- Wonderful Brass Era Cadillac
- Well-preserved older restoration
- Originally sold by Don Lee Cadillac, San Francisco
The Model 30, named for its horsepower, was Cadillac’s sole offering in 1909. A refinement of the 1907–1908 Model G, it had a longer wheelbase but was offered only in open body styles. Selling for about two-thirds the price of the G, the new Model 30 sold nearly six times as many cars as all 1908 Cadillacs combined.
Three body styles were offered: a roadster, a tourer, and a demi-tonneau. The latter had a detachable tonneau and could be converted to a runabout. The roadster and demi-tonneau had a sweeping cowl that presaged “torpedo” styling. When a windshield was ordered, it was affixed to a wood dashboard fitted over the cowl. In 1910, closed bodies—a coupe, and a limousine—returned to the Cadillac line. The 1911 model year brought a longer wheelbase and marked the last use of “Model 30.” Although the cars remained much the same through 1914, they were sold as simply “Cadillac.”
The big news for 1912 was electric starting and lighting. This Delco system, developed by visionary engineer Charles Kettering, was not the first electric starter, but was much smaller and simpler than previous efforts, and thus more practical. From his work at the National Cash Register Company, he understood that an electric motor could be severely overloaded, provided that it was used only intermittently. The 1912 Cadillac system used four six-volt batteries connected in series for 24-volt starting, while lighting and accessories ran at six volts. Kettering realized that a complete electrical system made sense for a car, and thus Cadillacs dispensed with gas- and oil-fueled lighting completely.
This 1912 Model 30 five-passenger touring was shipped from the factory on 24 October 1911 to Don Lee, the San Francisco dealer. Its further history is not known, until acquisition by the Guyton Collection in October 2008, from Eric Gibson of Keswick, Virginia. An older restoration, it has been well preserved and presents well in dark blue over black fenders, the body accented with delicate white pin striping. It has a full canvas top in black, and black buttoned leather seating. The famed Cadillac electric lighting and starting is present, complemented by a bulb horn. The engine compartment is correctly detailed, showing just a few signs of use.