THE BONNEY CADDY
Not to be confused with the Bonney Gull experimental plane of her late husband, which was a total wreck and most likely long buried by the time, Mrs. Flora Bonney purchased her new Cadillac in 1931.
Did Claire Knapp & Her Chow Dogs ever ride in this car on Long Island with her good friend Flora?
Of course she did !
MORE THAN LIKELY IT DROVE DOWN KNAPP ROAD IN MASTIC BEACH
A TIME OR TWO
THE CAR IS TO BE AUCTIONED IN LONDON ENGLAND ON
OCTOBER 31, 2007
IT IS EXPECTED TO SELL BETWEEN $ 90 - $ 110,000.00 US
WHICH IS ABOUT $ 50,000 LESS THAN HER LATE HUSBAND HAD INVESTED IN HIS PLANE !
SOLD BELOW ESTIMATE FOR $82,684.00
or as Tom Waits would say "Things Are Tough All Over"
FROM THE RM AUTOMOBILES OF LONDON AUCTION CATALOG
This remarkable Cadillac was originally owned within the family of Mrs. Flora M. Bonney of Long Island, New York, for many years. Generally chauffeur-driven, the car was stored for a number of years before its purchase by noted collector Philip Wichard in 1967. Wichard drove the car to New Orleans for the Glidden Tour shortly after its acquisition and owned the car until his death in 1995. Thereafter the car was purchased in New York with 36,000 original miles by Albert Obrist, who subsequently passed it on to the Ecclestone Collection in 1999.
Series 355. 95bhp, 5,785cc V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with synchromesh, semi-elliptic leaf spring and beam axle front suspension, semi-elliptic leaf spring and live axle rear suspension, and servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase 134in.
While the American economy languished in the depths of the Depression, Cadillac hoped to capture the elite segments of the luxury car market by introducing its V-16-powered Series 452. Styling cues and technical refinements were subsequently passed down from the company?s flagship to the more affordable twelve- and eight-cylinder models, thereby adding a degree of luxury to every Cadillac in production. Furthermore, Harley Earl?s Art and Color section, formed in 1927, was in the midst of a styling and engineering revolution that would catapult the marque to the top of the fine car market.
At first glance, the eight-cylinder Series 355 for 1931 was similar to the Series 353 that preceded it, although the design of the body was considerably lower. The longer hood now featured five hood ports while metal floorboards, an oval instrument panel, single-bar bumper, dual horns, and slightly smaller headlights further defined the 355. The engine remained unchanged but the frame, with its divergent side rails, was new. In addition to the available saloon and coupé body styles, Fleetwood, having been acquired by General Motors only six years earlier, also offered two four-door phaeton variants ? a seven-passenger car, and the sportier five-passenger version presented here.
This cars dark blue paint and black beltline might very well be original, as evidenced by the visible effects of ageing. The fit of the body panels is consistent with a largely unrestored, original car as is the quality of the glasswork and chrome, which remains untouched and in good overall condition. A red pinstripe matches the correct red Cadillac split-ring wire wheels. In addition to the boot, there is an external luggage rack with a leather trunk. Its canvas cover matches the tan top and the covers for the side-mounted spare wheels, which feature accessory rear-view mirrors. Period-correct, original cowl lights, a rear compartment-mounted tonneau windscreen, and original headlights are also present. Additional options include wind wings and twin Pilot Ray driving lights. A Lalique crystal mascot (believed to be original) of St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, is perched atop the bonnet.
The red leather interior, along with the convertible top, was redone by Reuters of New York. Otherwise, the dash and instrumentation appear to be largely original, from the gauge faces and markings to the proper switchgear. The steering wheel is very good and remains in largely original condition as well. With 36,268 original miles, the car has seen little road use since its acquisition by Albert Obrist.
The engine bay has been cleaned and is generally unrestored and quite original. The undercarriage is likewise unrestored and displays significant evidence of road use, as would be expected of a car that has been driven as regularly as this one.
Original and unrestored cars are increasingly appreciated in today?s market, as collectors realize the rarity and wonderful driving experience that only an original car can provide. Over the years, many wonderfully original cars have been lost to well-meaning but ill-advised restorations. As many have noted, a car can be restored many times, but it is original only once.