St. John's

28 July 2012

From the Collection of William Ruger Jr.

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Lot 141

1940 Cadillac V-16 Seven-Passenger Formal Sedan by Fleetwood

  • Chassis no. 5320019
  • Body no. 2

Sold for $55,000


Series 40-90. 185 bhp, 431 cu. in. L-head V-16 engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 141.25"



• One of five produced and three known survivors

• Three owners from new

• Offered from the collection of William Ruger Jr.



We are informed that this 1940 Cadillac Formal Sedan was originally purchased for Ruth Metcalf Roebling, widow of the president of John A. Roebling’s Sons Co., the New Jersey steel company best known for building the Brooklyn Bridge. After her passing, the car was sold to Trenton industrialist Holt Apgar Murray in 1962. After Murray’s death in August 2005, it was inherited by his grandson and later passed to Mr. Ruger. The engine was rebuilt in the last several years and runs flawlessly, which is what prompted Mr. Ruger to conclude his search of a 1940 V-16 Cadillac with this car. He further notes that a 1940 Cadillac has advantages over earlier examples, including the introduction of sealed beam headlights, factory-installed turn signals, and a more attractive dashboard.



It is a remarkably well-preserved original car; repainted just once with few noticeable flaws, it retains its magnificent original interior, division glass, auxiliary jump seats, and original padded leather top. The chrome has never required replating. The tan broadcloth passenger compartment is in extremely nice condition with none of the typical moth damage, while the black leather driver’s seat shows some wear and requires that the center seam be re-stitched. Even the original gaskets are intact and in good condition, considering they are over 70 years old. This condition should be attributed to the chauffeurs of its first two wealthy owners, who would have presumably maintained all of the surfaces to an impeccable degree for the first several decades of its life. The odometer currently reads just over 65,000 miles, which is believed original. Of 61 V-16s produced in 1940, only five were Style 9033F Formal Sedans. This car, body number 2, is one of three known survivors and presents an opportunity to acquire a rare, original car of impeccable provenance.

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

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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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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+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

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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

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+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

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+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

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+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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+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

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+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

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+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

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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

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+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

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+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

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+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