1909 Cadillac Model 30

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Cadillac’s Model 30 is notable for several reasons. This model was the first car created after the merger of Cadillac and GM. And if before the Model 30, the Cadillac lineup had 5 cars, then in 1909 only one model was produced. Cadillac produced something in between the more expensive and cheaper models of the past.

The 1909 Cadillac Model 30 was the world’s first car with an electric starter. I’d like to remind you that it was on the Cadillac that electric headlights first appeared. And the Model 30 was followed by the Type 51, the first V8 in the United States. So, already at the very beginning of the century, the cars of this brand were considered innovative and technological.
In 1911 Cadillac Model 30 traveled a distance of 1448 miles in 24 hours. The average speed was quite high, and the car did not break down.
It may surprise some people, but before Ford organized the assembly line, it produced expensive, powerful and comfortable cars. Such was the 1906 Ford Model K with six cylinders. I mention this simply because this Ford was somewhat more expensive than the Cadillac. Such a fact would seem strange not only today, but also in the 1920s.

The price and value of the 1909 Cadillac Model 30.

In 1909om to buy a new Cadillac Model 30 was possible for 1,800 dollars. That’s the equivalent of $45,000 today. Today you can buy a 1909 Cadillac Model 30 for $50,000. The cost of some copies reaches up to 100 thousand, but for 50 you can buy quite a good car.
Due to its massiveness, the cost of this vintage car is not too high. So only for 1909th was collected 5 900 Model 30. These cars were assembled in Detroit. In 1910, 8,000 cars were sold, 10,000 in ’11 and 14,000 in ’12. These are very good numbers, especially considering that this was not a cheap car. In comparison, the aforementioned Ford Model K sold only 900 cars between 1906 and 1908. Although the Ford was more expensive not by much and was more powerful than the early Cadillac modifications.

Photo and exterior.

It was the 1909 Cadillac Model 30 that became the world’s first car with a fully enclosed body. This is completely familiar today, but at the time, the enclosed body was an innovation from wind and rain. The body itself was made entirely of wood. The front headlights were electric, from the company – Gray&Davis, and the taillight was powered by kerosene. Most of the cars were equipped with a removable, tilt roof.

In some modifications the windshield was completely one-piece. But most of the trucks received a separate windshield, which could be raised, providing better ventilation in the cabin. Additional electric lights could be installed under the windshield. This must have been a notable option at the time.
As on most cars of the time, the rims on this Cadillac were wooden. Metal rims were bolted to them with already dressed, pneumatic tires. The wheels were 25 inches in diameter. Spare tires could be mounted on the back, or on the side. A duffel box could also be mounted in the rear. Additional bins could be mounted on the running boards, – on the sides of the car.
The Cadillac Model 30 was equipped with side mirrors. The brand emblem on the radiator grille served as a radiator cap.

Cadillac Model 30 equipment.

This was the last Cadillac that was equipped with right-hand drive. There are two pedals in the driver’s feet, not three. This is the brake and clutch, the gas pedal was driven by a special lever on the steering wheel. As we mentioned above, this is the first car with electric starter.

There was no ignition switch.
The fuel tank is located under the front passenger’s seat, which can be easily tilted. Among the instruments there is a pressure gauge and a clock. On the door trim you can see pockets, and on the back of the front sofa – a handle, which can be held by passengers sitting in the back.

Engine and Specifications 1909 Cadillac Model 30.

Originally, in 1909, Cadillac was equipped with a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 226 cubic inches (3.7 liters), with an output of 25.6 hp. You can see from the photo that all cylinders in this engine are separate and do not share an engine block. There are two spark plugs for each cylinder. This engine was borrowed from the Model G. In 1911, the displacement was increased to 286.3 cubic inches (4.7 liters) and the power increased to a significant 40 horsepower. In 1913, due to the increased stroke of the pistons, the displacement was increased to 365.8 cubic inches (6.0L).
This Cadillac is equipped with a three-speed, manual transmission. Power transmission is by driveshaft rather than chain. Brakes only on the rear axle and they are of course – drum. The suspension is leaf spring.

The 1909 Cadillac Model 30 wasn’t the most expensive, powerful, or posh car of its time. But it was a true success that breathed life into the company. If it hadn’t been for this car, the company might have gone down a very different path.

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