1931 Cadillac Series 355 (V8) Sport PhaetonSOLD
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Estimate: $120,000-$160,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$170,500 Sold

Series 355. 95bhp, 353 cu. in. L-head V8 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh transmission, front and rear semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 134"

While the American economy languished in the depths of the Depression, Cadillac hoped to capture the elite segments of the luxury car market by introducing its V16-powered Series 452. Styling cues and technical refinements were subsequently passed down from the company ’ s flagship to the more affordable twelve- and eight-cylinder models, thereby adding a degree of luxury to every Cadillac in production. Furthermore, Harley Earl ’ s Art and Color department, formed in 1927, was in the midst of a styling and engineering revolution that would catapult the marque to the top of the fine car market.

At first glance, the eight-cylinder Series 355 for 1931 was similar to the Series 353 that preceded it, although the design of the body was considerably lower. The longer hood now featured five hood ports, while metal floorboards, an oval instrument panel, single-bar bumper, dual horns, and slightly smaller headlights further defined the 355. The engine remained unchanged, but the frame, with its divergent side rails, was new. In addition to the available saloon and coupé body styles, Fleetwood, having been acquired by General Motors only six years earlier, also offered two coachbuilt four-door phaeton variants, the All Weather and Sport Phaeton.

The Cadillac we have the pleasure of offering was acquired at auction in 1998. In the early 1980s it was owned by Mr. Newton Withers Jr. of Anaheim, California, and eventually changed hands again in 1993 before receiving First Place honors from the Classic Car Club of America and 99 points at the Pebble Beach Concours d ’ Elegance.

The overall condition of the car is, quite simply, spectacular. It is concours-ready and finished predominantly in red with slightly darker fenders and lighter red pin striping, the quality of which is exceptional. All the chrome and brightwork on the car have been restored to the same exceptional caliber, while the tan canvas convertible top has been properly fitted and is essentially new as well. This terrific workmanship extends through to the interior, where the leather upholstery has been very nicely fitted and is in excellent condition, free of rips, tears or scuffs. The instrument panel, like the black steering wheel, is in show quality condition, properly detailed, and the gauges are crisp and clear. The odometer reads less than 200 miles, which very well might be the mileage since the car ’ s restoration. Even the convertible top bows are remarkably new in appearance.

Highly detailed and expertly refinished in red, the engine compartment has been restored to the same exceptional standards, with all components painted predominantly gloss black. As for the undercarriage, the same attention to detail is present, from the frame rail to the suspension and steering components. In addition to a center-mounted Pilot Ray driving lamp, this car is also fitted with dual side-mounted spare tires, chromed wire wheels, side curtains, and a rear-mounted trunk refinished in body-color red.

Over the years, as body construction became increasingly standardized industry-wide, the Fleetwood name no longer represented custom coachwork. Instead, it came to simply signify the finest of Cadillac ’ s luxury outfitting until it recently disappeared from the Cadillac model line all together. As such, this Sport Phaeton is a remarkable relic from a bygone era, lovingly restored and maintained to concours-quality standards.

Reference Number 15002

as of 11/4/2007

Car 1931 Cadillac Series 355 (V8) Sport Phaeton
VIN 810566 
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