Thursday, May 26, 2011
Car Of The Day: May 26, 2011
Today's car of the day is Hot Wheels' 1935 Cadillac 452.
A surprising casting choice from Hot Wheels back in the early 1980s, this was from the era when they actually tried to make accurate replicas of real cars. There were quite a few antiques like this in the line at time, but later on they would end up in garish paint schemes such as this one. Island tours in a V-16? Seriously? Yeah, we be jammin'! Sure...
The new car attracted rave reviews from the press and huge public attention. Cadillac started production of the new car immediately. January production averaged a couple of cars per day, but was then ramped up to twenty-two cars per day. By April, 1,000 units had been built, and by June, 2,000 cars. These could be ordered with a wide variety of bodywork. The Fleetwood catalog for the 1930 V-16 included 10 basic body styles; there was also an envelope containing some 30 additional designer's drawings. Research by the Cadillac-La Salle Club, Inc. puts at 70 the number of different job/style numbers built by Fisher and Fleetwood on the sixteen chassis.
Beginning in June 1930, six new V-16s participated in a promotional tour of major European cities including Paris, Antwerp, Brussels, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Münich, Nüremberg, Vienna (where they won prizes), Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Zürich, Madrid, San Sebastian, La Baule and Angers. On the return journey from Spain, the V16 caravan stopped also in the town of Cadillac, in south-western France, although that city bears no relationship to the marque, other than its name.
After the peak in V-16 orders in mid 1930, production fell precipitously. During October 1930, only 54 cars were built. The lowest figures for the 452/452A cars of 1930-31 were August 1931 (7 units) and November 1931 (6 units). Minimum production continued throughout the rest of the decade with a mere 50 units being built both in 1935 and in 1937. 1940 was only marginally better with a total of 51 units. Not surprisingly, Cadillac later estimated that they lost money on every single V-16 they sold.