'Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind Buick and among the oldest automobile brands in the world. Depending on how one chooses to measure, Cadillac is arguably older than Buick. Since GM has discontinued offering Oldsmobile, Buick has the distinction as the oldest American make.
Cadillac was born in 1902, at the dawn of the twentieth century. Its founder, Henry Leland, a master mechanic and entrepreneur, named the company after his ancestor, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, born Antoine Laumet, the founder of Detroit. It was purchased in 1909 by General Motors and within six years, Cadillac laid the foundation for the modern mass production of automobiles by demonstrating the complete interchangeability of its precision parts, also establishing itself as America's premier luxury car. This is also the inspiration for the company's crest, which is based on a coat of arms "created" by Detroit's founder, around the time of his marriage in Quebec, in 1687 (there is no ancient "Cadillac" family or coat of arms in France). Cadillac pioneered many accessories in automobiles, including full electrical systems, the clashless manual transmission and the steel roof. The brand developed three engines, one of which (the V8 engine) set the standard for the American automotive industry. Cadillac is the first American car to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England - having successfully demonstrated the interchangeability of its component parts during a reliability test in 1908; this spawned the firm's slogan
"Standard of the World". It won that trophy a second time, in 1912, for incorporating electric starting and lighting in a production automobile.
Cadillac managed to survive the Great Depression by being part of GM. By 1940 Cadillac sales had risen tenfold compared to 1934.
1934 brought about a revolution in assembly-line technology. Henry F. Phillips introduced the Phillips screw and driver to the market. He entered into talks with General Motors and convinced the Cadillac group that his new screws would speed assembly times and therefore increase profits. Cadillac was the first automaker to use the Phillips technology, which was widely adopted in 1940.
This rare and significant car was owned by President Herbert Hoover for many years. It was in the Imperial Palace collection many years spent some time in the hands of a noted Midwestern Collector who is very good at getting things running well before being passed on to another Museum where it currently resides. It may need some minor recommissioning to be road worthy, although it has obviously been in climate controlled storage, so should wake up pretty easily. The car is largely original although the paint, bright-work, and interior have been redone at some point in its life. Notice the desirable "Pennsylvania" V windshield, flowing beltline from the hood to the cowl and the unique triangular cowl vent, as well as the nice Landau Bars and interesting top arrangement.