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1932 Caddy V16 - no reserve (Sothby's)


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https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az20/arizona/lots/r0011-1932-cadillac-v-16-five-passenger-sedan-by-fleetwood/830531

 

1932 Cadillac V-16 Five-Passenger Sedan by Fleetwood

Offered Without Reserve

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2020 - The John D. Groendyke Collection


Engine No. 1400238
Body No.  23
 
  • Offered from the collection of John D. Groendyke
  • One of only 300 V-16s produced in 1932
  • Restored in its original color scheme
  • Documented by a copy of its original build sheet
  • Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic

Cadillac sold only 300 V-16s in 1932—but it was the result of the Great Depression, and no reflection on the quality of the automobile they built. Not only was the V-16 superbly engineered, but fresh new styling gave it a sporty air, care of the lengthened hood, lowered roofline, more curved fenders, and streamlined headlamp shells. It was a powerful, costly machine that looked the part and was among the most visually distinctive of its era. Today it is also among the rarest.

The John D. Groendyke Collection’s handsome five-passenger sedan was ordered in February 1932 by the Cadillac Auto Company of Boston, Massachusetts, built a month later, and delivered in the spring. It remained on the East Coast for many years, and in 1988 it was noted as being in the ownership of Terrence Teodori in New Jersey. Later it became part of a prominent Full Classic collection in Northern Ohio, and in that ownership it was restored by the collection’s in-house shop between 2007 and 2014. As part of this work, the body was returned to the original color of Viceroy Maroon Dark, with a beautiful and correctly tailored broadcloth interior. The result is truly spectacular in every way, benefitting more recently from the fine maintenance of the John D. Groendyke Collection, typical of all of their vehicles.

Among the most beautiful examples of closed coachwork on the scarce 1932 V-16 chassis, this Cadillac is one of virtually unbridled and unequaled opportunity—deserving of either the show field or the open road. It is tempting to imagine it as a CARavan participant, loaded with passengers and luggage, carried with ease behind the gently purring V-16.

Edited by 1950panhead
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I think the color will turn more then a few buyers off. Even if the whole car were the fender color it would be a bit better. But that is just my opinion.

It is like looking at a very pretty lady who has on to much makeup , you loose the true beauty  of what  you are viewing. Sometimes less is more. SO often

over the many decades I have heard someone say "well for $50.00 more you could have had the car painted any color you want " This all being stated with

a - yeah I know it all - smirk and stance by who is speaking. Trouble is if you had the $ to buy the car when new 99% of the time you didn't have a bright color

painted , because of the economic situation of that era people with $ did not want to call attention to themselves since many many people couldn't even afford

50 cents for a decent meal. Yes, cars were indeed painted bright colors in the Great Depression, but that was usually in areas of the USA that had bright sunshine for most of the year.

I usually tell people who give me the "for $50 you could have" remark - 'do you realize that most people at that time weren't making $50 per month working at a full time job ? '

 

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Gentlemen, the color is factory as listed on the build sheet. Red/maroon has been over done to death, here it is ok and appropriate. 32 V-16’s are fantastic cars,  both driving and style. I’ll take it.

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Remember back in the 1950s, '60s and '70s when so many restorations were maroon with black fenders?

Some ideas are cyclical, less appropriate, and become less attractive with the passage of time.

Good taste should eventually prevail, 

but it is someone else's car, and their choice, after all

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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The sale three years ago for 200k was probably twenty five cents on the dollar for the restoration. That car is very well done.

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

The sale three years ago for 200k was probably twenty five cents on the dollar for the restoration. That car is very well done.

I feel like that is the going rate for all cars right now whether it is a Ford or the mighty Cadillac 452B. My '26 Ford is being sold for just about the same exchange rate.

 

I agree with Ed, that this is a very nicely done car, particularly because it is in the original color scheme. And WOW what a stunner of an interior. No wonder the closed cars were more expensive when they were new.

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15 hours ago, edinmass said:

Gentlemen, the color is factory as listed on the build sheet. Red/maroon has been over done to death, here it is ok and appropriate. 32 V-16’s are fantastic cars,  both driving and style. I’ll take it.

When at all possible I believe in sticking with the original color (especially if build sheets, factory photos, or ...) - if truly horrid, perhaps tweak it a shade or two, but surprisingly some of the odd colors of the various periods get some solid attention. I have an unrestored 1936 Auburn in the storage building that was originally Black, but must have been pained Neptune Blue to sell it off the lot - odd but popular color for the time  and probably would stand out as impressive on a show field. 

 

Relatives had a 1935 Packard Twelve Coupe-Roadster that sported original turquoise -blue paint with chrome wheels hub/spokes on painted rims - and when sold the next owner immediately painted the car bright red and chromed the wire wheels. Sort of criminal in my opinion to touch it to begin with, though especially that something with photos from day one was turned into something it never was. 

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The only thing I do not like about the Green V-16 is that they look dazzling with the wheel disks done in polished/chrome finish (all be it plenty of pictures of painted covers).  And, it would not take me long to get double whitewalls onto the Red/Maroon V-16. 

 

My only advice is that if truly interested someone test it out behind the steering wheel as cars that have fixed front seats are a mixed bag as to comfort for the driver.  That said, I am not seeing too many driven, so if just going to be a garage queen and showfield queen then both suit the need.

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7 hours ago, JamesR said:

I know nothing about Cadillacs, but that's possibly the most beautiful engine photo I've ever seen. Thanks for posting.

Maybe 18 years ago I priced out a 1931 V-16 engine rebuild - cost was 24K for a driver and another 24K extra for a 100 point cosmetics to be done on engine. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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17 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Maybe 18 years ago I priced out a 1931 V-16 engine rebuild - cost was 24K for a driver and another 24K extra for a 100 point cosmetics to be done on engine. 

 

I was quoted "maybe $25 or 30,000" for the V12 in The Car Which Shall Not Be Named.

 

This one is not a Cadillac, but I have receipts on this V16 totaling almost $54,000, and that's not counting two newly cast Edelbrock cylinder heads @ $10,000 each. Multi-cylinder engines are not for the faint of heart or wallet.

 

085.thumb.JPG.9e30bd3fa8a66421bf667dd74940439b.JPG

 

That said, if anyone needs a spare rebuilt aluminum Sixteen, I've got a spare ready to run...

Sixteen1.thumb.jpg.64b40642bc7b30a7d57367ff6ad87375.jpg

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

54K Plus 20K.............and the motor wasn't junk.......it was a good runner. Think what it would have cost if a hack tractor mechanic had done the last "rebuild". 

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8 years ago, the generator rebuild on the 34 Cadillac V-16 was about $2,300 without any detailing, plus shipping and a surprising amount of time to take it in and out (which I did myself, but if you paid someone else to play under hood monkey in an area of the car without the best access even though it looks right in your face matched to not chipping up paint and .... it costs good money) - parts unobtainium issues and just a limited amount of shops with any experience with one (good news was worked flawlessly when done). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

Just curious, but how much is a new cap and rotor for a V16 ?

 

 

Depends.......reproductions are less expensive.......three grand all in for both.

 

NOS- what the market will pay........

 

Used........... - what the market will pay

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8 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Depends.......reproductions are less expensive.......three grand all in for both.

 

NOS- what the market will pay........

 

Used........... - what the market will pay

 

Even the 8's aren't cheap, certain 8cyl share caps with Duesenbergs which I suspect pushes up the price rather than lower it from the Duesenbergs!

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On 12/23/2019 at 1:11 AM, hidden_hunter said:

 

Even the 8's aren't cheap, certain 8cyl share caps with Duesenbergs which I suspect pushes up the price rather than lower it from the Duesenbergs!

The "right" distributor caps in proper color bakelite and ... are always expensive.  Good news though,  you probably only need one in your lifetime. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Twenty-five years ago, give or take a couple, there was a 1930 Cadillac V-16 sitting in a junkyard south of D.C. in Virginia.  It was somewhere around Lorton, VA.  It was missing the hood and headlights, but still sat there bare with the fenders, body, radiator and engine.  I've often wondered if anybody ever got that engine.  Or, for that matter the whole car.  The only CCCA guy I can think of in that area is TRIMICAR on this site.  He lives in or near Winchester, VA

 

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On 12/22/2019 at 4:28 PM, Brooklyn Beer said:

Just curious, but how much is a new cap and rotor for a V16 ?

The wife went to Hershey with me in the 80s one time when I was buying parts for a 1930 V8. We were looking at parts on a table when someone asked how much were the NOS V16 distributor caps. The wife almost fell over and thankfully I was there to hold her up. The fellow took both of them and we walked away with her saying it might be better to sell our car. 

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I bought new 1930/31 V8 caps in the box from the McGowan brothers  late 80s  for $50 each  that I still have. I also got a new thermostat still in the original  GM cylinder type box back then for $60.  and still on the shelf. New V8 caps now go for around  $500 so I would hate to think what a V16 would sell for today. Did they not reproduce V16 caps a few years ago? 

I have seen nice cars that have changed their distributors over to one off a Studebaker seeing that if your housing is cracked you are talking another $2,000.  on top of the cap.

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

Always wondered what the upkeep on these 16 cylinder cars run.  How does it compare with a Packard? 

 

Any of the expensive cars require copious amounts of money poured in on a regular basis to keep them going.   Once the car is dialed in and sorted,  the money is not as bad,  but you need to regularly exercise the car and keep up on all the basic maintenance.

 

I think the part that is confusing is that what looks like insane maintenance costs are actually the last 25% of the restoration (sorting) disguised.

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I was told years ago that a Marmon V16 is a much better engine than Cadillac  V16.  Harry restored many V16 Cadillac and Marmon and remember he had 6 Marmons  16s to be done at one time by a US customer. A great guy and in the later stages of dementia now. 

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20 minutes ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

Why would there be required any more maintenance on a V16 then a V8 or even a straight 8 ? 

 

I think what they're saying is that once they're right, V12 and V16 motorcars are not difficult to maintain in running condition if you use them regularly and maintain them by the book. However, what most folks confuse as "maintenance" is really just getting it right in the first place (AKA sorting). Few people are willing to pay their restorers to finish the job and get that last 10% right, so the cars often run like crap and it's endemic to large, expensive cars because many owners of such cars rarely use them. Then when someone wants to drive it, they mistake the lack of sorting for deferred maintenance. It kind of is, but not really. They're two different things.

 

Once they're right, they tend to stay right. Getting them there, however, can be a very big, expensive job in terms of parts and know-how.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Just now, Joe in Canada said:

I was told years ago that a Marmon V16 is a much better engine than Cadillac  V16.  Harry restored many V16 Cadillac and Marmon and remember he had 6 Marmons  16s to be done at one time by a US customer. A great guy and in the later stages of dementia now. 

 

I think the Marmon has some advantages in that it's not running as two straight-8s. One downdraft carburetor fed by a fuel pump (not a pair of updrafts fed by two vacuum tanks) and one ignition system (instead of one distributor and with two ignition systems inside). I believe the Cadillacs were among the first to use hydraulic lifters so the Marmons will need some valve adjustments, but that is done on the top of the motor since it's OHV. The Marmon has a lot of other neat features, including aluminum pushrods so that they expand and contract at the same rate as the block and heads so valve clearance stays constant. They do have flat-tappet cams, but the lifters have these neat rounded "shoes" on the bottom that help them glide over the lobes more easily and the cam profile is more like a roller cam than a solid lifter cam which reduces noise and improves efficiency.

 

There are probably more similarities than differences. They both use a 45-degree V angle so they would fit under the long, narrow hoods. They both use OHV valvetrains. They both have five main bearing cranks. The Marmon is all aluminum, however, and that's one impressive piece of casting work. Owen Nacker had a hand in designing them both--he was at Marmon when V16 development started, then was lured over to Cadillac. I'm pretty sure his first words to Cadillac management were, "Hey, guys, you'll never guess what Howard's doing!"

 

The Marmon looks functional and from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint it's gorgeous. But the Cadillac motor is just beautiful to look at and intentionally so.

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Well stated Matt! Once well sorted you have to drive the cars no matter how many cylinders it has! Just starting it up and letting it idle to run does not do it any good; just gets you disgusted later on when it won't run properly due to neglect! Use it or loose it. Local stop and go short trips are ok but the cars need to be driven at a reasonable higher speed to get the whole system warmed up, let the spark plugs burn clean ( ie the carbon from the extra gasoline when first started up) etc.

I totally agree that you have to take the time and spend the $ to get it correctly sorted by a competent person who knows what they are doing!

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I rebuilt my first early Cadillac carburetor in 1980........I made notes and have the actual date, January 17,1980. I was thirteen  years old, soon to be fourteen. It was the first automotive carburetor I ever rebuilt. I probably had done 100 early Caddy carbs by now. Add in ignition, distributor, vacuum tank issues, slow turning starters........the Cadillac cars separate the men from the boys. Simply put, Cadillac’s are NOT a good first pre war car......you need to be in the hobby for five to seven years before thinking about one. They are difficult, expensive, and very few people understand them. Most restoration shops today can’t make them run right...........of the last ten I have worked on, eight of them had just come out of a “professional shop” and still had several/multiple issues. Think your Cadillac runs good? Nope, 98 percent of them are significantly off the mark. I have probably driven 200 of them over the years......from 1912 to 1942, I can only think of three or four that ran well.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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21 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Twenty-five years ago, give or take a couple, there was a 1930 Cadillac V-16 sitting in a junkyard south of D.C. in Virginia.  It was somewhere around Lorton, VA.  It was missing the hood and headlights, but still sat there bare with the fenders, body, radiator and engine.  I've often wondered if anybody ever got that engine.  Or, for that matter the whole car.  The only CCCA guy I can think of in that area is TRIMICAR on this site.  He lives in or near Winchester, VA

 

Hopefully every single part was saved - V-16 parts are around, but an incredible pain to source and there are some things that are near unobtainium.

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14 hours ago, edinmass said:


Simply put, Cadillac’s are NOT a good first pre war car......

Dad and I started with 1931 Cadillac's, progressed to a 1930 Franklin, and then I bought the 1941 Cadillac at age 14.  I talk a lot about my former 1941 Cadillac 60 Special Fleetwood - it had 17K miles on it in 1979, and had 97,500 in around 2015, when sold and most all the mileage was car shows, CCCA events, and AACA tours - you learn a lot along the way (Flatheads are notorious for hard starting and you just cannot put up with that stuff on 100 degree days when you have an agenda).   It helped Dad started is an English Sports Car guy and is an Engineer by profession.  And, helped that we lived in an area where there were plenty and had a lot of really good friends along the way. 

 

In addition to Cadillac's, Cord's are not for the faint of heart either:  People see us out with the Auburn and they want to talk Cord's - Dad has three questions.  Are you an Engineer ?  Are you handy ?  And do you have a lot of disposable income ? If the answer to all three is no, then his reply is that a Cord will never be the car you want it to be for you. And, every-time, I go to look at a Cord 810/812 he crabs as much as he crabs about Packard's - it is painful to listen too.  No, offense to Packard owners, but dad believes the engineering is in the 1st Twin Six, The second generation Twin Six, the Twelve, the Torsion Bar Suspension, and the V-8 - says rest was designed by bulk working around other's premium patents (plus, tainted by my Grandfather ripping his hair out trying to deal with them via the WWII Merlin project).  

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18 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

I was told years ago that a Marmon V16 is a much better engine than Cadillac  V16.  Harry restored many V16 Cadillac and Marmon and remember he had 6 Marmons  16s to be done at one time by a US customer. A great guy and in the later stages of dementia now. 

By the way:  A Franklin V-12 is one impressive beast 

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