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About the Name…
Initially, the vehicle’s 226 cubic-inch L-head four-cylinder engine yielded 30 horsepower, thus the Model 30 moniker. Later on, 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 more space for a driver to climb into and out of the vehicle with a greater measure of comfort and grace.
Cadillac Model 30 specs:
- 365.8 Cu. In. Engine, In-Line L-Head Four-Cylinder
- Five Main Bearings
- Two-Speed Rear End
- 120-Inch Wheelbase
- Mechanical Brakes on the Rear Wheels
- 27-Inch Wheels with 36×4½-Inch Tires
- Hinged Steering Wheel (“Fat Man” Steering Wheel)
- $1,975, or $50,637.82 in Today’s Dollars
- One of 14,003 Produced