1932 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton - Eliot Ness Diecast Model

  • Retail Price: $199.95
  • Our Price: $189.95
  • Sold Out
Franklin Mint 1932 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton - Eliot Ness diecast car
Customer Rating: 10 stars
  • Year: 1932
  • Brand: Franklin Mint
  • Make: Cadillac
  • Code: A182
  • Model: V-16 Sport Phaeton - Eliot Ness
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Color: Black

From its debut at the New York Auto Show, the Cadillac V-16 was a hit. Cadillac basically took two straight-eight blocks and combined them to create an incredibly smooth-running engine. For 1930, the car had many modern features, a characteristic of Cadillac motorcars since 1910, when they introduced among the first self-starting engines. Other modern features included inline overhead valves with hydraulically silenced lifters, hydraulic shock absorbers, and vacuum assisted brakes, fuel pump and windshield wipers. It’s no wonder Elliott Ness chose a 1930 V-16 Phaeton for transportation during his raids on the bootlegging industry during the Prohibition years.

This is another of FM’s larger 1:24 scale die cast models, reflecting the sheer size of the actual vehicle. Though the description has this image as a 1932 V-16, it’s supposed to be Ness’s 1930 car. I suspect that FM just revamped their existing ’32 image (probably because Cadillac made few changes over two years – it was during the Great Depression, after all) to use for the Ness version. Fully realizing my review of that car gave FM a second seat to the DM image, that fact doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to be said for this Ness version image. Forget the “molded in” wipers (I’m not overly fond of those photo-etched gimmicks), the details on this image are fine. One minor flaw, though, is that the windshield frames and rear windscreen seem a bit over-large.

When placed next to the Capone image, aside from the fact it’s a convertible with a light tan interior, a number of details become evident. First, the doors hinge from the center, making the front doors “suicide” doors, while the Capone version’s doors hinge from the front and rear edges of the door frames, making the rear doors the “suicide” doors. Second, the fender-mounted, twin spare tires are covered. Third, the wheel spokes (molded, not photo-etched) are painted in contrasting red. Fourth, there’s a trunk (non-removable, with a sealed lid) on the (non-working) trunk rack. Fifth, the radiator shell is different, without the headlight crossbar, and with a more detailed cap ornament. Sixth, the instrument panel is different, with nicely done 3-D gauges evident. Last, the Ness car is a bit longer than the Capone version.

FM also provides a top-up and top-down convertible top, along with two 1:24 barrels of “hooch,” a sledge hammer, two “choppers,” a hat and a briefcase (it seems both gangsters and agents liked the business-like image they conveyed). Curiously, there’s no rear license plate frame. The paint’s done in flawless, gleaming black, like the Capone image. The interior, though done in soft plastic, simulates the original tan worsted wool very nicely. Unfortunately, the engine detail’s not as good as the Capone version but decent nonetheless. My general impression is that this image is a small notch down from the sedan.

Cadillac was a superior motorcar back in the “Golden Age” of the Thirties – so much so, men on both sides of the law prized it. Both images look sharp displayed together. An entire collection in itself could be made of the “Gangster Era” cars, along with the Bonnie and Clyde and Dillinger images. The issue price is $105.

-Tom Pine

  • Retail Price: $199.95
  • Our Price: $189.95
  • Sold Out

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