Sotheby’s held an auction for a 1937 Cadillac Sixteen Custom Phaeton on February 25, 2012. The extremely exclusive car sold for an impressive auction price of $ 962,500, just under a million before applicable fees and taxes. . It was the recreation of a concept car that was discovered in the Cadillac archives. This example was built in the 1980s from information that could be gathered about outdated plans. The inspiring vehicle makes one wonder what the original vehicle looked like when it was first manufactured. We researched history to discover 10 things you didn’t know about the 1937 Cadillac Sixteen Custom Phaeton, for your enjoyment.
1. The builder had to find the original plans.
The 1937 Model 5859 Cadillac Phaeton was a custom vehicle that was manufactured by coachbuilder Fran Roxas. This was a true labor of love, as Roxas had to obtain original blueprints from John Hampshire, a Cadillac designer. The originals were created so long ago that much has disappeared into obscurity and a lot of thought and problems have been fixed in the process of recreating a car that was never put into production.
2. Sketches were used to build the 1937 Phaeton 5859
While researching the history of this vintage vehicle, we learned that Fran Roxas not only had to obtain the original blueprints for the car, but also referenced the original sketches that were made. This process involved looking at the sketches alongside the blueprints, then comparing them and making some assumptions about some of the characteristics of the vehicle’s original intentions.
3. This was a one-of-a-kind car from the Depression era
The 1937 Cadillac Phaeton 5859 comes from a time when the country was in an economic depression. It was a four-door luxury convertible sports car that was being considered for offering to the public as a custom vehicle in the 1930s. This would have limited sales to those who could afford the price.
4. The Phaeton has a commanding presence
The 1937 Cadillac Phaeton 5859 is based on the limited number of models that were ordered from buyers in the 1930s era. It was designed with a wide body that simultaneously offered a stylish exterior. The convertible was designed with four doors in a sporty style.
5. Collectors Inspired by 1937 Phaeton
The example that was built by Fran Roxas gained a lot of international attention among rare car enthusiasts. It was displayed at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach as a one-of-a-kind model. People came from all over to take a look at this unique Cadillac luxury sports car.
6. The Phaeton 5859 inspired the design of a concept car
We also discovered that the 1937 Sixteen Phaeton 5859 served as the inspiration for a newer Cadillac model. The design of the Ceil concept car was taken from elements of the 1937 Phaeton. The Ciel is a hybrid electric car that made its first appearance at Pebble Beach in 2011. This is where vintage automotive meets modern design.
7. This car is unique.
Cadillac Design Director Clay Dean gave his comments on the 1937 Cadillac Sixteen Phaeton in a press release. He described it as “literally unlike any other vehicle ever built.” In addition, he ventured that the Cadillac design team has been inspired by this and the 5802 Roadster as they move forward with plans for the next fleet of Cadillacs.
8. There are good reasons the Phaeton was never built.
According to Hemmings, there are good reasons the 1937 Cadillac Sixteen Phaeton was never built. The first was that it would have been extremely expensive to build. It would have cost such a high dollar amount that it made no economic sense to offer them at a time when the country as a whole was in an economic depression. Money was tight and a custom-built luxury vehicle was not at the top of most consumers’ list of priorities to spend their money on. The second is that it would have taken about 15 months from the time of the order for the vehicle to be completed and delivered. It was an amazing concept, but the timing for such a vehicle was simply wrong. However, it is curious why it did not recover when things returned to normal with the economy. Instead, the blueprints were shelved as a novel thought that didn’t become a tangible creation until the 1980s.
9. The right buyer did not show up at Pebble Beach.
When the …