Lot 114

1930 Cadillac Sixteen Madame X Club Sedan by Fleetwood

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$148,500 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan

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Chassis No.
72705
Body No.
38
language

Series 452. 175 bhp, 452 cu. in. overhead valve V-16 engine with three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 148"

- Offered from the Estate of Don Kizziar

- Award-winning example with known history

- Attractive slanted-windshield, 16-cylinder Cadillac

On January 4, 1930, New Yorkers were treated to an engineering tour de force. At the opening of the National Automobile Show at the Grand Central Palace, Cadillac unveiled the world’s first production V-16 automobile engine. The late historian Griffith Borgeson explained it elegantly: “It really made history and it made Cadillac, beyond all discussion, the absolute world leader in motoring magnificence…It was the super engine that set the whole exercise apart.”

Aesthetically it was a work of art, said to be the first powerplant that was truly styled. All wiring and hoses were concealed to the extent possible, hidden behind covers or in raceways. Viewed from outside, the engine compartment showed no clutter whatsoever.

There was a plethora of bodies from which to choose. There were 54 in the catalog, roadster to town car, all from Fleetwood. Some were built in Fleetwood’s original facility in Pennsylvania, others from the new Detroit plant.

Hardly ever used by the Cadillac Motor Company, the sobriquet “Madame X” refers to sedan-type V-16 cars with an 18-degree slanted windshield. These include body styles 4130, 4155, 4161 and 4175, in all their basic and suffix S, C and SC variations. The characteristic is readily apparent in this 4161S Club Sedan. In addition, Madame X cars were characterized by thin chrome trim surrounding all the body glass.

Purchased by the current owner in November 1983, this Madame X Sedan was treated to a complete restoration by A&A Classics in 1992. Its history has been documented from new and includes First Place in Cadillac LaSalle Club national competition. It was the subject of a feature article in Car Collector magazine in 1981, a copy of which goes to the new owner. The magazine, on which the car is featured on the cover with a two-page centerfold, contains an interview with the owner along with a seven-page article. The car was also on the cover of Cars and Parts in 1976, a copy of which goes to the successful bidder as well.

An older restoration, it continues to present very well. The yellow and black paint shows some aging, with minor checking on the fenders, but the chrome is all very presentable with only minor patination. The car is well equipped, including a factory radio, stone guard, Pilot Ray driving lights, six wire wheels equipped with rear-view mirrors and a windshield-mounted sun visor. The interior is upholstered in cord-type tan cloth and is very presentable, as is the dashboard. The engine compartment is generally clean. A correct Cadillac oil can rests in its engine compartment perch.

The flair of the Madame X gives it a coveted place in the Full Classic pecking order, akin more to the open-top Cadillacs rather than the upright sedans. This car in its attractive colors is a very nice example of a very desirable 16-cylinder American classic.