1904 Cadillac Model A Runabout
In the spring of 1904, the Cadillac factory suffered a fire that virtually shut down the factory to near zero production for 45 days. Deposits on 1,500 orders were returned to prospective customers, however, the volume of sales still exceeded those of any other make in the country.
This terrific and rare example was restored by a gentleman from Delaware in 2002 and received its AACA Senior Badge # W16280 in 2003. It was an incredible restoration and still shows extremely well today. Very close to a concours example and running perfectly. Would be perfect for the London-Brighton run.
A beautiful coat of deep red covers all the straight and true but very curvaceous body panels that have obviously spent a lot of time on an English wheel. There is some cracking in the curve of the body behind the seat. Pristine black fenders hang above each spoked wheel and are wrapped with clincher tires, for easier changing which will inevitably have been necessary due to the undeveloped roads of the time. Beautiful solid brass pin striping is seen on the hood, and it is bordered on both sides with black. A Cadillac brass badge is noted on the radiator, and 2 brass headlamps are seen on either side of the upper hood. A woven basket adorns the flat rear “trunk” area of the vehicle, as well as another brass lamp attached to the back of the car.
If you will for this open-air car, a large leather buttoned tufted bench seat in black stretches across the car. This is fronted by an ultra-shiny brass steering column that makes its way from the floor to being topped by a perfect ebony and brass spoked steering wheel and spark advance lever. 2 simple red pedals mounted into the floor, one gear ratcheted, control the motion of the car.
Leland & Faulconer produced the engine which was called the “Little Hercules.” The valve train was fully actuated, and acceleration controlled by sliding cam on the intake valve. With a square bore and stroke of 5 inches, 6.5 horsepower was the advertised rate. This engine sits under the driver's seat and sends power to the rear wheels through a 2-speed transmission and Brown-Lipe differential. Braking is handled only on the rear wheels by applying friction to the half-shafts.
Model A chassis and bodies were all produced in house at Cadillac. The car is held together by a steel frame that is suspended on longitudinal leaf springs and rigid axles. The underside of this vintage example is as beautiful as the topside and is a fascinating look into early automobile propulsion and the technology available at that time.
With a high level of craftsmanship and usability, the 1904 Cadillac Model A was well received at the New York Auto show and orders poured in. It was Cadillac's first car and became known for its reliability and performance. This wonderful example is ready to be shown and driven and can be seen and tested here at Classic Auto Mall.