Cadillac 90 Series 38-90 9019F Imperial Sedan by Fleetwood

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90 Series 38-90 9019F Imperial Sedan by Fleetwood





The Cadillac Series 90 for 1938 was essentially a Series 75 with a V-16 engine. Even though the wheelbase was 330mm shorter, the bodies were equal or larger in all dimensions than previous Cadillac V-16's. This was accomplished by fitting the nearly flat engine low in the frame and partially behind the line of the firewall. V-16's were distinguished from the counterpart V-8's by a coarser pitch eggcrate grille, fender lamps, and streamlined louvers on the hood side panels and all fender skirts.

The new V-16 engine was of L-head, short stroke square design, cast-en-bloc, with 135 degree Vee. With each block in running balance, the engine was basically a twin-eight. Dual accessories included carburettors, oil bath air cleaners, manifolds, distributors, coils, fuel pumps, and water pumps. The fuel pumps were interconnected so that either one could supply both carburettors if needed. Twin distributors, twin water pumps, and a nine main bearing crankshaft (compared to the OHV V-16's five bearing crank) and produced the same 185 hp (138 kW) as later versions of the original V-16 with even greater smoothness and endowed the '38–'40 Sixteens with the swiftest acceleration of any car in the world at the time regardless of weight as well as slightly improved fuel economy over the OHV V-16 cars. Only the left hand distributor contained breaker arms; the two arms being electrically independent but operated by a single eight-lobe cam. The right hand unit acted only to distribute the high tension voltage to the spark plugs in the right bank. A cross pipe connected both exhaust manifolds and fed into a single down-pipe at the left. The generator was placed low in the Vee and was driven by an internal rubber ring in the fan hub acting on a driven wheel on the generator shaft. This arrangement allowed for fan speeds less than engine speed and generator speeds nearly twice engine speed - it lasted only one year. This engine was nearly silent at idle and turbine-smooth in operation. Most literature says the displacement is "431 cu. in." (i.e., 7.062 litres), but in calculating the bore and stroke for 16 cylinders results in 384 cu. in. (6.287 litres).

The wheelbase was reduced to 141.0 in (3,581 mm), the body remained 222.0 in (5,639 mm) in overall length. The "Sixteens" (as Cadillac referred to them) were basically series 75 cars with the new V-16 engine although they differed from the firewall forward from the V-8 cars and had several other trim differences. The instrument panels were identical to and changed yearly with the V-8 cars from 1938 to 1940. Only the '38 Sixteens had a horn button which had "Sixteen" in art deco script; the '39 and '40 models, like the V-8, had the Cadillac crest on the button.

Three hundred fifteen were sold in the first year, 138 in the next. The production of the 1940 models ended in December 1939.

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