Until 1930 there was only one V-16 engine in the world. It was produced by Bugatti and consisted of two V-8s joined together. It was intended for powering airplanes. Cadillac’s engine was the first engine designed from the start as a true V-16. The V-16 was better balanced than a V-8 and gave smoother performance. The 45 degree cylinder angle kept the engine sleek, fitting under the engine cowling while providing plenty of access for maintenance. The sleek looking engine was dressed up with plenty of polished aluminum and porcelain components.
Cadillac came out with its V-16 model of cars just two months after the Stock MarketCrash. Due to the solid state of General Motors, Cadillac was able to stay in business despite the Depression and the fact that a Cadillac cost ten times more than a Chevrolet. With other competitors closing down, the Cadillac V-16 became a much sought after status symbol for those who could afford them.
1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster
45 degree V-16, 452 cubic inches, 175 HP@3400 RPM
3 speed transmission
Weight 6,199 pounds
148-inch wheelbase. Front track 59 inches, rear track 62 inches
In eleven years of production 4076 cars were produced. Production ended in 1940.
Top speed 90 MPH