FOR SALE: 1937 Cadillac V-12 Fleetwood 8519 Touring Sedan

A true example of luxury, this car features wood trim, dual side mounts, fold-down center armrest for the rear passengers, and dual outside mirrors. The exterior is painted a stylish white. The car’s interior is a light ivory-tan and is in very good condition and features detailed stitching on the door panels and armrests. In a time where all cars seem to look alike, this is a rare opportunity to own a vehicle that goes back to an age of sophistication and style; where sleek sloping steel gave way to fine fashioned wood assembled by people, not machines, and crafted with pride.

 

Only 87 Series 8519 Sedans were produced making this one of the rarest Cadillacs to survive the post-Depression era. A multiple award winner.It is a time machine with only 2,300 actual miles following restoration. When you drive this car it will transport you back to the age of swing music, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the height of the art deco movement. Painstakingly restored and maintained, this car is destined to increase in value. It is a chance to own a ready-to-drive car that could be shown at Classic events. The scarcity, quality of workmanship, and design make this a true piece of automotive history.

The Cadillac V-12 was renamed the Series 80 and 85 in 1936. The Series 80 and 85 featured a 131″ and 138″ wheelbase respectively. All V-12s were now Fleetwood bodied and had Turret Tops. A total of 901 V-12s were sold in 1936.

In 1937 the Series 80 was dropped leaving only the long wheelbase Series 85. An 368 cid V12, 150 HP, three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase:138”. The only significant mechanical changes were the adoption of an oil-bath air cleaner and a pressure radiator cap. Sales were only 478. The Series 85 was discontinued at the end of 1937.

After surviving the Great Depression, General Motors Cadillac division refocused their designs from mid-priced automobiles and began focus on finely crafted luxury autos. Spearheading this development was designer, Owen Nacker. In 1930, his revolutionary V16 engine went into production. It featured several unique innovations including a 45-degree cylinder angle and overhead valve design that allowed for the engine to be more compact. The hydraulic valve system Nacker developed allowed for a more efficient engine performance and gave the car a nearly silent smooth ride. The new engine combined with Cadillac’s unique Fleetwood body proved a winning combination. The new chassis completely concealed the mechanicals and wires giving a more stylish look. With the success of the V16, Cadillac sought to reach a larger share of the luxury market with scaled down models which contained V8 and V12 engines. These cars were the Series 75 and Series 85, and they offered the similar amenities as the V16 model but at a reduced price. The V8 Series 75 utilized the standard V8 motor, however, the Series 85 featured the overhead valve V12. Both featured the Fleetwood body and were assembled on a 138” wheelbase. At a weight of 5,165 pounds, this five-passenger auto was offered for sale in several different configurations.

By 1937, Cadillac was still producing seven different series ranging in price from $1,000 to $9,000 featuring their standard V8, and Nacker’s V12 and V16 engines. At a time when the average family’s annual income was a mere $1,700 a year, the Series 85’s selling price of $4,145 kept it far from the reach of the average consumer. In 1937, the average car cost $675, however, price did not stop Cadillac from selling cars and nearly doubling the previous year’s sales. Even with that success, it was the last year for the Series 85 and Cadillac’s V12 368 cubic inch 150 horsepower engine and three-speed manual transmission.

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