1940 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Sport CoupeSOLD

Gooding & Company Classic Car Auctions

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To be sold at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction on March 8, 2013. For further details please visit www.goodingco.com or contact a vehicle specialist at 001.310.899.1960 or specialist@goodingco.com. Engine Specifications: 431 CID 135o L-Head V-16 Engine Dual Downdraft Carburetors 185 BHP at 3,600 RPM 3-Speed Manual Gearbox 4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Hydraulic Drum Brakes Independent Front Suspension Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs About this Car: By the late 1930s, the custom-ordered coachbuilt automobile was quickly becoming a thing of the past. So too were the grand, multi-cylinder cars that had defined the greatest era of American automobile production. Cadillac, intent on maintaining their status as the most exclusive luxury brand, soldiered on with their mighty V-16, the sole survivor of the Golden Age of classics. Sales slowed considerably in the late 1930s for the grand Cadillac, and nearly all the V-16s build in 1940 were semi-customs, with the exception of a handful of one-off coachbuilt models like this sleek five-passenger Sport Coupe bodied by the distinguished firm of Derham of Rosemont. The story behind this remarkable V-16 begins with H.G. Haskell of Wilmington, Delaware, vice-president of the DuPont Company. By the time he was in a position to order a coachbuilt Cadillac, Mr. Haskell had already become a member of the Executive Committee and served on the company's Board of Directors. In 1940, Mr. Haskell enlisted Derham to build a custom V-16 coupe, one that would have its own distinctive design yet retain a general family resemblance to the factory bodies that had been styled by Bill Mitchell and Harley Earl. The new car he received was certainly more streamlined than the factory body and was undoubtedly influenced by the legendary V-16 aerodynamic coupes of the mid-1930s. With an East Coast coachbuilding formality and a subtle flair, the five-passenger sport coupe featured highly individualized aluminum coachwork with the classic Derham padded top - quite a rarity on the fastback design. The car also had some unusual features, including exotic molded cushions, ventilator panes in the rear-side windows, and an additional luggage rack, despite ample luggage space. For his fashionable, one-off V-16, Mr. Haskell paid a princely $11,000 and most likely retained the car until his passing in 1951. The next recorded owner was Herbert Becker of Long Island, New York, who kept the car in his garage alongside another late-production V-16. Years later, a fellow Long-Islander, David Ficken, discovered the car after a lengthy search. He was particularly pleased to find the Derham Coupe, as he was under the impression that it had gone missing in 1948. Soon after Mr. Ficken discovered the car, he sold it to John S. Lindhardt of Queens, New York, a devoted V-16 enthusiast. Eventually, the one-off Derham Sport Coupe came to the attention of California collector J.B. Nethercutt who sought to add the unique Cadillac to his growing collection. In 1970, Mr. Nethercutt acquired this V-16 Derham Sport Coupe and immediately embarked on a restoration that would return it to its former splendor. During the restoration, it was decided to finish the sport coupe in a fetching ruby red with a tan padded top, a departure from the conservative monochrome appearance of the factory photographs. Perhaps the most striking feature of the car is the marvelous flame stitch pattern, period-correct French mohair upholstery that was reportedly sourced through Phil Hill. Following the completion of the restoration, this one-off Cadillac appeared in numerous books and magazines, and is prominently pictured in both San Sylmar and The Nethercutt Collection. For decades, this magnificent classic was on display at the Nethercutt Museum, where it garnered much attention for its rarity and significant place in the history of American coachbuilding. In the 40 years since this Cadillac's initial superb restoration, it is beginning to display minor paint shrinkage and several minor flaws. It should make a lovely tour car in its current state, and would likely still be a strong contender at local concours. In 2010, the Derham Coupe was sold to a prominent southern collector who has maintained the rare Cadillac in his extensive collection of American classics. Kept in a perpetually spotless state of cosmetic detail, all cars in the collection are operated on a weekly basis to help keep their mechanicals equally fresh. Recognized by the CCCA as a Full Classic, this custom V-16's fascinating history and coachbuilt prestige set it apart from most other cars of the late pre-war period and is sure to catch the eye of the most discerning of collectors.

Reference Number 214936

as of 3/14/2013

Car 1940 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Sport Coupe
VIN 5320042 
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Known History

Formerly the Property of H.G. Haskell and the Nethercutt Collection