[ last update: 11.03.2009 ]

The (new) Cadillac Database©

Photo Pages


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year
or go to the  La Salle photo index page

Unless otherwise specified all photos and illustrations are from Yann Saunders'
collection of Cadillac photos, advertisements and product catalogs, reproduced
courtesy of the Cadillac Motor Car Division and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.



02LELFAL.JPG (9507 bytes)    FACT02.JPG (10788 bytes)
Left: artist's view of the Leland & Faulconer factory, in Detroit, where the first
Cadillac engines and transmissions were built  at the turn of the 20th century;
Right: another artist's view of the expanded premises known initially as the
Detroit Automobile Company and renamed the Cadillac Automobile Company, in August 1902



Cadillac runabout and tonneau


p02a.jpg (7689 bytes)
October 17, 1902
The first Cadillac takes its first spin.
Alanson P. Brush (engineer) at the wheel;
Wilfrid Leland (treasurer), happy passenger

There is some controversy as to the date when this well-known photo was taken;
some question whether or not this was a running car or just a prop for a photo;
you can read more about it in  Antique Automobile (AACA) for May-June 2008




02StepClimbB.jpg (36080 bytes)    P02B.JPG (9121 bytes)     02StepClimb.jpg (35929 bytes)   
(Left) Brush took the sturdy runabout to the Wayne County building in downtown Detroit, where he aptly
demonstrated the nimble car's hill climbing ability; historical records do not indicate if this feat
was performed on the same day but, certainly, the driver's cap is the same in both photos!

p02engn.jpg (5638 bytes)
(Right) Back in the workshop the car was fitted with stylish patent leather mudguards;  the earliest
Cadillac cars were fitted with 14-spoke wheels, as may be seen in this and the accompanying photographs

Only three units were built in 1902




p02c.JPG (6765 bytes)
Although not illustrated in the earliest catalog (published
circa November 1902), a smart and much appreciated cape
top was available for the runabout (above); it cost $30 in

rubber and $50 in leather; the 2-seater car seen
here listed at $750; a detachable tonneau for two
extra passengers put the price up to $850




The "first" Cadillac?

1stCadA.JPG (25358 bytes)    02CAD1.JPG (10027 bytes)
Kruse's annual auction sale in Scottsdale, AZ, in January 2000, included this "unknown" Cadillac (at right)  [Lot #1078] described as "#1 prototype known as the first Cadillac ever built - Sept 1902, 1 of 3 built, featured in auto magazines.  Sold on bill of sale only - no title."  If this is indeed the "first Cadillac", IMHO there is little or nothing left of it. The rear deck is typical of 1906-07 tulip-bodied Cadillacs, the wheels are 10-spoke instead of 14-spoke [first 3 cars] or 12-spoke [for the subsequent production models], it is missing the engine and dummy hood. The vendors said they had still the original engine "from" or "for" this car.  The latter was (alleged to have been)  bid up to $90,000.  Rumor has it, however, that the vendors would not take less than $1,000,000 for it!


Late Extra [6/2008]:   GM acquired this "mystery car"car at auction, in Illinois, in 2002
it has been fully restored [photos below]; see this page for full story

    1stCadB.JPG (25736 bytes)

    1stCadc.jpg (24761 bytes)    1stCadd.JPG (23516 bytes)
[ Summary text and photos:  courtesy "Antique Automobile" - AACA ]





Return to The (New) Cadillac Database© Index Page
or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year
or go to the  La Salle photo index page


© 1996, Yann Saunders and the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, Inc.
[ Background image: the 1902 runabout with optional cape top ]