The Model 30 Earns Cadillac the Dewar Trophy
Cadillac built the Model 30 from 1908 to 1914. With the “Thirty” in production, all prior models were discontinued and the car became the company’s only offering for a time.
The Model 30 was available as a three-passenger Roadster, two-door Demi-Tonneau with seating for four, or a two-door, five-passenger Tourer.
Cadillac upgraded the Model 30 over the course of the vehicle’s production lifetime. During its last year of manufacture in 1914, the Model 30 transitioned to left-hand drive, a new floor-hinged steering wheel was introduced, and an optional, electrically-engaged, two-speed, direct-drive axle became available. This last component made high-speed driving a quieter experience and put less stress on the motor.
About the Name…
Initially, the vehicle’s 226-cubic inch, L-head, four-cylinder engine yielded 30 horsepower, thus the Model 30 moniker. Later, the Model 30’s upgraded 366-cubic inch engine provided 40 to 50 horsepower.
The “Fat Man” and a Great Start
Recognizing the potential problems with crank-starting an automobile, Cadillac introduced the self-starter for its 1912 vehicles. Dayton Electric Laboratories developed the electric starting and generating system for the cars. In addition to easier starting, the system produced electricity for lighting and other components.
Cadillac’s electric starter and electric lights earned it the prestigious Dewar Trophy in 1912. The Dewar Trophy was the automotive equivalent of a Nobel Prize in its time.
The hinged steering wheel featured on the Model 30 was dubbed the “Fat Man.” It allowed larger drivers to move the steering wheel away from their bodies giving them more space to climb into — and out of — the vehicle with a greater measure of comfort and grace.
1914 Cadillac Model 30 Specs:
- 365.8 cubic inch, L-head, four-cylinder engine
- Five main bearings
- Two-speed rear end
- Mechanical brakes on the rear wheels
- 120-inch wheelbase
- 27-inch wheels with 36 x 4 ½-inch tires
- Hinged steering wheel (“Fat Man”)
- One of 14,003 produced
- Originally priced at $1,975
- Valued at approximately $50,637.82 today