Cadillac Model A Runabout

In its first year of production, the Cadillac Motor Car Company created what was to serve as their reputation for more than a century. It began with Henry Martyn Leland who partnered with financier and visionary Robert C. Faulconer. Together they represented the early future of the automotive industry. In 1901, the pair was contracted to design a revised engine for the Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout, and that they did – so much so that Oldsmobile turned it down because of the increased cost it presented for Oldsmobile to retool the necessary machinery. Ironically, the same gentlemen who had been financing a young Henry Ford would welcome the pair only a year later, backing their venture into the fledging motor car market. By 1902, the first Cadillacs were on the road and by all reports they were years ahead of the competition in their fit, finish, quality and style. The first Cadillacs were offered as a Runabout either with or without a tonneau. The single-cylinder Model As were rated at only 6.5 horsepower; however, they actually produced as much as 10 horsepower with a displacement of 98 cubic inches.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London, in October of 2010 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pennsylvania, in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

10 hp, 98 cu. in. horizontally mounted single-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary transmission with reverse, centre chain drive by Brown Lippe differential, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, two-wheel rear mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 72".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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