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1931 Cadillac V12 coupe value?


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I think that part of the problem is that most of the younger mechanics are used to working flat rate where a good mechanic can do quality work and beat the clock - sometimes by a lot. That adds a variable amount to their pay which can often be substantial - Lets say at a minimum 50 hours pay for 40 hours worked. Guys that get fed the "good  stuff" at a good shop can be in 6 figures.

 

Working directly on a customer's car 40 hours work is 40 hours pay if they are honest. I had a great mechanic many year ago who charged by what the job was worth in his opinion. On one repair his wife said he was up half the night trying to find a short and he only charged me an hour's labor because that was his opinion of what the repair should have taken. Tough to make a  living that way but he slept well and had more work than he could handle.

 

 

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On 12/26/2019 at 1:38 PM, Joe in Canada said:

How many of the mechanics of today in the field could rebuild a carb? Also not many of the body men out there probably could not take out a dent then metal finish it ether.  A fellow in our region is a 45 year licensed body man and in the shop he is in he is the only one of 6. He has cut back in his hours and says he does not know what the shop will do when he retires. Another friend sold his diesel mechanical repair shop and the new owners hired 2 mechanics nether one has a licence.  I am waiting for the DOT to walk in but you can not find diesel mechanics to hire anyway. There is a big shortage of automotive trades up here and they are well paid so it is not for the lack of money. The automotive field has taken bad raps in the trades as for one the chemicals in the body trades and being a mechanic is very tough on the body. There is not much manpower left to go into restoring cars because of this PLUS they have to be interested in antique cars. I also understand that Pen State is having a difficult time getting students interested in the restoration field.  

One of our big topics is the grumbling of cost to restore a car and how unrestored cars are taking a hit. When you add this all up it may tell us why there is fewer people getting in the vintage car trade and some trades on the verge of being lost in a way. 

Just some thoughts. 

  Joe 

 

In my early 20's { 1980's} I worked as a mechanic , mainly on British sports cars, but also at a shop restoring early Mustangs. Long enough to qualify as a journeyman. At that time the pay was so-so and the benefit package quite thin.  I turned that experience plus a 3 year technical college program into a career as a Marine Engineer. Quite a bit better wages , much better benefit program, quite good pension program. Definitely a big step up from a vehicle mechanic in all regards except ships are manned 24 hours so never ending shift work. 

Working as a mechanic ; similar to most trades, you are working in a physically demanding situation all day long. As an engineer on the running watches the physical side is much less, lots of small jobs , checks on a ton of running equipment  and lots of instrument recording. In my situation the ship was tied up overnight {  350 car equivalent vehicle ferry , 2100 passengers and crew} so that is when all the maintenance and unscheduled repair took place. Once a year the ship was out of service for from 3 to 6 weeks for major scheduled inspection and overhaul. This is when the real work happened. 

 Overall the job of engineer was much better than mechanic. At times very demanding, but substantially better rermuneration.

I am sure a select few Automotive mechanics do quite well but I get the feeling a number of other trades are more consistently high earning. EG. Electrician, Tool and Die maker , Mllwright  possibly even pipefitter.  My nephew is currently apprenticing as a pipefitter, there still seems to be lots of work and quite decent wages. In my experience anything with a more "industrial " slant seems to do better than a Auto mechanic.

Greg in Canada

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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On 12/22/2019 at 4:50 PM, 1912Staver said:

Ed, that is a stunning snapshot of todays market.

 

Greg in Canada


A fantastic V-16 at Arizona, all original, needs nothing. Jump in and tour. Drive it home.......65k.

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15 minutes ago, edinmass said:


A fantastic V-16 at Arizona, all original, needs nothing. Jump in and tour. Drive it home.......65k.

 

Hi Ed. Do you have any pictures of that Cad ?  Please post if so.    -   Thanks,   CC

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No, I don’t, but AJ and a few other regulars here are out there this weekend. The great stuff is selling for all the money, the very good stuff is somewhere between soft and blah, and the run of the mill interesting and fun stuff is flat on its face. And it seems to be that way across the board. There are occasional machines that break the patterns, but the ones that do probably won’t hold up in the long run.

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Heard a lot about the Supercharged Cord Phaeton selling for $267,000 - but it was also an example where the owner probably lost money on it as restoration alone exceeded this amount.

 

And, heard a lot about the Sportman selling for like 550K - but it was all the right car in every regard matched to having a fortune spent on it mechanically (and capable of crossing the country). 

 

My point:  All things are not created equal. 

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

Heard a lot about the Supercharged Cord Phaeton selling for $267,000 - but it was also an example where the owner probably lost money on it as restoration alone exceeded this amount.

 

And, heard a lot about the Sportman selling for like 550K - but it was all the right car in every regard matched to having a fortune spent on it mechanically (and capable of crossing the country). 

 

My point:  All things are not created equal. 


the phaeton was nice but the cabriolet was really really really nice.  As good as I ever seen.

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9 minutes ago, md murray said:

A fantastic V-16 at Arizona, all original, needs nothing. Jump in and tour. Drive it home.......65k.

 

--Is this the vehicle Ed is referring to? maybe not? if so then Jeeez! that's an incredible car

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az20/arizona/lots/r0010-1931-cadillac-v-16-seven-passenger-imperial-sedan-by-fleetwood/830529


yes.  Those tires are brand new btw.

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1 hour ago, md murray said:

A fantastic V-16 at Arizona, all original, needs nothing. Jump in and tour. Drive it home.......65k.

 

--Is this the vehicle Ed is referring to? maybe not? if so then Jeeez! that's an incredible car

https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az20/arizona/lots/r0010-1931-cadillac-v-16-seven-passenger-imperial-sedan-by-fleetwood/830529

Yes, that is the car - dirty tires yet new, someone into it enough mechanically, and ...-  it should be a fine car - and yes a Free car too. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, alsancle said:


the phaeton was nice but the cabriolet was really really really nice.  As good as I ever seen.

Don Wholand went through the car mechanically and drove it across US (and it should still be capable of doing again) - he also did our 851 Auburn - FANTASTIC work.  Also, all the right car, was always all the right car, Pebble Beach Concours shown, expense no object tinkering on it since restored, and ....

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Wonderful car - may I ask those who have had the experience to sit in one , given the fact it has a divider window can anyone who is long in leg, 6 feet tall or taller be comfortable enough to drive it for any length of time? I love big sedans, town cars etc but having owned both a RR Springfield Phantom I Hibbard & Darrin designed "Trouville" town car as well as a 1937 Packard Super 8 limousine - both absolutely wonderful cars, well sorted in every respect, I sold both because during my entire ownership I was in denial that I fit well enough behind the steering wheel and was comfortable enough for more then 20 minutes at a time.

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15 minutes ago, Walt G said:

Wonderful car - may I ask those who have had the experience to sit in one , given the fact it has a divider window can anyone who is long in leg, 6 feet tall or taller be comfortable enough to drive it for any length of time? I love big sedans, town cars etc but having owned both a RR Springfield Phantom I Hibbard & Darrin designed "Trouville" town car as well as a 1937 Packard Super 8 limousine - both absolutely wonderful cars, well sorted in every respect, I sold both because during my entire ownership I was in denial that I fit well enough behind the steering wheel and was comfortable enough for more then 20 minutes at a time.

A good question as late 20's and early 30's  limousines with straight dividers and non-adjustable front seats can be difficult for taller people (or for that matter shorter people too). 

 

I will tell you that the 1934 Cadillac V16 Convertible sedan had plenty of room (and suicide doors were great), the 1935 Packard twelve Convertible Sedan has plenty of room too (and suicide door also great), the RR PI Springfield Dover Sedan had suicide front doors and you still were a monkey getting in - but once in was pretty dreamy, the 1930 Franklin Dietrich Speedster Convertible (also with Suicide doors) had little room to get feet in and had ok space but problem was you sat lower than your feet on clutch and brake - hard on the legs,  the Auburn's (also with suicide doors) have needed seat upholstery padding adjustment for over 6 " tall people, but otherwise fine, and ... - lots of cars over time to go on and on about.

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4 hours ago, Walt G said:

Wonderful car - may I ask those who have had the experience to sit in one , given the fact it has a divider window can anyone who is long in leg, 6 feet tall or taller be comfortable enough to drive it for any length of time? I love big sedans, town cars etc but having owned both a RR Springfield Phantom I Hibbard & Darrin designed "Trouville" town car as well as a 1937 Packard Super 8 limousine - both absolutely wonderful cars, well sorted in every respect, I sold both because during my entire ownership I was in denial that I fit well enough behind the steering wheel and was comfortable enough for more then 20 minutes at a time.


Walt,  the V16 or the RR town car?  The town car felt like a steal at 80k but nobody over 5-10 was getting in that drivers seat.

061B3C36-65A7-4D86-90A5-1EC0C0F0FD91.jpeg

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I would cut my legs off at the knees to drive that car........NOTHING better than a Springfield P1........nothing!

 

 

80K for that car was free.........good thing I didn’t attend.........fantastic coachwork....

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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7 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I would cut my legs off at the knees to drive that car........NOTHING better than a Springfield P1........nothing!

 

 

80K for that car was free.........good thing I didn’t attend.........fantastic coachwork....


that would have been awesome watching you contort  yourself trying to find your wallet.

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I love the look of both the 1934 V16 conv sedan as well as the R-R Riviera town car you show Al, but I could not drive the R-R  much, it would sit in the garage to look at .

The 1927 PI Trouville I had was restored mechanically by Lew Smith and Joe Star here on long island. Iron head too. Great car but some sections of the body structural wood could have eventually needed to be replaced. Nothing shaky just knew there were areas of need. It was S74PM ( for non RR people that is what RR people know the cars by, the build number assigned by RR of America) My car ran perfectly.

Last I heard it was in England.

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24 minutes ago, alsancle said:


that would have been awesome watching you contort  yourself trying to find your wallet.


I would have been happy to wright that check........a Springfield Town Car is what brought me up in the hobby......Ed Lake’s  Trouville was my first exposure to a Springfield car.......I was hooked from then on. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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20 minutes ago, edinmass said:


I would have been happy to wright that check........a Springfield Town Car is what brought me up in the hobby......Ed Lake’s  Trouville was my first exposure to a Springfield car.......I was hooked from then on. 


you promised you would compare and contrast the P1 and PII for us over in the American rolls Royce thread.

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Ok.......I’ll try and get to it tomorrow or Monday......crazy busy here, and got some medical stuff and two major shows this week.

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15 hours ago, alsancle said:


Walt,  the V16 or the RR town car?  The town car felt like a steal at 80k but nobody over 5-10 was getting in that drivers seat.

061B3C36-65A7-4D86-90A5-1EC0C0F0FD91.jpeg

 

 

 

Interesting, as my RR PI had a flat glass divider window (and also also opera seats built into divider panel in the back) and I would say the driver needed to be somewhere between 6' and 6'3".  My car was probably 4" to maybe 6" wider in body (body sat over the splash aprons), but that would be no real advantage to the driver other than better shoulder room.

 

IMG_2124.thumb.JPG.0ac207fc1ff66f2d64324e13d3fc4bca.JPG

 

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21 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

 

 

Interesting, as my RR PI had a flat glass divider window (and also also opera seats built into divider panel in the back) and I would say the driver needed to be somewhere between 6' and 6'3".  My car was probably 4" to maybe 6" wider in body (body sat over the splash aprons), but that would be no real advantage to the driver other than better shoulder room

 


I didn’t sit in it and wish I took a picture but the drivers compartment looked SMALL!

 

Older restoration that had aged nicely.  Didn’t like gold, but car was ordered with no plating so may be as original.   Felt like a steal, but what do I know?

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14 minutes ago, alsancle said:


I didn’t sit in it and wish I took a picture but the drivers compartment looked SMALL!

 

Older restoration that had aged nicely.  Didn’t like gold, but car was ordered with no plating so may be as original.   Felt like a steal, but what do I know?

I would say a great buy, but if taller people could not fit in it well, then.... - I would "any day" rather deal with something made for someone tall than something made for someone short.   

 

Usually, they are not too impressive in the "detaining" department under the hood and that holds them back in price - cannot tell you the hours I had in cleaning up aluminum and detailing.   And, very rarely do you ever see one that is "restored" - most are just partial restorations - that hold them back too.

 

Personally, I would never sell a launderette without putting the rear top down. 

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Love this thread and the pics you have shared. I’ve been told there was a 30’s Cadillac 16 somewhere in Aiken SC but has not been seen in a few years. Does anyone know of that car? 
Dave S 

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56 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

I would say a great buy, but if taller people could not fit in it well, then.... - I would "any day" rather deal with something made for someone tall than something made for someone short.   

 

Usually, they are not too impressive in the "detaining" department under the hood and that holds them back in price - cannot tell you the hours I had in cleaning up aluminum and detailing.   And, very rarely do you ever see one that is "restored" - most are just partial restorations - that hold them back too.

 

Personally, I would never sell a launderette without putting the rear top down. 

 

The auction companies are usually pretty smart about this, at least the boutique companies.    Somebody asked me once why you never see a German bodied Cabriolet with the top down.   The reason is it looks 10x better with the top up.

 

I'm assuming maybe it didn't look so great with the Landaulette down?

 

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Just now, alsancle said:

 

The auction companies are usually pretty smart about this, at least the boutique companies.    Somebody asked me once why you never see a German bodied Cabriolet with the top down.   The reason is it looks 10x better with the top up.

 

I'm assuming maybe it didn't look so great with the Landaulette down?

 

 

I can't think of a body style I hate more than a landaulette. It's like the mullet of collector cars: formality in front, party in the back, and stupid all over.

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Ed and I were commiserating prior about how this Stude was gonna be the deal of the century.  Really nice restoration on a desirable 32 president with 5 window coupe body.  Hammered at 140k so almost 155k all in.  Nice restorations on cool cars still bring money.

63CC3F71-9A05-499F-B64B-5B043A555D2B.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

The auction companies are usually pretty smart about this, at least the boutique companies.    Somebody asked me once why you never see a German bodied Cabriolet with the top down.   The reason is it looks 10x better with the top up.

 

I'm assuming maybe it didn't look so great with the Landaulette down?

 

Well, I agree with the top down on a German car - it is "usually" whole lot of stuff piled on the back of the car (and for people reading, that are not familiar, it is because they are well built, often padded, and headlinered too).

 

Perhaps, it did look odd with rear top down or perhaps top was too aged to put down without damage. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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It had provisions for a hard chauffeurs top but it was no where to be found.   Might have looked better with that bolted on.

 

And John is correct,  most German cabriolets of the better cars have double tops which don’t exactly fold flat.

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5 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Ed and I were commiserating prior about how this Stude was gonna be the deal of the century.  Really nice restoration on a desirable 32 president with 5 window coupe body.  Hammered at 140k so almost 155k all in.  Nice restorations on cool cars still bring money.

63CC3F71-9A05-499F-B64B-5B043A555D2B.jpeg

I think people have a hard time understanding what a nice restoration really is - cars that are incredibly well done, actually drive well, no broken stuff on them, well detailed, and in colors that look appropriate to the period and are equally 2020's attractive too will always bring good money.  Also, helps if a stylish car when it was new.  And I bet there are fewer than 6 that survive. 

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

I think people have a hard time understanding what a nice restoration really is - cars that are incredibly well done, actually drive well, no broken stuff on them, well detailed, and in colors that look appropriate to the period and are equally 2020's attractive too will always bring good money.  Also, helps if a stylish car when it was new.  And I bet there are fewer than 6 that survive. 

 

Only change I would have made was the tires.

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18 minutes ago, alsancle said:

It had provisions for a hard chauffeurs top but it was no where to be found.   Might have looked better with that bolted on.

Sort of gypped too in the Landaulette not having a nice luggage trunk on the rack. Also, the luggage rack folding arms appeared missing in auction brochure photos. 

 

My luggage trunk was out being painted/rechromed trim and I thought it would never get done (showed up about two days prior to the transport), but when finished it was nice to have a 100 point trunk on back of car considering huge car with little to no storage space in it. 

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Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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26 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I can't think of a body style I hate more than a landaulette. It's like the mullet of collector cars: formality in front, party in the back, and stupid all over.

 

World Wide seemed to be hitting home runs all over the field.   This V16 hammered at 152,500 with RHD and Red paint.  Juxtapose that against some of the deals in the Groendyke collection.

 

https://worldwideauctioneers.com/car-details/?id=71&rid=22

 

image.thumb.png.b2c6af62cf66b3ce3f33c50b588a619a.png

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Just now, John_Mereness said:

 

An absolute bargain at 900k hammer and 1,000,000 all in.   Set back radiator cars like this one have brought lots more in crappier shape before.    The new owner has the choice of going back to its 1951 Hebmuller colors,  or spend an extra 100k or so and put it back to Cab A configuration.   Keeping in mind that RM sold an "ok"  set back Cab A 2 years ago for 2.4 which we all called a bargain.

 

Perhaps the coupe top scared off buyers,  or the market is soft as a 2 month old banana.

 

But,  then World Wide gets 410k hammer and 450k all in for a 37 Packard Convertible Sedan?????????  

 

image.thumb.png.4066f0b4df1bf6e779bf154bc79a2126.png

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1 minute ago, alsancle said:

 

World Wide seemed to be hitting home runs all over the field.   This V16 hammered at 152,500 with RHD and Red paint.  Juxtapose that against some of the deals in the Groendyke collection.

 

https://worldwideauctioneers.com/car-details/?id=71&rid=22

 

image.thumb.png.b2c6af62cf66b3ce3f33c50b588a619a.png

A little too much red going on for my taste and I like the "standard"  Fleetwood Laundaulette better, older restored but a well documented and neat custom bodied car that should probably have gone higher.

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6 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

But,  then World Wide gets 410k hammer and 450k all in for a 37 Packard Convertible Sedan?????????  

 

image.thumb.png.4066f0b4df1bf6e779bf154bc79a2126.png

 That may have set a record price !  It is a nice car and well CCCA award badged, but 37's sort of grow on trees in my opinion.  If anyone wants a nice original 1935 Twelve Convertible Sedan in Packard Yellow - please let me know. 

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

 That may have set a record price !  It is a nice car and well CCCA award badged, but 37's sort of grow on trees in my opinion.  If anyone wants a nice original 1935 Twelve Convertible Sedan in Packard Yellow - please let me know. 

 

I was doing the 35/36/37 debate with a couple of guys last week.    I would have went 36 because of the styling and sloped radiator.  37 seems to be the majority preference because of the juice brakes,  but not sure I love the steel wheels.

 

From what I have seen,  200k buys you the best V12 convertible sedan all day long.   But maybe the issue is I've never seen the best V12 convertible sedan?

 

Also,  200k buys you any of the Brunn bodied cars, which as a catalog custom should be more desirable.  I guess.

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