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H&H Classics to offer favourite cars of film stars & movie moguls
1931 Cadillac 370-A V12 Roadster.

LONDON.- When petrol is cheap and there are 2,800 miles from “sea to shining sea” then it’s no surprise that America produced huge powerful cars like this that could eat up dead straight roads and make driving a joy.

H&H Classics are selling these two period beauties at ‘No Reserve’- a Cadillac from the 1930s and Lincoln from the 1940s - at their next sale at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on March 20th. Both of these cars hail from the collection of the late Ian Grange, who retired last year after 60 colourful years in the car business.

Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H&H says: “These wonderful cars, so redolent of their time, are highly presentable which is no surprise given the late Ian Grange’s discerning eye. Either would make a stunning addition to any collection.”

These cars were the favourites of film stars, movie moguls and the good and the great. They were statements about wealth, power and status.

1931 Cadillac 370-A V12 Roadster
Entered from the Ian Grange Collection, this stunning Cadillac is finished in Bordeaux Red over Cream with Beige upholstery.

This 1931 Series 370-A V12 is understood to wear two-door Sports Roadster coachwork by Fleetwood (Body Style 4702). Previously part of the Valencia collection for several years, it was treated to an extensive `chassis up' restoration by the previous keeper’s own in-house team. Still highly presentable, this short wheelbase (140-inch) car sports a windscreen pillar-mounted rotating spotlight, louvered bonnet, well-trimmed dickey seat, 'Depress Beam' headlamps and swivelling spot lamps that turn with the wheels.

Riding on optional wire wheels (whilst retaining dual side-mounted spares) it has the further benefit of a golf club locker. Wonderfully stylish, this imposing Cadillac V12 would make a worthwhile addition to many a collection. A former concours award winner, it is offered for sale with numerous restoration photographs and sundry paperwork and Cadillac operators’ manual.

Introduced in October 1930, the Series 370-A was Cadillac's first V12 engine model. Essentially a scaled down version of the marque's magnificent Series 452 V16 range that had been launched the previous year, it was similarly engineered by Ernest Seaholm and Owen Nacker. Available with 140-, 143- or 150-inch wheelbases, its massive chassis was equipped with all round leaf-sprung suspension and fifteen-inch vacuum servo-assisted drum brakes.

Like its V16 sibling, the V12 featured a heavily stylised engine bay in which ancillary components were largely hidden from view and the motor itself presented as a piece of monolithic sculpture. To maintain this illusion even when running the advanced unit boasted hydraulically rotated eccentric bushings to dampen the noise from its overhead valve system. With a bore and stroke of 3.125inches x 4inches, the V12 displaced over 6000cc.

Reputed to develop 135hp at 3,400rpm together with prodigious torque, it was mated to a three-speed manual gearbox that carried synchromesh on its upper two ratios. Utilising a three-quarter floating back axle housing a spiral bevel differential, it could be had with a bewildering range of different body styles by both Fischer and Fleetwood (though the latter were responsible for all interiors).

Despite, Cadillac fitting it with one-inch smaller diameter headlamps, lesser horns and single (as opposed to double) running board lights, the V12 enjoyed much the same road presence as its range topping brother while often eclipsing it in performance and handling terms (depending upon the coachwork worn). Given the honour of acting as pace car at the 1931 Indianapolis 500, the Series 370-A and its descendants remained in production until 1937. However, Cadillac has singularly failed to produce a V12 since then.

Entered from the Ian Grange Collection, this magnificent offering from Ford’s prestigious Lincoln division boasts a hydraulic hood and windows.

Finished in Metallic Burgundy with Black lined hood, Red carpets, Black leather trim piped in Red and transparent steering wheel in Maroon, it boasts a flat head 12-cylinder, 5-litre engine and 3-speed column change gearbox with free wheel facility.

Proudly wearing a set of full-size white wall tyres, rear spats and an outside rear spare wheel cover, it is has an unmistakable presence. Invoices on file show that the body was completely stripped down to bare metal in 2011 and repainted from a rust-free base at a cost of £19,200. We are informed that the car spent a lot of time in a private collection in Switzerland and we believe it to be the only Lincoln Continental 12-cylinder convertible offered for sale in the UK. A true American Classic with a lot of character, it was imported into the UK in 1999.

The 1946-48 Lincolns were the only post-WWII American cars powered by a V-12 engine. Rated at 130 horsepower, the 305-cid L-head twelve was coupled to a standard three-speed manual transmission. The Continental Cabriolet was an expensive, ultra-exclusive car of very limited production. Many were purchased new by Hollywood celebrities. The list price for the 1948 Continental Cabriolets was $4,746 - more than two and a half times the cost of that year's Ford V-8 Convertible.

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