1937 Cadillac Series 37 (V12) Convertible SedanSOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

See all the Images for this Car
ESTIMATE: $140,000 - $180,000

$118,250 Sold

150bhp, 368 cu. in. 45° overhead valve V12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, four-wheel leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 138"

In 1930, Cadillac stunned the fine car market with the introduction of its breathtaking new sixteen-cylinder models. The cars instantly catapulted Cadillac, which until then had been a mid-priced car, to the head of the luxury class.

Rather than rest on its laurels, Cadillac delivered another blow to the competition in 1931 with the introduction of a V12 that shared most of the luxury features of the V16 but at a sharply lower price. Although not one casting was shared, the V12 was clearly an exact replica of the V16 – with four less cylinders.

Designed by Owen Nacker, Cadillac's introduction of this new pair of engines was an engineering tour de force, incorporating several unique features. Their 45-degree cylinder bank angle and overhead valve design kept the engine narrow, while the external manifolding provided clear access. A unique hydraulic valve lash compensation system allowed the more efficient overhead valve configuration to offer the kind of silent operation normally associated with older side valve engines.

Equally important, these were the first engine compartments to be styled with all the wiring hidden, plenty of gleaming polished aluminum, shining porcelain and a pair of beautiful valve covers with brushed aluminum ridged surfaces.

In 1934, Cadillac introduced an entirely new chassis that would compliment perfectly the aptitudes of its remarkable engines. This chassis would serve as the foundation for their entire line for the next several years. For the first time, Cadillac styling completely concealed unsightly mechanicals under coachwork that hung low on the chassis. In fact, the only parts of the chassis left exposed were the wheels.

The new chassis design made noticeable improvements for drivers and passengers alike. Ride and handling was enhanced by use of an independent front suspension with integrated shocks, coil springs and center point steering, while a stabilizer bar was added to the rear to prevent excess body roll. The frame itself was revised by using an X design that both lowered and strengthened the chassis. Lastly, insulation was fitted to isolate passengers from engine heat and to shelter them from road, engine and other unwanted noise.

The chassis would remain virtually unaltered by 1937, while styling progressed each successive year to remain fashionably fresh. The 1937 Cadillacs were most recognizable by their die-cast egg crate grilles and large pontoon front fenders. The front bumper was all-new and held the Cadillac crest in its center. The 1937 Cadillacs with optional side mount spares had hood vents that were almost entirely hidden, giving the long hood a straightforward, modern appearance.

The Cadillac lineup consisted of seven different series of cars ranging in price from $1,000 to over $9,000, and included V8, V12 and V16 engine options. However, this would be the last year the V12 was offered to the public. Both the V8-powered Series 75 and the V12 Series 85 were built on the same 138-inch wheelbase, and aside from the insignia on the grill and trunk, the two series were virtually indistinguishable, clad in their Fleetwood bodies.

A record breaking year, in 1937 Cadillac sold 46,152 cars – making it the second year in a row Cadillac doubled the previous year ’ s total sales. While Cadillac ’ s competition was being eradicated by the Depression, Cadillac managed to not only stay afloat, but to thrive, and come out of it arguably stronger than they had been entering it.

The 1937 Cadillac Series 85-V12 Convertible Sedan presented here is one of the most desired of the Series 85 Cadillac models. The recipient of a comprehensive ground up restoration, the car is elegantly finished in black with a tan soft top and a plush red leather interior. The interior woodwork is gorgeous and features a front/rear glass divider. With the factory optional dual side mount spares and covers, wheel discs and flexible steering wheel, this Cadillac is very well equipped.

Impressing the judges with its concours quality condition, the Cadillac was awarded a CCCA First Prize in 2006. Mechanically on par with its spectacular appearance, the Convertible Sedan is reported to run flawlessly. This V12 Cadillac is certainly worth a close look, as both its appearance and rarity would make it an enviable addition to any collection.


Please note that this car is offered with reserve.

Reference Number 6358

as of 1/21/2007

Car 1937 Cadillac Series 37 (V12) Convertible Sedan
VIN 4150222 
More Images
See all the Images for this CarSee all the Images for this CarSee all the Images for this CarSee all the Images for this CarSee all the Images for this Car