$187,000 USD | Sold
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
- Tremendous, sporty, and rarely seen V-12 Roadster from the model’s first year of production
- Retains original Fleetwood coachwork; one of fewer than 10 extant examples of this handsome body style
- Powered by numbers-matching 368-cu.-in. V-12 engine producing 135 hp and 285 lb.-ft. of torque; selective synchromesh three-speed manual transmission
- Chromed steel center-lock wheels with stainless steel spokes and polished Cadillac hubcaps
- Wonderful period touches of dual, fender-mounted spares, Goddess radiator mascot, and Pilot-Ray driving lights
Nineteen thirty-one is widely considered by many as the high point of Cadillac’s Classic Era presence. The American luxury automaker introduced a new V-12 series to fill the gap between its existing V-8 and V-16 models, and this proved the beginning of Cadillac’s domination of the luxury car segment.
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 cubic inches, Cadillac’s new V-12 produced 135 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque, enabling 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. A V-12 Roadster piloted by Cadillac test chief Willard Radar even paced the 1931 Indianapolis 500.
Delivered new to Don Lee Cadillac in October 1931, this exceptional Series 370-A V-12 Roadster is one of approximately 10 surviving examples of this beautiful and sporting Fleetwood body style. A copy of its original build sheet notes that chassis 10-894 was originally specified with a dazzling, custom combination of black and Apple Green details, including Apple Green wire wheels, along with black leather upholstery and dual side-mount spares beneath a black Burbank top.
By 1974, this stellar V-12 Roadster had been acquired by Charles Schmitt of St. Louis, Missouri and then sold onward to coal tycoon Claude S. Canada of Kimper, Kentucky. In 1980, the Cadillac next passed to Texas real estate magnate and Classic-Era super-collector Jerry J. Moore, who had it restored to its present livery and then displayed within his automotive museum until 2008.
In 2012, the consignor acquired this preeminent 370-A V-12 Roadster and has since remained an immensely treasured prize of Fleetwood craftsmanship. Of particular note is an engine rebuild furnished in 2022, which included the installation of 12 new bronze rod bearings, as well as polishing and rebalancing the factory-provided crankshaft. Importantly, the car still retains its numbers-matching V-12 engine, chassis, and original Fleetwood coachwork.
As presented today with its well-maintained previous restoration, this striking and distinctive V-12 Roadster continues to exhibit all the most handsome of Fleetwood’s touches inside and out. From the engine-turned instrument panels and lovely wood details on the upper doors to the gleaming chrome trim and Goddess radiator mascot, every surface of this esteemed Cadillac drips with a rich, well-made, and refined character that is sure to excite for many years to come.