The V-16 “Series 90” and V-12 “Series 80 and 85”, were essentially merged for 1938 with the introduction of the new L-head V-16. The 431 cu in (7.1 L) engine was an in-block valve (i.e. flathead) design, and featured a wider 135° V-angle, twin carburetors, twin fuel pumps, twin distributors, twin water pumps, and a nine main bearing crankshaft (compared to the OHV V-16’s five bearing crank) and produced the same 185 hp (138 kW) as later versions of the original V-16. This engine was nearly silent at idle and exceptionally smooth in operation. The wheelbase was reduced to 141.0 in (3,581 mm), the body remained 222.0 in (5,639 mm) in overall length. The “Sixteens” (as Cadillac referred to them) were basically series 75 cars with the new V-16 engine although they differed from the firewall forward from the V-8 cars and had several other trim differences. The instrument panels were identical to and changed yearly with the V-8 cars from 1938 to 1940. Only the 1938 Sixteens had a horn button which had “Sixteen” in art deco script; the ’39 and ’40 models, like the V-8, had the Cadillac crest on the button. 315 were sold in the first year, 138 in the next. The production of the 1940 models ended in December 1939. The most expensive model documented was the 1940 Series 90 Town Car by Fleetwood at US$7,175 ($139,775 in 2021 dollars) using a 141 in (3,581 mm) wheelbase.
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