This 1937 Cadillac V-16 Custom Imperial Cabriolet will be offered on sale on November 21st by Auctions America. Originally ordered new by MGM Studios’ GM and Head of Publicity, Edgar “Eddie” Mannix, this exceptional car is estimated to bring $200,000 – $250,000 when hit the auction block. This car is one of 50 Cadillac V-16’s made in 1937, and one of only two Custom Imperial Cabriolets. The other was custom built for Joseph P. Kennedy, and used in London during his tenure as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1937 through 1940.
The 1937 Cadillac V-16 offered on sale has a superbly balanced 45-degree, 452 cubic inch, overhead valve, 195 horsepower engine, three-speed synchromesh manual transmission, four-wheel power-assisted brakes and rides on a 154-inch wheelbase; the longest wheelbase for any American production car, eclipsing Duesenberg’s longest wheelbase by half an inch. It features a blind rear quarter and rear privacy shade, padded leather roof, roll-up divider window, rear clock and jump-seats, heaters, intercom and rear seat radio. Further, it is the only known V-16 Cadillac to have warranted a Sterling Silver Goddess mascot.
While the car retains most of its original interior, it benefits from a fresh bare metal repaint and re-chroming by RM Auto Restoration in 2012. Shown once since, this exceptional V-16 received the Best in Class and Most Elegant Closed Car awards at the 2012 Ault Park Concours in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Mannix car was used as an MGM studio car for many of the days’ stars, including Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh while filming Gone with the Wind. Reportedly, Gable, a car enthusiast, preferred driving the car to being chauffeured in it.