Million-dollar Cadillacs on Display at Pebble Beach’s Concours d’Elegance

Aug 15, 2012 08:26 AM EDT

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The 1934 rumbleseat roadster model 5802 (left) and a 1937 Phaeton model 5859 PHOTO: RM Auctions/Darin Schnabel courtesy of GM
The 1934 rumbleseat roadster model 5802 (left) and a 1937 Phaeton model 5859 PHOTO: RM Auctions/Darin Schnabel courtesy of GM

 

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A pair of unique Cadillacs will be displayed at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Carmel, California taking place from August 16-19.

The cars - 1934 rumbleseat roadster model 5802 and a 1937 Phaeton model 5859 - were available to order in their model years as part of Cadillac's Fleetwood collection. Fleetwood at the time was an independent coachbuilder used by Cadillac.

As it happened - no one ever did order the models.

 

The roadster PHOTO: RM Auctions/Darin Schnabel courtesy of GM
The roadster PHOTO: RM Auctions/Darin Schnabel courtesy of GM

According to a recent Hemmings article, "It's unlikely [Fleetwood designer John] Hampshire drew them for any customer in particular; they were intended as semi-fanciful illustrations to remind you that, should the occasion present itself, Fleetwood still had true custom capabilities."

In the mid-1980s, however, restorer Fran Roxas happened upon Hampshire's designs in contemporary design books and decided to make them a reality.

The cars each won first prize in Pebble Beach's New Coachwork Class later in the decade.

Both cars were also sold at auction in February; the Phaeton 5859 for $962,500 and the Roadster 5802 for $1,001,000.

Roxas told Hemmings that there are two probable reasons why 1930s gave the models a miss. The first: "No one would step up in that day for a phaeton--you wanted roll-up windows and comfort." The second: "It would have been astronomically expensive."

Cadillac couldn't price the cars until they were finished, which would have been after 15- or 16- months. And by then, Hemmings points out, they would have been last year's car.

 

The phaeton
The phaeton

 

 

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