Quick Intro: History Of Cadillac
What is the history of the Cadillac? You have seen them rusting in farmer’s fields, lovingly restored or fresh off the showroom floor. Their popularity has fluctuated over the decades, but has always been associated with wealth and prosperity. Cadillac Automobile Company may have had modest beginnings, but it is known throughout the world today.
Henry Martyn Leland, who was born in Vermont in 1843, specialized in precision machinery and the manufacturing of crankshaft grinders. In 1901, Leland was working for Olds Motor Works producing engines. It was during this time that he manufactured an engine that was 23 percent more powerful than the standard car engines of the time. Olds Motor Works rejected his idea, stating the new engine would require retooling, which would delay production of their cars.
In 1902, Leland got his first break. He was called in to work as a consultant to William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen, who were the financial backing for Ford motor company. They were upset that Ford only produced race cars at the time and wanted to liquidate their Ford plant and its related equipment. Leland showed them the rejected engine idea he had proposed for Olds. The Cadillac Automobile Company was born. The history of the name Cadillac was derived from a French explorer who had discovered Detroit, Michigan in the early eighteenth century.
On October 17, 1902, the first Cadillac was produced. It was a horseless carriage that could carry two occupants. The single-cylinder engine was ten horsepower and considered one of the most powerful automobile engines of the time. In January of 1903, the Cadillac was taken to an automobile show in New York where 2,286 orders were placed until Cadillac declared that they were sold out. Leland left Cadillac in 1917 to start the Lincoln Motor Company. Many models of Cadillac followed that first model and the Cadillac of today remains a premier luxury car.