Lot 129

1931 Cadillac V-12 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood


$225,000 - $275,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Engine No.
  • Best in Class at the 2013 Concours of America
  • Shown sparingly since restoration in 2013
  • Documented by a copy of the factory build sheet
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic
  • Eligible for CARavans and club events

Nineteen thirty-one is considered by many the high point of Cadillacs of the Classic Era. The luxury marque introduced a new V-12 series to fill the gap between its existing V-8 and V-16 models. The Standard of the World was hardly an understatement among luxury marques with offerings of 134-, 140- and 143-inch wheelbases, bodies by Fisher and Fleetwood, and three different engine configurations. It was the beginning of a trend that eventually led to Cadillac’s domination of the luxury car market. V-8 Cadillacs arrived in dealers’ showrooms in September 1930, with V-12s arriving one month later. Both were catalogued with a choice of 12 Fisher-bodied models as well as 10 semi-custom Fleetwood-bodied models.

The engines in the V-12 and V-16 shared parts as well as dimensions and angles, so production didn’t have to proceed from scratch. From its 368 cu. in. came 135 hp and 285 foot-pounds of torque, as well as a top speed of 80 mph. The Twelve was nearly the performance equal of the Sixteen, offering strong torque and a similar top speed. Despite tough economic times, the V-12 sold surprisingly well, though at the expense of the larger and pricier V-16. Cadillac produced a total of 5,733 V-12s for the model year. A V-12 roadster piloted by Cadillac test chief Willard Radar paced the Indianapolis 500 in the Memorial Day Classic.

The consignor acquired this Cadillac in 2011 from the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum, after which he completed a total nut-and-bolt restoration in 2013. He describes it as being a good, solid, original car, but in need of restoration. New chrome, paint, and a convertible top were included in the restoration, along with an interior upholstered by Mark Larger.

The car has been shown sparingly, with a 2013 appearance at Concours of America at St. Johns, where it garnered a Best in Class award. Describing the car as fully sorted, the consignor notes that it has been stored in his climate-controlled facility since restoration. It includes a copy of the original Cadillac factory build sheet and is ready to show or tour, eligible for all CCCA CARavans and club events.