The American Horseless Carriage, Perfected
Sporting a single-cylinder engine, the 1905 Cadillac Model F Touring produces 9 horsepower. Its horizontal engine is not found under the hood but under the car, instead. A chain drive moves the rear wheels. The Model F has two forward gears and one reverse that are all controlled, like the brakes, on the outside of the car.
The now-famous Cadillac brand started as the Detroit Automobile Company in 1902. That makes 1905 just the third year that the American luxury car maker was producing automobiles. The 1905 Model F was also the first of a new style of car with a sharper hood and radiator.
The Detroit Automobile Company
Inventor and industrialist Henry Martyn Leland and wealthy lumberman Robert Faulconer started what is now Cadillac.
Leland and Cadillac
After making rifles during the American Civil War, Leland began a company to produce gears and car parts for Ransom Olds. When Leland’s design for a 10.25 horsepower engine was turned down by Olds, Leland chose to produce his own car. Leland named the Cadillac after the French founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac.
Leland went on to develop other innovations for automobiles, including the electric starter and dimmable headlights. He later founded the Lincoln Motor Company brand, as well.
1905 Cadillac Model F Specs:
- 98.2 cubic inch, single-cylinder engine
- 9 bhp
- 76-inch wheelbase
- Weight: 1,350 lbs.
- Single chain drive
- Twelve-spoke, wooden artillery wheels
- VIN 7996
- Originally priced at $950
- Valued at more than $27,000 today