1930 Cadillac V-16 thunders into Jay Leno’s Garage

Lengthy earlier than Bugatti made 16 cylinders its calling card, Cadillac launched V-16-powered automobiles in a bid to outdo different luxurious automakers. A first-rate instance is that this 1930 Cadillac V-16 452A, which lately appeared on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Storage.” The automobile comes from California’s Nethercutt Assortment, and is offered right here by Cameron Richards, the gathering’s vp.

To maintain the V-16 secret, Cadillac initially let slip that it was creating a V-12 to match Packard. So it should have been fairly a shock when the Common Motors luxurious division unleashed this large engine on the general public. Nonetheless, Marmon really beat Cadillac to the punch, launching its personal 16-cylinder engine a number of weeks earlier than Cadillac, Leno says within the episode.

The overhead-valve engine displaces 7.4 liters however solely develops about 180 hp. Whereas that did not match the high-end Duesenbergs, it was nonetheless a really respectable determine for the time as a result of there actually was no substitute for displacement. The automobile’s large torque allowed it to drag away in any of its three gears, in response to Leno, although the massive engine wants a “firehose” to produce all of the gasoline it wants.

This particular automobile has the sooner physique fashion, considered from 1928 to 1929, married to the 1930 Cadillac chassis and engine. The shopper wished a V-16 Cadillac with a dual-cowl phaeton physique as shortly as doable, and the brand new physique wasn’t prepared but.

Not many individuals may have afforded this automobile when new. It value $6,500 at a time when mass-market automobiles bought for a number of hundred bucks. With the U.S. within the midst of the Nice Despair, the launch wasn’t precisely well-timed.

The V-16 was extra about easy acceleration than uncooked pace, Leno says. These Cadillacs weren’t as quick as up to date Duesenbergs, however their beneficiant torque virtually makes the driving expertise corresponding to fashionable electrical automobiles, he says. The sleek-running V-16 additionally provided a extra refined expertise than most automobiles of the interval.

The automobile weighs nicely over 7,000 lb, however it’s simple to drive with an easy-to-use clutch and nice brakes, in response to Richards.

Cadillac continued making V-16 automobiles for a few decade, however finally went again to barely extra smart V-8 engines. Seeking to recapture the model’s glory days, GM unveiled the Cadillac Sixteen idea in 2003, however that by no means made it to manufacturing.

Towards the top of the video, Jay will get the possibility to drive the automobile. He remarks that it is extremely easy and quiet, and that the handbook steering is a lot better than different outdated automobiles.

Watch the complete video and revisit a time when a V-16 powered Cadillac to the entrance of the luxury-car class.

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