Cadillac 452A V16 Roadster 1931 by Ilario in 1:43 scale
This is one of just 21 rolling chassis of the Cadillac 452 V16 delivered to foreign coachbuilders, in this case the newly founded Pinin Farina in Italy. Some 750 Cadillac V16s were sold in 1931, but only one had a coachwork from carrozzeria Pinin Farina.
It was ordered by the Indian Maharaja of Orchha who needed a powerful machine to hunt tigers. For this purpose a boat-tail style roadster body was fitted with a slightly elevated rumble seat to give the young Maharaja a 360 degree field of vision. The raised seat also let His Highness sit above everyone else in a procession. As delivered, its paint scheme was cream and blue and was devoid of running boards. Whether this aided in the practical hunting of large mammals, we can’t say.
The Maharaja’s Cadillac was completed halfway through 1931 and shipped to Mumbai.
Amazingly the unique car survived its adventures in the jungle and today is one of the oldest surviving Pinin Farina designs. After remaining in the Maharaja’s family for well over three decades, the V16 Cadillac was sold in the 1960s and sent to America. It arrived in black and red and later painted all black.
It is currently owned by an enthusiastic collector in the United States who has had it completely restored to its original condition. It was shown at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the celebration of Pininfarina’s 75th anniversary.
Elevated rumble seat allowed His Highness unimpeded view of the savanna to hunt tigers
It was the most expensive Cadillac ever and something of an engineering milestone. The sixteen cylinder engine was constructed using two blocks of the new Buick eight cylinder engine. The two blocks were mounted on a common crankcase at a 45 degree angle. A single camshaft mounted inside the V operated the valves by pushrods. The engine commanded a majestic 452 cubic inches which produced 175 bhp and impressive torque. 100 mph was no problem.
Ilario is issuing his model in edition size limited to 75 pieces.
Classic Era (1925-48)
- SKU: IL098