Pros: Great detail and workmanship in the engine bay and interior, Grille is very intricate.
Cons: Car seems delicate and breakable, hinges on doors slightly detract from overall realism.
Out of my large collection of die cast Cadillac automobiles the 1938 Cadillac V16 Fleetwood is among the most eye catching. Detail and quality are second only to my 1966 Cadillac hearse replica (see my other review) and the striking red and black color scheme of this car sets it apart from the rest.
This car is a 1/18 scale model that is available in all black, red, yellow and a few limited edition colors. All models have black roofs and the other color covers the whole body. I have seen prices for this model range on Ebay from $30 up to $55 and the price seems to continually climb as time passes.
The 1938 Cadillac Fleetwood is a 1/18 scale model built by Signature models of Roscoe Illinois. This and other offerings from Signature models can be viewed at www.signature-models.com. Cars from Jeep, Jaguar, Packard, Duesenberg, Aston Martin, General Motors, Chrysler, Hudson, and Ford have all been replicated by this company. Following I will provide contact information for the U.S and Hong Kong offices of Signature Models:
13366 Promontory Trail,
Roscoe, IL 61073, U.S.A
Toll Free: 877-239-7016
Hong Kong Office
Rm 720B, New Mandarin Plz,
Tower A, Tsim Sha Tsui East,
Kowloon, Hong Kong,
The box is large and white consisting mostly of cardboard and clear plastic windows in front, on top, and around the Model. A dull, red, plastic, stand supports the car from the bottom of the box and a grey plastic placard reads 1938 CADILLAC V16 Fleetwood with the company's S logo. Reflective paper lines the sides of the box in front of and behind the model on the inside of the box. Information about the company and model is printed on the bottom of the box in half a dozen languages.
Now for the feature presentation, the actual model is very impressive, both in size and realism. The car's dimensions are approximately L 12" X W 4.25" X H 4". It is my third largest Cadillac model in this scale. The car weighs about 4 pounds and consists mostly of die cast metal and assorted plastics.
The exterior of the car is red with chrome colored plastic and a textured, black, plastic, roof. At the back of the four door car is a large chrome bumper that extends about a quarter inch from the body of the car and has the word Cadillac in large print in the center. A license plate is suspended above the driver side tail light and an openable trunk has a handle and Cadillac emblem in the center. Inside the trunk, which, opens upward on hinges, is less than fascinating; just a black plastic box.
Each side of the car has large black running boards between the tires and all four doors swing open on hinges I(the rear two are suicide doors). A spare tire cover sits on each front fender and all door handles, gas caps, and rear view mirrors are in their places. Most of the body is metal including the hood but the running boards, roof, bumpers, front grill and spare tire covers are plastic. The hinges on the doors detract a little from the realism but the effect when all four doors are opened outward more than makes up for it.
The roof over the driver cabin is detachable with some effort, revealing a detailed interior. The steering wheel is large and wood grained as is the dashboard. Everything else is black excepting the chrome door handles, steering wheel arms, rear view mirror, gauges, and window cranks. The front seats are made of a soft rubber giving them the feel and texture of vinyl.
A partially opened non-adjustable window separates the front seats and rear passenger cabin as in a limousine. The rear compartment floor is carpeted with felt in a contrasting dark blue color, and hard plastic seats in white occupy the very back of the passenger compartment. The rear doors have three chrome handles, one for the door and two for the windows and are nearly completely off white with a small plastic wood grain window sill.
The hood opens up like most modern cars toward the windshield to reveal a very detailed engine. A key to the fame of these cars is the V16 engine and in light of that the detail on the engine in this car is second to none in my collection. Two chrome supports run the length of the engine bay above two large, black, cylinders mounted on top of a tan plastic engine block. The engine is complete with pipes to the radiator and exhaust, placards with writing on them, and most impressive a coil of rubber tubing on each side of the rear of the radiator. A chrome and detailed hood ornament adorns the very front of the hood.
The front grille is V shaped with a red chrome badge on the passenger side. The grille is so detailed that each of the over 380 slots in it are clearly defined and contrasted against the black background. The head lamps are crystal clear and have great detail etched into them. The front bumper is similar to the rear and the fog lights protrude from the front fenders below the body molded turn signals.
All tires on the car are made of rubber and have chrome wheels with whitewalls and a red Cadillac sign in the center. The rear tires have spring suspension and the front tires turn with the steering wheel. The undercarriage is somewhat detailed with a gas tank, driveshaft, chrome exhaust, and black rear differential.
Everything considered I think you should definitely consider purchasing this model. Even if you are not interested in Cadillac's this model would make a great addition to any 1/18 collection. The car is very detailed throughout and seems to be appreciating in value. The box says ages 8+ but this model seems to delicate for that young of an owner, you would not want to drop it.