Hershey

10 - 11 October 2013

Lot 220

1931 Cadillac V-12 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood

To be auctioned on Friday, October 11, 2013

Sold for $231,000

  • Engine no. 1001934


Series 370A. 150 hp, 368 cu. in. overhead-valve V-12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh transmission, three-quarter floating rear axle, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with vacuum assist. Wheelbase: 140 in.

  • Built for the Montreal Auto Show
  • Documented original body and engine
  • Highly regarded Cadillac V-12 performance and durability
  • Ideal AACA tour and CCCA CARavan car


Of all the custom coachbuilders who built on Cadillac chassis, none is more closely linked to the marque than Fleetwood. While today the name is associated with the top model of Cadillac, in the past it represented design and construction of bespoke bodies. Its origins go back nearly as far as the history of General Motors, which is the corporation that Fleetwood has been owned by for more than three quarters of a century.

The Fleetwood Metal Body Company came into being in 1909. Formed in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, it was not an evolution of a carriage-building company, but it was created specifically to build automobile bodies. Fleetwood was particularly known for quality interior woodwork.

In 1925, the Fisher brothers, who had sold out their body company to General Motors, bought Fleetwood outright. This gave Fleetwood capital to expand and modernize, and it gave GM a ready source for high-quality coachwork. Some work continued for non-GM customers, including many bodies for Chrysler. In 1930, the Fishers moved Fleetwood to Detroit and closed the Pennsylvania operations, relocating the construction operations in a former Fisher Body plant. From this time on, work was focused on GM and Cadillac in particular. Fleetwood’s president and chief designer had moved with them from Pennsylvania, and he provided continuity, even while also working with members of Harley Earl’s staff at GM Art and Color Department. Cadillac promised delivery of their Fisher-Fleetwood catalogue customs within seven weeks; full-customs were also available, but they took significantly longer.

A copy of this V-12 Cadillac’s original build sheet, on file, confirms it to be an original Fleetwood-bodied Convertible Coupe, and it has its original engine still installed today. Interestingly, the Cadillac was delivered through General Motors of Canada Ltd., and the build sheet notes, “Tag Montreal Show,” indicating that the car was to be shown at the Montreal Auto Show that year. It was specified with six wire wheels, including dual side-mounted spares and tire-mounted side mirrors.

The car was later the recipient of a body-off restoration, resulting in its present appearance: A rich maroon body with black fenders, door “saddles,” and outlining. Steel covers hide the side-mounted spares, and the wire wheels are painted a slightly lighter shade than the body color. Other interesting accessories include wide whitewall tires, the famous Goddess radiator mascot, an opening windshield, a cowl-mounted spotlight, a golf bag door, a trunk rack, dual Pilot Ray driving lights, and dual horns.

The Cadillac V-12s of this era are well-known for their superb performance, with the lighter engine over the front axle, making them easier to drive than the larger, heavier V-16s. Still presenting very well overall, and reportedly in good running and driving order, this example would be a very pleasurable early Classic to enjoy. It would be accepted in all CCCA CARavans, and it has a fascinating history that would make fine dinner conversation at the end of a day’s drive. It could also be presented at local concours with the same pride that it must have brought Cadillac in Montreal 82 years ago.

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

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

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 joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

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

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more