1939 Cadillac Series 90

Just seven 1939 Cadilac Series 90 convertible coupes with the V-16 engine were built in 1939 -- a hard sell by then, compared to Cadillac's smooth V-8.

1939 Cadillac Series 90
This opulent Cadillac Series 90 was one of only seven produced in 1939.
See more pictures of classic convertible cars.

Massive, mighty, and defiantly magnificent. Those are just a few of the words that might be used to describe one of the last Cadillac V-16 convertibles. Riding a lengthy 141-inch wheelbase, this convertible coupe tipped the scales at close to 5000 pounds.

The convertible Model 9067 flaunted its enclosed, sidemounted spare tires and reaching-ahead hood ornament, the latter of which sat atop a burly barrel-shaped grille and still-separate headlamps. But the main attraction lay beneath the hood: a 431- cubic-inch V-16 engine making 185 horsepower. Like Cadillac's companion V-8, the V-16 engine featured dual carburetors, as well as separate water pumps and distributors for each cylinder bank.

1939 Cadillac Series 90, Interior
The interior of the Cadillac Series 90 was stylish and functional, mirroring
the grace and refinement of the exterior.

All that bulk to transport a pair of passengers -- for a $5440 price at that -- might have seemed excessive in the late Depression years. And so it was. After all, Cadillac also offered convertibles in Series 61 and 75, with a marvelous 140-horsepower V-8 engine. A Series 75 convertible coupe could be obtained for a mere $3380, and 27 of those were built.

Only 134 Series 90 cars were produced this year, divided among a dozen body styles. But these mighty machines were on the way out. The V-16 lasted only into 1940, a final relic of a more glorious era of motoring.

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