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Lot 87
1903 Cadillac Model A Tonneau

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CHASSIS NO: 1845

• First year of Cadillac production
• Rear-entrance tonneau body
• Period-correct white tires
• Eligible for the world-famous London-to-Brighton Run


98 cid single-cylinder engine, 6.5 HP, two-speed planetary transmission, front and rear half-elliptic leaf springs, two-wheel mechanical rear brakes; wheelbase: 72”


An astounding 2,497 Cadillacs were produced in its inaugural year, 1903, placing the company among the top three automakers in the United States. This is a testament to the quality of Cadillac during the infancy of the automobile. The Cadillac Automobile Company of Detroit was founded in 1902 by engineering perfectionists, Henry Leland and Robert Faulconer. They were precision machinists and their attention to detail would place Cadillac among the great pioneering automakers. The company name honored Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, the French explorer who founded a fort on the plot that would become Detroit, Michigan. The legacy of precision engineering and innovation live on to this day. Leland and Faulconer were intimately involved in the design of its mechanicals The engine was coined the ‘Little Hercules,’ powering the first export Model A to the top of Sunrising Hill Climb, called the ‘Worst Hill in England.’ That very same Cadillac would compete in the grueling the One-Thousand Mile Reliability Run in England, finishing first in its price class for reliability. A Cadillac could reach speeds of 35 mph, comparable to more expensive and large vehicles of the time.

This example would have sold new for $850 at a time when an American workers annual income was $675. Although the Cadillac offered great value for the price, it was beyond the reach of 99 percent of Americans, making it rare and desirable. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Cadillac featured a steering wheel when many others used the archaic tiller stick. It would be that 1903 was the only year that Cadillac used the subtle curved dashboard which was changed to a square hood the next year.

Restored by the marque specialist Greg Tocket of Stoneaire Classic Cars, this Cadillac includes such period accessories as wicker side-baskets and highly polished oil lamps. It features a rear-entrance tonneau body, perfect for family touring. There are many period-correct features of No. 1845, such as the full white tires and pinstriped wooden wheels, making it elegantly authentic. This brass touring car would be welcome at veteran rally events such as the world-famous London-to-Brighton Car Run.

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