St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 130

1931 Cadillac 370-A V-12 Roadster by Fleetwood

  • Chassis no. 1002070

$190,000 - $225,000


Style 4502. 135 bhp, 368 cu. in. overhead valve V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and live rear with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 140"



• Recent cosmetic freshening

• One of about seven known



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, the corporation by which Fleetwood has been owned for more than three quarters of a century.



The Fleetwood Metal Body Company came into being in 1909. Formed at Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, it was not an evolution of a carriage-building company but created specifically to build automobile bodies. Early on, most work was for Packard, with about 10 percent for Pierce-Arrow and about half that for Cadillac. Most of the designs were conservative, but some of the more stylish ones were actually the work of Raymond Dietrich, then at LeBaron. Fleetwood was particularly known for the quality of 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 toward GM and Cadillac in particular. Fleetwood’s president and chief designer had moved from Pennsylvania and provided continuity, while working also with members of Harley Earl’s staff at GM Art & Color. Cadillac promised delivery of their Fisher-Fleetwood catalogue customs within seven weeks, full-customs were also available but took significantly longer.



Priced new at $2,845 was Fleetwood’s Style 4502 roadster body for the 370-A chassis. Chassis 1002070 sports a fresh nut and bolt, body-off restoration. With virtually zero miles registered since the restoration, the dark blue and gray Cadillac is simply outstanding. The car is very nicely appointed with a blue Hartz cloth top and complementing light blue leather interior. Both are in excellent condition. Desirable accessories include dual side-mounted spare tires with mirrors, stainless spoke wheels, wide whitewalls, wind wings, a set of Trippe lights, a golf club door, radiator stone guard, and a luggage rack fitted with a metal low boy trunk. The current owner states that this car starts and runs very well, and that the next owner will discover that this roadster drives wonderfully, cruising along with the finesse and flare that can only be achieved by a multi-cylinder Cadillac.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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