1. 1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan

Lot Number
1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan
Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $200,000 - $300,000
CHASSIS NO: 149630
• Extremely rare as 1 of as few as 375 Marmon Sixteens produced
• Engineering tour de force - the era’s largest-displacement motorcar
• Original engine and drivetrain

Series Sixteen. 491 cid OHV Aluminum V-16 engine, 200 HP, three-speed manual transmission, solid front and live rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes; wheelbase: 145"

Howard Marmon will always be remembered as one of America’s most innovative and brilliant automotive engineers. His crowning achievement, the Sixteen, debuted to great acclaim at the Chicago Auto Salon in November 1930, earned a medal for outstanding achievement from the Society of Automotive Engineers. The Sixteen was the brainchild of engineer Howard Marmon, who commenced the project in 1926. At its heart was a compact, all-aluminum, 45-degree V-16 of 491 cubic-inches. Overhead valves were pushrod-operated, a modern design two-barrel carburetor fed crossflow alloy cylinder heads, and the aluminum block had wet liners. It was so smooth that a light flywheel was possible, yielding excellent acceleration in near silence.

The Sixteen developed 200 HP, rode a state-of-the-art chassis with 145-inch wheelbase, and was clothed in attractive Art Deco-inspired bodies. Extensive use of aluminum in both the engine and various body panels and trim, resulted in a car weighing significantly less than its competitors. Performance was exceptional, bested only in top speed by the Duesenberg Model J. Although LeBaron built most Sixteen bodies, a father-and-son team of industrial designers penned the car’s svelte lines. Credit is conventionally given to Walter Dorwin Teague Sr., while his son Walter Dorwin Teague Jr. penned the Art Deco bodywork, aircraft-style instrument panel, and rational, yet luxurious interior. While magnificent, the Sixteen was not production-ready until early 1931 and Cadillac’s V-16 was already on the market for over a year. The first Marmon Sixteen customer did not take delivery until April 1931 and, by the time the factory closed in May 1933, the car was no more. According to noted marque expert Dyke W. Ridgley, publisher of the Marmon Sixteen Roster, total production was few as 370 to 375 examples.

The 1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan offered here is understood to retain the original engine and drivetrain – including the transmission, which was located and purchased out of Texas. Other correct parts include the restored porcelain-coated carburetor and the radiator. As presented and offered, this exceptionally rare Classic Era icon offers a usable and likely candidate for classic touring. Alternatively, this 1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan will also provide a fine basis for elevation with expert restoration.

1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan
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