1930 Cadillac 353 V8 Town Sedan.
Registration Number: BF7122
Cadillac offered a bewildering choice of coachwork, supplied by Fisher or Fleetwood which could be ordered in over 500 colour and trim combinations. Much of this was down to the new DuPont paint called Duco - a fast-drying cellulose, but that's another story.
The factory build sheet shows it was received into Cadillac's central storage department upon completion on 18th November 1929. It was obviously built for stock - reflecting the difficult economic situation at the time. An order from a distributor came in at the end of April 1930 and the car was funded under the First National Bank wholesale floorplan scheme.
Built as a Town Sedan, its four-window coachwork appealed to the owner driver, there being no division or occasional seats. It was painted Storm brown with Gazelle brown moulding (with Dark Tan pinstripe) around the middle, the car quite remarkably retaining its original paint to this day. As can be seen, it has been polished a bit thin on the bonnet, but originality like this simply cannot be replicated.
The interior was trimmed in cloth, the car retaining its original seat coverings, silk blinds, head lining and even its original carpets. The back of the driver's seat has had a rudimentary repair and is covered by a temporary cloth - otherwise the interior is in remarkable condition.
It came with twin side-mounts and a Lloyd Young Overdrive, allowing more relaxed cruising - the car keeping up with modern traffic with ease as long as the motorway is avoided. It sits on factory optional wire wheels, giving it a classier look than the standard Hickory wheels and comes with lovely tool lockers on the running boards, clever entry lights which shine when the rear doors are open and open/shut louvres on the radiator, on top of which is mounted an original Cadillac Goddess, an item worth a small fortune in its own right.
Owned by the current owner for the last decade & here is what he has to say about this time warp car:
Well I had been searching for many years to find an unrestored 353 Town Sedan......4 door.....which gives a close coupled sedan..but unlike many American cars of the period you have 2 windows on each side…not three, comfortable seating for 5 ( they increased the rear seat width in 1930 by 4” to seat three adults comfortably) it also gives you Cadillacs rear steel trunk and a very good easily fold down and up luggage rack …strong enough to carry a further three suitcases..a beautifully and clever design..
In my opinion the side profile of this car with the spare wheels in the fenders is one of beauty and balance.
I have the original Cadillac Goddess radiator mascot. In fact the car is so original but very very usable . I have won several cups for the best original car at several shows.
It’s originallity is amazing.
All original paint..black fenders and storm brown sides..doors and roof..with a gazelle mid strip running the length of the car.
The original pin striping is still quite visible.
Original carpets..seats..headlining ..door panels and lovely silk blinds to the two rear side windows and one to the rear window.a lovely adjustable footrest.
All original 6 wire wheels 19” in black in excellent order ( these have been shot blasted and powder coated)
All original instrumentation including a lovey Jaeger 8 day clock ..a front cigarette pull out lighter a rear push pull lighter …both still working.
When you open either rear door a running board light and interior light come on.there is also an under bonnet lamp.
Good oil pressure…dynamo was refurbished as shows good charge..car runs as cool as a cucumber…never overheats as original radiator was re-cored and this car has auto open/close shutters.( not connected)
The engine is a 6000cc V8 side valve.
The engine went back to Cadillac truck division for a total rebuild …not quite sure why but they probably thought it was 70 years old and why not .Piston Bores rebored to plus 10 thou “and new pistons fitted…new small ends…new big ends…crank reground and balanced and new main bearings fitted..oil pump redone…water pump…dynamo and starter motor…distributor all head valves renewed new timing chain .new single updraught carburettor fitted. New clutch and race fitted
Gearbox serviced but 2nd gear synchro works well but drops out if not held manually. Rear diff rebuilt and all prop shaft bearings replaced.A Lloyd Young mechanical overdrive unit was fitted 25 years ago …gives a good 4th gear and is quite easy to engage ..then upon engagement is locked by selenoid.it uses a split prop shaft system..but I have the original prop shaft .
I have a complete spare front axle with kingpin swivels steering knuckles brakes and actuators …complete rear axle with hubs half shafts diff full brake assembly and torsion bars..spare gearbox..steering wheel and steering box…4 spare road springs..various boxes with lots of goodies..carburettor parts.dynamo parts..new valves..handles and goodness knows what. I’m sorry to go on so much but as I’ve owned the car for 10 years I know her inside out.
On the day we photographed the car I had the pleasure of driving it quite some miles & was amazed at th esmoothness refinement & power comparing very favorably to large HP Rolls Royces of the period. The car was found in the dry inland of Sonora California where it had lived for years with the arid desert climes accounting for its remarkable state of preservation & indeed at car shows the preservation class is where it will go & probably win prizes. It has covered a warranyed 75,000 miles from new. You really have to drive this car to appreciate how well it goes & what a pleasuure it is to drive. Once in top gear it may be left there for the day pulling away smoothly from any speed no matter how small. The gear box is buttery smooth & a delight to use.