St. John's

28 July 2012

From the Collection of William Ruger Jr.

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Lot 137

1936 Cadillac V-16 Town Sedan by Fleetwood

  • Chassis no. 5110221
  • Body no. 24

Sold for $247,500


Style 36-5733S. 185 bhp, 452 cu. in. overhead valve V-16 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, three-quarter floating rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 154"



• One of the 50 V-16 Cadillacs built in 1936

• The only known survivor of this body style

• Meadow Brook and Pebble Beach class winner

• Offered from the collection of William Ruger Jr.



Demand for the new series of V-16s fell far short of the stated maximum of 400 examples annually: a mere 212 examples of all body styles were built from 1934 to 1937. This gorgeous Town Sedan was purchased by Mr. Ruger in 1996 from the Estate of a collector in California and was delivered directly to Fran Roxas for a comprehensive body-off restoration. According to Mr. Ruger, 5110221 was a good, complete, original car in need of the restorer’s attention.



The work took approximately two years, and when the car was delivered in 1998, it received a First in Class at Meadow Brook and a First in Class at Pebble Beach that same year. It also performed wonderfully in the first annual Tour d’Elegance. The virtually flawless interior was refurbished using Bedford cord with leather bolsters on the seats and broadcloth on the doors and headliners. Leather is also used to accent the armrests, visors windlacing, and other places that typically receive the most wear. The entire choreography of material was arranged exactly as specified by the designers at Fleetwood. Other accents include the contrasting black painted dash with its Art Deco gauge faces and zig-zag pattern created by chrome strips, which is found on both the instrument cluster and mirrored on the glove box door. The elegant four-spoke banjo-style steering wheel completes the presentation, along with the immaculately finished wooden garnish moldings.



The light interior is beautifully complemented by the deep Tunis Blue exterior paint, which was the original color and was applied over excellently prepped body panels, and is completed by deep mirror chrome. The coachwork rides on body color wire wheels with the desirable, elegant chrome “clock winder” hubcaps and spoke covers shod with whitewall tires. Of note are the dual exhaust tips, which are angled toward each other; Mr. Ruger notes that this was based off of the original exhaust system and verified by original Cadillac drawings. Attention to this particular detail is not only historically accurate but helps better sweep exhaust behind the car. The nicely-sculpted integral trunk contains the spare tire as well as jacking tools. The immaculate engine bay only shows light sign of use, which can be detailed in short order back to show readiness, and overall, the serious observer should note that this is the only surviving example of Style 36-5733S in existence.



This Cadillac has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated for its balance and style. The graceful front-end details include the high, narrow radiator, bulbous fenders, and sweeping hood louvers, which are mimicked by a similar styling treatment on the front fenders. The front is mated to the rear of the body by a chrome belt that runs from behind the radiator all the way to the rear. The complete ensemble betrays the sheer bulk of this car, confidently stating that its sixteen cylinders will convey its passengers to destinations far and wide, with the Goddess mascot leading the way.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more