The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 131
1938 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Seven-Passenger Sedan

Selling on Saturday

1938 Cadillac  Series 90 V-16 Seven-Passenger Sedan
Body by Fleetwood

CHASSIS NO: 7271119

• Extremely rare as 1 of 6 with Paint Code 11; the first iridescent paint used on a production automobile
• Crowning achievement of prewar engineering
• CCCA Full Classic® automobile
• Legendary V-16 powerplant
• Restored and very nicely presented

431 cid V-16 engine, 185 HP, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 141 ¼”

Redesigned for 1938, Cadillac’s second generation V-16 engine now featured simpler “flathead” architecture with a “square” bore and stroke and produced more horsepower from fewer cubic inches, while being more economical and easier to operate and maintain than before. The Sixteen continued in production – albeit limited – through 1940 and today, these rare automobiles continue to be appreciated as among the finest road road cars of the immediate prewar era, with smooth, flexible performance and excellent road manners. The “Sixteen” continued to be available with a smaller, yet still-impressive roster of luxuriously appointed and elegantly Fleetwood “semi-custom” bodies and continued to ensure Cadillac’s enviable position at the head of the American fine-car market.

Overall, select mechanical updates for 1938 made the great Cadillac models even better than before with overall sophistication, ease of operation and drivability second to none. Details included a shift lever repositioned to the steering column for greater passenger space, placement of the horns just behind the grille, movement of the battery under the right-hand side of the hood, a transverse muffler mounted just behind the fuel tank, wheels supplied from a different manufacturer, a new "Synchro-Flex" flywheel, hypoid rear axle and deletion of the oil filter. Hydraulic brakes, independent front suspension and a smooth-shifting synchromesh transmission made Cadillac the last word in refinement.

While the 1938 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Sedan offered here is already quite rare as one of 311 Sixteens produced and one of only 65 built with Style 9023 Seven-Passenger coachwork by Fleetwood. However, according to the Paint Code 11 stamping on its trim tag, this car is one of only six 1938 Cadillac V-16s factory-finished in Fairhaven Blue Irridescent paint – the first use of metallic paint finish on a production automobile. Prior to acquisition by the Corpus Christi Old Car Museum, this Cadillac V-16 received a body-off restoration to virtually impeccable standards by Lynn R. Hadley of Layton, Utah. Mileage since completion stands at fewer than 2,400 miles at the time of cataloguing. In addition to its striking paint finish and inviting gray cloth interior, this rare 1938 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 is equipped with a Cadillac-scripted under-dash heater and Trippe Speedlight accessory lights. Majestic, very well-presented and preserved and, of course, highly rare, this CCCA Full Classic® will provide a welcome entry into a veritable multitude of desirable and enjoyable classic-car events for its new owner.

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