1936 Cadillac V-16 Town Sedan by FleetwoodOffered Without Reserve
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2020 - The John D. Groendyke Collection
- Offered from the collection of John D. Groendyke
- One of 52 V-16 Cadillacs built in 1936; the only surviving town sedan
- Restored by Fran Roxas for renowned V-16 enthusiast William Ruger Jr.
- 1998 Pebble Beach and Meadow Brook class winner; remains in superb condition
- Documented by a copy of its build sheet
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Cadillac had hoped to produce 400 examples of the V-16 annually between 1934 and 1937, but instead the total production run accounted for just 212 cars, including 52 produced in 1936. Of those, only three were bodied to style no. 5833-S, the distinctively handsome blind-quarter town sedan. The car offered here is the sole known survivor, delivered new in Chicago as it sits today, in Tunis Blue with Goddess radiator mascot, dual side-mounted spares with metal covers, and a radio.
The V-16 was formerly owned by Paul Mundt of Cerrito, California, who sold it in 1979 to Charles Jones. It was sold from Jones’s estate in 1995 to William B. Ruger Jr. Son of the renowned gunsmith and a highly skilled engineer in his own right, Mr. Ruger loved the technical prowess of the great 1930s Full Classics. In particular, he was an avid connoisseur of the later V-16s, owning several of the finest examples, many of which were restored for him by the great Fran Roxas. This car was no exception.
Having suffered from a fire in Mr. Jones’s ownership, it was restored by Mr. Roxas’s shop in a period of over two years, with a Bedford Cord interior expertly fitted by Chris Nierstheimer. Invoices for the restoration are included in the file and testify to the level of work undertaken, including expert prep of the bodywork and fabrication of many of the missing trim pieces, including the decorative fender spears and the running-board moldings. Much of the original bodywork was preserved, though a subtle enhancement was made via the replacement of the side-mounted spares with a single spare in the trunk, emphasizing the long front end. Typical of the fastidious Mr. Ruger, the Cadillac was mechanically improved via installation of custom 3.31:1 gears for excellent touring performance.
The car was proudly debuted at the 1998 Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance, winning its class, an honor that it repeated at Pebble Beach soon thereafter. It participated in the very first Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, with a delighted Mr. Ruger commenting to journalist Matt Stone at tour’s end that he might just drive the whole 3,000 miles home to New Hampshire!
Maintained to the same standard in the Groendyke Collection, this is a sensational example of the rarest of the rare—the sole surviving 1936 V-16 town sedan.