Cadillac Cadillac V 16 Hartmann Roadster (1:43, TSM Model)

  • Cadillac Cadillac V 16 Hartmann Roadster (from 1937)
  • TSM Model
  • 1:43
  • Showcase model / No engine
  • red (brilliant finish)
  • TSM124313 / 4895135166693 (EAN)
  • unlimited
  • Perfect mint condition
  • Original package exists
  • Not for sale
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In Search of a Car - In Search of a Dream

In August 1937, near Lausanne, in Switzerland, a young man was snapped beside the car of which he had just taken delivery. It was a "monumental", special-bodied 1937 Cadillac V-16 roadster. The youthful owner’s name was Philippe Barraud. He was a dashing and wealthy young playboy in the thirties. In his youth, he had as many cars as he could care for. Money was no object. But there were other young men from wealthy families that lived along the fashionable Swiss Riviera that stretches between Lausanne and Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. What kind of car could Philippe possibly buy that would put to shame all their fancy Delahayes, Delages, Talbot-Lagos and other flashy sports cars?

One day in the latter part of 1936 Philippe had visited the Edelweiss Garage, on Avenue de Morges, in Lausanne. This was the showroom of the local Cadillac dealer. There he picked up the latest Fleetwood sales portfolio. Two V-16 models were illustrated: a sober limousine, Fleetwood style #5875, and a dashing convertible sedan, Fleetwood style #5880. Both were built on the longest ever production Cadillac chassis, with an incredible 154-inch wheel base.

Now HERE was a car of imposing proportions! Philippe could readily imagine how puny a Delahaye or a Hispano-Suiza would look parked next to it! He inquired of the Cadillac dealer if it might be possible to order only the chassis and then to have a body of his own choice built on it. He was told this would pose no problem whatsoever.

Philippe could have chosen any one of a dozen independent and popular coach builders of the time (Franay, Million-Guiet, Vizcaya, Letourneur and Marchand, Van den Plas or even Figoni & Falaschi). But like all young men he was impatient. He had to have his new toy quickly. And he had to have it built close to home so he could supervise the work and keep a close check every day on the progress being made.

There were a few independent coach builders in Switzerland in the late thirties but only one in the immediate vicinity of the Barraud home in Bussigny, above Morges. His name was Willy Hartmann. His workshop was located only a few miles away, in the Laborde area of Lausanne.

Willy had earned a reputation "customizing" stock European models like the Opel and Ballot. In 1932, he had built also a prize-winning convertible on a Isotta-Fraschini chassis for the Countess of Varax. All in all he built around fifty car bodies between 1928 and 1939; after that he worked only on specialty vehicles for the Swiss armed forces. When I spoke to him in 1987, Willy said that he had burned most of his records after WW2 "to make room for more projects"!

So Philippe went to Hartmann and asked the young customizer if he would design and build for him something really exceptional and glamorous on the Cadillac V-16 chassis.

Hartmann drew a few sketches. Philippe immediately set his heart on a streamlined roadster proposal featuring fully enclosed fenders front and rear.

The Influence of Erdmann & Rossi

Streamlined designs like the one drawn by Hartmann had been seen first at the Barcelona [Spain] and Berlin [Germany] Motor Shows, in 1935. On the stand of Erdmann [almost a phoneme of Hartmann] and Rossi were two such streamlined convertibles: a 2.9-liter Mercedes and an Opel, both featuring fully enclosed fenders, front and rear. Later that year the German company was commissioned to build an almost identical body on a turbo-charged, 5.4-liter Mercedes 540K [order #2698 of 5 December 1935, engine #123705] for no less a client than King Ghazi of Iraq1.

Author: wolfram

*No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information

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