1909 Cadillac Model ThirtySOLD

Christie's Retromobile Paris Auction - February, 16 & 17th, 2007

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Estimate 35,000 - 55,000 Euros
Result (incl.) 47,00 Euros

Engine: 30 hp 226 cubic inch inline L-head four-cylinder engine; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: live axles with front semi-elliptical leaf springs and rear 3/4 platform springs; Brakes: rear axle contracting drums with expanding drum emergency brake. Right hand drive.

Model history:

1909 was the first year for Cadillac's Model Thirty, a new name and evolved in detail from the similar 1907-1908 four-cylinder Model G. It would be the automobile that assured the commercial success of Cadillac, already assured of technical repute with its award in the same year of the Royal Auto Club's Dewar Trophy for "the greatest advancement of the year," successful completion in 1908 of the RAC's Standardisation Test.

Later generations have come to think of Cadillac in terms of its subsequent positioning among the top ranks of luxury car makers. The Thirty, however, was something quite different, a high quality, mid-sized, medium-priced automobile that offered its buyers the quality of a luxury car in a good performing automobile at an affordable price. With prices starting at USD1,400 for a fully-equipped touring car complete with lights, a successful professional or businessman could buy three Cadillacs for the price of a Peerless or a Pierce-Arrow.

Cadillac accomplished this feat with the usual steady, professional, meticulous thoroughness of its guiding lights, Henry M. Leland and his son Wilfred. Unlike most manufacturers of the day, Cadillac built nearly every part of its cars, from castings produced in its own foundries to the precision machining, close control of tolerances and interchangeable parts which earned Cadillac the Dewar Trophy. Already legendary for the quality of the work of Leland & Faulconer, Cadillac continued to build the Lelands' reputation and, even as the company moved from success to success as a manufacturer, it continued to use its precision manufacturing skills and production capacity to make quality components for other manufacturers.

The Thirty was, as its name indicated, a 30 horsepower automobile with an ALAM/RAC horsepower rating of 25.4hp, powered by a 226 cubic inch four-cylinder engine with 4" bore and 4 1/2" stroke. Cadillac gave the Thirty engine five main bearings and made its own carburetor. A three-speed sliding gear transmission and shaft drive delivered power to the rear axle. The 106" wheelbase was long enough to accept all but the largest limousine bodies. The Cadillac Thirty's value was immediately apparent to buyers. When it was introduced in December 1908, the full year's production, 5,903 units, was immediately sold out.

The Cadillac Thirty was so successful that Billy Durant was energized to acquire the company to add to his burgeoning General Motors enterprise, an acquisition that was completed on July 29, 1909. Henry M. and Wilfred Leland were made wealthy men in the process and their contribution to Cadillac's success was made clear when Durant granted them complete autonomy in the company's management.

Specific history of this car

The 1909 Cadillac Model Thirty Open Tourer offered here is a desirable example of this singularly important and successful marque and model. No particular specific history is known for the car.

Fully restored by 'Auto Seifried' in Austria the condition of this car is superb and according to the current owner the car performs as well as it presents.

Reference Number 6929

as of 2/1/2007

Car 1909 Cadillac Model Thirty
VIN CAD-32-17009 
Exterior / Interior Color      Blue /      Black 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
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