BK Auto Auctions presents this awesome classic 1931 Marmon 16 Coupe finished in Maroon Red with tan seats in fabric and premium leather. A little history on this beauty starts with the builder Howard Marmon, who began working on the world’s first V16 engine in 1927 but was unable to complete the production engine until 1931. By that time Cadillac had already introduced their V16 engine, designed by a former Marmon engineer, and Peerless was also preparing to debut their V16 design with help from another former Marmon employee. Making this Car on of the first with a V16 engine.
The Marmon 16 was introduced in 1931 in a few body styles. Production continued in very limited numbers through the 1933 model year when car production ceased. The engine displaced 491 cubic inches delivering 200 horsepower with an aluminum block with steel cylinder sleeves. The Marmon Roster estimates that fewer than 75 Marmon 16’s exist today with the most rare model being the two door coupe.
This 1931 Marmon 16 coupe is one of only six known to still exist, plus is one of the very few with known ownership history from new. The car was purchased new by Louis P. Mayer, publisher of the Philadelphia Gazette Democrat newspaper and was regularly driven until his death in 1952. The vehicle remained in the family for two generations and in 1978 was taken to a shop for an engine rebuild. The car was stolen from the shop and disappeared for about five years, being recovered based on a tip forwarded to the individual tasked with maintaining the Marmon Roster. The car was reunited with the original engine, and in 1987 was sold by the Mayer family to New Jersey resident James Guerra. In 1989 Gerry Lettieri acquired the car before Jack Dunning purchased the car in 1993. Dunning commissioned the complete restoration which was started in 1996 and completed in 1997. Evergreen Historic Autos in Lebanon, MO became the custodian of the car in October 2019.
Not only does this car have ownership history from new, it possesses an impressive show history. Awards include AACA National First Place and CCCA Senior Premier honors and was judged Best in Class at the 1997 Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance. In 2011, the vehicle won the Senior Emeritus Class at the CCCA Midwestern Grand Classic held at the Glenwood Gathering in Ohio. In 2021 the Marmon was shown by Evergreen Historic Autos at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
While early 1930’s America is often remembered as a time of struggle and strife brought on by The Great Depression, it’s also a time this country produced a class of luxury automobiles that remain highly desired and sought after by collectors today. The names of Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg rank high on that list as well as legendary marques Cadillac and Lincoln. There were the “Three P’s”—Packard, Peerless and Pierce Arrow in that number. While possibly not as well known, Marmon must be included on that list!
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