1931 Cadillac
V-16 Madam-X Landau Sedan

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1931 Cadillac V-16 Madam-X Landau Sedan For Sale
  • Vin: 702584
  • Engine: 452
  • Cylinders: 16
  • Transmission: 3-Speed
  • Title: Clear
  • Exterior Color: Maroon
  • Interior Color: Tan
  • Mileage: Exempt
  • Price: $374,900

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1931 Cadillac V-16 Madam-X Landau Sedan For Sale

1931 Cadillac V-16 Madame X Imperial Landaulet Cabriolet. Body Style #4155-C. One of two built with a collapsible rear quarter. Rare Fleetwood Madame X body style. One of the most elegant of the V-16 Cadillac’s. This 1931 Cadillac V-16 Madam-X Landau Sedan is a rare find.

Engine Number: 702584     On January 4, 1930, New Yorkers were treated to an automotive unveiling like no other. At the opening of the National Automobile Show at the Grand Central Palace, Cadillac unveiled the world’s first production V-16 automobile engine. Aesthetically, this engine was a work of art and it was said to be the first automobile engine that was truly designed with visual aesthetics in mind. While the new sixteen-cylinder engine was beautiful to look at, its performance statistics were impressive as well. The new, V-16 engine boasted a cubic inch displacement of 452 while producing 185 horsepower. This was almost five times the horsepower as a 1930 Ford Model A. The new engine was designed with two, separate, eight-cylinder engine blocks that were topped with overhead valve cylinder heads. Each cylinder block was carbureted with a separate carburetor and a separate fuel delivery system. The new engine was mounted on Cadillac’s new 148-inch wheelbase chassis, which had been designed specifically for the new model.       While the engine was a mechanical masterpiece, the exterior design of the new Cadillac V-16 was a design achievement as well. Buyers could choose from a variety of 54 bodies, with the most ornate and most expensive being part of the so-called 4100 series, a group of closed body styles distinguished by sporty 18-degree slanted windshields and narrow window pillars that were edged in chrome. The name  “Madame X” was applied to the style, after a famous stage play of the era. It was a name never used by Cadillac but has been enthusiastically adopted by collectors. These bodies were designed and built by Fleetwood.

Extremely Rare 1931 Cadillac V-16 Madam-X Landau Sedan For Sale

This extremely rare 1931 Cadillac V-16 uses the Fleetwood body style designation of 4155. The proper name for this particular body style, as designated by Fleetwood, is an Imperial Landaulet Cabriolet. It is one of only eighteen #4155 landaulet body styles built for the V-16 chassis. This particular example is more specifically designated as a 4155-C and is believed to be one of only two Imperial Landaulets built with a convertible top that opens to expose only the rear seating area-a design that was made popular by many of the famous European coachbuilders of the period.

This car was sold new and delivered to the Cadillac dealer in Antwerp, Belgium through General Motor’s Export Division. At some point, it found its way to Switzerland. The last European owner retained this car for nearly 40 years before it was sold to a collector in the United States in 2012. Most recently, this car has been part of a major, east coast collection of prewar cars.

Today, this vehicle is predominantly original having only had some cosmetic restoration over the years, which has served well to protect and preserve this impressive motorcar. The body is extremely straight, solid and tight. The doors open and close with a solid feel and fit the body with even gaps and margins. The body appears to retain all of its original wood, which has been well preserved and today remains solid throughout. Numerous pieces of wood found on this body show both the Fleetwood name as well as the body style and body number clearly stamped. The hood aligns properly with the cowl and radiator shell. The fenders align well and the bottoms are just as clean as the tops. The maroon and black exterior paint was likely refinished many years ago but today remains extremely clean and presentable. The car retains all of its correct and proper V-16 items such as the bumpers, headlights, cowl lights, horns, stone guard, gauges, hubcaps, etc.

Under the hood, the original and correct sixteen-cylinder engine, #702584, is largely original and very clean. For reliable driving, later Solex carburetors are being used with an updated fuel pump instead of the original and sometimes troublesome, Cadillac carburetors. A pair of Cadillac carburetors from the same era are included in the sale.

The firewall retains the original trim tag, which clearly labels the car as the rare, 4155-C Imperial Landaulet Cabriolet, body number 18. The car also has an interesting and original brass data tag used for export models only. A copy of the original Cadillac build sheet, which accompanies this car, clearly indicates that this V-16 Cadillac retains its original engine, chassis and body components. Unlike many other V-16 Cadillacs that have been assembled from parts, this example is original throughout and well documented.

The interior is finished in period correct, wool broadcloth. The interior was professionally replaced many years ago and appears to be correct and is in very nice condition. The rear compartment includes vanity lights and built-in armrests. The dashboard retains all of its proper gauges and controls and features a rare Kilometer speedometer that shows the mileage to be 43,861, which is very likely to be original. The thin, die-cast trim ring is missing from the dashboard, although we believe reproductions of this part are available. The folding landau top is in very good condition and fully functional.

This car is equipped with the typical period and factory accessories one would expect on a Cadillac V-16 including dual side mounted spare tires, a rear-mounted luggage rack, white wall tires, Cadillac’s Goddess mascot, and a radiator stone guard.     This is a Cadillac V-16 of fine character and elegance. It is an authentic and documented car that has been well cared for. This Imperial Cabriolet is ideal for enjoyment on Classic Car Club of America CARavans and other tours. It will certainly be a welcomed participant at any of the nations leading concours d’elegances.

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