This 1931 Cadillac 355A Dual-Cowl Fleetwood Phaeton is a rarity. Fewer than 100 of these cars were produced.
Cadillac’s 1931 models were introduced in August 1930 and featured V8, V12, and V16 engines. The Cadillac V8 chassis was the 355A Series and featured 13 different models with six by Fisher, and seven that were special custom styles by Fleetwood. This is one of those rare Fleetwoods.
The 1931 Series 355A was quite similar to the Series 353 except that the body was longer and lower. New features for the 1931 production year included a chrome stone guard radiator screen, single bar bumper, dual horns, and a frame with new divergent side rails.
The 1931 Cadillac also introduced new hood side panels with distinctive ventilator doors. The V8 engine had a five-point engine extension similar to that of the V16.
What Does That Mean?
A phaeton is a style of open automobile without any fixed weather protection. A dual-cowl phaeton is a body style in which the rear passengers are separated from the driver and the front passengers by a cowl or bulkhead, often with its own folding windshield.
‘Standard of the World’
Henry Leland founded Cadillac in 1902, naming the company after Detroit founder Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. The company introduced the idea of interchangeable parts to the automotive industry, setting the stage for modern mass vehicle production. Cadillac was the first American car to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England. Inspired, Cadillac adopted the slogan “Standard of the World.”
In the 1940s, Cadillac suspended automobile production for a time to produce aircraft during World War II. After the war, Cadillac modified some of the aircraft technology to put the first-ever tail fin on a vehicle. The “fin” helped Cadillac secure the inaugural Car of the Year award in 1949.
1931 Cadillac 355A Fleetwood Specs:
- 353 cubic inch, V8 engine
- Synchromesh transmission
- 134-inch wheelbase
- Length: 203 inches
- Weight: 4,500 pounds
- Originally priced at $3,452
- Cadillac’s “Flying Goddess” mascot adorns radiator cap