Cadillac V-16 Sedan

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.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

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"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Aaron Summerfield

Gallery: Cadillac V-16 Sedan