Cadillac, which was acquired by General Motors in 1908, had launched the Model 30 in 1908, the year that the company adopted its famous ‘Standard of the World’ slogan. All previous models were dropped, and the ‘Thirty’ became Cadillac’s sole offering from August of 1908 through September of 1914. One of the great marketing problems of the Edwardian car was that half the world buys were eliminated as very few women had sufficient physical strength to start by hand massive engines of the era.
Providentially the solution was developed by electrical engineer Charles F. Kettering, who developed an electrical self-starter (quite rightly known as the ‘World Wonder’) which revolutionised the whole industry by setting women behind the wheel. Once again, Cadillac was truly, as their logo declared, the ‘Standard of the World!’, the 1912 Model 30 Cadillac was the first car to be fitted with both electric starting and lighting, using the famous and dependable ‘Delco’ system.
This thirty horsepower, four cylinder engine with a bore and stroke of 4.5 by 4.5-inch, was built with a selective type sliding gear transmission and was priced at $1,890. The car was capable of an impressive cruising pace of some 45 miles per hour at a time when American roads were primitive in the extreme.
The 1912 ‘Thirty’ that we have here today is presented in very pleasing all round condition, with lovely open five seat tourer coachwork with weather equipment, in Midnight Blue with blue leather upholstery. Among a high level of equipment is the very fine nickel lighting set, unusually full instrumentation for the period, and handsome, robust artillery wheels.
Truly evocative of its place and period, this fine example has been an important part of an extensive private collection of Cadillac vehicles, and will adorn to the next one in which it finds itself.