The Marmon Sixteen was, in many respects, the masterpiece of the classic era. Its 491 cubic inch engine was by far the largest of Detroit's multi-cylinder units, with power that nearly equaled the great Duesenberg J and easily surpassed both the Duesenberg and Cadillac V-16 in torque. Its pushrod overhead valve design, all alloy, one-piece, 45 degree cylinder block and crankcase, cross-flow cylinder heads and two-barrel downdraft carburetor were advanced technology for the Thirties and were executed with the inherent good taste of pure engineering. It was, and is, a beautiful engine that didn't need the styling embellishment of the Cadillac. The chassis, while being conventional, was superbly designed, particularly the steering which is light and positive. Brakes were “state of the art” with 16” drums. The body was particularly advanced for the day, with an elegant slightly raked vee radiator shell, skirted front fenders that hid the suspension and restrained simplicity that expressed the elegance, luxury and performance of the Sixteen. Designed by Walter Dorwin Teague, Jr., coachwork was built under contract by LeBaron. Each car was individually tested for 210 miles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, recording four laps at more than 105mph. Even though it was more attractively designed and less expensive than any of its peers, only about 365 – 370 Sixteen’s were built and the 68 survivors are sought today by collectors who appreciate the ultimate in classic design, exclusivity, rarity and performance.
This 5-Passenger Close-Coupled Sedan, completed in late 1931 – early 1932, carries chassis number 16-149-752, engine number 16-750 and body number 149-532. Authenticated by Dyke W. Ridgley and The Marmon Sixteen Roster, this is one of eleven surviving Close Coupled Sedans. It still is equipped with its original engine and carries the original bodywork. While most survivors of the classic era have histories that are not traceable prior to the 1950’s, Mr. Ridgley has researched the history of this car back to 1939, when it resided in Indianapolis, the city of its manufacture.
A beautiful example restored in the late 1970’s, to the standards of that era, this Marmon has been recently cosmetically refreshed and mechanically serviced. This Sixteen was featured as the opening spread in Automobile Quarterly’s Second Quarter 1989 article on "Marmon's Masterpieces" by Griffith Borgeson. It is equipped with dual sidemounts, Trippe driving lights and six brand new wide whitewall tires. Finished in Blue over Silver, the 5-passegner interior is luxuriously appointed in Beige cloth and accented with woodgrain window frames, burl wood accent panels, flower vases and a pulldown rear window shade. The chassis is tidy and correct, the interior is extremely nice throughout. On the road it is a phenomenal, smooth-running, powerful car exhibiting the driving and handling characteristics which distinguished these great automobiles and it will be a superb automobile for shows, tours, and other events.