Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found

Tracing the Histories of the 1930s Classics

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About the Book

For eleven years prior to World War II, Cadillac defied the norms of practicality and produced an extravagant supercar, a 16-cylinder luxury automobile that could be tailored to the customer’s every want. Big, thirsty and lavish, it cemented Cadillac’s place in the top tier of motoring magnificence. Each of the cars has its own colorful and fascinating story to tell. Driven by a life-long love of the V-16 and an interest in the history of his own car, the author has assembled more than 65 of these tales, gleaned from interviews, books, periodicals and documents, into a liberally illustrated book. Each story is shaped by the people a particular car touched, and the events they lived through together. All are an important part of our automotive and cultural history.

About the Author(s)

Classic automobile lover Christopher W. Cummings is an attorney. He lives in Manassas, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Christopher W. Cummings
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 284
Bibliographic Info: 224 photos (22 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7570-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1239-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction   1

 1. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi 3

 2. Kiwi Cadillac 3

 3. A Ghost Appears Briefly 8

 4. Ferdinand, the Gentle Bull 13

 5. A Veteran Driver 21

 6. Frozen in Time 26

 7. Bound for Spain 28

 8. Message in a Bottle 33

 9. Destination Czech Republic 34

10. A Somewhat Shopworn Showgirl 37

11. A Surviving Twin 40

12. From Parts Car to Show Car 45

13. A Hybrid of a Different Sort 48

14. Dealer Demo Special? 53

15. A Tattered Town Car 59

16. A Very Clever Car 63

17. A West Coast Classic 67

18. The Head Chef’s Coach 70

19. California Dreamin’ 73

20. David Holtzman’s Car 78

21. A North Country Convertible 82

22. Brought Back from the Dead 86

23. Photographer’s Model 89

24. Raising Cane 90

25. Mysterious House Guest 96

26. The Banker and the Countess 101

27. Lone Star Legacy 106

28. Two for the Road 107

29. Old Red 111

Between pages 116 and 117 are 12 color plates containing 22 images

30. Paul’s Phaeton 117

31. Senator Glass’s Limousine 122

32. Bull 124

33. Mogul Mobiles 127

34. A Million-Dollar Cadillac 130

35. Rollston Convertible Coupe 133

36. Chariots for the Princes 137

37. The Baker’s Dozen 138

38. Charm City Convertible 142

39. A Coachbuilt Cadillac with a French Touch 145

40. Styled in Sweden 148

41. Restoration Interrupted 151

42. In the Land of the Rising Sun 155

43. Demolition Derby Veteran 158

44. A ­Latter-Day Hardtop Sedan 161

45. One-of-a-Kind Touring Car 165

46. We Just Take Care of Them 168

47. Dry Lakes Record Holder 174

48. Hot Rod Cadillac 180

49. The Carash Custom Roadster 184

50. A Chrysler Lion with the Heart of a Cadillac 190

51. A Visit with Cadillac Jim 194

52. Presidential Provenance 198

53. Old Money 203

54. A DuPont Convertible 206

55. Grace 210

56. Helen 214

57. A Very Long Sedan 219

58. Opposition Research 222

59. Let’s Make a Deal 227

60. Shiny, Streamlined and Sleek 230

61. 1938 Town Sedan 233

62. 1939 Limousine 237

63. And Power Everything 240

64. Dr. Brinkley’s Coupe 244

65. An Air Conditioned V-16 Limousine 247

66. The Last V-16 248

Epilogue   253

Chapter Notes   255

Bibliography   257

Index   259


Book Reviews & Awards

“The future caretakers of these cars are fortunate that Christopher Cummings turned a labor of love into a very readable history of these magnificent Classics”—Antique Automobile; “intriguing reading that will entertain the student of Cadillacs and Classic cars, as well as anyone who just loves a good story about man and machine. Cummings’ entertaining writing ensures all will devour each word and each image”—Old Cars Weekly; “there is much to be learned and enjoyed in this book”—Classic­cars.com; “read Christopher Cummings’ two books for enjoyment. Then keep them to consult again due to the depth and breadth of information they contain”—SAH Journal; “an entertaining read”—The Bulletin.