1937hd45

American Pickers and the Madame X Cadillac

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

We had other terms for that type, just never used "picker". And they were recognized as someone you really didn't want to see pawing through your stuff. There is nothing wrong with making a buck, but they were the ones who wanted the best and cried that the price was too high for them to make any money. Just another breed of bottom feeder.

 

Those two did a show with some Civil War documentation at a southern museum. The Costello one had bought it for $200 and the museum curator really liked it. So the cherry picker states he just wants his $200 back. That really looked bad to me. Here are two well paid TV personalities, probably a crew of  15 and all the trucks and equipment. This clown is looking for his $200 back. I would have given the documents to a good home without hesitation. If he is like that in real life, too bad, but I think the script writer got him that time.

 

I am still for the "How much for everything" approach. It just makes me feel less like washing my hands after the purchase.

 

Any of you know what one of these are?

image.png.ec6d1bb04fbc9bd14308a48048f17480.png

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, C Carl said:

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 

 

Yep, they added those covers in 1930 so that all the engines in the Cadillac showroom would have a similar look (as if they were all OHV). They were very proud of the all-new V16, which was probably the first engine that was really designed to be pretty as well as functional, and I bet the showroom displayed the cars with the hoods open to showcase the new engine. The humble flathead V8 looks pretty agricultural in comparison so they added some covers to try to dress it up and give it a familial resemblance.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The seller had somewhat if an idea of what all the cars were worth, and I'm sure there are other garages & barns just as full all over the country. I also think all the good cars are known by the people that can buy them when the time comes for the people to let them go. Timing is everything, so maybe Mike was the lucky one being there when he was, but did he overlook better deals that were there? 

 

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picker was a term I first heard at an early Carlisle event. The Picker would “greet” incoming vendors as they tried to unload, and make low-ball offers on any choice parts. Later, the vendor would see his stuff elsewhere on the grounds, marked up quite a bit. The term was intended to be derogatory. Ironically, on early telecasts, Mike and Frank lived up (down?) to the term, but later stopped low-balling old folks when ratings improved and criticism mounted. Now it’s a simple form of voyerism- looking at what others have sqirreled away.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such hostility guys!   It's just a entertaining TV show!   As a watcher from the beginning, I tend to laugh through ttheir car buying episodes because they never make wise choices on car purchases.  I missed who the so called Cadillac Expert with Mike was at the beginning.  To me it looked like a V8 Cadillac with a Chrysler windshield grafted to the cowl, all in need of a total restoration.  If it was a prototype, I'm glad it never went into production because the 1930 & 1931 Cadillacs were much better looking.   Still fun to watch when they get to a interesting collection.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Correct as far as the show goes......yes all BS. I have owned about a dozen of the 30 and 31 V-8 Caddy's, so I will claim some knowledge. Car looks interesting and the dash makes me think it is some type of factory unusual car. Don't think I would use the word prototype. I would check the engine number to the build sheet. Usually the strange cars had three or four pages in the archive, versus the one or two pages usually available. Remember the first rule of car collecting.......it's not real until proven. That goes for the story and the car. The windshield frames look like Ternstedt hardware, and NOT what Fleetwood was using. Also, if it is a 29 or 30 it is a Fleetwood Pa manufactured body, mid 1930 they moved production to Detroit. This is a case where I would like about fifty photos to try and figure out the car. What I see looks 50/50 to me as being correct. My guess from two photos posted is it was modified more than once........not that it means it is not correct. The real story is.........with a 355 V-8 engine in it, sadly it's not worth restoring. 

 

I see all three years when looking at the car.......with luck we will get more photos for an accurate description and understanding.

 

PS- Just three years ago, I recieved photos of a car..........that I was sure was a rare one off according to my records, and it appeared in the mid west, restored and driving. I was an instant purchaser at asking price if the car was correct. On about the 40th photo....I spotted it....the "issue" and knew right away the car was a fantastic fake. After an hour on the phone with the seller.......he admitted his father built the car from scratch to the Fleetwood plans in the mid 60's. He was stunned I was able to pick up on a small detail and figure it out. You must NEVER EVER buy with your heart.......always with your eyes, and never let a good deal make you jump too fast...........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they never tried to represent the show as a documentary. i find it entertaining, and many of the items they show bring back fond memories.as an antique car fan, it's easy to see that their knowledge of old cars is somewhat limited, but who cares? when i channel surf the 900 plus channels on my cable system, this show often wins the best available contest. that is the really sad part about today's television line up.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, greenie said:

Picker was a term I first heard at an early Carlisle event. The Picker would “greet” incoming vendors as they tried to unload, and make low-ball offers on any choice parts. Later, the vendor would see his stuff elsewhere on the grounds, marked up quite a bit. The term was intended to be derogatory. Ironically, on early telecasts, Mike and Frank lived up (down?) to the term, but later stopped low-balling old folks when ratings improved and criticism mounted. Now it’s a simple form of voyerism- looking at what others have sqirreled away.

Times have changed. Those same Carlisle Pickers are still there but instead of seeing the stuff they buy from me for sale elsewhere on the grounds I find them listed on Ebay a week later with a 500%-1000% markup!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, The 55er said:

Times have changed. Those same Carlisle Pickers are still there but instead of seeing the stuff they buy from me for sale elsewhere on the grounds I find them listed on Ebay a week later with a 500%-1000% markup!

Good for them, I quit going to Carlisle in 1973, just wasn't worth the time and gas. Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob:

I think you mean you stopped going in 1983. Don’t we all wish we could turn back the clock to “Post-War ‘74”. You’ve missed quite a lot since 1983. The Ford, Mopar and Corvette shows have become spectacular events. The Chevy (GM), Import, and Truck shows are smaller. As for Spring and Fall, most of the same car guys and gals still attend. For many years it was the best excuse I could find to take off from work!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You're right it was 1978 maybe '79 delivered a NOS pair of ARDUN heads for $2,500 that I was into for $600. those were good old days. That paid off the plumber back when we were building the house. 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the rule that you should "do what you know" is a good one to follow.  These guys don't know crap about cars.   But I'm gonna assume they are not complete idiots and bought something that was not real.   Assuming it is real,  it is Pebble worthy.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Here is an original picture of the real deal and the second one is from the show. Looks as though the front end has been changed at some point in time that kills the original paint statement. 

As for the expert on the show said they swapped out the engine from a V8 to a V16 in 1930. That would be a neat trick seeing the frame is longer for a V16  and you would have to swap chassis to do it.

30mmexb.jpg

893256633_CadillacX2_thumb_JPG_decc495b57d57ea3e0a0473f1679dade.jpg

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

We had other terms for that type, just never used "picker". And they were recognized as someone you really didn't want to see pawing through your stuff. There is nothing wrong with making a buck, but they were the ones who wanted the best and cried that the price was too high for them to make any money. Just another breed of bottom feeder.

 

Those two did a show with some Civil War documentation at a southern museum. The Costello one had bought it for $200 and the museum curator really liked it. So the cherry picker states he just wants his $200 back. That really looked bad to me. Here are two well paid TV personalities, probably a crew of  15 and all the trucks and equipment. This clown is looking for his $200 back. I would have given the documents to a good home without hesitation. If he is like that in real life, too bad, but I think the script writer got him that time.

 

I am still for the "How much for everything" approach. It just makes me feel less like washing my hands after the purchase.

 

Any of you know what one of these are?

image.png.ec6d1bb04fbc9bd14308a48048f17480.png

 

 

Rule of Acquisition # 284 - Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ok......I did fifteen minutes of research, and watched the tv clip of the show. I have been able to figure out the car 80 percent, and would need hours of standing next to it to sort out the last 20 percent. 

 

First, the data sheet is signed by Sloan and one of the Fisher Brothers. Prototype.........no, not in my opinion. I would call the car something I have seen twice before. A test platform for the Fisher Brothers. And, I am quite sure it evolved for its first 18 months of its life.  Early on today I thought it was modified at a later time..........post war. After some time looking at it and chewing on it, I’m fairly certain it was a evolution project........from late 29 to early 31......and since it’s a Fleetwood built body, from Fleetwood Pennsylvania and has later added Detroit Fisher Body parts all over it, and parts from 1929(95 percent) and the rest looks like 1930 & 1931(5 percent) it all adds up to a Fisher Brothers test platform. I have seen two other cars similar to this one that still survive. One a twelve open car and another a sixteen closed car. There are also some LaSalle parts on the subject car. I have some factory notes with dates for in run production trim changes, and the subject car has some rather seldom seen hardware on it. So, after all information and data, photos, and no less than forty five years of working on, driving, and servicing early 30’s Caddies I have come to the following conclusion:

 

Its a hybrid of a stock 1929 Cadillac chassis that had some LaSalle attributes both mechanical and trim. It had a Fleetwood Pennsylvania Body, with non standard for Fleetwood trim when first built. It also had some LaSalle interior details. Along the way, probably in August or September of 1930 it was modified once or twice in Detroit with Fisher Body parts.......and this is typical of the other “Fisher Brothers” test platform cars. It wouldn’t surprise me if the car has had several different factory paint jobs changing colors, as the other “test” cars had color changes. 

 

Analysis: 

 

While people call it a “Madam X” there isn’t anything that is terribly great or special about the car. The cars proportions are off, and the overall package is not attractive “as built when new”, and it looks a bit better with the “on the road bolt on changes” made as the project evolved. The car is interesting and a fun time capsule, and spending more time in person trying to figure out more details would be a fun experience from a automotive archeology point of view. 

 

The platform of a V-8 makes it a minor league curiosity but it is no where near a “major find” or important car in the era of design or engineering. 

 

I know most of the major Cadillac collectors from this era and I’m quite sure, they would not be interested in this car for their collection. There just isn’t anything about it that makes it special in a “good” way. It is interesting to see, and the story is at least based in fact.........which makes this car a true “test platform” done by the big boys at GM. Problem is overall this is the worst example of its kind I have ever seen that has survived. There is just not enough “special” items, styling, and chassis changes to make it anything more than a half hearted attempt at figuring things out.

 

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate the car a 3.5 on the interest scale. It doesn’t check “all the boxes”. Looking at it, it doesn’t inspire me, it doesn’t seduce me or draw me in;  it doesn’t make me want to look at it more. I don’t think that I “have to have it” when looking at it. It’s flaws far exceed its uniqueness, and all of this adds  up to a mundane factory project that is more a historical oddity, and it’s not an important car in the scheme of things.

 

As to value, I wouldn’t pay anywhere near the numbers tossed around in the TV show.......not even close. If I was in love with it, my number would be 30k, and then it’s still too much. If offered to me at 20k right now, I would  pass on it. And I wouldn’t bother with the effort of restoring it................OK, now this is where everyone chimes in and dumps on me.......that’s fine. I stand by my analysis. I do wish the best to whoever ends up with the car, and I am sure they will be happy with it. I will be happy for them.

 

The TV show kept pumping it up, and waving the flag that it was the best car in a “great collection of cars”, well take a look at everything else that was there. It was all common run of the mill stuff. I think the most interesting thing is that somehow the car was either sold or given to someone in private hands, and not returned to the factory. If I were the Fisher Brothers, Alfred Sloan, Harley Earl, or any other GM executive, I would have insisted that the car was returned to the factory and scrapped............I wouldn’t have wanted to lose control of the car and let it be out in public. There is nothing about the car to promote or build good will. It was a dead end when it was new. The few words that come to mind are uninspired & poorly executed.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the education Ed. I didn't start this thread with any intention to knock the buyer, and have very little knowledge of Cadillacs of this era other that being able to ID them from 20 feet. Guess the lesson to be learned is to do more research even if it may cause you to loose the car. 

 

Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Bob, Thanks for you comments. I didn’t want to dump on the car. It is neat. Problem is the TV hype puts too many poor ideas into people’s heads. The TV show is NOT fact, it is show business...........and the car is just a prop for the TV show to make money. As far as what is an interesting Cadillac of the era.......look at this. Best guess is it would sell for 3-5 large.

675D2824-11A3-49BC-8CFF-A05F8D2A1EC2.png

6657A9D0-BDE2-44B7-8960-3B3A361F0753.png

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, My first reaction, has nothing to do with the color combination or 3-5 large (REALLY?) does the car have a steering wheel, or is the driver seven feet tall? 

 

 

Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It’s right hand drive. One off. Italian Body. V-16. History from new. Colors need changing. Two years ago, a lesser Caddy brought well over those numbers.........and then add another 1 large for the restoration.  The great stuff is still on fire. I added a new photo with a better color. Amazing what paint will do to improve a car.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...