A pair of one-of-a-kind Cadillac Fleetwood V-16s that were available but never ordered by customers during the Great Depression will be among the cars on display at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Carmel, California, this week. Cadillac’s exhibit, open to the public Aug. 16-19 at Peter Hay Hill, features Cadillac’s newest cars, along with the two custom-built Fleetwood Convertibles from 1934 and 1937. Each has a historically significant pedigree.
A 1934 rumbleseat roadster model 5802 and a 1937 Phaeton model 5859 were part of Cadillac’s made-to-order Fleetwood collection, featured in the “build books” that customers used to select options for their cars. All other body styles were built for customers, but these two lavish models went unselected.
Decades later, noted automobile restorer and coachbuilder Fran Roxas built the Phaeton 5859 and Roadster 5802 from scratch, relying only on the original blueprints of Cadillac designer John Hampshire. Both have won best-in-class awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The two one-of-a-kind models were rarely seen until being profiled in a recent Hemmings Classic Car article.
Each recently sold at auction. The Phaeton 5859 sold for $962,500 and the Roadster 5802 for $1,001,000. Both vehicles are powered by Cadillac’s legendary16-cylinder engine. Cadillac designers recently used the original drawings as inspiration for the Ciel Convertible concept car shown for the first time in the Cadillac exhibit at Peter Hay Hill in 2011. It will be on display again this week.
Held annually since 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a premier exhibition of pre- and post-war automobiles and motorcycles, as well as concept cars from manufacturers across the world. In order to be showcased, vehicles must be a well preserved or accurately restored model of the original and offer “historic value” in the form of engineering and design and craftsmanship among other factors from the vehicle’s time period.
“The Cadillac Phaeton 5859 and Roadster 5802 are literally unlike any other vehicle ever built,” said Clay Dean, Cadillac design director. “The Cadillac design team is still inspired by these two vehicles as we dream and conceive of future Cadillac entries.”
Cadillac will also showcase a 1953 LeMans at this year’s event. The LeMans, a relatively small and athletic design, is one of the famed Motorama show cars of the 1950s.
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology.