- Engine # 506162
- Desirable Convertible Coupe By Fisher (Body Style 168)
- Primrose Yellow Over Black With Brown Interior
- Older Restoration With Delightful Patina
- Perfect Candidate For Vintage Touring Events
Throughout the 1930’s, most American auto manufacturers were in a race to see who could cram more large cylinders under the hoods of their beautifully sculpted offerings. In the mind of the average consumer, more was better, and the V-12 and V-16 engines quickly became the pinnacle offerings for most manufacturers. While the large multi-cylinder engines would be the showpieces, it was the venerable V-8 that would prove to be the engine that powered the bulk of cars coming off the line at Cadillac and the engine that undoubtedly kept the sales figures up and the lights on at the factory.
Cadillac introduced their L-head V-8 to the world in 1915 but the engine fell prey to the same issues that plagued most early V-8’s, the biggest of which was the excessive vibration caused by the motor. 1923 saw a basic redesign of the engine and the introduction of a new split crankshaft with 90-degree offset. This effectively solved the problem of excessive vibration and set GM and Cadillac at the forefront of innovation through the late 1920’s. 1928 saw a slight redesign of the engine, bumping displacement to 341 cubic inches, but more important was the introduction of the synchromesh gearbox, making for silky smooth shifting. From 1930-1935, Cadillac once again increased the displacement of the L-head V-8 to 353 cubic inches. This is the engine that would power both the 353 series and the 355 series. The combination of the smooth running V-8 and the slick synchromesh gearbox made the 353 series Cadillacs one of the smoothest driving vehicles to come out of the 1930’s. The 353 series remains very usable even in today’s world of modern traffic, with good power, smooth shifting, and solid road manners.
The example on offer here, engine number 506162, is a 1930 Cadillac Model 353 Convertible Coupe bodied by Fisher. Currently, the car wears a very nicely kept older restoration that has complimenting patina throughout. It is finished in a nice Primrose Yellow with a Black lower area and a Brown interior. The car contains an excellent host of accessories including dual side mount spares, Cadillac goddess mascot, a radiator stone guard, a single Pilot-Ray driving lamp, and a body color matched trunk in the rear. Although the restoration has aged a bit, the car overall presents very well and the smattering of patina throughout only serves to add excellent character to the car. Currently, it sits in fair running and driving condition and with a bit of further mechanical attention, this car would make for the perfect vintage touring car.
body and paint
The car is currently finished in a delightful Primrose Yellow paint with black fenders and running boards. The paint, although aging, remains in good condition with a nice glossy look to it. There is some cracking and fading in high wear areas, such as around the doors and the from cowl area, that would be considered of a patina nature, simply adding to the overall character of the car. The body is very straight and solid with good panel and door gaps. The hood fits nicely with no signs of deformation.
glass and trim
The headlights and Pilot Ray driving light are in good condition with clean glass. The driver side rear light is missing a piece of the glass on the top. The windshield and side windows are fairly clear with only some minor scratching to speak of. Chrome trim and brightwork are in good serviceable condition with a bit of patina showing in the finish, entirely consistent with the rest of the vehicle. The top to the car is a bit faded but shows no tears or pulls and has good trim around the edges.
The wheels are in decent condition with good colorful paint but do display some patina much like the rest of the vehicle. They appear structurally sound with solid spokes and rims but further inspection should be done before any extensive driving.
Being as this is an older restoration there are numerous inconsistencies in the paint and brightwork that serve to add a lovely patina to the car and provide loads of character to the vehicle.
seats and surfaces
The Brown leather interior appears to have been restored around the same time or perhaps a bit more recently than the rest of the vehicle and has held up splendidly. The door cards are tight and well trimmed with only some minor staining in the areas of window winder and door pull operation. The wooden frames of the door jambs appear to be nice and dry and structurally sound but do display some cracking paint etc. The brown leather seat is in excellent condition with no major wear to speak of. The cushions are full and the leather is tight and clean. The brown carpeting is in good shape with a bit of fading and wear around the edges but overall, very consistent with the rest of the vehicle. There is some patina on some of the plated and painted surfaces of the interior but once again, its very consistent with the car and nothing that requires attention at this time. The painted dash has some scratching, especially around the ignition but the wood in the interior is in excellent shape with a nice rich texture and smooth finish. The rear rumble seat area is in likewise good condition with nice tight leather and good carpeting. Some of the side leather trim in the rumble seat area is falling away from its mounting points, not an issue but one we felt noteworthy.
functionality and accessories
Mechanically the car is quote sound and it appears that everything functions as it should. The gauges appear to be original and have nice bright faces. The rest of the switch gear in the cabin is in good shape with a bit of patina here and there. The steering wheel is wrapped in a nice tight leather gator and is in decent shape although it appears that one of the control knobs on the central hub has broken.
Much like the exterior of the car, there is some patina scattered throughout the cabin on control surfaces, carpeting etc. but nothing that takes away from the overall appearance or usability of the car.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is very consistent with the rest of the car, well kept with a bit of inviting patina throughout. Painted surface show a bit of age in certain areas but cables, hoses, and wires appear to be well looked after. The area as a whole is nice and clean and shows no cosmetic signs of any issues.
The trunk is color matched to the body and is good order with a nice patina’d V8 emblem adorning the outside. it sits on a color matched folding rear shelf and is held in place by two nicely worn but structurally sound leather straps.
The underside condition of the car is perfectly inline with an older restoration that was skillfully carried out and car that has been carefully enjoyed over the years. The frame and metal work appear to be nice and solid with no signs of prior issues. There is normal chipping and wear to some of the painted surfaces and the leather gators covering the leaf springs are a bit dried out and have begun to crack in areas. The wooden floorboards appear to be dry and of sound construction. The drive train show some minor leaking around seal areas but nothing out of the ordinary for a car of this vintage wearing an older restoration.
The V8 engine has been maintained in nice operating order and fires to life with a few turns of the starter and a little help from the choke. It easily settles into a smooth and elegantly muffles rumble. It revs freely and appears to make sufficient power in our limited testing.
Although limited testing was carried out on the vehicle it appears that transmission functions as it should, holding good power and providing smooth and deliberate shifts. It is quite and smooth with no issues moving between the gears.
brakes and suspension
The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with no issues or excessive noise. The suspension feels compliant and responsive with no odd road manners to speak of.
The car currently wears a set of slightly older white wall tires. They appear to be in good condition with decent tread life left but further inspection should be done before embarking on any major driving excursions.
The combination of the smooth and quiet V8 engine and the synchromesh gearbox make this Cadillac series 353 a fantastic and easy driving car. The delightful convertible coupe body adds to the appeal of the vehicle in being both a rare design while also having fantastic lines and excellent road presence. This series 353 has been well kept and is in good overall condition with delightful patina scattered throughout the vehicle. It remains in solid mechanical condition and with a bit of additional sorting would make for an excellent vintage touring car.