St. John's

The Inn at St. John's
28 July 2012
Lot 120

1931 Cadillac Model 355-A 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe

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$165,000 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan

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Chassis No.
808246

Series 355-A. Est. 95 bhp, 353 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, ¾-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 134"

• Less than 200 miles since a restoration was completed in 2011

• CCCA Full Classic, powerful V-8, fully-synchronized transmission

• Multiple awards; judged 97.5 points by the CCCA

• Formerly owned by noted collector and CCCA member Mike Ames

While the world’s economies continued to shudder under the deepening effects of the Great Depression, Cadillac hoped to capture the elite segments of the American luxury-car market by introducing its V-16-powered Series 452 models in 1930, followed by the their V-12 counterparts the following year. Clear styling cues and many technical refinements were subsequently passed down from the company’s flagships to the more affordable eight-cylinder models, thereby adding a heightened degree of luxury, refinement, and style to every Cadillac in production. Moreover, Harley Earl’s Art and Color Department, formed in 1927, was in the midst of a stylistic revolution that would catapult the marque to the top of the American fine-car market during the 1930s and for decades to come.

At first glance, the eight-cylinder Series 355-A line for 1931 was quite similar to the Series 353 models that preceded it, although the overall design theme now incorporated a decided shift toward lower and sportier overall proportions. The elongated hood now featured five hood ports, while metal floorboards, an oval instrument panel, single-bar bumper, dual horns, and slightly smaller headlights further defined the new 355-A. Mechanically, the 353-cubic inch V-8 engine remained unchanged, but the frame, with its divergent side rails, was brand new. In addition to the six bodies by Fisher that were available for Cadillac’s V-8 model Fleetwoods, having been acquired by General Motors just six years earlier, seven available bodies were also offered, including the dashing 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe offered here.

With fewer than 200 miles traveled since restoration and remaining in high-point condition as offered today, this dashing Fleetwood-bodied Model 355-A 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe was formerly owned by noted collector and North Texas Region CCCA member Mike Ames. Following completion of the restoration in 2011, the Cadillac immediately scored 99.75 out of 100 points at the CCCA Grand Classic in October, with only a balky windshield-wiper motor—since replaced—keeping it from judging perfection. It is handsomely finished in a two-tone silver finish over black fenders, with the combination of the deep paintwork, chrome, and elegant bodywork creating a truly wonderful overall visual effect. The passenger cabin features grey leather upholstery combined with handsome woodwork throughout and a beautifully presented instrument panel. Touring pleasure is enhanced by the powerful 90 degree, L-head, V-8 engine, which is mated to a fully-synchronized, three-speed, manual transmission. Most recently, the Cadillac was shown at Houston’s Classy Chassis Concours d’Elegance, and it won Best in Class at the Concours d’Elegance of Texas, in testament to its quality. For astute collectors seeking a CCCA Full Classic with a highly detailed restoration and one of the most-desirable open bodies from Fleetwood, this multiple show-winning Model 355-A Convertible Coupe is sure to garner an abundance of attention, whether on the show field or at the many enjoyable classic touring events available today.