Ultra-rare 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton could fetch over $1M at auction

There are Cadillacs and then there are Cadillacs.

This 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton is one of only 85 Sport Phaetons built together for the V-16 chassis in 1930 and 1931. It will be up for auction at RM Sotheby’s 16th Annual Hershey Sale at the Fall Meeting of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Eastern Division in Hershey, Pennsylvania on October 5-6, and the car is expected to fetch over $1 million. , high cotton indeed.

The Phaeton is undoubtedly one of the most dashing body styles of the classic era, and Cadillac’s V-16 Sport Phaeton, Style 4260, is one of the finest examples of the genre. While the typical “double hood” phaetons included a separate hood and windshield for the rear passengers, the Sport Phaeton had a windshield mounted directly behind the front seat that could be raised and lowered with a hand crank. The result was an uncluttered body of grand yet elegant proportions – one that looked spectacular with the top up or down – and it still does.

Cadillac historians record the existence of 17 authentic survivors, one of which is preserved in General Motors’ Corporate Heritage Collection.

This Sport Phaeton, engine number 702515, was originally supplied by the Towell Cadillac Company of Cleveland with the notation “Tag PW Harvey”.

And who was this PW?

Perry Williams Harvey was a multimillionaire leader in Cleveland’s business and political circles who married the politically prominent Hanna family. The man was also an avid sportsman and collector of rare books. However, he didn’t have long to enjoy his ride – he died in 1932.

The next known owner was Bennett Hammond of Brandy Flip Farm in Nicasio, California, from whom Joseph Runyan of Pasadena bought it in 1952.

mr. Runyan paid only $25 for the car. After being left on Hammond’s property, the salesman was overjoyed to have it out of the way. Runyan spent about $2,500 to restore it. ($47,740 in 2022 dollars.)

But the finished product, complete with a hand-rubbed paint job literally applied under the shade tree in the Runyans’ backyard, won numerous awards in the West Coast competition.

It was one of the first V-16 Cadillacs to be treated as something unique, different and special; when the great classics started to become collectible, the most beautiful ones were noticed first and Mr. Runyan had the best V-16 Sport Phaeton around.

It also started getting magazine announcements and appeared on the pages of Roy Schneider’s Sixteen cylinder cars and in Maurice Hendry’s Cadillac, Standard of the World: A Complete History. It was also the subject of an editorial in the October 1967 issue car classics.

Runyan kept the car for the rest of his life and began another restoration in the early 1990s, completed shortly before his death in 1995, changing the color to the subtle hue of Bottle Green.

When the Runyan family decided to part ways with the Cadillac, legendary sportsman and classic car collector Otis Chandler was the first to express his interest. Chandler completed a careful refurbishment of the restoration resulting in a score of 95.25 and 2nd in class at the Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic in July 1997. It was later invited to be displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, appearing in 1998 and receiving 3rd in class. (And a note to potential buyers – the last appearance on Pebble Beach was in 2009, so it’s now eligible to be re-displayed by its new owner.)

The car would become one of the cherished favorites in the Chandler collection and remain the same as other V-16s came and went. It was only after his death that it was taken over by Keith Crain in 2006; he would keep the car until it was bought by the next owner – himself a Cadillac V-16 connoisseur – in 2020. Under his care, the Cadillac had a mechanical service in 2020, a new hood and six new tires. performed by the sender’s in-house craftsmen.

This was followed by a professional engine and exterior details prior to the appearance of the 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, after which it was acquired by the current owner. Shortly before the takeover by the sender, the ignition lock was rebuilt. It is accompanied by a color-matched suitcase, ready to be placed on the rear luggage rack for longer trips.

What makes this car unique and an award worth winning is its enthusiast possession, its exhibition and publishing history, and its beautiful design. A Classic Car Club of America Full Classic, it is worthy of constant appreciation and display by its next manager, who will have an unparalleled opportunity to discover exactly what the “Standard of the World” really means.

About Hershey:

The Hershey Sale is the official auction of the Eastern Division Fall Meet of the Antique Automobile Club of America, one of the largest automobilia shows and flea markets in the world. Collectors flock to Hershey every year from all over the world in search of rare and sought-after parts and collectibles. Hershey, Pennsylvania is rich in automotive culture, home to the AACA World Headquarters and the AACA Museum; the event offers a world-class automotive experience.

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