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Mike's 1929 341B Roadster

Not your average Pride & Joy...

In fact it appears to be a step back in time down the time tunnel to a Cadillac show room, probably in Pitt or George Street in Sydney and it’s been brought back to 1999 from 1929.

The old movies, black and white variety, have a lot to answer for... “The Untouchables, “Bonnie and Clyde”, Ma Baker and Her Boys, John Dillinger, Al Capone and his underworld, etc etc. I think as a result of seeing all these cars in black and white, I know I grew up believing that the old cars of the 20's and 30's had no colour schemes. When you see Mike’s 1929 Roadster and its two tone colour scheme, burgundy and tangerine with vermillion pin striping everywhere, you begin to wonder what other exciting colour schemes were available at the time.

Over a sixteen year period of on and off again work on the roadster, it has come to fruition. That’s in between a couple of 1929 Dual Cowl Phaetons and a 1930 V16 Sport Phaeton which is now well under way let me tell you. It is guaranteed to make us all feel like peasants, unless we have a good imagination and can dream of owning and driving such an exceptional machine in fantasy land. It is the ultimate in Caddy land. The only other car that I covet more than this is the mighty 1932 SJ Dusenberg or Dusey. That V16 will be the subject of the next pre-1950 article out of Mike’s garage. What do post 50's have to offer that comes anywhere near this?

With the trouble light in the engine bay turned on and the bonnet closed, the glow seen through the bonnet louvre vents gives the impression the engine is running hot.

Mike has fitted blinkers for safety but has added a little something extra. The blinker indicator lights mounted below the dash but in an easily visible position, have red and green colouring for port and starboard turning, that is left and right turns.

The fixed pilot ray lights mounted on the front bumper brackets have their own built in spirit levels built into the top ornament moulding for adjusting the lights aim more easily.

Four of the six wire wheels were sourced from the USA. Wheels are always a problem as they are left out in the weather and allowed to sink into the ground. The wheels were rebuilt with stainless steel spokes and apparently when the car is on the move this gives the impression of chromed wire wheels.

The engine has a nice additional touch to it in the form of a dual down draft carby set up, originally sourced from Ron Ferguson, parts dealer. This took many years for Mike to relieve Ron of this genuine accessory item and only came about through swapping an original 1922 Rolls Royce sales book which sadly didn’t survive the Lidcombe fire.

Driving impressions are naturally compared to the 1929 Cadillac Dual Cowl Phaeton of Mike’s as a bench mark and even though Mike admits to not being as fussy about roadsters compared to his Dual Cowl Phaeton, he was pleasantly surprised by its more zippy performance and turn of speed. Well it’s the 1929 hot rod, lighter body and dual carbies.

Mike is looking forward to riding in the dicky seat with the section of rear window and hood opened up to communicate with front seat occupants and also has the dual advantage of a good flow through ventilation system.

The Rushcutters Bay Smash Repairs were once again hosts to the paint job done in burgundy and tangerine with a vermillion pin stripe running around body bead line, guard bead lines and bonnet louvres etc., a very nice finishing touch.

The chassis, diff., front scuttle, front guards and original right hand steering box were sourced from Punchbowl in Sydney while engine and gear box came from Lismore.

The roadster body is by Fisher/Lamb. That is to say patterns copied from original bodies in America and reproduced by Peter Lamb of body building fame. Peter built the wooden frame work and shaped the metal cladding.

The Cadillac upholstery is done in burgundy leather with matching carpets and Cadillac badges scripted into the door storage pockets by Bruce Gibbs. The fold down roadster roof is beige in colour. This upholstery is expertly done by the same upholsterer that carried out the job on the 1929 Dual Cowl Phaeton.

Tech specs:

Engine–90o V8 3 5/16” x 4 15/16” bore of stroke, HP rated @ 35.1 BHP 90 @ 3000 rpm, Torque 208 lbs/ft (net), Pressure feed to piston pins. 3 main brg crank, silent chain camshaft drive and roller cam followers. Trans– twin disc driven dry clutch plates, 3 speeds forward and reverse, chrome-nickel steel gears and shafts, faces of gear teeth ground on special grinding machines for silent operation, copper/alum alloy crankcase separate to cylinder blocks. Lubrication–full pressure lubrication from gear pump, float oil level indicator (no dip stick). Radiator/cooling system–thermostatically controlled radiator shutters with vertical balanced shutter blades, 6 bladed fan positively lubricated. Rear engine mounts–rubber insulated, torque tube complete seal assembly, fully floating rear axles. Wheels–wheels and tyre size 700x20” WB 140.

Story by George Gray
Photos by Mark Bean