A lot of journalists and pundits like to draw similarities between the most recent recession and the 1930’s Great Depression., and we must admit, the coincidences are downright scary at times. Now, like then, there is a deep feeling of distrust in the government, and while the average man suffers, the spectacularly wealthy seem unaffected. Hence why Rolls Royce recently posted its best sales year ever.
So perhaps it is fate, coincidence, or just plain old good timing that a pair of totally customized, depression era Cadillacs are making their way to the auction block. These “one-of-none” Cadillacs will be showcased at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance all week long.
What does “one-of-none” exactly mean? Well, in the case of these two Cadillacs, a 1934 model 5802 rumble seat roadster and a 1937 model 5859 Phaeton, it means that they were never actually built. See, way back when, GM bought Fisher Body Corporate and with it the Fleetwood Body Company. GM reserved Fleetwood bodies for its Cadillac line of cars, and as you might imagine in Depression-era America, people weren’t exactly lining up to buy Cadillacs.
So it was that these two particular models were never actually ordered by customers. Enter noted automobile collector and restorer Fran Roxas, who got his mitts on the original build plans for these two Fleetwood Cadillacs. He then set out to build both cars from scratch, according to the original specs. That meant dropping a Cadillac V16 under the hood of both cars. That is power meets classiness right there.
At auction, the Phaeton brought over $960,000; the ‘34 roadster garnered over $1 million for its builder. Both cars will be on display this week at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.