Motor City

25 July 2015

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Lot 111

1931 Cadillac V-12 Five-Passenger Sedan by Fisher

  • Chassis no. 103536
  • Engine no. 1003203
  • Body no. 861
  • Job no. 31159

Sold for $79,750

Series 370A. 135 bhp, 368 cu. in. OHV V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 140 in.

  • A prestigious 12-cylinder Full Classic
  • Meticulous older restoration, carefully maintained
  • Ready for show or tour

The Cadillac V-12 was basically the same as the V-16, save for some cylinders eliminated. The stroke remained the same, although the bore was larger. This resulted in 368 cubic inches from the 45-degree block, and like the Sixteen, it ran quietly, the benefit of hydraulic valve lifters. Rated at 135 brake horsepower, just 30 less than its larger sibling, some V-12 aficionados feel it is the better choice.

Historian Walter McCall has written that the Twelve sold well, too, but at the expense of the Sixteen. Sales of the Sixteen hit the skids from September 1930, and the fact that the equivalent Twelve was priced $2,500 lower certainly had something to do with it, whether from real hardship or merely the wish to appear somewhat less ostentatious. Moreover, wheelbase aside, the cars looked very much alike, so the image of a V-12 seemed a much better bargain.

This 1931 Cadillac V-12 Five-Passenger Sedan was ordered through Don Lee, Inc., the prestigious Los Angeles dealership, on February 28, 1931, for delivery no later than April 1st. It had six wire wheels, with fender-mounted spares, and the coveted Goddess radiator ornament when ordered. Its early history is not known, but it was complete and rust-free when acquired by the current owner, a longtime and well-known Classic Car Club of America member, in 1984.

The car had been the subject of a partial restoration at the hands of an amateur, so an authentic professional rebuild was commenced. All mechanical components were completely disassembled and restored to factory specifications. An attractive green-gray color scheme was chosen to emphasize its conservative yet elegant nature. The upholstery is gray broadcloth, nicely harmonizing with varnished wood accents in the dashboard, window sills, and rear-seat ashtrays.

A correct “high boy” trunk was restored and painted to match the body color, and Trippe driving lights, fitted luggage, and a period-correct matching lap robe were added. The car also has a Cadillac logo door hinge mirror on the driver’s side. A set of tools, including a jack and special hubcap removal tool, as well as an original owner’s manual and leatherette-embossed shop manual, accompany the car.

The Cadillac received Best of Show honors at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance in Oregon following completion of the restoration in 1995. The next year it scored 100 points at the Classic Car Club of America Pacific Northwest Grand Classic, receiving Senior medallion 1658. It was awarded 2nd place in the Closed Classic class at Pebble Beach in 1999. Since then, it has been meticulously maintained and regularly driven and has participated in a few select events. It starts and drives well and is mechanically sound. As such, this fine V-12 Cadillac represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a Full Classic for CCCA meets as well as CARavan tours.

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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 617 513 0388
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

+1 954 566 2209
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+1 717 623 1638
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

+1 805 231 6410
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 784 9300
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

+31 653 84 19 60
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