Hershey | Lot 150

1905 Cadillac Model E Runabout

$71,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

10 October 2013

Engine No.
  • A beautiful little brass jewel
  • Recent restoration work by RM Auto Restoration
  • Not yet shown since restoration

9 bhp, 98.2 cu. in. horizontal single-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary transmission with reverse, tubular front axle with transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and single chain drive, and dual differential-mounted brakes. Wheelbase: 74 in.

In 1904, Cadillac launched its new Model D, which was a conventional “modern automobile” with a front-mounted, 30-horsepower, four-cylinder engine on a 100-inch wheelbase chassis. However, customers still continued to demand the original single-cylinder models, which now included the Models E and F, with the former being a two-passenger runabout and the latter being offered as a four-passenger tourer or delivery vehicle. Nodding to modernity, the single-cylinder models now adopted an “engine hood,” in the style of a front-engine car. However, the actual engine was not under the hood; it was still under the seat, just as it had been since the single-cylinder Cadillac made its debut in 1905.

Cute as a button though it may have been, the brass-trimmed Model E enjoyed sprightly performance. “The Power of a Cadillac Never Diminishes,” one advertisement claimed. “Even after a year’s service, it is not unusual for a Cadillac motor, when given the proper care, to develop 20 percent more power than originally rated. Ample reserve energy enables the Cadillac to go anywhere.”

The Model E Runabout offered here was acquired by the present owner from the collection of well-known brass car enthusiast Les Schuchardt in South Dakota. Mr. Schuchardt had completed a great deal of the car’s restoration, including an exacting recreation of the original “beetleback” wooden coachwork, as well as a mechanical rebuild. The new owner took the car to RM Auto Restoration, which disassembled it and completed the restoration, including adding show-quality brass, carefully painting all components to a concours level and in a traditional dark green striped in yellow, and skillfully polishing all brass. While the owner chose not to install a top, which was not standard equipment, the car was fitted with the correct brackets and accessories to install one, should the new owner desire. It also includes correct headlamps and a steering column-mounted bulb horn.

All work was performed to the very highest of standards, and as a result, this must be one of the nicest and freshest single-cylinder Cadillacs to come to auction in recent memory. As it has not been shown since completion of the restoration, it is ready to take to the show field at Hershey.

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