1939 Cadillac 9033 V-16 Limousine David: 303.947.0444
The second generation of the V-16’s are certainly less valuable and less technologically advanced, however by all accounts the engine was better. The first generation of the V-16’s were a technical marvel. In 1938, during the height of the depression, why Cadillac chose to retool for an all new V-16 is still a mystery. These almost horizontally opposed engines shared much of their internal reciprocating assembly with the V-8, the mono-block also saved money from the original V-16 design. So other than it’s actual horsepower and torque capacities, the engine itself does not have the panache of the original V-16 concept. I think that along with the status of the number of cylinders, the special bodywork, badging and hubcaps, the V-16 was more about seamless power. You can take a late model V-16, drop into high gear around 17mph and torque your way to it’s maximum speed (about 75mph) almost like an automatic transmission. Remember also that in this era, hill climbs were one of the most important auto racing competitions out there. That’s because average everyday cars did not climb mountain passes without dropping into a lower gear and chugging along at about 35mph. The massive torque that this engine produces would send you up all but the most serious grades by simply depressing the accelerator another 1/2 inch. Personally, I also think Cadillac did it because back then they truly were the standard of the world, and wanted to prove it.
This particular car is a model 9033 which includes the Imperial division glass between the front and rear seats. Also, this limousine’s options included leather upholstery in the front because of the amount of wear limousines incur with the chauffeur getting in and out of the car so often. Also this car includes the Dictaphone rear lolly-pop microphone with a speaker above the chauffeur’s head (yes it works). This vehicle also has a power vacuum antenna, a windshield washer bottle option under the hood, (I haven’t found the correct jets for the windshield yet), a front heater and defroster and Cadillac’s first Pre-selector radio which allows you to choose specific radio stations for individual buttons.
I purchased this car out of Kentucky from an old car broker. It was a God awful metallic beige and it is actually featured in that color in a few Cadillac publications and posters. The original color on this car was Royal blue, however, I determined it should be black. The car was complete disassembled, color changed with the fenders, hood and doors off, but the body was left on the frame. The previous restoration was extensive and well done. In disassembling this car it was discovered that this car came from the Dallas, Texas area and was well cared for. The car was absolutely rust free and retained all of its original wood in the body. Now this is a steel bodied car, but in numerous places there are sections of wood in the floors and numerous wooden blocks used as spacers. All of this is in exceptional shape and still retains its original wood hatch over the battery underneath the front seat. The engine was extensively re-detailed by us and I changed out the rear axle gear from the stock gear (4.30?) to a more highway friendly 3.73. The intercom system was rebuilt, the radiator pulled and checked, new front shock absorbers applied, wiper motor rebuilt, the clock rebuilt, powder coated the wheels, and the dash was recovered in an appropriate Di-noc cover. Almost all of the details of this car have been seen to. About the only thing that I can’t claim functions properly is the vacuum antenna can be a bit cranky. Its been converted to 12 volts (not by me) and I personally learned how to tune these cars and this one starts and runs beautifully. All lights function, brakes work exceptionally well, Diamondback Classic radial tires have been installed, and fresh V-16 badging were located and installed. The gas tank has been out of the car, sealed, painted and reinstalled and virtually all mechanical items have been seen to.
There are a few personal touches that have been added to this vehicle that are not original but I feel are handsome and make the car more distinguished. The front interior was not leather as it was from the factory, so I restored it to original glory and upgraded it by installing a front leather headliner in black. The rear robe cord I also had covered in black leather for a more distinctive look. Also, because I had driven this car extensively, V-16 embroidered weather mats are put down whenever the weather is any less than perfect. This car has a magnificent art decor look to it that creates such a presence in person that it always is a center of attention at any show or tour or event. Unfortunately the photographs, no matter how well taken, can not give you the impression that this car makes in person.
What’s wrong with the car: Well let’s get to the worst first. This sounds like a biggy, but it’s not. The exterior of the block and one of the heads have a small crack in it ( very common in these V-16’s). It barely weeps any water at all, but it does just a bit. There is no water in the oil, so other than it being unsightly, the engine is in good mechanical condition. The radial tires that I applied were too big for the car and I have slightly, almost imperceptibly, put a crack in the body work of the right front wheel arch (pictured). The hood springs have lost their tension and I can not locate the correct springs, as a result the hood stays open about 50% of the time on its own. One time when the hood fell down, it landed on the radiator cap which was placed on top of the radiator and put a small outward dent in the hood (pictured). The whitewalls themselves are growing what looks like mildew stains, and while the tires are still practically new, the stains won’t come out. On the rear bumper there is a Cadillac name plate and it has a very small, almost invisible dent in it. At a casual glance, you will not see it. The original coil housing was not on the vehicle when I purchased it. After all these years I still can not locate one. It is a V-16 only item, however I have located the original coil housing mounting ring and have purchased two correct coils and they will be included with the sale of the car.
Like all of NGDCars, and unlike most V-16 Cadillacs, this car is most capable of being daily driven. However it doesn’t appear to be a daily driver. The chrome, the paint, the interior appear more as a show car despite the fact that you can drive this car at a drop of a hat to any event you might like to go to included one some distance away. This car is easily capable without any prior preparations of being driven 60 or 100 miles without incident (I’ve done it many times).
Click on any of the photos below to be taken to the full gallery.
|VIN (Vehicle Identification Number):||5290002||Mileage:||5903|
|Body Type:||Limousine||Model:||9033 V-16|
|Warranty:||Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty||Trim:||Limousine|
|Options:||AM Pre-selector Radio, Rear Microphone System||Drive Type:||RWD|
|Power Options:||Vacuum Power Antenna||Fuel Type:||Gasoline|
|Exterior Color:||Black||For Sale By:||Dealer|
|Interior Color:||Tan||Drive Side:||Left-hand drive|
|Number of Cylinders:||8|