Classic AutoRAI 99: pre-war cars:
Buick, Cadillac & CitroŽn
A very fine example of
Buick's pre-war peak period (1919-1926): the Standard Six based Opera Coupť. Buick was
the originating marque of General Motors and formed the cornerstone of William C. Durant's
empire. Buick helped the car conglomerate to survive the storming success of Ford's Model
T, and as the sales of this car slowly diminished in the early '20s Buick took over the
lead in the American car market by offering more sophisticated and luxurious yet
Cadillac is another
member of the General Motors stable. It aimed at a much higher segment of the market than
Buick and acquired the name of being "the Rolls-Royce of the U.S.A.".
This beautiful "gangster-style" 370-B boosted a V12 engine that shared many components with Cadillac excellent but unprofitable V16 that was introduced in 1930.
The bodywork of the
V12 and V16 models resembled each other, this one was called the "four door five
passenger sedan". The 370 designation stands for the engine displacement in cubic
inches: 370 cid is about 6 litre engine displacement. The V16 had 7.4 litre displacement,
also 452 cid, but it was simply called V16.
The exhibitors told me that the owner of this car was very reluctant to put this car on the show. They convinced him by placing it on a rotating platform to avoid people touching it. I'm happy they did: rare cars in excellent condition like this one make this kind of shows much more worthwhile and enjoyable.
Something completely different is this CitroŽn B12 from 1925. It has a
pressed steel bodywork following an agreement with the American Budd Company. It made car
production more efficient and Andrť CitroŽn was one of the first industrialists to
introduce this process in Europe.
The design of the car followed the lines of the preceding B2 Conduite Interieure models and was rather conservative. Its engine is a modest 4 cylinder in-line unit of 1628 cc producing about 30 hp @ 3000 rpm.
Go to the next page by clicking the arrows pointing right...