[ last update: 12.03.2014 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

The Cadillac V16


Part 1i
(Early Sixteens)


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This artist's view of  Fleetwood style 4225 town car is from
a Dutch catalog in a private collection, Washington D.C.


The following list of options was copied from a book of Fleetwood offerings on the new sixteen-cylinder Cadillac chassis that I was fortunate to be able to consult in the Thomas McKean automotive collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia, PA.


Body color

The Fleetwood Company issued a "Color Book" for the V-16 with samples of suggested hues to be specified by the buyer (it included also cloth and leather swatches for the interior upholstery and headliners).

There was no extra charge for dual colors and striping, nor for colored leather to match the upper body panel color.

If a buyer wanted varnish in lieu of lacquer, it cost an extra $250 and took seven weeks to apply.  Varnish was not guaranteed!


Division glass

In imperials and town cars with the standard, fold-away opera seats, the winding division glass could be replaced with a sliding type at a cost of $150.  In cars with the larger, full-width concealed auxiliary seating the cost was $250.

Styles with final digits "80" (all-weather phaetons) all came with a secondary windshield.  To remove it cost an extra $200.

In style 4375 the standard partition glass could be replaced with the flush type found in styles 4330 and 4355 (i.e. the header board was removed).  This operation cost $150.


Folding rear quarters - Landau roof
[suffix "C" added to style number]

Town cars, sedans and imperials could be ordered with landaulet (collapsible) rear quarters at an extra cost of $750 or $800. The early 1930 dealer album on the V16 listed the landau conversion for $750 on the following styles:

4312C town car (none were built),
4325C town car (3 built),
4355C five-passenger formal limousine (1 built)
4355SC five-passenger formal sedan (none were built)

The landau conversion was offered also on the following styles at an extra   cost of $800:

4320C town car (none were built),
4330SC five-passenger limousine (none were built),
4375C seven-passenger limousine (2 built),
4375SC seven-passenger sedan (none were built) and
4391C town car (none were built).

The "landaulet" modification added 4 weeks to delivery time.   Prices quoted applied before any metal was built onto the wooden frame.  A later conversion could also be requested but the price was naturally much higher.



For an extra $650 buyers could "raise the roof", in the literal sense, increasing interior headroom to 52½".


Hood, damascene (or damaskeen) finish

It cost  $265 to have the car hoods engine turned (damascene or damaskeen finish). The effect was very pleasing to the eye.  However, I have never seen the hood of a V16 finished in this way.


Hood, plain

The hood on the majority of sixteens (i.e. those with a styling code beginning with "43") featured a raised panel, sometimes referred to as a "Le Baron" hood.  It cost an extra $250 to replace it with a plain hood. Usually the styling code was then followed by suffix "P".


Leather roof covering

Cars with standard metal roof finish and quarter windows could be ordered with a full leather roof covering and decorative landau bows; the job took three weeks to complete and cost $250. On styles 4375 and 4375S the same roof covering could be applied; in this case the quarter windows were removed and replaced with solid quarters; the extra work cost $300 and required three more weeks of preparation time. When this kind of modification was done to the roof, the suffix "B" was generally added to the basic style number.


Leather upholstery

In town cars and limousines there was no extra charge for leather front and rear seat cushions and seat backs. When leather was ordered up to the belt line there was an extra charge of  $50.  A full leather interior, front and rear, including seats, seat backs, doors, quarter panels, arm rests, etc., cost $150.

In all-weather phaetons and other open body styles it took four more weeks of preparation time to upholster interiors in a leather that was not one of the four standard colors.  On the other hand, there was no extra charge for that service.


Optional interior hardware

Other optional hardware was available; for an extra $25 it could be color coordinated to match the car's upholstery.  Provided the order was placed before the body left the factory, there was no charge to have the bar-type robe rail painted (Duco) to match the upholstery; a matching cord type could also be specially ordered.

Other hardware finishes could be requested. The prices started at $25. Buyers could specify a special hardware design, for which Fleetwood would prepare a price quotation.

Lap robe prices started at $80 (you could buy a new car from the competition for the price of five such robes!).  A down pillow cost $18.  

A division clock could be ordered (where it was not standard).  It was mounted in a French walnut case and cost $40.

Special inside moldings to match vanity cases cost $35 and up. Flush-type front door ash receivers, where not standard ($15).

All-weather types could be ordered with vanity and smoking cases that attached to the division.  These cost $55 and $26 respectively. They could be specially finished to a buyer's own taste (price on application).  Inside moldings made up to match the special finish of the vanity and smoking cases cost $35 and up.

Extra carpets for front or rear compartments were $25.  Rubber mats for the front compartment cost $18.


Roof (town cars)

Town cars came with only a light-weight, flexible roof curtain over the front   compartment. A solid, fixed roof could be installed over the driver's compartment at an extra cost of $275 (that, in my opinion, defeated the whole purpose of buying a town car!) 

For $350 you could get a removable hard roof as well as the regular, flexible roof curtain.


Roof rack

Another costly option ($425 - you could almost buy a Chevy for the price!) was the installation of a roof-mounted, chrome-plated baggage rack, an operation that required strengthening the roof itself.


Seat size and height

Provided the standard seat boxes could be used, buyers could order any height, slope or depth of cushion. There was no extra charge provided the order was made before the body entered the trim department.


Seats (auxiliary)

Styles 4320, 4325, 4375, 4375S and 4391 were fitted with full-width, forward-facing auxiliary seats.  These could be replaced with light-weight, so-called opera seats for an extra $125.

It cost an extra $200 to conceal, in the division, the opera seats in style 4312. This required, in addition, the removal of the lazy back on the LH seat that faced the RH side of the car.

Opera seats could be added in 5-passenger sedan styles at a cost of $128 for both.


Storage pockets

For an extra $75 envelope-type pockets could be fitted to all doors. Flush-type pockets could not be installed owing to the space taken up by the inner door hardware



Fleetwood offered a broad selection of upholstery materials for their 16-cylinder jobs.  Swatches were included in the Fleetwood "Color Book". Twelve broadcloths were offered, as were also four Bedford cords, three mohairs and   no fewer than sixteen special Radel aero leathers (leather was optional in all-weather phaeton and other open types); it came in four standard colors: blue (# 63 or #68), black (# 96 B.C.), pearl gray (#451) and tan (#743). The other colors were offered at no extra charge but delivery time was extended by four weeks.  Six special, waterproof Bedford cords also were offered from the Wiese company [Book #61]; these too were optional in the all-weather phaeton.

If buyers did not find something to their taste among the Fleetwood broadcloths, mohairs, Bedford cords, Aero leathers, or in the Wiese selection, then they could order special materials at an extra charge of $100. 

Provided the order was placed before the body went to the trim department, there was no extra charge for tufted or pleated finishes in lieu of the plain style [tufting and pleating were standard on the V16s of 1938-1940].

In transformable and enclosed-drive body styles Radel Aero leather was free of charge for the front and rear cushions, the rest of the upholstery being broad cloth. It cost an extra $50 to have leather up to the belt and $150 to have the entire interior done in leather.



Standard wheel equipment on the V-16 models  was the hickory wheel with demountable rim, including only one, rear-mounted spare.  Few cars were thus equipped (I have only seen one in 40 years!)  Most buyers spent a little extra for the stylish Buffalo wire wheels and two fender-mounted spares.



To change the shape or size of the back light cost an extra $125.  Quarter windows could be modified for $125 each side.


(Other Options)

These included "Pilot-Ray" driving lights (that turned left and right as the front wheels were turned), a low profile touring trunk, wind wings, tools, bulb box, tire pressure gauge, Buckeye Booster jack and tool pouch, "Cadillac V16" running board step plates1.

Prices for options and extra work are list prices.  According to the early V16 catalog I saw in Philadelphia, they were subject to a special discount "applying on extra charges covering special features on Fleetwood line."

1  I have never seen any of   these and would appreciate a photo from any V16 owner
     who has them on his car




V64264b.jpg (17310 bytes)
The most expensive car in the catalog of 1930-31 V16 models
was this [my favorite] Fleetwood style 4264B town brougham.
Only 6 were built, of which 3 with canework applied to the rear body



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© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image: standard wood artillery wheel for V16 cars - few were mounted ]