Cadillac was the epitome of American class in the 1930s. While #2 behind Packard, Cadillac had introduced a V16 in 1930 that brought the brand to new heights. It followed in 1931 with a V12—another new configuration for the brand—that gave Cadillac a troika of prestige in a very prestigious class. One of these V12s will be hitting the block at Mecum’s Original Spring Classic 2014 in Indy.
The Indy location is somewhat fitting as the Cadillac V12 was the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 in 1931. Measuring 368 cid, the V12 put out 135 silent horsepower. That’s mighty low compared to our modern sensibilities, but don’t forget that they didn’t have the gas back then to run high-compression heads.
Most cars of this caliber were built with custom bodies from a coachbuilder. This roadster was built by Fleetwood, the Pennsylvania firm that was bought by the Fisher Brothers (General Motors’ in-house builders) in the 1920s and relocated to Detroit. Fleetwood pretty much became GM’s custom coachbuilder during these years, but don’t think they’re any lesser than one built by Dietrich or LeBaron.
One of only 91 V12 Model 4702 roadsters built in 1931, this Cadillac was restored by Kiefer Automotive Group from Michigan. The rumble seat and twin sidemounts are classic factory features from the 1930s, but the accessory Pilot Ray steering lights add a nice touch. Recognized as a Classic by the Classic Car Club of America, this Cadillac is expected to hit $235-285,000 on May 17, 2014.