1931 Cadillac Model 452A V-16 Phaeton

452-CID, overhead-valve, aluminum V-16, 175-185 horsepower
3-speed manual
The Fisher Body subsidiary of General Motors purchased the Fleetwood Metal Body Company in 1925 and the coachbuilder was moved from Fleetwood to Detroit in 1931 and integrated into GM.

Cadillac may have been part of General Motors, but it produced some of the finest automobiles available and competed with far smaller luxury manufacturers like Marmon, Packard, Peerless, Pierce-Arrow, and Duesenburg. All of these fine companies offered their cars in a variety of chassis length and would deliver the completed chassis to the coachbuilder of the buyer’s choice.

The company’s sheer size and sales volume meant that in concert with captive coachbuilder Fleetwood, Cadillac was able to offer a catalogue of 60 different body styles/configurations for its top-of-the-line Model 452A V-16. If the buyer wanted something different, they could work with a variety of independent coachbuilders including Murphy, Waterhouse, Willoughby, even Saoutchik and Pinin Farina.

This beautiful 1931 Model 452A features the catalogued style Number 4380 All-Weather Phaeton body by Fleetwood, of which 250 were built in 1930 and 1931. Weighing in 5,690 pounds the big Cadillac move along with more style than speed, thanks more to the engine’s huge reserve of torque than to its 175 horsepower.

One of the jewels of the collection, the lovely Cadillac has been shown at the Pebble Beach Concours and at the Milwaukee Concours, and has completed both of the accompanying tours.

More than 60 different body styles/configurations were available when a Cadillac Model 452A was ordered; that didn’t count buying just the chassis and shipping it to one of the many custom coachbuilders in the United States and Europe.