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1930 Cadillac V-16 'Madame X' Imperial Landaulet Cabriolet

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Coachwork by Fleetwood

Available Upon Request

CHASSIS NO: 702584

• One of just two examples built
• A genuine 'Madame X' retaining its original chassis, engine and body
• Powered by Cadillac’s powerful and coveted V-16 engine
• Built for European export; known history
• A Classic Car Club of America Full Classic®


452 cid OHV V-16 engine rated at 175 HP, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension and hydraulic dampers, three-quarter floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, four-wheel vacuum-assisted mechanical drum brakes; wheelbase: 148”


Although the Great Depression cast a shadow over the start of the 1930s, Cadillac threw caution to the wind with the introduction of their magnificent V-16 powered line of fine automobiles. Offering the very pinnacle of fine engineering, the V-16 was the absolute king of the road. Cadillac had been developing the V-16 for three years and styling went into its design just as much as durability. Visually void of any of the wires and plumbing seen on a standard engine, the V-16 components were all neatly hidden, making the engine compartment a thing of beauty. Cadillac and coachbuilders alike built magnificent bodies for the V-16 chassis as they literally considered it a canvas on which to paint their most exquisite masterpieces. Convertibles, coupes, roadsters, and phaetons were all offered, but among the V-16 line was a very special group of sedans knowns as the 'Madame X.' It was only offered in Fleetwood’s premium 4100 series cars and featured a very thin and slightly raked windshield pillar and a tapered belt molding at the cowl. These small styling cues set the grand 'Madame X' apart from anything else on the road.

Offered here is a remarkable example of this iconic motorcar, a 1930 Cadillac V-16 'Madame X' Imperial Landaulet Cabriolet wearing a Fleetwood body style #4155-C. Riding on an immense 148-inch wheelbase the 4155-C sold for astronomical $7,350 when a new Plymouth could be had for just $670. This particular example is one of only two Imperial Landaulets built with a convertible top that opens to expose only the rear seating area, a design that has been favored by European royalty for centuries. The provenance of this Cadillac is known right from the beginning as it was sold new and delivered to the Cadillac dealer in Antwerp, Belgium through General Motors Export Division. It then made its way to Switzerland and remained there for nearly 40 years before it was acquired by a collector here in the United States. Under the hood is engine number 702584, the correct and original 16-cylinder engine for this car. The firewall retains the original trim tag and its numbers solidify the pedigree of this car. It also carries its original brass data tag that was used for export models only. This sale is accompanied by a copy of the original Cadillac build sheet, which documents that this V-16 Cadillac retains its original engine, chassis, and body. The dramatic length of this V-16 is nicely accented with dual side-mounted spare tires. The V-16 emblem up front tells the world that this is no ordinary motorcar and the headlights, which were unique to the V-16 series are incredibly large. Styling for the V-16 carries a degree of understated elegance with simple bumpers that are straight and plated in beautiful chrome. An optional folding luggage rack also adds extra storage for touring. The interior was professionally restored some years ago and is finished in period-correct wool broadcloth. The rear compartment carries all the amenities one would expect including vanity lights and built-in arm rests. The dashboard retains all its proper gauges and controls and as a European export car the speed is calculated in kilometers. The personality of this car is transformed when the folding landau top is lowered giving it the appearance of a classic formal car. Of course, the engine compartment needs no introduction as the mighty V-16 is smooth, ultra-quiet, and a genuine work of art. The engine is neat and tidy with all components in good order.

The 'Madame X' Cadillac represents the very pinnacle of the Golden Age of the Motorcar. It simply makes no apologies for its length, weight, or grandeur. This example, as one of only two variants of this type, with its provenance and dedication to authenticity, presents as a welcome addition to many events and tours and allows entry into the ranks of V-16 ownership.

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