Marmon V16 Convertible Sedan

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V16 Convertible Sedan





In 1929, Marmon introduced an under-$1,000 straight-eight car, the Roosevelt, but the stock market crash of 1929 made the company's problems worse. Howard Marmon had begun working on the world's first V16 engine in 1927, but was unable to complete the production sixteen until 1931. By that time, Cadillac had already introduced their V-16, designed by ex-Marmon engineer Owen Nacker. Peerless, too, was developing a V16 with help from an ex-Marmon engineer, James Bohannon.

The Marmon Sixteen was produced for just three years. The engine was an all-aluminum design with steel cylinder liners and a 45° bank angle.

With beautiful coach built bodies by LeBaron and a state-of-the-art overhead-valve engine that could displace over 490 cubic inches, the Marmon Sixteen was capable of 200 horsepower and a top speed over 100 mph. The Sixteen was a triumph of pattern-making and foundry technology, as its all-aluminum engine construction was matched to a chassis that was state of the art, and the model had an unmatched power-to-weight ratio. In fact, the car was reportedly capable of out-accelerating a Duesenberg Model J, yet it cost buyers only one third as much. This was something that no doubt embarrassed Marmon’s Indianapolis neighbor.

Credit for the Sixteen’s styling is often given to industrial design legend Walter Dorwin Teague Sr., but it was, in fact, his son, Walter Jr., who penned the beautiful lines that ultimately entered production. Dorwin, as he was known, was a student at MIT and a gifted designer in his father’s mold. He envisioned a sleek and graceful car that was completely devoid of gratuitous ornamentation and characterized by simple shapes, with a bold beltline, low roofline, and raked windshield. Particularly noteworthy were the fenders, which had an understated skirting in the front that served to hide the working components of the suspension and chassis.

Dyke W. Ridgley, of the Marmon Sixteen Roster, estimates that between 370 and 375 Sixteens were produced. Of the seventy-six known survivors, only eight are convertible coupes. It is no surprise, then, that this particularly desirable and sporty body style almost never comes available for sale.

Matching the quality of its highly advanced mechanical aspects, Marmon offered its clientele eight individual coachwork designs all styled by LeBaron. A quality product never did come cheap in the auto industry, as such Marmon needed to sell their marvel for $5,000. In the early 1930s that proved to be a tall order and they were to deliver just 390 V16 cars from 1931 to 1933, before lack of sales forced them into bankruptcy. However, true to form, from those ashes the company went on to produce Marmon-Herrington 4-wheel drive conversions for decades.

Marmon discontinued automobile production in 1933, the worst year of the Great Depression.

Marmon was notable as having introduced the rear-view mirror as well as pioneering both the V16 engine and the use of aluminum in auto manufacturing.

Sold for: 660000 USD
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