St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 120

1931 Cadillac Model 355-A 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe

  • Chassis no. 808246

Sold for $165,000

Series 355-A. Est. 95 bhp, 353 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, ¾-floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 134"

• Less than 200 miles since a restoration was completed in 2011

• CCCA Full Classic, powerful V-8, fully-synchronized transmission

• Multiple awards; judged 97.5 points by the CCCA

• Formerly owned by noted collector and CCCA member Mike Ames

While the world’s economies continued to shudder under the deepening effects of the Great Depression, Cadillac hoped to capture the elite segments of the American luxury-car market by introducing its V-16-powered Series 452 models in 1930, followed by the their V-12 counterparts the following year. Clear styling cues and many technical refinements were subsequently passed down from the company’s flagships to the more affordable eight-cylinder models, thereby adding a heightened degree of luxury, refinement, and style to every Cadillac in production. Moreover, Harley Earl’s Art and Color Department, formed in 1927, was in the midst of a stylistic revolution that would catapult the marque to the top of the American fine-car market during the 1930s and for decades to come.

At first glance, the eight-cylinder Series 355-A line for 1931 was quite similar to the Series 353 models that preceded it, although the overall design theme now incorporated a decided shift toward lower and sportier overall proportions. The elongated hood now featured five hood ports, while metal floorboards, an oval instrument panel, single-bar bumper, dual horns, and slightly smaller headlights further defined the new 355-A. Mechanically, the 353-cubic inch V-8 engine remained unchanged, but the frame, with its divergent side rails, was brand new. In addition to the six bodies by Fisher that were available for Cadillac’s V-8 model Fleetwoods, having been acquired by General Motors just six years earlier, seven available bodies were also offered, including the dashing 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe offered here.

With fewer than 200 miles traveled since restoration and remaining in high-point condition as offered today, this dashing Fleetwood-bodied Model 355-A 2/4-Passenger Convertible Coupe was formerly owned by noted collector and North Texas Region CCCA member Mike Ames. Following completion of the restoration in 2011, the Cadillac immediately scored 99.75 out of 100 points at the CCCA Grand Classic in October, with only a balky windshield-wiper motor—since replaced—keeping it from judging perfection. It is handsomely finished in a two-tone silver finish over black fenders, with the combination of the deep paintwork, chrome, and elegant bodywork creating a truly wonderful overall visual effect. The passenger cabin features grey leather upholstery combined with handsome woodwork throughout and a beautifully presented instrument panel. Touring pleasure is enhanced by the powerful 90 degree, L-head, V-8 engine, which is mated to a fully-synchronized, three-speed, manual transmission. Most recently, the Cadillac was shown at Houston’s Classy Chassis Concours d’Elegance, and it won Best in Class at the Concours d’Elegance of Texas, in testament to its quality. For astute collectors seeking a CCCA Full Classic with a highly detailed restoration and one of the most-desirable open bodies from Fleetwood, this multiple show-winning Model 355-A Convertible Coupe is sure to garner an abundance of attention, whether on the show field or at the many enjoyable classic touring events available today.

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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

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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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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

+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