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Cadillac Company History

Published: 24th Mar 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Henry Leland and Robert Faulconer founded a manufacturing company in the 1890s, producing automobile engines, chassis components and forgings, out of which the Cadillac Motor Company was born in 1902, from the remnants of the Detroit Automobile Company that was liquidated in 1900, following chief engineer Henry Ford’s departure to set up his Ford Motor Company. The name Cadillac was used after one of Leland’s ancestors, the French explorer Le Sieur Antoine De La Mothe Cadillac, who established a settlement Ville D’Etroit, meaning ‘village of the strait’ that evolved into Detroit.

The first car produced was the Cadillac Model A. as exhibited at the New York Automobile Show in 1903. Cadillac then went on to become the fi rst American car manufacturer to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy held under the auspices of the Royal Automobile Club in England, when successfully demonstrating interchangeability of parts in 1908. The company’s fi rst V8 engine was introduced in 1915, it was fi rst to offer bodywork with an all steel roof on a passenger car, fi rst to use a distributor and power steering, synchromesh transmission, V12 and V16 engines, and shatter proof glass in 1926. On 25th November 1949 Cadillac produced its millionth car. A year before saw the introduction of small tailfi ns, which were inspired by the twin rudders of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fi ghter plane. They were to become a company trademark, growing in stature every year, until the most outrageous appearing on cars in 1959 which were penned by Peter Hodak. They then became smaller each year and by 1966 they had gone for good. The FWD Eldorado was introduced in 1967 a sign of the way ahead for Cadillac, a 1973 Eldorado convertible paced the Indy 500 race (only for the second time) with Jim Rathman at the wheel. The Northstar engine and systems management capabilities arrived in the 1990s and today Cadillac continues to produce luxury models for the discerning buyer.

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