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Lot 114

1930 Cadillac Sixteen Madame X Club Sedan by Fleetwood

  • Chassis no. 72705
  • Body no. 38

Sold for $148,500

Series 452. 175 bhp, 452 cu. in. overhead valve V-16 engine with three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 148"

- Offered from the Estate of Don Kizziar

- Award-winning example with known history

- Attractive slanted-windshield, 16-cylinder Cadillac

On January 4, 1930, New Yorkers were treated to an engineering tour de force. At the opening of the National Automobile Show at the Grand Central Palace, Cadillac unveiled the world’s first production V-16 automobile engine. The late historian Griffith Borgeson explained it elegantly: “It really made history and it made Cadillac, beyond all discussion, the absolute world leader in motoring magnificence…It was the super engine that set the whole exercise apart.”

Aesthetically it was a work of art, said to be the first powerplant that was truly styled. All wiring and hoses were concealed to the extent possible, hidden behind covers or in raceways. Viewed from outside, the engine compartment showed no clutter whatsoever.

There was a plethora of bodies from which to choose. There were 54 in the catalog, roadster to town car, all from Fleetwood. Some were built in Fleetwood’s original facility in Pennsylvania, others from the new Detroit plant.

Hardly ever used by the Cadillac Motor Company, the sobriquet “Madame X” refers to sedan-type V-16 cars with an 18-degree slanted windshield. These include body styles 4130, 4155, 4161 and 4175, in all their basic and suffix S, C and SC variations. The characteristic is readily apparent in this 4161S Club Sedan. In addition, Madame X cars were characterized by thin chrome trim surrounding all the body glass.

Purchased by the current owner in November 1983, this Madame X Sedan was treated to a complete restoration by A&A Classics in 1992. Its history has been documented from new and includes First Place in Cadillac LaSalle Club national competition. It was the subject of a feature article in Car Collector magazine in 1981, a copy of which goes to the new owner. The magazine, on which the car is featured on the cover with a two-page centerfold, contains an interview with the owner along with a seven-page article. The car was also on the cover of Cars and Parts in 1976, a copy of which goes to the successful bidder as well.

An older restoration, it continues to present very well. The yellow and black paint shows some aging, with minor checking on the fenders, but the chrome is all very presentable with only minor patination. The car is well equipped, including a factory radio, stone guard, Pilot Ray driving lights, six wire wheels equipped with rear-view mirrors and a windshield-mounted sun visor. The interior is upholstered in cord-type tan cloth and is very presentable, as is the dashboard. The engine compartment is generally clean. A correct Cadillac oil can rests in its engine compartment perch.

The flair of the Madame X gives it a coveted place in the Full Classic pecking order, akin more to the open-top Cadillacs rather than the upright sedans. This car in its attractive colors is a very nice example of a very desirable 16-cylinder American classic.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more