Description

  • This car features electric starter and electric lights that were introduced by Cadillac in 1912.
  • In 1908 Cadillac won England’s prestigious DeWar trophy for interchangeable, precision-built parts.
  • To win, three cars were disassembled, parts were mixed into a pile, and three cars were reassembled and successfully run at top speed for 500 miles. 
  • Many cars of the day came with parts unique to that individual car and not interchangeable with the same model offered by the same manufacturer.

Story

Story

In 1908, the Cadillac Motor Car Company slogan became “The Standard of the World,” and for a very good reason.  Henry M. Leland, Cadillac’s general manager, insisted that interchangeable precision-built automotive parts were the key to success in the automotive industry.

Leland’s theory was tested that year when Frederick S. Bennett, England’s first Cadillac dealer, prevailed upon the Royal Automobile Club (R.A.C.) of Great Britain to conduct a unique standardization test at the Brooklands race course.  Three 1-cylinder Cadillacs were completely disassembled, piled in a heap, and then reassembled.  The three vehicles were then driven directly onto the Brooklands track and successfully run at top speed for 500 miles.  Following the test, the R.A.C. awarded Cadillac the Dewar Trophy, the first time an American automaker had won this prestigious award.  The Dewar Trophy had been awarded annually since 1904 to the automobile manufacturer deemed to have made the most significant achievement in the industry.

In 1912, Cadillac won the Dewar Trophy again, this time for the introduction of electric starting and lighting systems for production automobiles.  The electric starter did away with hand cranking the engine and, within a few years, electric starters were standard on most makes.  This 1913 Cadillac utilizes this feature.  Electric starters also revolutionized driving since women could now easily operate an automobile by themselves.

Video

Discussion

Leave a Reply

Auto Informant has the right to edit or remove your comments if deemed inappropriate.