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.

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