1902 Cadillac The Year
that Started it all
From the first day the company came out with their 1902 Cadillac it was clear
that Cadillac brand would be built with both luxury and quality in mind. It is
no surprise that these two things are the same as they are in today's Cadillac.
Many people don't know that Henry Ford has something to do with Cadillac's
formation. The story goes that Henry Leland was designing an engine for
Oldsmoblie that was rejected. During this Leland was called in to consult with
Ford and he showed William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen his engine. They started a
new company which was then run by Henry Leland who owned the Leland & Faulconer
manufacturing company. The companies merged a few years later and used the
Cadillac name. The name came from a French Explorer who discovered the city of
Detroit Le Sieur Antoine da la Mothe Cadillac.
First Cadillac off the Assembly Line.
Although the date that the first Cadillac came out of the factory
varies it is said to be in October of 1902. I have seen dates of October
17th, October 20th and even the 23rd. I am not exactly sure of the date
but it was around that time. If you are interested in this you can read
the book "Henry Leland Master of Precision". It is a good read I enjoyed
The first Cadillac looked a lot like a Ford which makes sense since
Henry had a successful formula. It had a 10 horsepower engine which is
laughable by today's standards but at the time it was enough to do its
job. I think my snow blower has a more powerful engine in it, just shows
you how times change for the better.
The Cadillac showed at the New York Auto Show to an approving crowd that
ordered around 2000 Cadillac's. With this Cadillac was on it's way to
what it has become today.