 owner-enthusiast, Aaron Weiss, by RM at their Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey venue on Thursday, October 8, 2009. RM described the car thus in their auction catalog: This well-maintained and largely unrestored example is a California car from new and retains its original engine, chassis and body, as documented by the Cadillac shipping worksheet. Notably, as shown on its Fleetwood-installed engraved dash plaque, the original owner was the long-running Hollywood film star Robert Montgomery, who was honored with two stars on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame” for his achievements in both film and television. In addition, many will recall the more recent work of his daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery, who was the star of TV’s Bewitched series during the 1960s. The car has been maintained very well over the years and continues to exhibit an older but very presentable black exterior finish and a tan convertible top with landau irons. While the top does show some limited staining, it remains complete, well-fitted and attractive overall. Other accents include a pair of side mounted spare tires, dual rear view mirrors, a single Pilot-Ray driving lamp, a rear luggage rack and a set of painted steel wheels with hubcaps and period style wide whitewall tires. The original-appearing and very well maintained interior features a beautifully inlaid wooden dash with metal insert panels housing Art Deco-inspired instruments, while the cloth upholstery is very attractive as well. Underhood, the beautifully packaged V16 engine is both period correct and very well maintained, in keeping with the overall character of the car. Recently, the vendor spent in excess of $10,000 to address a number of minor issues, with the result that the car runs and drives very well today. A recent road test reveals that the car starts easily and settles into a comfortable idle, while the clutch action is excellent and the shifter engages smoothly. The tremendous torque of the V16 engine allows starting from a dead stop in high gear without any difficulty at all, while the final drive gearing allows comfortable cruising at modern road speeds. Once rolling, the steering is remarkably light, given the massive proportions of the car. Today, this largely original example shows approximately 74,000 miles and retains wonderful reminders of the obvious care it has received over the years, including lubrication and service reminder stickers, as well as a pair of show badges dating to the 1960s. Without doubt, this is one of the most important, original and rare Cadillac V16s known to exist today. Late Extra [2/2010]:  I was contacted by the new owner who kind enough, once again, to provide factual information about this new car in his collection.  He wrote: I now own a 1933 V-16 Victoria Model 5585 aka Robert Montgomery Car. The car has a brass plaque on the dashboard that indicates the car was built for Mr. Montgomery. The plaque is consistent with early pictures of the car that appear in the book entitled “Sixteen Cylinder Motorcars.” I have in my possession, an undated article in a publication entitled “V16 Appeal”.  An article contained therein entitled “1933 Cadillac V-16 Victoria Fleetwood, owner William J. Jahant,” by John C Meyer III, discusses the car. According to the article, Montgomery acquired it in 1933 and sold it in 1939 to an unnamed physician residing in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. William Jahant, a Pomona businessman acquired the from the doctor in 1959 after aggressively courting him for over a year. The car had been in a garage since 1941. I acquired the car at the RM Auction at Hershey in 2009. The title document I received was from the Jahant Trust. However, I believe that Carmine [Zeccardi] may have acquired the car directly from the Trust, held it for approximately 24 months before consigning it to the RM Auction. The 1933 Victoria has been invited to the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elégance where it will be exhibited in the Preservation Class. The statement that Rick Lenz may have been an owner is not consistent with Jahant’s testimony [this addresses a remark of mine at the beginning of this entry] in that it is clear that Jahant not Lenz owned the car in 1967. There is a plaque on the glove compartment door commemorating a CLC Show in 1967, so the part about the car being shown in 1967 is correct. There is a second CCCA plaque on the glove compartment  door commemorating a CCCA Grand Classic held in Redondo Beach in 1962. If the car was offered at a 1998 Kruse Auction it must not have sold as my California Title issued 10 years after that sale. The California Certificate of Title that I received was the new form as opposed to the old “Pink Slip.” The Jahant Family must have transferred the car from Wm. Jahant to a trust at some point in time. Thus the history of title would be: 1933-1937 – Robert Montgomery, 1937-1959 – Unknown Physician, 1959 -2008 – Wm. Jahant, 2008- 2010 – Carmine [Zeccardi], 2010 - Aaron Weiss. Consistent with my reputation, after the car is exhibited at Pebble Beach it will suffer a frame off restoration and be returned to its original glory!
 

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[ Photos:  RM Auction catalog ]

    

 

5585 #10 5000043 Only two of these were built. This one shipped from the factory to a Chicago dealership on March 18, 1933; it did not find a buyer and was returned to GM-Cadillac for credit. Subsequently it was acquired by the actor Robert Montgomery.  It is painted black. Its second owner was a doctor in Chino, CA; could that doctor have been Rick Lenz?  A 1933 convertible Victoria was shown as being owned by a Mr. Rick Lenz, in the Self Starter for Nov.-Dec. 1967, p.6; I assume it is this car, as the owners of the other one all have been identified. In 1999 the Montgomery car was owned by William Francis Jahant, of Claremont, CA; he had the car since the late fifties [he joined the CLC in October, 1959].  I believe this car was offered for sale by Kruse in 8/1996. The number on the owner's plaque is #43 (???) [which previously I thought was the body number]. Note: frequent visitors to the V-16 section of the Database will have noted that this entry and the previous one have been reversed; indeed, I had got the two cars confused and was put right by V-16 owner and enthusiast, Terry Wenger. Thanks again, Terry!  Late Extra (2/2010): I was informed by the new owner, Aaron Weiss, that he had acquired this splendid car.  Aaron wrote: I now own a 1933 V-16 Victoria Model 5585 aka Robert Montgomery Car. The car contains a brass plaque on the dashboard that indicates that the car was built for Mr. Montgomery. The plaque is consistent with early pictures of the car that appear in the book entitled “Sixteen Cylinder Motorcars.” I have in my possession, an undated article in a publication entitled “V16 Appeal”. An article contained therein, entitled “1933 Cadillac V-16 Victoria Fleetwood, Owner William J. Jahant,” by John C Meyer III, discusses the car. According to the article, Montgomery acquired the car in 1933 and sold it in 1939 to an unnamed physician residing in the Inland Empire area of southern California. William Jahant, a Pomona businessman acquired the from the doctor in 1959 after aggressively courting the doctor for over a year. The car had been in a garage since 1941. I acquired the car at the RM Auction at Hershey in 2009. The title document I received was from the Jahant Trust. However, I believe that Carmine [Zeccardi] may have acquired the car directly from the Trust, held it for approximately 24 months before consigning it to the RM Auction. The 1933 Victoria has been invited to the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance where it will be exhibited in the Preservation Class. The statement that Rick Lenz may have been an owner is not consistent with Jahant’s testimony as it is clear that Jahant not Lenz owned the car in 1967 [Aaron is referring to one of my comments, above] . There is a plaque on the glove compartment door commemorating a CLC Show in 1967, so the part about the car being shown in 1967 is correct. There is a second CCCA plaque on the glove compartment door commemorating a CCCA Grand Classic held in Redondo Beach in 1962. If the car was offered at a 1998 Kruse Auction it must not have sold as my California Title issued 10 years after that sale. The California Certificate of Title that I received was the new form as opposed to the old “Pink Slip.” The Jahant Family must have transferred the car from Wm. Jahant to a trust at some point in time. Thus the history of title would be: 1933-1937 – Robert Montgomery,  1937-1959 – Unknown Physician,  1959 -2008 – Wm. Jahant,   2008-2010 – Carmine Zeccardi,  2010 - Aaron Weiss.  Consistent with my reputation, after the car is exhibited at Pebble Beach, it will suffer a frame off restoration and be returned to its original glory! I believe that this history is correct based on the facts at hand.
5591 #1-4 5000106 Only four of these were built. This one is reported to have survived - details are sought.
[unk.] ? ? The late Roy Warshawsky is alleged to have owned a 1933 V-16 that was previously owned by the King of Denmark; who knows this car?    What body style? Where is it today?
? #1? 5000040 Has been destroyed, according to Rick LeForge
? ? 5000049 This chassis may never have got a body; according to Rick LeForge it may have been a special show chassis
? ? 500112 (NEW, 3/2010) [Engine only]   Owner-enthusiast, Chris Cummings pointed out to me, on the CLC Forum, this V-16 power plant that was being offered for sale. CLC member, Bob Hoffmann, added: The last time I saw it was in LA many years ago. It was in an old man's garage. It is a '33 motor. The car was parted out years ago. I got the hood from it. Small world.
Bob
 

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? ? ? Does anyone know who owns this phaeton today and where it might be located.  The (poor) photo itself, like so many others in the collection, was "mis-filed" in my Cadillac photo-archives in the mid-80s and has only recently resurfaced.

 

 

5502

n/a

  The story of this car may be seen, above.  For convenience, I am repeating the salient information about it here. The car started life as a Fleetwood style #5575 car - engine #5000117. Some time after that, a division window & the ability of the back of the front seat to fold flat was added. Parts of it were used to help restore a 1933 convertible coupe, style #5508, body # 2 [see entry, above, for that car].Later, a subsequent owner used parts from a V-12 model to make a town car out of it (it still carries the V12 data plate #33-225. The body is that of the original limousine style #5575. It was cut down and parts of the V-12 town car were grafted onto it. The car was acquired subsequently by a collector in the Netherlands who intends to go one step further and "convert the conversion" to this custom Fleetwood style #5502.

 

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Work in progress; photos will follow when the work is completed

 

 

 

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For the man who has everything:
Key fob featuring 1933 V16 convertible sedan

 

 

 

FRFLAG.JPG (773 bytes)
(résumé en français)

On trouvera ci-dessus des renseignements précis ainsi que, parfois, des photos se rapportant aux Cadillac à moteur seize cylindres de l'année 1933 qui auraient survécu.

Pour admirer l'ensemble de la production des V-16 de l'année 1933,  cliquer ici.

Petit supplément gratuit pour lecteurs francophones:

La Chrysler-Cadillac V16 de 1933 

On peut voir des choses étonnantes si on sait où regarder [ce pourrait être là le slogan publicitaire d'un fabricant de lunettes d'approche pour citadins voyeurs...] Mon regretté ami Gene Babow, bien trop tôt disparu, historien des automobiles américaines de la décennie d'avant guerre (1930-1939), n'avait pas les yeux [ni l'objectif de son Canon] dans la poche lorsqu'il se trouvait en face d'une belle classique.

Connaissant mon goût immodéré pour les Cadillac à moteur seize cylindres il m'avait fait parvenir, avant sa mort, les photos ci-dessus [voiture jaune].  Non, il ne s'agit pas d'une Cadillac [une fois n'est pas coutume] mais bien d'une superbe Chrysler Imperial, année 1933, équipée d'un moteur Cadillac à seize cylindres. L'histoire ne nous dit pas si ce luxueux torpédo fut équipé dès le départ de ce moteur d'emprunt ou s'il fut installé par la suite.

La Chrysler-Cadillac V16 de 1933 a droit de cité à deux titres:

1° elle est équipée d'un des rares moteurs Cadillac V-16 de 1933 (dont il ne fut construit que 125 unités cette année là) et

  la première voiture de feu mon père [ci-dessous], achetée en avril 1948, était un magnifique torpédo Chrysler CB6 de 1934 qui, quoique de dimensions un peu plus réduites que l'Imperial, ressemblait de très près à ce merveilleux monstre (calandre, phares, parechocs AV, ligne générale de la caisse):

chrys34a.JPG (10174 bytes)

N'étant pas spécialiste de la marque Chrysler, je vous livre néanmoins les quelques informations que je possède concernant cette marque.  La firme fut fondée en 1925 par Walter Percy Chrysler dont l'aïeul, un certain Kreissler, avait débarqué de l'Allemagne kaiseroise quelques générations auparavant.

Les robustes voitures de la  marque Chrysler, à  moteur 6-cylindres en ligne, visaient à concurrencer [et l'ont fait avec beaucoup de succés] certains modèles Packard, Lincoln, Pierce Arrow et même [honte sur nous !] ...Cadillac.  On les reconnaîssait (comme les Vauxhall britanniques) grâce à une cannelure fuyante de part et d'autre du capot moteur.

Une berline de la marque s'était distinguée en 1926 en couvrant la distance de Kansas City à Denver (1123km) en 13 heures et 56 minutes, soit à une moyenne d'environ 80kmh.  L'année suivante elle établit un nouveau record en effectuant l'aller-retour San Francisco-New York-San Francisco (10,754km) en 167 heures et 59 minutes, soit à une moyenne de 64kmh. 

Le génie de Chrysler s'illustra dès 1926 avec le lancement de la nouvelle "Imperial", habillée dès 1927 par de grands carrossiers tels que Locke, Dietrich et Le Baron. Une de ces voitures termina en 2e place le Grand Prix de Belgique à Spa en 1928 à la vitesse moyenne de 92kmh.

Dès 1931 la marque adopta le 8-cylindres en ligne d'une cylindrée de 6,3 litres. Mais les Imperial  véritablement impériales, si je puis me permettre ce jeu de mots d'une habileté déconcertante, sont apparues dès le 1er janvier 1932 avec les séries "CH" sur chassis à empattement de 343cm, et "CL" à empattement de 371cm.

La voiture que nous pouvons admirer ci-dessus en photos, fait partie de la série "CL" de 1933, la dernière en fait car elle allait être supplantée dès l'année suivante par la bien curieuse Chrysler Airflow, la Coccinelle version Detroit et franchement destroy.

On reconnaît aisément la Chrysler  Imperial de 1933 grâce à sa calandre inclinée et à ses verres de phares en coupe-vent. Cette carrosserie de type double phaéton est l'oeuvre de la firme Le Baron, née de l'association de deux haut-couturiers automobile, MM Ray Dietrich et Tom Hibbard.   Hibbard et Darrin avaient travaillé ensemble chez le carrossier Brewster à New York. Ils ont voulu donner à leur nouvelle firme un nom à consonnance française, qui soit facile à prononcer dans les deux langues et qui rappelle Paris, capitale à l'époque de la haute-couture automobile.

Le nom Imperial a été utilisé chez Chrysler, sans discontinuer, depuis 1926. Comme "Eldorado" chez Cadillac, il a toujours désigné les modèles Chrysler les plus chers.  Avant 1954 ils faisaient partie intégrante de la gamme Chrysler, mais dès 1954 Imperial devint une marque autonome, au même titre que Plymouth et Dodge. 

Pour terminer ce reportage sur un (beau) mariage de convenance entre la Chrysler et la Cadillac, sachez qu'à Auckland, en Nouvelle Zélande il existe un pareil ensemble Cadillac-Chrysler (ou vice-versa), s'agissant d'un moteur Chrysler équipant cette fois ci un torpédo Cadillac.

Ami(e)s des automobiles américaines Chrysler et Cadillac, vous avez le bonjour de: 

"Mr Cadillac"

 

 

 

© 1996-2020, Yann Saunders, DLM Group, and the Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum and Research Center Inc.
[ Background image: 1933 V-16 hood ornament ]