[ last update: 01.26.2013 ]  

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or go back to the Cadillac photo index page to pick another year
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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


Cadillac runabout and tonneau


0304CHAS.jpg (7290 bytes)
1903 Cadillac bare chassis

0203chas.jpg (9785 bytes)
Cutaway view of the 1903 Cadillac chassis and engine;  note
the huge flywheel below the engine cover and front seat support




03BLTDRV.JPG (8483 bytes)
In 1903 the Cadillac factory used these
belt driven machines at each work position




0304TONN.jpg (5640 bytes)
This early factory photo shows the Tonneau version of the first Cadillac production model in 1903.  Two people could quite easily install or remove the rear body, which cost $100.  Access was through a rear door; on each side of it, corner seating could accommodate two extra passengers.  By removing six more bolts, the entire body could be separated from the chassis, facilitating adjustments and repairs, without disturbing a single wire or lever (try doing that today with your average Seville or Eldorado model !)

p03a.JPG (6155 bytes)    02CAD2.JPG (8493 bytes)
The 1903 production cars used 10-spoke, wooden artillery wheels

p03c.JPG (12109 bytes)
This beautiful survivor features later,  optional side lights and a Cyclops (single) running light by Gray & Davis, as well as a superb and most practical wicker picnic basket for those Sunday outings in the country.  Remember, in 1903, the road system we know today was non-existent;  there were few paved roads; these cars rode in the tracks of the disappearing horse and buggy
[  Photo:  Yann Saunders collection, courtesy Jack Tallman, Decatur, IL ] 

03wagn.jpg (6930 bytes)    03RBT2.JPG (8794 bytes)
Left: on the sloping rear deck of the little 1903 Cadillac runabout could be mounted a vast
storage trunk (ancestor to today's car trunk?); this accessory was popular with
various tradesmen around Detroit at the start of the 20th century

I believe this one is part of the GM-Cadillac Museum collection;
it was on display at the 1962 Chicago Auto Show


Right: more popular than the storage trunk was the 2-passenger tonneau
that was simply bolted to the sloping rear deck [see image below]

03rnbt.jpg (6949 bytes)     03runab.jpg (5873 bytes)
Right: this PC from the sixties shows a surviving 1903 runabout, with a couple posing in period attire

   03surv.jpg (4682 bytes)    03cadton.jpg (19590 bytes)    03tonn.jpg (4224 bytes)     03rrseats.jpg (6805 bytes)   
Far left: Enthusiast Stuart Kline sent in this photo of another survivor in far-away Turkey; the car

was acquired in England; the color scheme is non-original (this model was available only in black or dark maroon)
Next 3 images: another survivor in a correct color scheme, with cape top in place; note corner seating in tonneau

03DriveTrain.jpg (6852 bytes)    03EngView.jpg (6234 bytes)

03Eng.jpg (4631 bytes)    03Eng_rr.jpg (5597 bytes)    03FlyWh.jpg (4920 bytes)
These two rows: undercarriage and engine details



Tough little single-cylinder Cadillacs


shelbyst.jpg (5816 bytes) 
Surprised onlooker (left) and city cop (right) watch in
amazement as sturdy little 1-cyl. Cadillac tonneau hauls
12 men, with ease, up steep Shelby Street hill, Detroit

03-04old.jpg (6484 bytes)
Family outing aboard a 1903-04 Cadillac tonneau
at the turn of last century

03SRV.jpg (6249 bytes)
1903-04 survivor (in the fifties)

03HIST3.JPG (6351 bytes)
This survivor, from the Cadillac Historical Collection,
is featured here on the occasion of a convention in the sixties




03SALE.JPG (4510 bytes)    03SALE2.JPG (7894 bytes) 
This rare, old invoice from July, 1903, covers the sale (to a doctor)
of a 1903 Cadillac runabout costing $750; the optional "lamps" added $12 to the price

03aus.jpg (9552 bytes)
This survivor is in Australia



More than a Century Later...


03srve.jpg (7594 bytes)    03srv1.jpg (8946 bytes)     03srv2.jpg (7538 bytes)

03srvd.jpg (4777 bytes)    03srvg.jpg (4113 bytes)    03srvh.jpg (6821 bytes)

03srvf.jpg (6783 bytes)    03srvk.jpg (5430 bytes)
(left) Brake and shift levers [red] protrude at driver's side, between seat cushion and arm rest
(right)  Two corner seats like this, in detachable tonneau, convert car from 2 to 4 passengers

03srvi.jpg (8601 bytes)    03srvj.jpg (9576 bytes)
(left) Step plate, at left, helps passengers to access rear entrance tonneau
(right) Detail of wooden, 12-spoke wheel and suspension

This survivor is located in an unidentified museum



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: Cadillac product catalog cover for 1903 ]