1937hd45

American Pickers and the Madame X Cadillac

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Just watched tonight's show and Mike stepped up and paid $90,000. for a 1931 Cadillac Madam X sedan, claimed it was the first one built. Seamed like a strong number for a non running V8 car, but what do I know. Bob 

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A Madam X would be a V-16, not a series 355A sedan. Go back and look to see if it has tool boxes in the splash pans, then it’s a 1930 if it’s an eight. If it has a single round light on the pan, it’s a V-12. Either way, if it’s not a 16, he paid too much. 

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You do know that you can call b-----it on that show even though it may be enjoyable to watch. All those "finds" are orchestrated ahead of time. If you think about it, they go into someone's house or barn loaded with all kinds of re-saleable items and they NEVER offer to buy the lot even though the "business" they're allegedly in is buying and selling antiques and old junk. (The real business is selling their bs to their tv audience). It would be like going into an old dealership for one of us, we'll say Chevy, and instead of buying several hundred NOS pieces all from the 60's, we say we only want to buy stuff for a '64 Impala. Again, the show may be entertaining, but it's not of the real world.

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6 minutes ago, George Smolinski said:

You do know that you can call b-----it on that show even though it may be enjoyable to watch. All those "finds" are orchestrated ahead of time. If you think about it, they go into someone's house or barn loaded with all kinds of re-saleable items and they NEVER offer to buy the lot even though the "business" they're allegedly in is buying and selling antiques and old junk. (The real business is selling their bs to their tv audience). It would be like going into an old dealership for one of us, we'll say Chevy, and instead of buying several hundred NOS pieces all from the 60's, we say we only want to buy stuff for a '64 Impala. Again, the show may be entertaining, but it's not of the real world.

Ever notice when they freelance that when a person opens the door the cameras and crew are never mentioned or even looked at.  

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Posted (edited)

The first 2 Madam X cars were built on a 314-B chassis that were also a V8 so I guess he got ripped off. Had to look this up as I did not know about Madam X on a V8 chassis. The story goes Harley Earl had one body removed and placed on a 16 chassis for the 1930  New York auto show. So that would leave only one Madam X with a V8 chassis still out there  but still not a 1931.  Chassis #336340 left the factory May 3, 1929 and #337668 that was shipped May 29, 1929 and so they should be traceable with these numbers.

30mmexb.jpg

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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45 minutes ago, George Smolinski said:

You do know that you can call b-----it on that show even though it may be enjoyable to watch. All those "finds" are orchestrated ahead of time. If you think about it, they go into someone's house or barn loaded with all kinds of re-saleable items and they NEVER offer to buy the lot even though the "business" they're allegedly in is buying and selling antiques and old junk. (The real business is selling their bs to their tv audience). It would be like going into an old dealership for one of us, we'll say Chevy, and instead of buying several hundred NOS pieces all from the 60's, we say we only want to buy stuff for a '64 Impala. Again, the show may be entertaining, but it's not of the real world.

 

 I agree, George.

 

  Ben

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I commented based on the 1931 year as originally posted. Anything Earl built would NOT be considered "normal production" as well as the Fisher Brothers. There was one V-12 One Off Fleetwood Town Car with a Madam X body on it, as I was in my garage for five years. Originally built for a 16 chassis, and placed on a 31 V-12 at the end of the year, best guess was they were just using up all the left over stuff before the new 32 chassis came out and they couldn't be used or sold. Interestingly, there was paperwork that they cast three of the special windshields for this car, and apparently two somehow made it onto cars, the last remained in inventory. Like most high end cars, you have your normal production stuff, the special one off custom order, the semi custom batch orders, and then the "end of year get the junk out of the building before we can't sell it or use it" cars. There was a lot of the end of year get it gone stuff done.

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336340 was the car he bought, a 1929, V-8, so it would seem it's the real prototype.

 

I questioned a V-8 Madame X also, but apparently this is the real thing.....

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Other than non-running, what was the condition from what you could see ?   -  Carl 

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Solid, paint flaking. They said they thought it was original paint.  Interior looked decent, one shot of front seat appeared to have a couple of small rips, or trash on seat?.....door panels looked good.  Dash looked nice.

 

 V windshield very distinctive.  All exterior chrome seemed to have corrosion.

 

Overall a car you could get running and get a lot of attention at shows and tours with.....

IMG_1803.JPG

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I taped the show and need to check the engine details, if correct it would have an OHV  NOT a flathead, correct? I liked the windshield look, but they never showed a full side view. Bob 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, George Smolinski said:

You do know that you can call b-----it on that show even though it may be enjoyable to watch. All those "finds" are orchestrated ahead of time. If you think about it, they go into someone's house or barn loaded with all kinds of re-saleable items and they NEVER offer to buy the lot even though the "business" they're allegedly in is buying and selling antiques and old junk. (The real business is selling their bs to their tv audience). It would be like going into an old dealership for one of us, we'll say Chevy, and instead of buying several hundred NOS pieces all from the 60's, we say we only want to buy stuff for a '64 Impala. Again, the show may be entertaining, but it's not of the real world.

I'm sure there is  a fair amount of training the sellers have to go through to feel relaxed in front of the cameras, and there is a rough script that is followed. They picked two local places and the people were very happy with the residual business the 15 minutes of TV fame brought them. Sure they walk by stuff we may be interested in to get to another rusted Coca-Cola sign, but at least we are inside a barn we'd never see other wise. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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Three years ago they filmed a show just down the road from me at a friends farm. The entire thing was scripted. When you see them drive up, get out, and introduce themselves, Fake, Fake, Fake. They have already been there 3 or 4 hours. Along with a motor home, straight truck, production crew and their vehicles. Free lancing in a van, not hardly. After seeing this,I very seldom watch this charade.

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Jersey John,  their motorcycle go-to and good friend has spaces every year at Hershey which just happen to be across the aisle from our spaces in the Red field. He told me the entire show is totally scripted. The tattooed woman does not even actually work for them and never has. She is simply an actress they have known for many years. She works part time as a burlesque dancer. Most everything they buy just goes into a warehouse. It is obvious they know virtually nothing about antique cars. The show is just reality/fantasy. Interesting to see some of the places they go.  Another fellow told me he stopped in their shop and virtually nothing was for sale except of course T shirts and other branded items.  Reminds me of the time I accidentally ended up at OC Choppers in NY.  I was surprised to see virtually all their "customer" bikes lined up for sale in their showroom next to the T shirts, hats and hot pants.

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I was flipping through channels and spotted one of the Packards in the show enough to stop. The cars were interesting. I can get past the scripted stuff. I told my Wife those were nice cars but by the time the third set of 17 commercials came up I was gone.

 

I never heard the term "Picker" in my life until they showed up. Many times I have walked into a place and said "How much for all of it. Everything will be gone by Saturday". Then, the first time I saw the show, called American Pickers, the opening scene shows a Mercedes-Benz truck, yeah, American.

 

"Pickers" is as inept a term as a manager talking about picking the "low hanging fruit". At those meetings I said Walt Disney has seven guys to do that stuff for you.

 

Personally, if they came to my garage I would probably be at the other end of town having coffee. They remind me too much of Abbot and Costello.

 

Bernie

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

She works part time as a burlesque dancer.

 

That's the only good thing I have heard about the whole show! Is her name Lydia? I'm ex-Navy, but not an Admiral.

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19 minutes ago, Mike36 said:

Three years ago they filmed a show just down the road from me at a friends farm. The entire thing was scripted. When you see them drive up, get out, and introduce themselves, Fake, Fake, Fake. They have already been there 3 or 4 hours. Along with a motor home, straight truck, production crew and their vehicles. Free lancing in a van, not hardly. After seeing this,I very seldom watch this charade.

 

I don't know why people are surprised by this. Obviously there is a large camera crew that's been set up for hours at the seller's location long before the "stars" show up and knock on the door.  Yeah, that's a big surprise to the seller... 🙄

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I don't know what that car is but it appears to have been modified several times, which, I guess wouldn't be surprising if it was used for shows in-period. If the serial number says it's a '29 then it has been fairly extensively modified along the way. That's not a '29 dash (appears to be a '30 dash with an engine-turned applique). It also has '31 headlights/grille/emblem. I note a V-shaped windshield, so might that preclude it being the '29 prototype, which has a flat windshield?

 

52 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

I taped the show and need to check the engine details, if correct it would have an OHV  NOT a flathead, correct? I liked the windshield look, but they never showed a full side view. Bob 

 

All Cadillac V8s were flatheads until 1949. V12 and 1930-37 V16s were OHV, late V16s were flatheads.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I was flipping through channels and spotted one of the Packards in the show enough to stop. The cars were interesting. I can get past the scripted stuff. I told my Wife those were nice cars but by the time the third set of 17 commercials came up I was gone.

 

I never heard the term "Picker" in my life until they showed up. Many times I have walked into a place and said "How much for all of it. Everything will be gone by Saturday". Then, the first time I saw the show, called American Pickers, the opening scene shows a Mercedes-Benz truck, yeah, American.

 

"Pickers" is as inept a term as a manager talking about picking the "low hanging fruit". At those meetings I said Walt Disney has seven guys to do that stuff for you.

 

Personally, if they came to my garage I would probably be at the other end of town having coffee. They remind me too much of Abbot and Costello.

 

Bernie

Picker is an old term in the antique business. I heard it at least 50 years ago. It used to mean a guy who went around buying choice items at auction sales, yard sales, estate sales etc that he could resell to an antique dealer. You might read a book called Cadillac Jack by Larry McMurtry for more details.

 

1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Am I missing something? That looks like a V16 to me...

This website is never easy to add videos to. The V8 was ahead of the V16 part. With some more Google time I guess the "rocker covers" just hide the spark plugs and wires, correct? 

189585_Engine_Web.jpg.png

thRBAYRHIH.jpg

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Picker is an old term in the antique business. I heard it at least 50 years ago. It used to mean a guy who went around buying choice items at auction sales, yard sales, estate sales etc that he could resell to an antique dealer. You might read a book called Cadillac Jack by Larry McMurtry for more details.

 

 

1983 was the year I first heard the term Picker, local guy would buy choice Vintage car parts & automobilia for another guy that had a high end clientele that he sold the items too. Nothing wrong with making a buck. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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Yes. These spark plug covers are sometimes missing from the series of V8s which originally had them. Typical situation where "non-essential" parts get left out at some point in the life of an old car.   -   Carl 

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If Ed sees this segment, I'd like to hear his take on the car.  According to the show, this was one of two prototype 1929 models (remember that the first V-16s were 1930 models) equipped with Madam X bodies.  I claim no expertise on this period of Cadillac.  The serial number plate on the left side of the firewall looked too "fresh" to me (reproduction?) and the stamped numbers seemed to be a different font from original to me.  Also, despite the unusually fresh plate, the panel with the numbers was as funky as one might expect (artificially aged?) on an uncleaned original.

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