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November 25, 1949 – The 1,000,000th Cadillac
This Day

November 25, 1949 – The 1,000,000th Cadillac

On this day in 1949, a 1949 Cadillac Coupe de Ville rolled off the assembly line, marking the 1,000,000th Cadillac to be manufactured since the company's inception in 1902. Pictured with the vehicle above are John F. Gordon, General Manager; Don E. Ahrens, General Sales Manager; and C.A. Raftrey, Works Manager. Standard specs for the 1949 Cadillac Coupe deVille included a 331 V8 that made 160 horsepower. It could power the approximately 4,250 pound car to nearly 100 mph. It averaged 13.5 miles per gallon when equipped with 4 speed Hydra-Matic transmission. 1958 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, same model as the two millionth Cadillac While it took Cadillac nearly 50 years to reach the one million mark, it'd only be 9 more before the two millionth Caddy hit the streets. It was Februa...
Cruiser or Loser – Cheetah print 1977 Cadillac Eldorado for Sale – $6,295
Cheap Classic Cars

Cruiser or Loser – Cheetah print 1977 Cadillac Eldorado for Sale – $6,295

What's got purple paint, cheetah print interior and a V8? Alright, it's not much of a riddle since you clicked on the picture to get here, but come on! Check out this 1977 Cadillac Eldorado for sale on Craigslist in Omaha, Nebraska (Go Huskers!) for $6,295. While I probably wouldn't bat an eye at most late 70s Caddys, this thing sure is striking. Unfortunately the seller doesn't say too much about it or provide nearly enough pictures of this, uh, beauty, but let's see what we can decipher. What's a pimpmobile? Sure, the purple paint is what first got my attention, but the cheetah print interior on this Eldorado kept me from surfing away. Based on the ad, it is hard to tell if the current seller did the car up like this or if it has some history that isn't shared. In either ...
October 20, 1902 – The first Cadillac is completed, maybe…
This Day

October 20, 1902 – The first Cadillac is completed, maybe…

According to the book “Henry Leland - Master of Precision,” the final assembly of the first Cadillac took place on this day in 1902, however this date is disputed. Another source points to October 17 as the day the first car reached completion. One account states car number three left the factory ton October 16 of that year. So, with that in mind, on, or around, this date in 1902, the first Cadillac rolled out of the plant. The Founding of Cadillac Henry Leland bred Cadillac from the failedHenry Ford Company, after Henry Ford disembarked the company due to a dispute with his investors. The dying company's financial backers called upon Leland, a detroit engineer, to appraise the Ford manufacturing plant and its equipment. They planned to sell it all off in hopes of getting some ...
October 18, 1934 – Automatic transmission patented
This Day

October 18, 1934 – Automatic transmission patented

Oscar H. Banker, an Armenian-American inventor born in 1895, filed for a patent for a new type of automatic transmission on this day in 1934. The automatic transmission wasn’t a new idea at the time, but it had hardly been perfected. General Motors and REO each debuted a semi-automatic transmission the same year, but both were found to be quite unreliable. Even though Banker’s patent, which used hydraulic force and had no need for a manual clutch mechanism, was viewed as more durable, safe and easy to use, it took years for any automaker to give his invention a shot. General Motors offered the first mass produced automatic transmission vehicles using queues from Banker’s design with the release of the 1940 Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. Above: Oscar Banker. Top: 1940 Oldsmobile by Sicn...
October 7, 1945 – The first postwar Cadillacs
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October 7, 1945 – The first postwar Cadillacs

As Americans transitioned into peacetime following Japan’s September 1945 surrender, the demand for new automobiles skyrocketed. While cars weren’t the only thing on people’s shopping lists, automakers’ inability to keep up with orders shined a light on the public's desire for a fresh set of wheels. But car companies faced numerous issues at the end of the war, material shortages being a primary concern. While Ford Motor Company had managed to begin rolling vehicles off the assembly line in July,  it took months for other companies to do the same. Ford, as with all major automakers, rushed 1942s out of the factory as 1946 models with little, if any, changes. Such was the case with Cadillac, which manufactured its first post-war car on this day in 1945. Top: 1946 Cadillac Serie...
June 15, 1911 – The electric starter is patented
This Day

June 15, 1911 – The electric starter is patented

The name Charles Kettering may not ring any bells unless you went to Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, but this US inventor is the man you can thank for your car being so easy to start. It was on this day in 1911 he filed for US Patent #1150523, the electric starting motor for the automobile.  Kettering didn’t exactly invent the automatic starter, but he did make it work for cars of the era. Early automobiles required a person to hand crank the motor in order to get it started. Incidents often led to broken hands, wrists or even shoulders, but one accident was much worse. Byron Carter, the founder of Cartercar, came across a stranded motorist in Detroit during the winter of 1908. When the driver forgot to retard the spark the crank kicked back and broke Carter’s jaw. Due to...
February 16, 1843 – Henry Leland, founder of Cadillac & Lincoln, is born
Automotive, This Day

February 16, 1843 – Henry Leland, founder of Cadillac & Lincoln, is born

Henry Leland, founder of Cadillac and Lincoln, was born on this day in 1843. He began his professional engineering career in the firearms industry, including time spent at Colt. His exceptional eye for toolmaking, manufacturing and parts interchangeability resulted in a partnership with Robert Faulconer. The two later founded Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Co. in Detroit. Faulconer, left and Leland, right, at their Detroit office. Though he worked on engines as early as 1870, it wasn’t until the automobile industry’s rapid expansion that he found it lucrative, initially as the engine supplied for Ransom E. Olds. Then, in 1902, partners of the already defunct Henry Ford Company approached Leland & Faulconer to conduct an appraisal of the Ford factory and toolings prior to ...
December 21, 1945 – General Patton dies following car accident
This Day

December 21, 1945 – General Patton dies following car accident

On December 8, 1945, revered U.S. General George S. Patton, received an invitation from his chief of staff, Major General Hobart Gay, to go pheasant hunting off-base, near his German post. Patton, riding next to his preferred chauffeur, Private H.L. Woodring, saw the dog belonging to their hunting advisor was riding in an open top Jeep behind them. Believing the dog to be cold, Patton asked his driver to pull over and bring the dog into their car. In doing so, Patton moved to the rear of the vehicle, and allowed the dog to ride upfront. It was a simple act of kindness toward an animal that would prove fatal.  Not long after their pit stop, Patton observed burned hulks of automobiles on the side of the road. To this he said, "How awful war is. Think of the waste." Moments later, Patton’...
February 3, 1948 – The first tail fins
This Day

February 3, 1948 – The first tail fins

General Motors design chief Harley Earl was an inspired man after gazing upon a twin-tailed P-38 Lightning fighter plane of WWII. By borrowing elements of the plane’s design he ushered in the tail fin era of the automobile, starting with the 1948 Cadillac, the first of which left the factory on this day in 1948.  1959 Cadillac Coupe deVille, the year fins hit their highest point. By Brian Corey The style proved popular and spread through American automotive design centers, and then around the world. By the end of the 1950s, fins had grown from small projections to massive wings with sharp edges. Following an apex in 1959, in which Cadillac again stole the show with its enormous fins, the design disappeared almost entirely by the early 1960s. Close up of 1959 Cadillac fin...
September 17, 1909 – GM legend Ed Cole is born
Automotive, This Day

September 17, 1909 – GM legend Ed Cole is born

On this day in 1909 GM executive Ed Cole was born in Marne, Michigan. Though the son of a dairy farmer, Cole wasn't much interested in the cows. He spent his youth designing, building and selling homemade radios. His first job in the auto industry was manning the counter at an auto parts store, which he did while attending Grand Rapids Community College. He’d later enroll at the General Motors Institute where he pursued an education in engineering. The GM leadership saw potential in Cole and kept him around. He eventually worked his way up the ladder, making his biggest splash to date as co-head of the team that developed the 1949 Cadillac V8. 1949 Cadillac by SicNag. In 1952 Cole was assigned as chief engineer of Chevrolet. His experience with the Cadillac V8 put him in prime pos...

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