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Hershey | Lot 137

1913 Cadillac Model 30 Five-Passenger Touring

$41,250 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

7 October 2021


Engine No.
Documents
87808
US Registration
  • A highly significant Cadillac model from an important period in automotive history
  • Second year for the electric self-starter; 366 cu. in. inline-four; three-speed manual transmission
  • Presented in unrestored condition; ideal candidate for further preservation
  • Features include engine-driven air compressor, Warner Auto-Meter, Boyce Motometer with Cadillac crest, and Gray & Davis headlamps with More-Lite lenses
  • Accompanied by copy of Cadillac build record

Introduced in late 1909, the Model 30 represented an important historical chapter for Cadillac—and indeed, the automotive industry as a whole. Well-regarded upon its debut, the Model 30 would add an electric starter for 1912. Like so many inventions, the so-called self-starter was a luxury feature at first. By doing away with the tricky and potentially dangerous crank-starter, however, it would dramatically increase the accessibility and widespread appeal of the automobile.

The model was refined for 1913. As this Five-Passenger Touring shows, the body was reworked; streamlining was years away from being a trend, but the fenders were made rounder, and the abrupt transition between hood and cowl was smoothed over somewhat. Less immediately obvious were mechanical refinements. The electrical system was improved and simplified, and the L-head inline-four engine’s displacement was increased to 365.8 cubic inches, among other improvements. This was the first model year for which Cadillac deployed the famous “Standard of the World” tagline, and given the quality of this model, it was fitting.

According to a copy of the build record on file, this car, engine number 87808, was finished in Blue and shipped on 10 May 1913 to Utica, New York for sale via the Utica Motor Car Company. Its subsequent history is unknown, although a cloisonné 1922 Central New York Motor Club radiator badge suggests that it remained on the road in the Empire State in the years following World War I.

The Cadillac was purchased by the consignor out of long-term storage over two decades ago, and it is today presented in what appears to be a highly original, unrestored condition. It retains many period-correct features, including its Warner Auto-Meter speedometer and radiator-mounted Boyce Motometer, which is complete with a Cadillac crest. For weather protection, roll-up curtains are stowed in its cloth top. An engine-driven air compressor—useful for inflating the rear-mounted spare on long voyages in an era when service stations were still sparse—was offered, and one is present on this chassis. Its Gray & Davis headlamps are fitted with intricate More-Lite lenses, and the car is equipped with both electric and squeeze-bulb horns.

The Cadillac Model 30 has the distinction of being both an historical milestone and an attractive, desirable offering in its own right. This 1913 Five-Passenger Touring, with its pioneering electric starter, range of period accessories and detail, and charming unrestored appearance, would make an excellent candidate for preservation-class exhibition.

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