Cadillac 452C 5575S 7-Passenger Sedan by Fleetwood

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452C 5575S 7-Passenger Sedan by Fleetwood





Despite tough times, Cadillac fielded an extensively revamped line-up of V-8s, V-12s, and V-16s for 1933. Most notably, the boxy look of the Twenties began to give way to the streamlined look of the Thirties. Featured were fully skirted, flowing fenders and a graceful "wind split" veed grille, which boasted a painted shell that blended in smoothly with the bodywork.

In addition to a longer 3785mm wheelbase, the V-16s received a unique grille, a larger -- and more elegant "Goddess" hood ornament, and massive "four-bar" bumpers. Also, the three rectangular ventilator doors seen on the sides of the hood of the V-8s and V-12s yielded to three functional "spears" on the V-16, a theme repeated on the lower front fenders.

The magnificent V-16, first shown at the 1930 New York Auto Show, continued as before. Basically, the 45-degree, overhead-valve unit consisted of two inline eights sharing the same crankshaft, with each side of the engine having its own carburetion and exhaust system. With a 76.2mm x 101.6mm bore and stroke, it displaced 7.416 litres. Horsepower was rated at 165, outdone only by Duesenberg's 265HP, although Packard's 160-bhp V-12 came close.

Ten Fleetwood body styles were listed. Prices ranged from $5540 for an Imperial cabriolet to $8000 for the All-Weather phaeton. These prices exceeded Packard's priciest V-12s, and had to be viewed as staggering in the depths of the Depression, when a Chevy started at $445.

For 1933, Cadillac announced that V-16 production would be limited to 400 cars. These were to be serially numbered -- the number and the owner's name to be displayed on a plate inside the car. Nearly seven body styles were suggested. Half this number of styles were actually built, but one half the total production of 126 cars was in the five most conservative five or seven passenger sedan styles.

V-16's had the Vee-shaped grille/radiator shell, skirted fenders, and no-draft ventilation common to the full line. Detail distinction was achieved with a new, winged goddess mascot; large, spinner hub caps; absence of crank hole cover in the grill; and an awkward, four-bar bumper. Hood side panels carried two vertical doors plus three stylized horizontal louvers. Vertical louvers on front fender skirts, shown in promotional literature and used on mock-ups, were replaced in "production" by three horizontal louvers matching the hood louvers.

Some new styling details were shown on various bodies. Instead of ending at the front of the cowl, some hoods were extended back over the cowl to the windshield. Many four door bodies sported a rear body panel which swept back over the fuel tank, with a door opening for carrying parcels. At least one open and one closed four door design offered a built-in trunk. A few styles even retained the "Madame X" look seen on some of the first V-16's.

Mechanical changes were few. A higher compression ratio was available to utilize improved gasolines. Except on early production, wheel size was reduced from 18" to 17". Beginning with engine unit number 50-24, the starter ring gear was moved from the clutch canter-plate to the flywheel -- same as on the V-8 and V-12

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