1939 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Coupe 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
- Originally specified with numerous custom features, including side exhaust!
- One of only seven built and three known survivors
- Well-maintained older restoration with its original coachwork
- Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
Cadillac V-16 buyers tended to possess rather individual and unique tastes and customized their cars to suit. One wonders of the original owner of this convertible coupe, one of seven built in 1939 and three known survivors. The original build sheet notes the car to be finished in Maidenhead Gray with Tangerine Orange wheels, and grey Bedford Cord upholstery, the latter an unusual choice for a convertible. Other options requested included dual spotlights, a heater, both running board and cowl-mounted radio aerials, and a rather complex system of courtesy lights inside the front and rear quarters, the lights for each side operating only when that corresponding door was opened.
Most unique of all is the request for “four exhaust ports on each side of hood...in accordance with sketch submitted by Cadillac Engineering Dept. Req’d parts to be chrome plated flexible tubing. Install Yale or Corbin lock on both left and right [frt] hood sides as shown on sketch.” In other words, the car was apparently set up by the factory to receive Cord 812–style side exhaust!
The Cadillac was acquired in the early 1990s for Fred Weber’s impressive St. Louis collection, for whom its restoration was completed, less the side exhaust. Finished in a rich and dramatic red with tan leather interior, it was next acquired in 1999 by Robert Hannay of Paradise Valley, Arizona, who would own it for the next seventeen years and much enjoyed driving it, participating in many Classic Car Club of America activities. During his ownership it was prominently the subject of a feature article in the February 2007 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. “It really is remarkably smooth,” Mr. Hannay noted. “It’s just a quiet, big lovely hunk of iron.”
Recently serviced by the Groendyke Collection, this is a wonderful V-16 with, needless to say, a fascinating early history to tell!