Lot 247

Miami 2024

1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood


$1,077,500 USD | Sold

United States | Coral Gables, Florida



Engine No.
Chassis No.
Body No.
US Title
  • One of the best authentic and genuine surviving V-16 Roadsters
  • Known ownership history, including several noted collectors
  • Beautifully maintained older Brian Joseph restoration with comprehensive freshening
  • Excellent purity, including numbers-matching chassis, engine, coachwork, and original body floor stampings

The mighty 16-cylinder Cadillac requires little introduction to the studied Full Classic enthusiast: its smoothness and power were without parallel, literally, as at the time of its introduction there was no other V-16 on the market, and only Marmon and Peerless would ever attempt to challenge it. It could be had in an utterly dazzling roster of catalogued bodies, including Fleetwood’s style number 4302, the two-passenger roadster. This was the least-costly factory body, and also the lightest—a happy coincidence for those buyers who appreciated its neatly hewn, tightly packaged lines and the speed that it wrung out of the V-16 engine.

About 100 examples were made in 1930 and into 1931, and even in their era they were held in the same esteem among Cadillac devotees that Duesenberg men held the Murphy “disappearing top” convertible—the most desirable body on the greatest chassis.


About 20 original examples of the V-16 roadster remain in existence, but some have more well-known and respected histories than others. Among the fortunate latter is the example offered here, a relatively early-production specimen whose ownership is known back to the original purchaser, William G. Bryant. A resident of East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Mr. Bryant was an attorney and director of several corporations, and in 1931 would begin his long service as consul for the Netherlands in the Motor City. He was able to take delivery of his new Cadillac directly at the factory, and it still bears the original firewall delivery tag with his name. Further, the car’s build sheet, in addition to identifying it as an original V-16 roadster, notes “Tag W.G. Bryant,” indicating that the car was specified directly for him.

The car was acquired in the 1950s by early CCCA member Wilbur Sanders of Dearborn, Michigan from whom it passed in the late 1980s to Richard “Dick” Sahlin of Bloomfield Hills. Mr. Sahlin commissioned a full restoration by the noted pre-war automobile specialist Brian Joseph, after which the car became a Classic Car Club of America Senior First Prize winner and won its class at the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance. It was pictured in this era in Roy Schneider’s Sixteen Cylinder Motorcars, still considered the definitive work on this model, and Walter McCall’s 80 Years of Cadillac and LaSalle. It was also famously used as the basis for the die-cast model produced by the Danbury Mint.

In the early 1990s the Cadillac finally departed Michigan when it became part of the noted collection of Dr. Joseph Murphy of New Hope, Pennsylvania, and was featured in In Search of Excellence: The Dr. Joseph Murphy Automobile Collection by Dennis Adler. Dr. Murphy later sold the V-16 roadster to Harry Rinker, an early, longtime, and especially avid collector of Full Classics in Southern California. Mr. Rinker largely maintained the car within his select collection, bringing it out only occasionally for museum display and, most prominently, an exhibition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1998.

A prominent East Coast collector acquired the V-16 from Mr. Rinker in 2014, and undertook significant freshening, reportedly including new paint in the original body color described on the factory build sheet, Longfellow Green, updated dark green fenders, a black leather interior by Mark Larder, and a top and side curtains, copied from originals by Dan Kirkpatrick. Afterward the car passed into the collection of the present owner in 2019, and it has continued to be well-preserved during his ownership along numerous other fine performance cars spanning a century of design.

Having always been a well-kept, intact automobile that has never fallen too far from grace, the roadster retains its numbers-matching frame, engine, and bodywork, with the original body number stamping still in the passenger floor wood. It is accompanied by a copy of its build sheet, detailing its original specification. Still in excellent condition, it is one of the finest survivors of its kind—the mighty V-16 in its most sporting, exciting guise, the two-passenger roadster.

It was, when new, a car for the young aristocrats and the young-at-heart sportsman. It still is.